Republicans are concerned by a wide Democratic lead in mail voting, according to the Washington Post, which reports Democrats have requested the majority of mail ballots in the battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine, and Iowa. Democrats represent 52% of the more than 9 million voters who've requested ballots in those states. Just 28% are Republicans and 20% are unaffiliated. Internal data from both camps "shows a similar trend in Ohio, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Wisconsin," per the Post. Democrats are also returning ballots at higher rates than Republicans in Florida and North Carolina, where that information is available. Longtime GOP pollster Whit Ayres notes Republican voters are being asked to request absentee ballots "at the same time those voters are hearing from their president that mail voting is ripe with fraud."
It's especially frustrating as Republicans previously "made an art of tracking down people who would otherwise be reluctant to vote in person and getting them to use absentee ballots," Ayres tells the Post. A strategist adds Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has twice met with Trump to persuade him to stop talking "imprecisely" about voting by mail. The Republican National Committee is also touting mail voting in calls to supporters, including one recorded by Lara Trump. Some Republicans say the difference will be made up in early in-person voting or on Election Day. Meanwhile, Derek Thompson at the Atlantic notes even experienced voters can mess up mail ballots, which require a postmark, various signatures, and the right number of envelopes. Errors have already been flagged on 5,800 of some 281,000 submitted ballots in North Carolina, per the Post. (Read more mail voting stories.)