Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Meet the sporadic voters who could decide the 2024 election

By 37ci3 Jul1,2024



Four years ago, neither Joseph Mitchum nor Laura Brooks ran in the last presidential election.

But they and voters like them could very well decide the outcome The November race for the White House.

Mitchum, a battleground Georgia native, and Brooks, a Michigan native, both participated in NBC News polls this year and told pollsters they would support former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden. By a large margin among non-voters in 2020.

The results of the last three NBC News national polls — all taken before last week’s debate — show a 25-point swing against Trump among absentee voters in both 2020 and 2022, compared with voters who voted in the last two national elections. elections.

If those voters vote this time, it could make the difference between winning and losing for Trump. Both Mitchum and Brooks highlight the big question of whether these 2020 absentee voters will actually show up in November.

Mitchum, 24, said he will definitely vote in 2024 after not registering to vote in 2020. “Yes, I’m going to vote,” he said.

“I really don’t like what’s happening on our border,” he said, explaining why he supports Trump. “The other thing is, I’m pro-gun rights.”

But Brooks, 25, said in a follow-up interview that he won’t be on the ballot in November, though he will back Trump in the poll. (Like Mitchum, Brooks is not registered to vote in 2020.)

“Biden, he’s looking a little old now,” he told NBC News. “And there’s all the legal stuff going on around him with Trump.”

“I’ve never seen a pony show like this,” Brooks said.

Biden’s frequent voters vs. Trump’s infrequent voters

A record number of 159 million Americans voted in the 2020 presidential elections. Still, tens of millions of eligible people like Mitchum and Brooks did not participate, representing a significant portion of the potential electorate that could influence the 2024 outcome.

The NBC News polls in November 2023, January 2024 and April 2024 interviewed a total of 3,000 registered voters, most of whom were matched to statewide historical voter files.

Among those who participated in both the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 midterms — representing 56% of all voters interviewed — Biden leads Trump by 5 percentage points, 49% to 44%, according to the combined poll. took the lead.

But only among those who voted in 2020—representing 17% of those interviewed—Trump led by 12 points, from 50% to 38%.

And Trump’s lead over Biden was larger among those who did not vote in 2020 (16 points) and among those who did not vote in both 2020 and 2022 (20 points).

Looked at this way, this election could fall between Biden’s frequent voters and Trump’s infrequent voters.

“Trump’s positive margins over Biden come from rarer voters — people who voted in 2020 and skipped the midterms in 2022, or who didn’t vote in both,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who co-conducted the NBC News poll. .

It’s not just the NBC News national poll that shows Trump ahead of rare voters; requests from The New York Times and Cook Political Report with Amy Walter show him too.

Will the rare voters show up in November?

The problem for Trump, however, is that these absentee voters in 2020 are less interested in the upcoming presidential election and therefore less likely to actually vote in November.

The same combined NBC News poll found that 73% of voters participating in 2020 and 2022 rate themselves as having a high interest in the upcoming presidential election, giving themselves a “9” or “10” when asked to rate their interest out of 10. scoring scale. Only 44% of those who did not vote in 2020 and 37% of those who did not vote in either 2020 or 2022 rated their interest in 2024 as high.

These findings indicate A major shift in American politics, given that Republicans have the most reliable voters and Democrats are more sporadic.

“Forty years ago, the joke in a special election was ‘pray for rain,’ because the most reliable voters were college-educated, wealthy Republicans who always voted,” said GOP pollster McInturff.

But today, he added, “the data is clear that the consistent voter is tipping for Biden.”

Who are the absentee voters in 2020?

Absentee voters in 2020 disproportionately describe themselves as political moderates, according to an NBC News poll. They don’t have college degrees. And they are mostly young voters.

But some of them are older, like Maria Calderon, 52, of Houston. He explained the reason for not participating in the 2020 elections: “There was a lot going on in my life at that time.”

However, he told NBC News he will vote in November. “I will vote this year,” he said. “That would be 100% for Donald Trump.”

Rare voters also have more negative views of Biden than Trump.

Biden’s net favorability rating drops from minus-9 among 2020 and 2022 voters to minus-31 among those who didn’t vote in either of the last two national elections, according to a composite NBC News poll. Trump’s trend is the opposite, minus-6 among those who didn’t vote in 2020 and 2022, minus-21 among those who voted in both.

“I’m not voting,” said Vivian Lambert of Augusta, Georgia, who is not running in 2020. “But that would be Trump.”

“I hear a lot of bad things about Biden,” Lambert said.

Still, not all of these rare voters are Trump supporters. Kelly Torz, 25, of Michigan, says she didn’t vote in 2020 but will vote for Biden in November because of his support for abortion rights, the environment and LGBTQ issues.

“I care deeply about the environment, and I hope Biden will help keep the ecosystem in better shape than Trump thinks,” Torz said.

Still, there is no certainty that all of these absentee voters will turn out in 2024.

“I probably am,” said Noah Fimon, 19, of Louisiana, a Trump supporter.



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