With the elections just six days away, most truck drivers who participated in a FreightWaves election survey on social media say they plan to vote in person this year.
In late October, FreightWaves sent out via Twitter and LinkedIn a survey on truckers’ voting plans and which candidate they planned to vote for.
Of the 60 Twitter respondents to a survey question on how they planned to vote, 70% stated they planned to vote — and in person — in this year’s presidential election. An additional 8.3% said they are voting by absentee ballot, and 16.7% said they had already voted by mail-in ballot.
FreightWaves received 124 responses via LinkedIn to the same survey question. Of those, 75% stated they planned to vote — also in person — at their local polling places. An additional 6% said they had voted by absentee ballot and 14% are mailing in their votes.
The same percentage of survey respondents on Twitter and LinkedIn — 5% — stated they don’t intend to vote.
“I am not going to be home on Nov. 3, but I live in a red state, which I’m sure will go for Trump, so they don’t really need my vote,” a truck driver from Missouri, who didn’t want to be named, told FreightWaves. “We’ve got it in the bag.”
Another truck driver told FreightWaves she doesn’t plan to vote on Nov. 3 after the candidate she favored, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, dropped out of the presidential race in March.
FreightWaves polls truckers: Biden or Trump?
With just six days remaining until Election Day, Americans have already cast an unprecedented 69 million early ballots, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a voter turnout database founded by Michael P. McDonald, an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida.
On social media, truckers haven’t been shy about expressing their opinions about which candidate should be elected or reelected in 2020.
On Twitter, 42.5% of the 106 truckers who responded to a survey question about whom they would vote for on Nov. 3 said their pick was President Donald Trump, compared with 40.6% who stated they are voting for Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden.
Approximately 8.5% of truckers said they are still undecided about which candidate they will vote for. Another 8.5% of those polled on Twitter said they plan to write in a different candidate.
Around 53% of the 343 LinkedIn voters who responded to a question about whom they would vote for gave Trump the nod, while 31% said they would cast their vote for Biden. Of those surveyed, 11% were still undecided. An additional 5% said they planned to write in a separate candidate at the polls.
Has Trump done a good job representing truck drivers?
Truck drivers responded to a FreightWaves question asking if they believe Trump had done a good job over the past four years to support truck drivers and the industry.
Of the 94 responses received via Twitter, nearly 47% said they believed Trump has adequately supported truck drivers and the industry during his time in office. More than 39% disagreed, stating he hasn’t done enough for truckers, and nearly 14% had no opinion on the subject.
Of the 415 survey respondents to that question on LinkedIn, 46% also agreed that Trump is doing a good job representing both truckers and the industry. An additional 37% said no, and 17% had no opinion.
Chad Boblett, the owner of Boblett Brothers LLC of Lexington, Kentucky, said he had already voted for Trump for a second term.
“I believe what Trump has done and is doing is the right direction,” Boblett told FreightWaves. “Bringing jobs back to the USA will increase the supply and demand for my truck.”
This time around, Boblett said he voted by mail-in ballot in Kentucky.
“I really love how convenient it was this year [because of COVID],” he said. “Getting to vote early and do it by mail is excellent for a driver that lives out on the roads for weeks at a time.”
Truck driver Billy Foster said he won’t be voting for Trump in the 2020 election.
“[Trump’s] inability to get infrastructure done is hard on my equipment,” Foster said. “I also contracted COVID-19, which his response remains pathetic at best.”
Mike Smith said he voted for Trump via early voting in Kentucky. While he said Trump could have done more for transportation, he “would walk through bullets to vote for Donald Trump.”
Trucker Shell McClure of Houston said she has already voted in person, but said these past two years in trucking have been a “whirlwind.”
“I wish someone else ran for president,” McClure said. “I’m definitely not voting for Trump.”
Truckers face voting obstacles
It’s hard for long-haul truck drivers to predict where they will be from week to week, which complicates in-person voting on Election Day.
And voting early or by absentee ballot can be equally challenging when truckers’ home time is limited.
If you haven’t registered to vote but plan to be home and want to participate in this year’s presidential and congressional elections, some states allow you to both register and cast your ballot on Election Day at your polling place.
While all states offer absentee voting, some are making it easier to vote early because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, a few states still require a valid excuse as to why you can’t make it to the polls in person on Election Day.
Inside the Election 2020 series
Oct. 30: Is Canada ready for an U.S. administration change?
Oct. 30: In 2016, Trump promised trucking things would change. Have they?