llustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans are hoping less-concentrated youth voter turnout on campuses that are closed or scaled back this semester can help them from Maine to Florida — in congressional races as well as Trump’s fight.

The big picture: The coronavirus will hinder both parties' ability to mobilize new voters on college campuses this year, but Democrats may be disproportionately affected.

Where it matters: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Iowa and Maine are home to battleground districts where the youth vote could have the most impact, according to a weighted index created by Tufts.

Between the lines: Quads have always presented a target-rich environment for Democrats. But registering first-year students and getting upperclassmen to vote when classes are remote is proving to be difficult.

What they’re saying: "I follow colleges because colleges on campuses in congressional districts go to Democrats. But if colleges aren’t in, it’s a much easier race. No one is paying attention to that," House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told Axios.

  • "College kids don't usually vote in an off-presidential year,” he said. “But in a presidential year? They can earn you thousands of votes.”
  • A source close to the Trump campaign said, “Democrats bank tens of thousands of votes every cycle on these campuses. They register and turn out thousands of voters on these campuses. It's a totally overlooked part of how COVID-19 will affect November.”

By the numbers: Turnout among college students was 48.3% in 2016, according to data collected by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tisch College at Tufts University.

  • Young voters favored Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton over Trump 55% to 37%, according to exit polls.
  • But while the number of 18- to 24-year-olds who registered to vote in 2020 is already higher than in November 2016, there's an important caveat: Registration among 18- to 19-year-olds is far behind, according to Tisch.
  • In Pennsylvania, registration among young people (18–24) is down 3% compared to 2016.

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Young voters' red-state blue wall

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

There are only five states in the U.S. where voters younger than 35 embrace President Trump over Joe Biden, and none are swing states, according to new 50-state SurveyMonkey-Tableau data for Axios.

Why it matters: These scattered red spots in a sea of blue vividly illustrate Trump's peril if young people were to actually turn out this year. Put another way, Trump's path to re-election depends heavily on younger adults staying home.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Dems will boycott vote to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats are expected to boycott Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s Thursday Judiciary Committee vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Wednesday.

The big picture: The boycott will not prevent Barrett from moving forward in the nomination process, but the largely symbolic display is a symptom of Democrats and Republicans’ clashing over President Trump’s Supreme Court pick.