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More than 1 million Floridians have already voted; GOP still has 5-point edge

The absentee-ballot numbers are in and Florida has officially passed the 1 million absentee-vote mark. The GOP leads by 5 points. But Democrats can do some bragging, too. Around this time in 2008, they trailed Republicans by about 16 percentage points in voted absentee ballots. That lead has been cut by two-thirds.

Still, it's a lead by Republicans. And they've closed the gap when it comes to total voter registrations (see below)

Add in the outstanding requests, and Democrats boast that they cut the GOP's 11 point lead to about 1 percentage point when it comes to total absentee ballots requested at this point (that is, voted and outstanding ballots.

Voted ballots:

Party      Voted          %
REP     468,417 45%
DEM     414,343 39%
IND     169,338 16%
Total  1,052,098

Outstanding requests

Party  Requested          %
REP     598,372 39%
DEM     618,224 40%
IND     317,325 21%
Total  1,533,921

Before noting the top 15 AB-voting hotspots, it special attention needs to be drawn to Pinellas County, in which about 18 percent of its 620,000 active voters have already cast ballots. Pinellas, home to St. Petersburg, is 48 percent of Miami-Dade's voting-population size but has cast 23 percent more ballots (21,000) than Florida's largest county

Now, here are the top 15 which account for 69 percent of the ballots cast (R/D=Republican-Democrat):
 County       Total         REP         DEM         R/D 
 PIN        113,278       46,864       44,674         2,190
 DAD         91,984       41,021       34,829         6,192
 HIL         72,852       28,766       31,295        (2,529)
 BRO         56,884       16,524       31,315       (14,791)
 ORA         55,958       21,754       24,966        (3,212)
 SAR         43,523       19,560       16,846         2,714
 BRE         43,371       21,406       15,599         5,807
 LEE         38,401       19,624       11,597         8,027
 POL         35,197       15,033       15,082             (49)
 VOL         33,647       14,984       12,822         2,162
 PAS         31,619       13,377       12,461            916
 DUV         30,495       15,358       11,221         4,137
 CLL         28,068       17,007        6,166        10,841
 PAL         24,283        7,962       12,183        (4,221)
 MRN         23,717       11,377        9,149         2,228

This is from another blog yesterday, but it bears some repeating: While Democrats have closed the gap when it comes to voted absentee ballots, Republicans have closed the voter-registration gap.

In 2008, when Obama won Florida by 236,450 votes over John McCain, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 657,775, or 36-42% (5.8 percentage points).

In 2012, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 501,443, or 36-40% (a 4.3 percentage-point lead).

Democrats have complained that the Republican-led Legislature dampened voter registration drives through an onerous crackdown, which has since been lifted by the courts. However, Democrats lost most of their voters before that law was passed.

Also, the Obama campaign has registered about 322,000 new voters and it's better organized than it was in 2008. So count that in the plus column for the Democrats.

Yet, relative to 2008, Republican Mitt Romney is in a much better position than McCain in Florida. So Republicans have an edge there.

** Note: This post was substantially updated

Comments

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Dan Marino

No update on outstanding requests?

MLC

GOP has a much greater lead than 5 point if you consider that the 16% of INDs that have voted favor Romney.

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