In 2008, when Republican Al Lamberti pulled off a rare feat in Democratic-rich Broward and won the sheriff's race, about 50,000 voters who cast ballots in the presidential race skipped the sheriff's race. That means there were tens of thousands of voters who were psyched to vote in the historic election of Barack Obama but didn't bother with the sheriff's race. And Democrat Scott Israel narrowly lost despite a strong showing in the condo communities and black majority-precincts -- go-to areas for a Democrat.
But this year, Israel was leading the sheriff with just one precinct yet to report around 12:30 a.m. The unofficial results so far show that about 29,000 voters who cast cast ballots in the presidential race skipped the sheriff's race. That smaller amount of ballot drop off could be part of the reason behind Israel's success this time.
Just like in 2008, both sides launched negative attacks so it would be hard to pinpoint any of that on Israel's success. Israel attacked Lamberti for his connection to convicted Ponzi schemer attorney Scott Rothstein but loads of politicians and candidates -- including Lamberti and Israel -- courted Rothstein and his big bucks in 2008 a year before Rothstein's downfall.