The real battle for the White House doesn’t happen on Election Day any longer. No, it begins next month in several states.
Early voting could affect the results long before Nov. 8, giving GOP nominee Donald Trump less time to turn things in his favor.
Absentee ballots will be mailed on Sept. 9 in North Carolina, a state where Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are running even, according to the Washington Examiner.
Early voting and absentee voting in Ohio, a national barometer in presidential elections, begin on Oct. 12 and continue through Election Day.
Tapping those votes is critical for any nominee, and the Clinton campaign has an advantage over Trump in field and data proficiency, the Examiner reports. Clinton’s head start in paid advertising also passes Trump, whose late launch may not be enough to persuade voters who were on the fence.
“We no longer have an Election Day, we have an Election Month,” Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, said Wednesday, according to the Examiner. “That makes it harder for campaigns to peak at the right time but it rewards campaigns that are well-organized.”
If Clinton continues her national lead over Trump when absentee ballots hit mailboxes, it could spell trouble for the Republican nominee regardless of upcoming campaign rallies and presidential debates. But a swing in the race is not out of the questions. It’s happened before.
The Republican National Committee’s technological support of Trump includes a focus on early and absentee voters. Using advanced analytics, they also target those who tend to vote Republican if they would at least show up at the polls.
“The investment we’ve made since 2014, in terms of our predictive modeling program, puts us in a good position,” an RNC official said, according to the Examiner. “We’ve been pushing absentee balloting in the field for months.”
Other states mailing absentee ballots next month include Pennsylvania on Sept. 19; Florida and Michigan on Sept. 24; Missouri on Sept. 27; Iowa on Sept. 29; and New Hampshire from late September to early October. Ballots in Colorado, where all voting is now by mail, will be sent out beginning on Oct. 17.
That leaves a few critical weeks for Trump to rally voters and win their crucial support.
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