TargetSmart Insights

Sunday, October 25, 2020

With 9 days to go until November 3 more than 50,000,000 voters have cast ballots in the 2020 general election. This is a staggering, record-breaking turnout number. To compare, at this point in 2016, 22,896,414 votes had been cast. Below are a few takeaways.

Texas Is In Play

Turnout in Texas is huge. So far nearly 6.2 million Texans have cast a ballot, compared to 2.1 million at this time in 2016. This is good news for Joe Biden and Democrats despite the fact that based on modeled party Dems trail by roughly 12%. There’s a simple reason for this: the model looks at generic partisanship, not candidate support.

If you compare that to 2018 at this same point in the state, Dems trailed in the early vote by 14.1%. This means that the 2020 early vote electorate is 2% more Democratic than the 2018 electorate, which in the end resulted in a highly competitive US Senate election. This is a good sign for Biden.

The next positive sign is that while the overall turnout is breaking records, youth vote in Texas is surging beyond all other groups. Voters under the age of 30 account for 10.7% of all early votes thus far, up from 7.5% at this point in 2016.

Finally, one more positive sign for Biden is a surging Latino turnout. Latino voters account for 16.4% of ballots cast, up slightly from this point in 2016. Interestingly, white non-college voters, a key Trump base, are down 3% while white college educated voters are up more than 1%.

All of these factors combined with the fact that over 6,000,000 ballots have been cast indicate that the race will be close in Texas and there is a path to victory for Joe Biden.

Younger Voters Continue to Surge

We continue to see an unprecedented turnout of younger voters (18-29): of the 50 million votes cast so far, 4,814,555 ballots were cast by young people with 58.6.9% of voters modeled Democrats and 29.2% modeled Republican.

This is a huge figure, especially when compared to this point in 2016, when voters under the age of 30 had cast 1,740,620 votes, with 54.1% by modeled Democrats and 32.7% by modeled Republicans.

Georgia On Our Mind

Recently, the NY Times wrote a story about Donald Trump’s supposed strength with suburban voters in Georgia. While much will depend on who turns out on election day, early indications are that Democrats are performing well in suburban GA.

According to modeled party, Dems have a 91,000 advantage over Republicans (540K to 447K votes) just among suburban voters. When you dig deeper and look at the racial composition of the suburban electorate, college educated white voters are both up 2% as a share of the overall electorate, while non-college whites are down nearly 5%.

For more comprehensive data and analysis visit For the latest early vote data, visit