Show an ad over header. AMP

Biden's mail voting danger

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Voters who disapprove of President Trump most strongly are by far the most likely to vote by mail in the presidential election, according to an Axios analysis of exclusive data from SurveyMonkey and Tableau.

Why it matters: The new data shows just how strongly the mail-in vote is likely to favor Joe Biden — with potentially enormous implications in the swing states due to the greater risk of rejection with mail ballots.


  • The data suggests this could be an especially strong factor in the battleground states of Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Driving the news: Today, SurveyMonkey and Tableau, in partnership with Axios, are launching a data-rich Election 2020 interactive tool. It features self-service visual analytics that will allow us — and you — to go deep to examine variables, including voting intentions by race and age, that could determine the election.

How it works: The tool tracks the Trump vs. Biden race nationally and at the state level. But it also offers a closer look at what really drives voter differences on everything from approval to the environment to immigration.

  • It's built on nearly 700,000 responses since June and will grow to encompass more than 1m interviews by the election, said SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen.
  • Users can create their own models and visual analyses by changing assumptions.
  • Results can be filtered by location, time period, party ID, and other variables such as race, gender, age, education level, issue and intensity of response. More data will be added over the coming weeks.
  • It includes sufficient sample sizes to break down smaller slices of the electorate including Black and Asian-American voters.

The big picture: The large-scale, continuous survey shows Biden leading Trump nationally 53%-44% among registered voters this month, compared with 52%-45% since June.

  • It also shows the race shifting in Biden's favor this month in the three states that gave Trump his bare win in 2016, 53%-43% in Michigan, 52%-45% in Pennsylvania; and 51% to 46% in Wisconsin.

Yes, but: The findings give us new means to pinpoint how and where Trump may benefit most if absentee ballots are blocked or rejected at higher rates.

Details: In Arizona, where voting by mail is tradition, the analysis finds 90% of registered voters who strongly disapprove of Trump are likely to vote by mail, compared with 46% of those who strongly approve of the president.

  • In Nevada, where a judge recently dismissed a lawsuit by Trump's campaign to challenge ballots from being sent to all voters because of the pandemic, 75%who strongly disapprove of Trump are likely to vote by mail, compared with 21% who strongly approve of him.
  • In Michigan, the contrast was 79% to 24%.
  • In Wisconsin, it was 77% to 15%.
  • In Florida, it was 75% to 27%.
  • In Pennsylvania, it was 74% to 8%.

For the record: “We are running the most robust voter education program in the history of presidential campaigns,” said TJ Ducklo, national press secretary for the Biden campaign.

  • “We’re investing an unprecedented amount in paid media to ensure voters know their options to vote early, vote by mail, or vote on election day, and how to execute those options effectively."

Between the lines: The extent of the anti-Trump leanings of likely mail voters is just one of many findings that emerge from the data.

  • Another potential danger sign for Biden: 18 percent of registered Black voters under age 30, and 14 percent of registered Black voters age 30 to 44, say they don't intend to vote for president at all.
  • Biden leads Trump 76 percent to 11 percent among all registered Black voters —  leading Trump in all age groups — but the new data is a reminder that there's a significant number who may still sit on the sidelines.

What they're saying: Axios' Alexi McCammond reports that at an Engagious/Schlesinger focus group this week, nine Black voters in Pennsylvania who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and then stayed home or voted third party in 2016 said they didn't feel energized about Biden's candidacy.

  • That's in large part because they feel ignored by Democrats — and Kamala Harris's presence on the ticket isn't enough to excite them.
  • "Don't just say: ‘You should vote for me because I like Black people. I went to the Black barbecue. I got this Black woman running with me and you don't like Donald Trump? So why wouldn’t you vote for me?’" said Barry L. "That’s how [Democrats] sound to me.”
  • When shown a video clip of then-candidate Donald Trump asking Black voters in 2016 "what do you have to lose" by ditching the Democratic Party, Lakeisha A. responded: “This is kind of sour coming from him, but it is kind of true ... I’ve even questioned why I’m a Democrat.”

Methodology: These data come from a series of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted for Tableau and Axios, June 8 - Sept 21, 2020, among a national sample of 674,284 adults in the U.S.

  • Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day.
  • Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

Vaccine shipment companies targeted by cyberattacks, IBM says

A global phishing campaign has been trying to gain information from organizations working to ship coronavirus vaccines since September, IBM's cybersecurity arm said on Thursday.

Why it matters: Successfully distributing a COVID vaccine will already be challenging for the U.S. and other wealthy countries, especially to rural areas with less resources — while poorer countries are expected to have delayed access.

Keep reading... Show less

Fauci to meet with Biden transition for first time

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci will stay on at the National Institutes of Health and plans to meet virtually with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team to discuss the coronavirus response for the first time Thursday, he told CBS News.

Why it matters: Fauci, widely viewed as one of the country's most trusted voices on the coronavirus, said it will be the first "substantive" conversation between he and Biden's team. He said he has not yet spoken with Biden directly, but has connected several times with incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump weighs firing Barr over fraud comments and Durham delay

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning as administration enters final days

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday will publicly warn that China's threat to the U.S. is a defining issue of our time, a senior administration official tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.

Keep reading... Show less

Tech's race problem is all about power

As problematic as the tech industry's diversity statistics are, activists say the focus on those numbers overlooks a more fundamental problem — one less about numbers than about power.

What they're saying: In tech, they argue, decision-making power remains largely concentrated in the hands of white men. The result is an industry whose products and working conditions belie the industry rhetoric about changing the world for the better.

Keep reading... Show less

Mayors fear long-lasting effects of COVID-19

Data: Menino Survey of Mayors; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. mayors tend to be an optimistic bunch, but a poll released Thursday finds them unusually pessimistic about prospects for post-pandemic recovery.

Why it matters: In a survey of mayors of 130 U.S. cities with more than 75,000 residents, 80% expect racial health disparities to widen, and an alarming number predict that schools, transit systems and small businesses will continue to suffer through 2021 and beyond.

Keep reading... Show less

Coronavirus hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time

Data: The COVID Tracking ProjectHarvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Danielle Alberti and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans are now in the hospital with coronavirus infections — a new record, an indication that the pandemic is continuing to get worse and a reminder that the virus is still very dangerous.

Why it matters: Hospitalizations are a way to measure severe illnesses — and severe illnesses are on the rise across the U.S. In some areas, health systems and health care workers are already overwhelmed, and outbreaks are only getting worse.

Keep reading... Show less

Our make-believe economy

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories