Campaign Quick Hits
Convention(al) ratings: Not surprisingly, TV viewership was down from 2016 and online viewership was almost certainly up. According to the Nielson ratings agency, Vice President Joe Biden’s speech drew about 25 million viewers on television, which was the most viewed event on television for the week, and more than 10 million across streaming platforms, according to the campaign. But compared with 2016, television viewership was down about 18 percent. President Trump’s Thursday night appearance on Fox News’s Hannity drew about 5 million viewers.
You’ve got mail (if you’re a Democrat): The Wall Street Journal reported more than half of absentee ballot requests in North Carolina have come from registered Democrats compared with 15 percent from Republican voters. In Florida, Democrats have claimed they have signed up 1.86 million Democrats to vote by mail—a 500,000 person lead over Republicans. For the 2020 election, only six states, including Texas, are limiting mail-in voting to those with a reason such as a disability or being out of town on Election Day. Every other state, including 20 states that changed their process this year in light of coronavirus, allows anyone to request an absentee ballot or is automatically sending applications or ballots to its voters.
Feeling rejected: Nearly twice as many primary election absentee ballots have been rejected so far this year compared to all the general election absentee ballots that were rejected in 2016, according to NPR. That’s despite the fact that more than twice as many people are expected to vote in this year’s general election. Imagine every precinct captain in a battleground state deciding whether a signature on a ballot matches the voter’s signature card when they know that a ballot is four times as likely to be a vote for Biden.
Mind the (enthusiasm) gap: Nearly three-fourths of voters say they are “extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this fall,” according to a CNN poll released last week. Among those motivated voters, Biden has a 53 percent to 46 percent advantage over Trump. Although some battleground state polls are starting to show some tightening as we head into Labor Day, the national polling averages have stayed remarkably consistent this summer. Currently, Biden enjoys an 8.7 percent lead nationally.