With just over two weeks to go until Election Day, voter enthusiasm is the highest it’s been in the past three presidential elections—but the majority of Americans won’t turn up to the polls on Nov. 3.
With the coronavirus pandemic still raging across parts of the country, just one third of Americans (33%) plan to vote in person on Election Day, according to national survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released on Monday. Another 17% said they plan to vote in person, but before Nov. 3, while another third of Americans (32%) said they plan on casting their ballots by mail.
Of the 2,538 respondents, the remaining 18% said they were still unsure how they planned to vote. 76% of Americans said they are absolutely certain they will vote in the 2020 election, which is higher than both the 2016 election (66%) and 2012 election (71%). Including this year’s election, PRRI has tracked the past three presidential election cycles.
Analysis of early voting appears to correspond with that enthusiasm—with record turnout recorded ahead of Nov. 3. As of Saturday, 26 million people have voted so far, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a database tracking early turnout shepherded by University of Florida political scientist Michael McDonald. That’s more than six times the number of votes had been cast by the same point in 2016.
According to data firm TargetSmart, Democrats make up the majority of early turnout with 53% of votes, while the Republican figure currently sits at 36%. President Trump has been vocal about his supporters turning up to polls on Election Day, even if they send in absentee ballot by mail. Voting twice in the same election is illegal.
“Let them send it in, and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” the President said at a rally in North Carolina last month. “If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.”
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