Poll shows deep partisan divide in Virginia early voting

Virginians have been able to vote early since mid-September, but a new poll suggests that the partisan divide has been significant when it comes to when state residents are choosing to cast their ballots.

Sixty-nine percent of Virginian early voters queried in a recent Washington Post-Schar School poll said they had voted for former Vice President Joe Biden, while 24% reported voting for President Donald Trump.

But that partisan divide flips when focusing solely on those who plan to vote on Election Day.

Trump leads Biden 59% to 35% among voters who plan to vote on Nov. 3, according to the poll, which included a random sample of 1,001 registered voters in Virginia with a margin-of-error of plus or minus 3.5 points.

It found that 29% of Democrats and 23% of independents said they had already voted, compared with about 14% of Republicans.

Voters who back Biden have been fueling a massive surge in early voting this year, as nearly 2 million have already voted in Virginia in-person or through the mail, according to figures released by the state.


Throughout the 2016 presidential election cycle, 538,410 voters cast a ballot early.

Nationwide, with just a week before Election Day, more people already have cast ballots in this year’s presidential election than voted early in the 2016 race as the start of in-person early voting in big states led to a surge in turnout in recent days.

The opening of early voting locations in Florida, Texas and elsewhere has piled millions of new votes on top of the mail ballots arriving at election offices as voters try to avoid crowded places on Nov. 3 during the coronavirus pandemic.

The result is a total of 58.6 million ballots cast so far, more than the 58 million that The Associated Press logged as being cast through the mail or at in-person early voting sites in 2016.

Early voting through the mail has been ongoing for weeks in Virginia, Maryland and the District, but in-person early voting just got underway this week in Maryland and D.C. It has been open since Sept. 18 in Virginia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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