SOMERSET, KY. — Like an early fall snow flurry, the “what ifs” are swirling as Election Day nears. What if the polls are as wrong as they were in 2016? What if voting machines are hacked? What if armed Trumpsters show up at voting stations in heavily Democratic regions? What if the Justice Department finds a way to interfere in the count?
Here’s my response. It’s not a “what if.” It’s an analysis of data that is emerging from early voting in swing states and regions that indicate Joe Biden’s victory will be huge.
Take Pinnellas and Hillsborough, two big counties in Gulf Coast, Florida.
In 2016, about 571,000 people voted for their choice of president in Hillsborough County. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by over 41,000 votes – 306,000 to 265,000.
In 2020, 235, 000 people in Hillsborough County have already cast ballots. That is half of the voters who cast ballots in 2016. Democrats have cast 53,000 more votes than Republicans, according to state figures. In order to catch Biden, Trump would have to win the other half of the expected Hillsborough vote by a margin of two to one, over 60 percent, or something like 150,000 to 100,000.
The numbers in Pinellas County are similar, though just a bit better for the president.
In 2016, about 472,000 people voted for their choice of president in Pinellas County. Trump beat Clinton by 5,400 votes – 238,746 to 233,327.
In 2020, 236, 000 people in Pinellas County have already cast ballots. That is half of the voters who cast ballots in 2016. Democrats have cast 30,000 more votes than Republicans, according to state figures. In order to catch Biden, Trump would have to win the other half of the expected Pinellas vote by a margin of nearly two to one, or something like 135,000 to 101,000.
Because of very strong Democrat turnout in early voting, the two-to-one voting pattern that Trump needs in order to win in swing states holds true in Iowa, North Carolina, and especially in Georgia.
As of today, 3.42 million people have voted in Georgia. That’s 85 percent of the total number of people (4 million) who voted in 2016.
So far, 55 percent of the Georgia ballots have been cast by Democrats, or 1.88 million votes. Republicans have cast 1.47 million votes or 43 percent. Democrats lead Republicans by 410,000 votes.
Georgia election authorities anticipate that as many as 2.5 million more people will vote in the 2020 presidential election, or roughly 2 million more than voted in 2016. In order for Republicans to catch Democrats, they will have to cast 1.5 million more votes, or 60 percent of the total.
If the vote total is lower, say 1 million more votes than in 2016, Republicans will need 700,000 more votes, or 70 percent of the total.
The point is this: Trump would have to win two of every three votes cast in swing states on Election Day. But he’s behind in most swing states, and only slightly ahead in Ohio and Texas. A lot of Democrats haven’t voted and the Election Day vote is almost certain to be a lot closer than two to one. In short, the impediments to achieving the number of votes Trump needs to win are sufficiently high to make his election extremely difficult and seemingly unreachable.
— Keith Schneider