Express Lane: Forget the polling – Voter turnout is so low in Florida compared to other states, so anything can happen – but why is turnout so low? Some theories…

Democrats are getting clobbered in the Early Voting and Vote-by-Mail thus far in Florida, furthering a depression that the polling and general losing mentality of Florida Democrats already caused. But let’s get something straight – unlike places like Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada where we see GOPers eager to vote, GOP turnout is low in Florida – it’s just that Democratic turnout is PATHETICALLY LOW.

Here are some theories as to what’s happening:

1- Democrats have been so demoralized about this state they’ve stopped caring

2- Traditional moderate GOPers don’t like Ron DeSantis, but aren’t exactly fired up to vote Democratic

3- Both Val Demings and Marco Rubio have run lackluster campaigns in terms of ground game

4- Voter fatigue after six years of partisan rancor

5- Lack of national money being spent in Florida

6- The over-saturation of DeSantis ads on TV depressing Dem turnout while angering GOPers who don’t always vote in midterms

7- MAGA GOPers will never vote Democratic but don’t like Marco Rubio and see Ron DeSantis as disloyal to the Orange God King – Therefore they aren’t voting

8- Charlie Crist has no money to buy media

9- All of the above or some combination of the eight factors listed

Here is the bottom line- Ron DeSantis is on track per polling to win reelection by double-digits. However, he may only gain as many votes as he did last time in a narrow win, because turnout is likely to be SUBSTANTIALLY lower than in 2018, unlike many other states.

For Democrats, the danger is quite real. Down-ballot races if they go wrong, could yield the GOP as many as 27 State Senate seats and perhaps 80 State House seats. Then in Duval, we have infrastructure building for March’s massive local elections, a genuine chance for the party to flip the area, that could be completely lost.

It’s worth noting in 2006, when Charlie Crist was elected Governor, as a GOPer, the DGA skipped the race and left Jim Davis out to dry. On the GOP side, the national party ignored Katherine Harris, the US Senate nominee who lost in a landslide to Bill Nelson. Turnout was the lowest we’ve seen in a Florida midterm in modern history as national parties skipped the state. That could be happening again, as the DGA has opted to leave Crist, now a Democrat hanging and the DSCC despite high hopes early on hasn’t piled in for Demings.

Whatever the case, turnout is so low, that any spike now for either party could lead to a huge Democratic upset win, or the GOP carrying the state up-and-down the ballot by 15-20 points.

But what is most likely at this point, we won’t get a spike, turnout remains low and the GOP strolls its way to a comfortable victory, but one that could have truly wiped the Democrats off the map in Florida, if they turned everyone that they did in 2018.


  1. […] explanations can be given for this reality as our Kartik Krishnaiyer tried to delve into on Monday, but the bottom line is, despite better fundraising and one or two polls that might look solid for […]


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