Wisconsin Democrats do not appear to be hitting their vote-by-mail and in-person early voting goals, an analysis of the early vote by "The Dan O'Donnell Show" has found. Despite a massive push for early voting across the state, the 12 counties won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 are badly trailing their early vote percentage from four years ago.
As of Monday morning, the day after in-person early voting concluded in Wisconsin, the 12 Democrat counties--Ashland, Bayfield, Dane, Douglas, Eau Claire, Green, Iowa, La Crosse, Menominee, Milwaukee, Portage, and Rock--accounted for a total of 743,829 votes; 39.4 percent of the 1,886,533 cast statewide. In 2016, those 12 counties accounted for 50.4 percent of the statewide early vote (336,533 cast out of 666,846 total early votes).
Dane and Milwaukee Counties--Wisconsin's most populous and most overwhelmingly Democratic--account for 29.8 percent of the 2020 early vote total, down a full percentage point from the 30.9 percent share of Wisconsin's early vote in 2016.
This indicates that voters in the 60 counties President Trump won in 2016 en route to winning an upset victory in Wisconsin are dramatically overperforming in the state's early vote this year. Based on this, L2 Data is projecting that President Trump may well be leading Wisconsin's early vote.
It is of course impossible to know how early voters actually voted until the ballots are counted, but what appears to be underperformance in Democrat counties may be a troubling omen for Joe Biden's campaign in Wisconsin, especially since a recent YouGov poll indicated that 69 percent of those who have not yet voted are likely to vote for President Trump.
Wisconsin is again considered a critical swing state after President Trump became the first Republican to win it since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Wisconsin was the state in 2016 that put Trump over the 270 Electoral Vote threshold to clinch the presidency.