Michigan reported on Tuesday afternoon that more than 12,500 people have already registered to vote in the state on the same day – that’s higher than President Donald Trump’s winning margin in the key swing state during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump won a total of 2,279,543 votes in Michigan in 2016, compared to 2,268,839 votes cast for former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The president carried the state with only 10,704 votes. His narrow victory in the Midwest state came after former President Barack Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012, as did the Democratic candidates in all presidential elections since 1992.
Tracy Wimmer, Director of Media Relations for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, told Washington Newsday in an e-mail that a total of 12,530 people nationwide registered to vote at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the day of the election. “We do not have figures broken down by jurisdiction at this time,” Wimmer said, but she noted that there will be more updates later in the day.
It is not known whether these newly registered voters were planning to support Trump or the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. Michigan does not require voters to register with any particular political party.
Jonathan Oosting, a political journalist with the nonprofit news organization Bridge Michigan, reported on Twitter that there were reports of long queues at the writers’ offices in Ann Arbor, the seat of the University of Michigan, and at Grand Valley State University. He pointed out that same-day voter registration is a popular option in college cities. National polls show that younger voters are much more likely to support Biden and Democrats.
Same day voter registration was not permitted in Michigan during the 2016 presidential election. The law was changed after the Michiganers adopted Proposition 3 during the 2018 midterm elections. A total of 21 states and Washington, D.C. currently allow same-day voter registration for presidential elections – including Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Michigan is considered an important swing state, which both candidates want to win in order to secure victory in Electoral College. Biden hopes to win the state back for the Democrats, while Trump is trying to keep the ground he has gained for the Republicans in 2016. Recent out-of-state polls suggest that Biden is favored to win, but his lead in most polls is within the margin of error.
The current Real Clear Politics average of the Michigan polls shows that Biden is in the lead in that state with just over 4 percentage points. The Democrats are supported by an average of 50 percent of the state’s likely voters, while Trump is supported by only 45.8 percent. The latest survey by Morning Consult in Michigan showed that Biden is about 7 points ahead of Trump – or 51.8 percent to 44.5 percent. An October poll by Fox News found Biden 12 points ahead of Trump, with only 40 percent of likely Michigan voters supporting Trump and 52 percent supporting Biden.