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.