4. Democrats' college disadvantage
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, Alayna and Hans report.
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 is 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 Alayna.
- "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.”
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.