The Trump campaign and Republican Party’s drive to register new voters is chipping away at a voter deficit to Democrats in key swing states.
The Trump campaign has registered 100,000 new voters ahead of the 2020 election, more than doubling its 2016 number, according to campaign data first reported by Axios. The effort has helped Republicans cut voter deficits in states such as Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida by tens of thousands of voters, though Democrats still have the edge in those states overall.
“As enthusiasm for President Trump continues to grow, so does the Republican Party. Over 100,000 new voters are ready to cast their ballot for four more years of President Trump’s ‘Promises Made, Promises Kept’ agenda, and elect Republicans up and down the ballot on November 3rd,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Axios in a statement.
Trump is trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida in polling, according to averages calculated by FiveThirtyEight. In Pennsylvania, former Vice President Biden leads Trump 49.5% to 43.1%. Polls in North Carolina show the race much closer but with Trump still trailing Biden just over 2 points, 46% to 48.1%. In Florida, Biden is beating Trump by nearly 6 points, 49.8% to 44%.
Republicans have added hundreds of thousands of new voters to their rolls in those states over Democrats, however. Since the 2016 election, Republicans have gained 133,000 more registered voters than Democrats in Pennsylvania, 216,410 more voters than Democrats in North Carolina, and 87,000 more voters than Democrats in Florida, according to state data reviewed by Axios.
The voter registration numbers are a sliver of good news for the Trump campaign amid a slew of poor polling that has left the president trailing his Democratic challenger by more than 7 points nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
A series of media appearances seems to have done little to bolster Trump’s numbers as Biden stays noticeably absent from the public, staying isolated and largely avoiding direct confrontations with the media while Trump suffers fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the economic tailspin that heavy-handed lockdowns have put the United States in.
In his latest interview, Trump warned of future instability the pandemic may cause to the election in November because of a flood of mail-in ballots from voters who do not want to risk getting infected with COVID-19 at polling places.
“Now, because of the China virus, we’re supposed to stay home, send millions of ballots all over the country. Millions and millions,” Trump said in an interview with Axios. “You know, you could have a case where this election won’t be decided on the evening of Nov. 3. This election could be decided two months later.”
“Lots of things will happen during that period of time, especially when you have tight margins. Lots of things can happen. There’s never been anything like this,” Trump continued, adding that his campaign is looking at legal options to end mail-in voting because, unlike absentee voting, people do not “go through a process.”