Majority of Americans Now Support Voting by Mail

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New Poll by the Center for Voter Information Shows Widespread Support for Mail-In Ballots
Washington, DC (May 7, 2020) — A majority of likely American voters intend to vote at home with a mail-in ballot in 2020, according to a new survey of battleground states conducted by the non-partisan, non profit Center for Voter Information (CVI). Fifty one percent of all respondents now say they intend to vote at home during the coronavirus epidemic, compared to 47 percent of respondents who were asked the same question at the end of March and beginning of April. The strongest supporters for at-home voting are African Americans (58 percent intend to vote from home by mail), millennials (61 percent), and white college women (58 percent), the CVI survey shows. 
 
“This pandemic is altering how Americans want to vote,” said Page Gardner, Founder and Board Chair of the Center for Voter Information. “Voters are now clamoring for choices and safe ways to participate in democracy. Those politicians who are blocking safe access to voting are denying a fundamental American right and putting voters’ lives at risk. They are undermining democracy by suppressing votes.”
The Center for Voter Information survey, conducted by Democracy Corps, polled 2,000 people in 16 battleground states from April 29-May 3, 2020. The web-based survey was the second in a series of tracking polls on the pandemic that CVI will carry out over the next few weeks.
An overwhelming two-thirds of Americans support reforms that allow no-fault absentee voting, the survey shows, with everyone being automatically mailed an absentee ballot. That level of support has remained stable over the last three weeks. 
The CVI pandemic survey also reveals: 
GOVERNMENT BAILOUT
  • Eighty six percent of registered voters approve of the government’s financial bailout plan. Voters now think President Trump along with Senate and House Republicans are responsible for the good elements of the bill (39 percent); by contrast, just 28 percent think the Senate and House Democrats enacted the bailout. A quarter of respondents (23 percent) are not sure who should get the credit.   
 
STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS
  • Fully two-thirds of the country and half of Republicans reacted with horror to the demonstrators who have been protesting their state’s mandatory stay-at-home measures. 
  • Sixty percent of respondents side with the governors who “are calling on people to stay at home and separate,” rather than those who “are ending stay-at-home orders, keeping social distancing where possible to open up the economy.” Fifty six percent of all voters say, “I am bothered that some leaders seem willing to have a lot more older people die.” 
  • Today’s partisan polarization has shaped how much respondents fear an immediate family member becoming seriously ill from the virus. Nearly half of Democrats (47 percent) score the most worried, 8 to 10 on a 10-point scale, but only a quarter of Republicans (25 percent) say they are equally worried.
 
BIDEN TRUMP MATCHUP
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has edged down in the battleground states, from a 7-point margin in early April to a 5-point margin now, and enjoys only a 3-point margin in the blue wall states [IA; NH; ME; MI; MN; OH; PA; WI]. He faces a threat on the horizon if President Trump could ever get the election down to who can best “bring back jobs.” 
  • Biden’s immediate challenge is the Democratic primary contest that remains unfinished, despite being endorsed by all his opponents. Fully 94 percent of Biden’s primary voters are voting for Biden over President Trump, but that drops to 79 percent among Bernie Sanders primary voters, and 73 percent for those who supported another candidate in the primary elections. More alarming for Biden, 11 percent of Sanders voters support Trump in the general election, while others may choose to not vote at all.
  • Biden is polling well with African Americans, white unmarried women, and college women, while keeping the race very close with seniors. He gets disappointing numbers with white millennials. With Latinx likely voters, Biden is only getting 53 percent of their votes.
Center for Voter Information
The Center for Voter Information (CVI) is a non-profit and non-partisan civic engagement organization dedicated to providing voters with the impartial information they need to make an informed decision and cast their ballot. Its focus is the Rising American Electorate—the people of color, young people and unmarried women who together represent 64% of the people who can vote in America. With its partner organization, the Voter Participation Center (VPC), CVI has helped more than 4.5 million voters register and get to the polls in the group’s history. Together, CVI and VPC run the nation’s largest mail-based voter registration and turnout programs. In April alone, they sent nearly 12 million pieces of registration mail to prospective voters in 20 states. Please visit: www.centerforvoterinformation.org 

See the Data

Memo: CVI Pandemic Tracking Poll

Presentation: CVI Pandemic Tracking Poll

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Lala Kumakura, lala.kumakura@berlinrosen.com, (646) 828-0791