This morning the Supreme Court refused to expedite a case brought by the Texas Democratic Party suing to remove absentee ballot restrictions. Right now, in Texas, you can request an absentee ballot without giving a reason if you are 65 or over, but younger folks have to meet one of a very restricted list of requirements. The Democrats are arguing this violates the 26th Amendment, which prohibits discrimination in voting on account of age (after one turns 18). The Fifth Circuit ruled against them, and now that SCOTUS refused to speed the case up, that means no chance to change that rule before the election.
That was the intention: The Supreme Court just handed down some truly awful news for voting rights
Texas law permits voters over the age of 65 to request absentee ballots without difficulty. But most voters under the age of 65 are not allowed to vote absentee. During a pandemic election, that means that older voters — a demographic that has historically favored Republicans over Democrats — will have a fairly easy time participating in the November election. But younger voters will likely have to risk infection at an in-person polling site if they wish to cast a ballot.
But here’s the thing. It is true that older voters did favor Trump in the last election. But it’s no longer quite as true.
538: Are Older Voters Turning Away From Trump? (May 18, 2020):
Four years ago, Trump bested Hillary Clinton by 13 points, 55 percent to 42 percent, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a survey of more than 60,000 voters organized by Harvard University and administered by YouGov. But now Biden narrowly leads Trump 48 percent to 47 percent, based on an average of 48 national polls that included that age group.1 If those figures hold until November, they would represent a seismic shift in the voting behavior of America’s oldest voters.
The Hill (Apr 11, 2020): Biden sees opening over Trump with older voters:
A new CNN poll leaves the Biden campaign salivating. It shows the former vice president leading Trump nationally by 13 points with voters older than 65. It follows another YouGov poll that showed Biden tied with Trump at 49 percent.
“I think seniors are now going to be a problem for him,” one Biden aide predicted, referring to Trump. “Regardless of which poll you believe, he is doing much better with seniors than [Clinton] which is a big deal and a big part of a winning coalition.”
Breitbart (May 24, 2020): CNN’s Brownstein: Biden Leading with Older Voters After Republicans Suggested Seniors ‘Had Duty to Die’
In short, SCOTUS may have handed the Republicans a pyrrhic victory — if we can exploit it. Take it as a given now that Texas is going to make it easier for older voters, and harder for younger voters, in November. So that means that Biden and the Democrats overall have to make a big push for those older voters. And by these accounts, they are lining up to be pushed.
Here’s just one of many things to push them with — and this one will particularly resonate with Texans: Texas' lieutenant governor suggests grandparents are willing to die for US economy.