Early Florida takeaways from county level data (UPDATED)

TrumpMuch more to digest after a historic election that this but a few indicators that the Democrats were going to struggle at the top of the ticket on Tuesday were apparent early.

  • The numbers from Pinellas County were mildly shocking. In 2004, I had made an early determination that it would be George W. Bush’s night from Pasco and Pinellas counties. Unlike 2004, early reports had a Democratic advantage in Pinellas and Pasco wasn’t any worse than expected but it quickly changed by 8pm and by 9pm despite my reluctance to tweet that Florida was gone it appeared to be so. Hillsborough County, I told people around me had to deliver at least in terms of percentage of the vote about 52 or 53% for Clinton. They fell just short of that and she fell just short in the state. Hillsborough previously was our best bellwether in the state  – I’d argue it still is the best indicator of where the state is going if you know how to interpret it.
  • The Democratic performance outside major urban areas was terrible. St Lucie County was carried twice by President Obama with a majority of the vote but Hillary Clinton received only 47% of the vote. Volusia County which was one of the most Democratic counties in the state as recently as the 2004 election gave Clinton only about 42% of the vote. Flagler County which President Obama carried in 2008 was won by Donald Trump by 20 points on Tuesday. I could go on and on with this clear pattern in counties with over 100,000 residents but smaller than the largest urban counties in the state.
  • Palm Beach County continued a trend that began in 2012 where its Democratic vote share in Presidential elections drops. Clinton ended up with only 56.5% of the vote in Palm Beach as compared to the 62% President Obama received in 2008.
  • On the positive side, Clinton carried Orange County by close to 25 points (her husband lost Orange both times he ran for President, but the county flipped in 2000 to Al Gore and has been growing more and more Democratic since).
  • Miami-Dade continued its march in delivering massive margins with almost a 30-point Clinton win, while Broward per usual gave a massive margin to Democrat, this time almost 300,000 votes and a 35-point cushion.
  • Clinton lost Duval by less than 6,000 votes. The time is coming soon where a Democratic nominee carries Duval and flips the last large Florida urban county to support the GOP.
  • Clinton almost won Seminole County continuing the general trend in the Orlando area which saw her win OSceola by 25 points to compliment the nearly 25 point win in Orange. Seminole County last supported a Democratic nominee for President in 1944.
  • Clinton even lost Jefferson and Monroe counties which have been in the D column recently. So she carried a total of only 9 counties (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Osceola, Orange, Hillsborough, Alachua, Leon, Gadsden). Murphy carried just nine counties as well, the same as Clinton albeit with reduced margins and swapping St Lucie for Hillsborough.
  • Rural Holmes County in the Western Panhandle which was Richard Nixon’s best county in the nation in 1972 might have been Hillary Clinton’s worst. She got just 10% of the vote there.
  • My optimism about Patrick Murphy was based on the possibility that Clinton could win the state by 3-4 points. Murphy only ran three points behind Clinton as polling basically indicated. However, since many of the public polls in this state were flawed, (though less so than the industrial midwest which per the many conversations Brook Hines and I had prior to the election where we were concerned about a hidden unpolled Trump vote in those state) Murphy really never did have a shot at winning.



  1. JOE KREPS · ·

    We could have and should have had a President Bernie Sanders. The world will be a much different place with a Republican President, Senate, House, and Supreme Court. President Obama, the Clintons, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Allison Tant, the DNC, the FDP and all their phony Corporate Cronies need to just fade away.


  2. Ruth Ann Eaddy · ·

    If you would look at Orange and Osceola Counties, they had a very strong Congressional Democratic candidate that won with 56 percent of the vote. Politics is truly local, the folks who voted for Darren Soto, just happened to vote for Hillary Clinton also. We need to have a strong down ballot to get the locals engaged. Again, back to our state party,,,,they have no clue about building a strong down ballot. We had a very strong candidate for House Seat 41, Bob Doyel who only lost by 4000 votes. Money from the state party could have made a difference in the last weeks of the campaign since the Republicans sent out all kinds of hate mail. The party knew that he was a strong candidate, but chose to put their money on incumbents. Such a short sighted approach. We need strong people in our state government and our party tells them, we know you are strong and if you can overcome the Republican hold on your county, the next time you run, we will help you. This attitude must change or Florida will become even redder.


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