Nearly 100 million Americans voted early; Hawaii, Texas already exceed 2016 turnout

Roughly 100 million early votes already were cast before the first polls opened Tuesday morning, Michael McDonald, professor at the University of Florida, says. He runs the Election Project, which tracks polling and election data by state.

“These reports will include early voting activity from the proceeding day,” McDonald said in the latest analysis published Nov. 1. “It is also likely reports by Tuesday morning will fail to capture all of the pre-election voting activity since there are sporadic reports of election officials experiencing delays in processing the unprecedented number of mail ballots.”

Hawaii and Texas have already exceeded their 2016 voter turnout by 11 percent and 8 percent, respectively. States whose voters are close to exceeding 2016 turnout are Montana (99 percent of the 2016 turnout), North Carolina (95 percent), Georgia (94 percent), New Mexico (93 percent) Nevada (91 percent) and Tennessee (90 percent).

States that have cast the most votes before Election Day are California (12.09 million out of 20.9 registered voters), Texas (9.7 million out of 16.9 registered voters) and Florida (8.9 million out of 14 million), according to the Election Project.

As of Nov. 2, total early votes were 99,657,079. Total in-person votes were 35,720,830. Total mail ballots returned were 63,936,249 and mail ballots outstanding totaled 28,212,749. Some states do not differentiate between mail ballots and in-person votes, McDonald notes.

Despite numerous polls predicting that the Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden will win, the Atlanta polling company, the Trafalgar Group, predicts President Donald Trump will win reelection.

Trafalgar correctly predicted that Trump would win the necessary number of Electoral College votes in 2016 and key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and North Carolina. Nearly all other pollsters were wrong.

Trump also won Wisconsin in 2016, becoming the first Republican presidential candidate to do so in decades.

“What we’ve noticed is that these polls are predominantly missing the hidden Trump vote,” Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly said. He told Fox News that Trump would likely receive 294 Electoral College votes. The minimum constitutional requirement is 270.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich predicts that Trump will receive 326 Electoral College votes, saying, “the Left will be terribly shocked.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, also told reporters it was likely that Trump would receive all 10 of the state’s electoral votes.

“There is a clear feeling among conservatives and people that are for the president that they’re not interested in sharing their opinions readily,” Cahaly said. “These people are more hesitant to participate in polls. So if you’re not compensating for this, you’re not going to get honest answers.”

In 2016, “On a live poll, the deviation was that Trump was understated probably 6%-7%, and on an automatic poll it was probably understated 3%-4%,” Cahaly told TIPP Online.

RealClearPolitics reported in 2018 that Trafalgar’s analysis of the 2016 Election considered “a unique method that sought to measure support from voters who’d been ‘inactive’ in recent election cycles.” It notes that Trafalgar correctly predicted Republican Ron DeSantis’s Florida gubernatorial win, which other polls missed, in addition to many U.S. Senate races in multiple states. RealClearPolitics argues Trafalgar is “one of the most accurate polling operations in America.”

The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight, run by Nate Silver, gives Biden an 88 percent chance of winning Tuesday, and Trump a one in ten chance of winning.

On Oct. 20, 2016, Silver gave Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton an 87 percent chance of winning.

In 2016, Trump received 304 electoral votes; Clinton received 227. Neither candidate received 50 percent or more of the popular vote. Clinton received 48.2 percent of the popular vote; Trump received 46.1 percent.

This year, Silver predicts, “It’s pretty unlikely, though, that either of them will hit the 270 electoral votes needed to win by the end of the night.”

Trafalgar predicts Trump will receive 49.1 percent of the popular vote and Joe Biden 46.6 percent, among other predictions.

Criticizing Trafalgar, Silver tweeted, “Trump is not going to win 30% of the Democratic vote in Michigan. Biden is not going to win 25% of Republicans. Trump is not going to win independents by 32 points.”

Politico reports that eight states will determine the outcome of the election: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.



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