Express Lane: VBM numbers favor GOP early – but Palm Beach really cooking for the Democrats; Ian forces DeSantis to make election changes in certain counties

We’re now almost two weeks into the vote-by-mail distribution in several counties and the GOP appears in a more favorable position when compared to 2018 and 2020, both years they won at the top-of-the-ticket in the state.

Thus far, with about 400,000 votes in statewide, the GOP is beginning to benefit from ballots that are coming in from southwest Florida, in addition to a solid return rate among GOPers in outlying counties that were un-impacted by Ian. The Democrats by comparison, have had a very slow start in Miami-Dade (where GOPers are thus far over-performing), Ian-impacted Orange and Broward, which managed to avoid serious Ian impacts but delayed mailing ballots for a week due to the storm.

Pinellas, which has a history of VBM’s being a large component of the electorate is about even and Hillsborough is, like Miami-Dade not performing particularly well for the Democrats so far (but not alarmingly poor either).

The GOP is also over-performing in the Jacksonville area, and this is despite a slow trickle of returned ballots thus far from Clay and St Johns.

But Palm Beach, much like in the primary stands out as a county over-performing for Democrats. In fact, Palm Beach represents perhaps 1/5 of the Democratic vote share statewide thus far per our Dave Trotter. That’s what we call cooking with gas in these parts!

But if the GOP is performing this well in VBM, it’s over right?

Probably not, as voting patterns in 2022 might revert to pre-pandemic norms which were that Democrats vote early rather than by mail, and Election Day while yielding a GOP advantage, won’t be the whitewash it was in 2020.

Additionally, cutting the Democrats margins in Palm Beach has been a big part of the GOP’s success in flipping Florida from purple to red. If the Democrats margins in Palm Beach continue along the current trajectory which is similar to what that county produced in the 2000’s, the GOP will need to run up the score elsewhere or keep Miami-Dade at 2020 levels, holding the Democrats under 54% overall there.

You can peek deep inside the hood of Dave’s numbers projections, which were the best in the business in both 2018 and 2020 at Voting

Governor DeSantis has made emergency voting provisions for Ian-ravaged Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties. This is the right move, but unfortunately, Collier, DeSoto, Polk, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties (and possibly Orange and Brevard also) are likely to have some difficulty and need to consolidate polling places due to Ian’s wrath. We’d like to see the Governor expand his emergency order to include those counties.

One comment

  1. I don’t know how people do this for a living. My stomach has been in knots all year…now it’s getting worse!


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