Democrats are still winning the vote-by-mail game – by a wide margin so far.
What else is new?
What is different is that Republican leaders and candidates have been telling supporters at GOP campaign events to “Vote Now” and don’t wait until Election Day.
Or as I heard one GOP candidate say at a recent Bergen County event, “Let’s beat them at their own game.”
It’s more than talk.
The Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group, has put together a digital ad to make the point.
Here’s the script:
“Far-left Democrats want to turn New Jersey into California. They’re pushing to ban new gas cars. Threatening your gas stoves. And they’re fighting to keep schools from telling parents the truth about their children. Only your vote can stop the radicals. Fill out your vote-by-mail ballot application today. It’s safe and secure. Don’t let Democrats turn New Jersey into California. Fight back. Fill out and return your vote-by-mail application today.”
This point is reinforced with a head shot of Phil Murphy in front of a Welcome to California sign.
All this is going on because Democrats have been so much better than Republicans in getting people to mail in ballots.
One reason, presumably, is that Republican voters are more conservative and less likely to embrace something new.
Another reason has to do with Donald Trump, who claims that voting by mail leads to fraud. Trump, in fact, seems to take pride in telling his supporters to vote on Election Day.
Of course, all votes are counted and it can make no difference when a vote is cast.
But there is a psychological difference. With mail-in ballots generally counted first, Republican candidates are often behind when initial returns are released. It’s like always losing at the end of the first quarter.
And naturally, voting in advance eliminates the chance a voter may not make it to the polls because of horrible weather or a personal emergency.
We are now about 40 days from the election.
So, how is the Republicans’ newfound embrace of voting by mail turning out?
Not good so far.
Ryan Dubicki, an elections researcher for the AP, reports data as of Sept. 28.
Registered Democrats have requested 522,401 mail in ballots to 166,924 for Republicans.
While there’s a lot of time to turn in the ballots – or in other words vote – here are those figures so far.
Democrats have mailed in 5,628 ballots to 2,141 for Republicans.
It may be time for Republicans to create more ads.