Dump Trump? Hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast with his name on the ballot
Some Republicans want Donald Trump to end his candidacy in the hopes of salvaging the party’s electoral chances. But hundreds of thousands of ballots have been cast, and this week, voting opens in a fifth swing state with Trump still at the top of the ticket.
Early voting will commence in Ohio on Tuesday. More than 200,000 ballots have already been cast in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Those battlegrounds are among the 14 states where some form of early voting is underway, with a combined 429,337 ballots already received by election officials, according to data compiled by the United States Elections Project in conjunction with the Associated Press.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is analyzing the daily intake in key states for clues about the effectiveness of its get-out-the-vote efforts.
Clinton and top supporters will hit the trail in a coordinated effort to encourage early voting. She will campaign in Ohio on Monday on the eve of early voting. Former President Bill Clinton will be in Iowa starting Wednesday, during the second full week of early voting there.
But both parties see evidence in the early vote that augurs well for their side.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook predicted last week that, based on early data, more early votes will be cast this year than in any previous presidential election. More than 2.7 million voters had requested early ballots as of last week, up from 1.8 million at the same point four years ago.
Separately, Republican National Committee political director Chris Carr said his party was “working hand in glove” with the Trump campaign to turn out voters, citing early voting statistics that he said were bad signs for the Clinton campaign. Among them: More registered Republicans were requesting absentee ballots either overall or on key days in states such as Florida, Iowa and Michigan.
“Ultimately we are going to keep our foot on the gas and continue our work of engaging voters, building relationships with them, registering them to vote and making sure they come out to vote Republican up and down the ticket,” he said.
Of the states most aggressively contested by both candidates, only New Hampshire and Pennsylvania have no major early vote or vote-by-mail program. In Colorado, by contrast, only 1 of 6 votes was cast on election day 2012.
For more 2016 campaign coverage, follow @mikememoli on Twitter
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