Ann Selzer: Iowa Red Wave Explained By Huge Drop In Early Voting

Republican vote suppression laws worked in 2022 midterms

Listen to the conversation about the drop in early voting and what Ann Selzer has to say about it if you want your blood to boil even more than it likely already is after Iowa’s red tsunami.  The early voting topic starts at around 13:50 (but the whole program is worth a listen).

Selzer didn’t use the words “vote suppression” but that’s what it is – engineered by the Republican legislature. By shortening the early voting period, reducing satellite locations, making it harder to vote by mail, and many other burdensome rules pushed through the legislature by Republicans, early voting shrunk drastically compared to previous years. It is worth noting that she brought it up herself, pointing out that the panel hadn’t asked her about it but she felt it was very important to point out.

Selzer: “And so when you shrink the proportion of the total electorate, to me that is one of the compelling explanations for why Iowa went so Republican.”

 “We saw a decline in early voting. And I mean enough that I on the second night of looking at our data I said wait a second something may be wrong… we had about half the proportion of people we consider likely voters say that we’ve already voted, that we normally see.”

and this:

“From 2018, well we were showing in our data 15% of the people that we contacted said they had already voted and compared to of course 2020 was huge with early voting it was 43%, so almost three times as much. And before that 26%, 25%, 24% was what we would normally see. And so what happens, the consequence of that is that traditionally democrats bank a whole lot of votes in early voting, that that’s a big push that they have, and roughly that vote is two to one, roughly twice as many people voting for democrats as voting for republicans. And so when you shrink the proportion of the total electorate that is, to me that is one of the compelling explanations for why Iowa went so republican.

Also: There was no youth surge in Iowa.  “”We didn’t see anything in our data that was a strong surge in youth voting.”

Read the full transcript at https://www.iowapbs.org/

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