California’s mass-mail voting experience is tilting decidedly Democratic.
Three weeks after every registered, active voter in America’s most populous state was mailed a ballot, liberal Californians are proving far more eager to return ballots than conservatives. That trend inverts voting patterns of years past — and could create opportunity for liberal campaigns while increasing turnout burdens for Republican-reliant ones.
Veteran strategists suggest that President Donald Trump’s frequent attempts to cast aspersions on California’s mail-balloting system may have backfired on his own party’s candidates by deterring Republicans from participating early. That could force GOP voters to wait in longer lines if they insist on voting at California’s fewer in-person precincts this year.
Republicans have installed their own ballot boxes in some congressional battleground districts, potentially as a way to encourage their skeptical voters to participate early. The move, which has drawn legal action from Democratic state officials, is the latest sign that Republicans have their turnout work cut out for them.
“When your campaign is reaching out to voters who have voted early in five of the last five campaigns but now won’t because they think it’s rigged, that’s a problem,” said Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., a leading firm that tracks voter information. “It’s a resource suck.”