Overnight, Democrats were able to make some gains on the Republicans statewide. But the GOP still has the early advantage when in comes to the 2018 General Election. As of 8:00 AM this morning, over 327,000 people have voted in Florida, a 2.5% overall turnout rate. The Republican turnout rate 3.22%, while Democratic turnout rate is only at 2.44%. NPAs and minor party voter turnout is only at 1.65%. The ‘Enthusiasm Gap’, which was mentioned in the last projection model article, is -11.16, heavily favoring the Republicans.
As far as the state projection, the generic Republican vote is at 51.69% statewide, and the generic Democratic vote is at 44.8%. This represents a .39% loss in GOP vote overnight, and an increase of .5% for the Democrats. The reason for this is probably the increase in votes being reported in South Florida. As for the reason the Republicans are leading, a disproportionate amount of the current vote is still coming from Southwest Florida.
Today’s projection map is the first map that we have introduced that replicates the 2016 presidential election (edit: with the exception of Sarasota County). With that, we can probably assume that there might not be much of a difference when it comes to the look of the map. However, we might see some changes. Some of it is good news for Republicans, and some of it good news for Democrats. For Republicans, the “Big Three” counties in South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach), are under-performing for Democrats compared to VBM numbers in 2016. Duval County is also under-performing for the Democrats. As for the Democrats, they are seeing some of the margins that Republicans ran up in the past starting to come down. Counties like Brevard, St. Johns, and Indian River in the east, and Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa in the west, are showing 2% – 5% swings in favor of the Democrats compared to 2016’s VBM numbers.
If we compare this to VBM totals at this point in 2016, it is not good news for Democrats. On October 14th, 2016, the composition of VBM ballots submitted was 42.4% for the Republicans and 40.15% for the Democrats. As of today, 45.58% of the ballots submitted have been Republican ballots, with only 36.32% being Democratic ballots. This explains the large enthusiasm gap as well as the commanding projected lead for Republicans. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the VBM vote by only 1.5%. This early deficit should be a major worry for any Democrat running, either statewide or locally.