First, before I get into the analysis, I just want to say that we are still waiting for the early vote and vote by mail report from Palm Beach County to be submitted to the Division of Elections. You figured after the 2000 election that Palm Beach County would have gotten their act together, but no. However, as soon as the Palm Beach results are in, I will update the model and post the update on my Twitter.
Yesterday, I used a baseball analogy to talk about the current state of the election. But why stop there. Even though the World Series is over, let’s continue. Last time, it was the bottom of the 9th inning and the Democrat’s first batter went three and out. However, with a strong showing in Sunday’s early voting results, the next batter hit a double, and now the tying run is in scoring position.
Turnout Summary: As of this morning, more than 2.7 million Floridians have cast their ballots for the general election, which is a turnout rate of 20.65% statewide (Palm Beach excluded). The registered Republican turnout is currently at 24.73%, while Democratic turnout is at 22.26%. NPA/Minor party turnout is at 13.26%. The Enthusiasm Gap is down to -4.06, a .58% shift to the Democrats since yesterday.
Bottom Line: For the first time, the projection model shows a race that is in recount territory. A generic Democratic candidate statewide is projected to receive 48.38% of the vote, while a Republican candidate is projected to receive 48.61% of the vote, which is only a .24% gap. This is a .46% swing to the Democrats since yesterday. Expect that gap to reduce, and swing to increase, once Palm Beach has reported.
Details: Basically, Democrats made gains throughout the state. While they did pull ahead in Duval County on Saturday, the Sunday vote pushed them a little further. Also, the margin in Broward County continues to increase, projecting a voter percentage higher than in the 2016 presidential race. While we still have a eight days of voting left, Broward County has the potential to cast over 70% of its votes to Democratic candidates. Also, Democrats moved ahead of Republicans by one vote in early voting in Volusia County. However, Democrats also had more early voters in Volusia County in 2016, but still lost the county handily.
While the swing looks better for Democrats, there are still some areas of concern. First, Orange and Osceola Counties continue to under-perform. This could pose problems for some local and state races in those counties. The problem in these counties is that independents, who are usually Hispanic and vote heavily for Democratic candidates, are not showing up. Therefore, while Democratic turnout is looking on par with what it should be, the lack of Democratic-leaning independents could mean there will be some close elections in Orange and Osceola Counties on Election Night.
Also, Miami-Dade seems as it might not be performing as strong as it should. However, one must remember that Republicans do quite well in VBM ballots in Miami-Dade, while Democrats dominate Election Day. With the margin right now, Democrats actually look poised to have a better than expected result in Miami-Dade County. We will just have to wait until November 6th.
What to watch for: As I mentioned yesterday, we have moved out of the “margin game” and are now in turnout mode. Of course, we will be watching all the counties. But the counties that interest me the most are those Republican counties in Southwest Florida. They have come in strong and early for the Republicans. But will the vote there start to level off? In 2016, 78% of the vote from Lee County and Miami-Dade County were pre-Election Day votes. However, the current turnout rate is 31.55% in Lee and only 17.64% in Miami-Dade. This means that there is a possibility of Lee County plateauing, while Miami-Dade turnout can continue to grow. And with the election model showing only .24% gap between the two parties, that is better news for Democrats than Republicans.