Oct 26 2016

FL Early Vote 10_26_16: A Toss Up

Published by at 7:56 pm under 2016 Elections,All General Discussions

My day job has been very busy so I cannot get these posts out as early as I would like.  And I have had to just not do the general election posts for two days now (hope to catch up here soon). But as goes FL, so goes the entire election – so I want to do this update today.

Before we begin, recall Obama’s 2012 high water mark and how well the Dems did in early voting that year.  Their edge in the early vote helped Obama squeak out the thinnest of victories. If the Dems do not do as well this year, it is unlikely Hillary will win FL (not impossible, just unlikely).

Here are the early voting numbers by party ID and the final tally from 2012:

Early Votes: 4.3 million

Democrats: 43%

Republicans: 40%

That edge in early voting no doubt helped push Obama over the top in Florida to beat Romney:

                                      President Barack Obama, 2012 portrait crop.jpg Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 8.jpg
Popular vote       4,237,756   4,163,447
Percentage        50.01%   49.13%

Note the final vote difference in 2012 was very small = 74,309.  Keep this in mind as we look at the early voting as of today.

2016 FL Early Voting_10_26

Good news for Trump on many fronts. First off, go to the bottom row and look at the total % of ballots by party. The major parties are split 39% -40%, which is basically a toss up so far. Therefore, as of today the Democrats are not repeating their 2012 energy.

This is the second day of in-person early voting, and yesterday it was clear the Dems jumped out of the shoot with a big turnout edge. But one day does not a trend make.

Yesterday early Vote-In-Person tallies had the Dems with 46% of that day’s total and the Rep with 37%. So a 9% edge to the Dems. Only one day later that 9% edge has wilted to a 5% lead (second to last row in table above) 39-44%. As I suspected, we should see a leveling out of the voters in the “In-Person” group that will mimic the vote-by-mail group.

The reason this makes sense is the vote-by-mail data is a much larger sample of ballots. With 45% of the mail-in ballots returned this is a GREAT poll of the state, using real ballots to measure party intensity. And if you look at the 2nd row down, you can see the GOP is returning their mail-in ballots at a higher rate than the Dems (42-40%).

This larger “sample” of the FL voters does not indicate a tie, it would hint to an edge for Trump (if everyone voted by party ID). So I am expecting the in-person vote totals to trend towards the much larger (and longer running) vote-by-mail numbers.

But even so, the only conclusion anyone can come to today is this that race is a toss up.

As a sanity check lets look at the two big Democrat leaning counties, beginning with Broward which is the most heavily tilted to the Dems.  Their performance here should be an indicator on Dems across the state.

2016 Broward Early Voting_10_26

Some interesting data points. First and foremost is that the Broward County Democrats are NOT returning their mail-in ballots at the same rate as the GOP voters, 37%-34% (4th row). This would seem to be counter-intuitive. Minority parties in counties like this tend to be less energized because they can never push the down ballot elections into their column. Think GOP voters in Washington DC.

Conversely, in terms of in-person voting the Dems seem to be performing above their % of Broward county.  Looking at all the vote-by-mail percentages Broward appears to be 55-56% Democrat and 23-24% GOP.  In the two days of early voting the Dems are at 62% and the GOP is at 20%.

I seriously doubt the GOP energy seen in the vote-by-mail will be absent in the in-person voting. But this may be why the Democrats and Media are trying deflate GOP voters with bad poll news.

Now onto Miami-Dade:

2016 Miam_Dade Early Voting_10_26

Miami-Dade is bigger than Broward, and less Democrat. If we use the vote-by-mail numbers as a benchmark of the voters in general it looks to be about 42% Dem to 32% GOP. But again, we see a distinct intensity edge for the GOP in the rate of returning mail-in ballots (44-40%). As with Broward we see an initial lead for the Dems in the in-person voting, but it is shrinking. Yesterday the Dems led in-person voting 27-53% (+26%). Today that edge is down to 23%.

Broward has been running the same both days (~43% lead).

But in the end, even with Broward and Miami-Dade with solid GOTV for the Dems, at the state level the race is tied. At some point Broward and Miami-Dade will be tapped out. Give this a week to run its course and we will see where we are

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “FL Early Vote 10_26_16: A Toss Up”

  1. Chikung69 says:

    Hey AJ,
    Have you considered spinning the data against Party Voting?
    I know my Mother has a GOP absentee ballot (she still fools herself into thinking she is a Republican yet hasn’t voted anything resembling that for 20 years).

    Isn’t it breaking higher on Dems supporting HRC vs GOP supporting Trump?

    I think this data would still favor GOP slightly, but might provide a more accurate picture.

  2. […] a reminder: in 2012 the Democrats submitted more Early Voting ballots than the GOP by ~129,000. That edge was needed to push Obama over the top by 74,309 votes. Hillary […]