In national elections past, the key to Democrats defeating Republicans has been voter turnout. If there is a big one, Democrats are likely to win, overall, whether it be for President and Congressional seats or, in off year elections, just for Congress.
Is there any reason to think it will be any different this year? It doesn’t seem likely to me.
All indications are that Trump’s hard-core base of about a third of the population is very enthusiastic about returning Super-Spreader Don to the White House, and the Trump campaign has registered hundreds of thousands of new voters, perhaps more. Those are two things in Trump’s favor as far as turnout.
But Trump has been doing all he can to depress voting by mail, something which is much more widespread this year because of the pandemic, So when it is reported that just about 70 million people, as of this morning, have early voted nationally, either by mail or in person, which is more than half of the 139 million people voting in 2016, and there’s still six days until election day, it’s reasonable to expect that many of these early voters are Democrats. And they are, with the biggest news being what’s happening in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania. There, more than three times as many of the early voters are Democrats as compared to Republicans.
According to the Washington Post, in 16 of the 19 states that provide data, Democrats are ahead.
Then there’s the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School poll which found that 63% of voters 18 to 29 intend to vote. If true, that would be 16 percentage points higher than the youth vote in 2016. And that poll found that Biden was favored among that constituency by a 63 to 25 percent margin.
And finally, there’s Black voter turnout, which is big, as this CNN story reports: “By Tuesday, more than 601,000 Black Americans had voted early in Georgia compared with about 286,240 two weeks before the 2016 election. In Maryland, about 192,775 had voted compared with 18,430. And California had over 303,145 — up from more than 106,360 two weeks before the election four years ago. That’s according to Catalist, a data company that provides analytics to Democrats, academics and progressive advocacy organizations.”
These are absolutely huge developments. The best defense against attempted voter suppression and Trump election-stealing before, during and after November 3 is exactly what is happening, a massive turnout of people of color, women, young people, progressives, workers and the majority of the population who reject what Trump and the Trumpublicans are all about.
But we can’t let up. The larger the vote for Biden, the stronger the mandate will be post-election for the kinds of progressive action so desperately needed right now. And a big turnout means more down-ballot victories for progressives and liberals, from the Senate down to very local races.
If you’re not already involved in voter turnout work in the battleground states, there’s still time to take part in these last six days. Some of the national groups I know which are doing good work are the Biden campaign, Indivisible, Our Revolution and Peoples Action.
After doing this work in September, I had to stop once I began my month-long, water-only Fast to Defeat Trump on October 3, not having the energy for phone-calling or writing letters/post cards. But I’ve decided that the best contribution I can make in these last six days is to get personally involved in the phone calling, so later today I will shift from water-only to a liquid fast, drinking fruit and vegetable liquids. I’ll begin getting the nourishment I need for the last six days ‘til election day, the last six days of my fast, to keep building the turnout momentum.
The people are rising, and there ain’t no power like the power of the people in motion and standing up. Let’s defeat Trump bad!
Ted Glick is currently on a month-long Fast to Defeat Trump until November 3. He is the author of the recently-published “Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War.” More information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick