We are on Day 12 of our vote projection model for the 2018 general election in Florida. And I will admit, I am a bit hesitant to post the results. The reason why is that early voting numbers are currently missing in 35 counties. Of those 35 counties, only one (Osceola) voted against Donald Trump in 2016. Therefore, early vote numbers might look good for Democrats, but they are inflated due to the lack of data from these 35 counties.
However, with that being the case, I will still post the model online which includes all votes so far. Hopefully, most of these 35 counties will start reporting soon, or the state will have their numbers online tomorrow. But remember this when looking at the numbers.
So, with this mess up by the counties happening, I am just going to give a quick summary. First, let’s look at the vote by mail. The gap between projected votes for generic Democratic and Republican candidates has not changed, and remains at 2.94%. The Democrats have now hit a wall when it comes to VBM. As far as the types of voters who have submitted their VBM ballots so far, 43.8% are Republicans, while only 38.4% are Democrats. This trend is extremely similar to what we saw in 2016, but actually more in the Republican’s favor this time around.
As far as the early vote, Democrats should worry as well. A generic Democratic candidate is projected to win 50.27% of the vote, while a generic Republican candidate is projected to win 47.22%. Yes, that is a nice 3.05% gap. But remember, 34 counties that Trump carried are not in this total. And some of these counties are not small either, like Brevard, Collier, Hernando, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Pasco, Polk, and Volusia. Once these counties report, the story will probably change drastically.
There is now a strong possibility that the Republicans could actually be leading the early vote right at this moment. Unfortunately, we have to wait until the morning to see how Miami-Dade and Palm Beach have performed today (since they do not offer up-to-the-minute updates on their submitted ballot information). They might help the Democrats quite a bit. But if I was the Florida Democratic Party, or the Gillum campaign, or the Nelson campaign, I would start worrying. Maybe we aren’t in panic territory yet, but we might not be far away.