GOP Registered More Voters in Florida Than 2016 Margin of Victory
The media on the one hand doles out a steady stream of polls claiming that Biden is safely ahead and yet seems deeply worried about the election. The sense of broad confidence and political inevitability that led it to crash and burn in 2016 is absent here. Now some of that could be theater or political PTSD from its 2016 defeat.
But there is a big number that may decide everything.
Polls matter less than enthusiasm. And voter enthusiasm continues to be on Trump's side. The same polls that show Biden would win a majority also show that most people think Trump will win.
Voter registrations reflect that enthusiasm.
Of the six states Trump won by less than 5 points in 2016, four — Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — permit voters to register by party. In all four states, voter registration trends are more robust for the GOP than four years ago.
In Florida, Republicans added a net 195,652 registered voters between this March's presidential primary and the end of August, while Democrats added 98,362 and other voters increased 69,848. During the same period in 2016, Republicans added a net 182,983 registrants, Democrats 163,571 and others 71,982. In 2016, Trump prevailed in Florida by just 112,911 votes.
Even in heavily blue Miami-Dade County, where Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 29 points in 2016, Republicans added a net 22,986 additional voter registrations between March and the end of August, compared to 11,142 for Democrats.
In Pennsylvania, Republicans added a net 135,619 voters between this June's primary and the final week of September, while Democrats added 57,985 and other voters increased 49,995. Between the April 2016 primary and the November 2016 general election, Republicans added 175,016 registrants, Democrats added 155,269 and others 118,989. That fall, Trump won the state by just 44,292 votes.
The pro-GOP trend since 2016 is also apparent, if less dramatic, in Arizona and North Carolina, two Sun Belt states Democrats have high hopes of flipping blue.
In North Carolina, Republicans added a net 83,785 voters between this March's presidential primary and the final week of September, while Democrats added 38,137 and other voters jumped 100,256. During the same period in 2016, Republicans added 54,157 registrants, Democrats added 38,931 and others 140,868. In 2016, Trump carried North Carolina by 173,315 votes.
Republicans have been working hard. And the Democrats are betting on virtual outreach, instead of old-fashioned door knocking, though that will soon change. But the lack of any real enthusiasm for Biden is real and it's crippling.
Beyond voter fraud, one reason the Democrats are obsessed with voting by mail (as opposed to protesting by mail) is that their base is underwhelmed. And underwhelmed voters are less likely to schlep to the polls to vote in person.
It's also another reason they set off the Black Lives Matter race riots, to fire up enthusiasm among a key part of their base.
But it's not working.