With over 280,000 votes in, we are starting to get a better idea of how November’s election might look. As of right now, it looks like it may be a repeat of the 2016 election cycle.
Since the last model was presented, a few counties have flipped from the Democrats to the Republicans, with the most notable being Seminole and St. Lucie. And even though this is the case, South Florida has yet to report any meaningful numbers. Therefore, as far as the whole state, it is still too early to say. But as far and the trends in specific counties, we can start to get some idea of how this election might look. And right now, the county map is looking all too familiar.
As of today, the overall model has shifted toward the Democrats slightly, with the generic Democratic vote being at 44.2% and the generic Republican vote at 52.0%. When Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach start reporting more significant numbers, that margin will tighten drastically.
As far as turnout rates are concerned, 2.15% of the state has turned out to vote. The turnout rate among Republicans is currently at 2.79%, compared to 2.08% for Democrats and 1.42% for NPA and others. And, just like with the projections regarding vote choice, those numbers will change as soon as stronger Democratic counties start counting ballots.
As you will see on the map, a new metric has been added, which is the ‘Enthusiasm Gap”. This tells us the difference between how the electorate looks compared to how the electorate is performing based on party registration numbers. For example, if a county has 50% registered Democrats, but only 40% of the turnout is Democratic, that means that the enthusiasm for Democrats isn’t there, as they are under-performing. Also, since this is done using percentages, the Republican enthusiasm would automatically increase. The “Enthusiasm Gap” looks at the difference between the two numbers. On the map, negative percentages favor Republicans and positive percentages favor Democrats. And currently statewide, the gap is a -11.78%. But again, South Florida….you know what I am going to say!
Is there an caveat with the Enthusiasm Gap model? Yes. This only measures party turnout, not vote choice. So when looking at this number, do not think it is an indication for vote choice.
Just because South Florida hasn’t reported yet, should Democrats be worried? The answer is absolutely. As of right now, we can glean some information from some counties. The one that is most noticeable is Collier County, which already has a 6.74% turnout. In Collier, the Enthusiasm Gap is at -12.52%. In neighboring Lee County (at 6.56% turnout so far), the gap is -10.27%. Yes, these are strong Republican counties, but these are also high gaps as well. If a ‘blue wave’ is going to happen, the enthusiasm should be on the Democratic side. However, it is absolutely with the Republicans right now.
In the previous post I said “very early” a lot. Now, I am going to change that to just “early”. We still need some more information before we can get a good picture of the VBM vote. For the overall vote, we also need to wait a few weeks for early vote numbers to come in. But still, these early VBM numbers are indicating that this election is going to be anything but a walk in the park for Democrats.