The GOP Is Winning the Battle to Register More Voters in Swing States
In what can only be described as a repeat of 2016, the media has been pushing the narrative hard that due to Joe Biden’s lead in the polls, his victory in November is a virtual guarantee.
Even the Biden campaign isn’t that optimistic, with Biden Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon describing the race as “far closer” than conventional wisdom (i.e. media “wisdom”) suggests. During a recent grassroots summit, Dillon said that despite that the national polls claim to show, Biden is not up by double digits, and “those are inflated national public polling numbers.”
Fox News obtained a three-page internal memo from the Biden campaign warning that President Trump can still win the race despite the media consensus that it’s all over because of the polls (even though the polls got everything wrong the last election cycle).
“[T]he reality is that this race is far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest,” Dillon cautioned in the memo. “Even the best polling can be wrong and that variables like turnout mean that in a number of critical swing states we are fundamentally tied.”
Among those key variables is voter registration – which is one that Republicans are dominating at in key states. According to TIME:
Despite Democrats’ apparent advantages that year in polling, rolls and organizing, now Republicans have narrowed those advantages by ramping up voter-registration efforts in these [battleground] and other states over the last four years. They still haven’t erased Democrats’ upperhand, but they’ve been chipping away at it, giving the party a reason to think Trump could eek out another slim win in the critical states of Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Take, for instance, Florida. The voter registration numbers show a narrowing gap, to a 1.3-percentage-point voter-registration advantage for Democrats. Four years ago, Democrats were ahead in voter registration by party by twice that and still lost Florida by 1.2 percentage points. In 2012, Democrats had a 5.6-percentage-point registration advantage when the networks painted it blue for Barack Obama by just 0.9 points in the vote. Now, Biden is heading into Florida ahead in the polls, but with only a 1-percentage-point registration advantage for Democrats as the election starts.
Or as MSNBC was forced to acknowledge – Republicans are registering voters in Florida at the fastest rate since tracking began in 1972.
There’s been a shift toward new Republicans on voter rolls elsewhere in the country, too. In Pennsylvania, Republicans have been making inroads in adding new voters at a faster clip than Democrats. As a result, Democrats’ advantage shrunk from 10.4 percentage points in 2016 — when Clinton lost by 0.7 percentage points — to 7.8 percentage points today. Still, that advantage is half of what Obama ran with in 2008, when Democrats had a 14.2-percentage-point leg up over Republicans and squeaked by with a 10.4-percentage-point win. Since 2008, Republicans have had a net addition of 100,000 votes to their rolls more than Democrats.
And in North Carolina, Republicans remain bullish on keeping the state in the red column come Nov. 3. Trump carried the state by 3.6 percentage points in 2016, despite Democrats’ 9.3-percentage-point advantage. Since then, Republicans have successfully added more than 113,000 new GOP voters to the rolls.
As I wrote about previously, if the polls are off by the same margin of error as they were in 2016, Trump has an easy road to victory in the electoral college. Let’s hope their polling is still just as inaccurate today.