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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

Data: Black voters propelled Democrats' Georgia victory

Data: Georgia Secretary of State; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden owes his upcoming Senate majority to game-changing turnout Tuesday by African American voters across Georgia, according to Axios’ analysis of state election data.

The big picture: Turnout in runoff elections usually pales in comparison to general elections. This time, in every Georgia county, the number of votes cast Tuesday was at least 80% of the turnout in November. In Randolph County, which is 62% Black, turnout was 96%.

McConnell: "Our democracy would enter a death spiral" if Congress overturned election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday rebuked his Republican colleagues' efforts to block the certification of the Electoral College, saying in an emotional speech on the Senate floor that overturning the results of the election "would damage our republic forever."

Why it matters: In a complete break from President Trump and other Republicans, McConnell denounced "sweeping conspiracy theories" about widespread election fraud and said he "will not pretend" voting to overturn the election would be a "harmless protest gesture."

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.