Florida Vote Projection Model – Day 24: Last day of early voting strong for Democrats, but gap is tight.

With the exception of the new counties that have extended early voting due to Hurricane Michael, early voting is over. As of now, 2.69 million, or 20.28% of registered voters in Florida, cast their ballot by early, in-person voting. Of those, 41.93% were Democrats, 38.74% where Republicans, and 19.33% where NPA or minor party voters. In 2014, of the 1.31 million early voters, 42.2% were Democrats, while 39.6% were Republicans, and 18% NPA or minor party voters. So, we are already starting to see the influence of the independent vote in this election. But, as we stated in yesterday’s article, NPA voters are coming from counties that tend to vote Democratic. This, and the Democrats performing better with VBM numbers, is a good since for Democrats.

Turnout Summary: As of this morning, 5,105,039 Floridians have voted, which is a turnout rate of 38.45%. Of those, Democrats are 40.6%, Republicans are 40.13%, and NPA/Minor party voters are 19.26%. The turnout rate for Democrats is 41.92%, while for Republicans it is 43.76%, and 26.93% for NPA/Minor party voters. The Registration Gap (which I have decided to rename) is -1.51%, favoring Republicans, a massive 1.14% swing to the Democrats.

Bottom Line: Democrats had the largest single-day gain in votes in our model. As of this morning, a generic Democratic statewide candidate is expected to receive 49.67% of the vote, while a generic Republican candidate is expected to receive 47.41% of the vote. This is a 2.25% gap between the two parties, a swing of 1.33% to the Democrats. That should be expected when the overwhelming amount of counties that extended their in-person early vote on Sunday had Democratic Supervisor of Elections. And kudos to Seminole and Charlotte Counties for keeping their offices open on Sunday, even though they have Republican SoEs. It shows some counties care more about giving people the ability to vote than if being open Sunday helps their party’s bottom line!

The one thing that Democrats seem to forget is that Election Day has a big impact on the election. Many Democrats treat Election Day as just “one day in the election cycle”. But no, it is different. As of right now, Democrats are in good position. And if the Democratic vote projection number reaches 50%, then the race is basically over. But things can change, and Democrats sometimes forget to run the last mile of the marathon.

Details: As I just said, the last day of early voting was extremely Democratic. South Florida continues to increase their influence on the election by becoming a 26% share of the total votes cast in this election so far. But if South Florida has a lackluster Election Day, this could drop to the 2014 level. Also, this past weekend, we have seen almost all the counties with an urban center trend Democratic. Even in Lee and Collier Counties, the vote on Saturday trended Democratic (even though these counties will remain strongly Republican). Is this a trend for things to come on Election Day?

What to watch for: Today, the only thing to watch for is more VBM ballots. Over the weekend, Broward and Orange Counties counted a lot of their VBM ballots. However, Palm Beacn and Miami-Dade Counties did not count on Sunday. Therefore, we can possibly see a spike in votes coming in from these counties. However, we could also see a spike coming from almost every Republican county. This could lower the Democratic totals, or it might not. Just depends on how many more ballots to expect.

Here is a link to the latest vote projection model.


  1. 8 Rep leaning counties vote early today due to the hurricane so I think that and a gain in mail ballots for Dems will offset each other.

    I have looked at a bunch of data points for 2014 and 2016 and what the difference is with the early absentee ballot pool since 2014 and these 2 races should be really close +/- 2 points for either side. The data leads me to think the winning side will win both races probably. Indies will be the biggest factor on election day since both sides got their base out to vote.


  2. Agreed on the last point, but I don’t know how many early votes that the other counties will have. Overall, I think the counting of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach VBM ballots will be a lot larger than any EV out of the counties. Also, I thought it was only six counties? (Bay, Calhoun, Jackson, Gadsden, Gulf, and Franklin)


  3. Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty, Washington

    An article claimed a whole back. Only one of them has much size.


    1. Mark Lynn · ·

      And Gadsden is a strong Democratic County.


  4. Dems had a 96k vote lead after today in 2016 and lost by 100k+ and 700k+ respectively. Today its 24.5k votes and likely ends around there. That’s 70k worse than in 2016 and the voting pattern is nearly identical to 2016 each and every day. Still looking like R+2-4 to me unless Indies go 2:1 Dem.

    2016 vs 2018 day by day comparison here:


  5. The early voting analysis is pretty interesting but what I find in the several states I have seen this level data is that they are following almost exact trends. For example, the Democrats lead in the combined early voting, with the Republicans having the edge in voting by mail.

    In 2016 Hillary Clinton had a larger vote “lead” in early vote returns by party, but still lost on election night. Would this trend continue? Again, look at page 3 of this poll. A much larger, a majority in fact, of the DeSantis and Scott voters that indicate they will vote still have not voted. Over 55% of the Gillum/Nelson preference voters indicate they have already voted for them.

    Click to access StPetePolls_2018_State_GEN_GovSenCFO_November04_UI8E.pdf

    Again, while some factors may come into play what I see in Arizona, Florida and a couple of other states is the previous election trends are being followed. While these elections might be close if independent voters swing one way or the other or there is a lot of crossover voters, what is clear is that if there really is a blue wave, the red wave is right there too.


    1. Given that the early voting would indicate *at most* a 200k vote lead for Gillum and Nelson at the moment (assumes NPAs 60:40 Ds, could be closer to 50/50 based on the poll you just showed), that poll would indicate Scott and Desantis pick up ~400k net votes today (2.5 million votes * ~16-17% net margin). Unless turnout today just sucks, or this poll is off on election day voting (which is nearly identical to how election day voting in 2016 went), I just don’t see D wins on this one.


      1. One solid fact about this information from the polls is that these types of preferences/actions are not weighted. The early voting/election day voting is from within the DeSantis preference group alone. That this also matches previous election trends indicates that it is meaningful.

        One note on polls that even the 2016 pollsters recognized is that they did not properly measure the Republican demographics in that election. They underweighted white, blue collar Republican voters and overweighted college educated GOP voters. This is why during most of the polling during the 2016 election you would see results that showed GOP support for Trump at 75-80% rather than the 90% of GOP preference Trump got in the actual election.

        And, if you look at many of the polls out in the 2018 election, the same phenomena exist.


  6. […] 6:45 am EST :  (Kartik Krishnaiyer): Polls are about to open in the counties east of the Apalachicola River. Read Dave Trotter’s latest numbers and analysis. […]


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