October 26, 2014

South Florida's early voting weekend is a warning sign for Charlie Crist

@MarcACaputo

Saturday and Sunday marked the first chance for voters to head to the early voting polls on a weekend, a time when Democrats could really show in force and put a big dent in Republicans’ lead in casting pre-Election Day ballots.

But there was no huge surge in Democrat-rich Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Intriguingly in the three counties, the total number of people who early voted Saturday was greater than Sunday – the day when black voters were expected to have the first of two “Souls to the Polls” voting events after church.

Some Democrats are starting to panic. It’s an understandable feeling. Mid-term election turnout in the big three urban counties is historically abysmal, which is a major reason why Republicans hold every statewide elected office but one. 

This is a warning sign for Democrat Charlie Crist. 

Continue reading "South Florida's early voting weekend is a warning sign for Charlie Crist" »

1.75m FL ballots already cast; GOP lead strong -- but slightly slipping to Dems

@MarcACaputo

Nearly 1.75 million Floridians have cast absentee and in-person early votes as of Sunday morning with Republicans still well in front of Democrats when it comes to pre-Election Day voting.

Total GOP lead over Democrats: 147,162, or 8.4 percentage points.

Yesterday's GOP lead was ever-so-slightly larger: 147,186, or about 9.2 percentage points.

Democrats will gloat that they're on a good trajectory and that the Republican margin now is smaller at this time in the election than in 2010. Republicans will take comfort in knowing Democrats are nowhere near their 2012 numbers, that a lead is a lead and that with the first full weekend day of in-person early voting, Democrats are still losing in this category of getting people to the polls.

Sunday's a bigger test, as black churches and activists hold their first "Souls to the Polls" rallies. The bigger one, they say, should be next Sunday -- right before Election Day.

Prior posts on early and absentee voting can be found here. And here are today's numbers by absentee, early vote and both votes combined:

PARTY     EV         %
REP     171,007 42%
DEM     169,088 42%
IND       66,309 16%
TOTAL     406,404  
     
     
     
PARTY       AB's     %
REP     629,492 47%
DEM     484,249 36%
IND     229,515 17%
TOTAL  1,343,256  
     
     
     
PARTY    EVAB      %
REP     800,499 46%
DEM     653,337 37%
IND     295,824 17%
TOTAL  1,749,660  

October 25, 2014

With 1.6m ballots cast, GOP widens lead to 147k but Dems narrow percentage margin

@MarcACaputo

There's a good chance that more than one-fourth of this Florida election's ballots have already been cast now that more than 1.6 million Floridians have early voted either in person or by absentee.

Though it has been cut significantly over the month, Republicans are still holding a big lead over Democrats in pre-Election Day voting: 46-37 percent, or more than 147,000 ballots, a net increase of more than 3,000 ballots since yesterday.

The good news for Democrats: They're lowering the percentage margin by which Republicans lead, from 9.8 percentage points yesterday to 9.2 points today as the state hosts its first weekend of in-person early voting.

Prior posts can be found here, and here are the counts for in-person early votes, absentee votes and both combined:

PARTY      EV      %
REP     133,212 42%
DEM     131,532 42%
IND       50,765 16%
TOTAL     315,509  
     
     
     
PARTY    AB's      %
REP     607,889 47%
DEM     462,383 36%
IND     219,901 17%
TOTAL  1,290,173  
     
     
     
PARTY    EVAB      %
REP     741,101 46%
DEM     593,915 37%
IND     270,666 17%
TOTAL  1,605,682  

October 24, 2014

1.5m votes cast, GOP still leads but Dems have cut advantage-rate in half since Oct. 6

@MarcACaputo

About 1.5 million pre-Election Day ballots had been cast as of Friday morning and the Republican advantage over Democrats is slowly eroding in terms of a percentage advantage.

Yesterday morning, Democrats were down 10.8 percentage points compared to Republican ballots cast. Now, Democrats are down 9.8 percentage points.

That's the first time since votes have been posted Oct. 6 that the Republican advantage has been cut to below 10 points. On Oct. 6, when overseas ballots (mainly military) were coming in, the GOP advantage was 20.5 percentage points.

Now that tomorrow marks the first weekend of early voting (and perhaps the first weekend without rain in Democrat-heavy South Florida) there's a good chance Democrats will -- or should -- close the gap more.

But elections aren't decided on percentage-point gains. They're decided by the number of ballots cast. Votes won't be tallied until Election Day. But the totals by party in ballots cast before then gives us an idea about the strength of each side.

And the GOP is still winning outright: 144,109 more ballots cast than Democrats by absentee and in-person early vote.

That's a small increase of 1.3 percent for the GOP since yesterday, while the total number of ballots cast increased by 11.2 percent.

Here are some dueling memos from the campaigns about turnout (Scott and Crist), background on related posts are here, and here are the numbers as of this morning:

Total early and absentee votes

PARTY    EVAB     %
REP        681,752 46%
DEM        537,643 37%
IND        247,245 17%
TOTAL     1,466,640  

Absentee ballots

PARTY     AB's        %
REP        580,006 47%
DEM        437,926 36%
IND        208,773 17%
TOTAL     1,226,705  

Early vote

PARTY      EV        %
REP        101,746 42%
DEM         99,717 42%
IND         38,472 16%
TOTAL        239,935  

EVAB

 

 

 

Scott campaign memo: The Obama turnout model is a 'pile of rubble' for Charlie Crist

@MarcACaputo

The war of the memos continues. Yesterday, a Charlie Crist advisor made the case that the campaign is on track to turn out pre-Election Day voters. Now its Rick Scott's campaign that's deep-diving the numbers and arguing that it's winning the turnout war on multiple fronts. The memo:

 

Continue reading "Scott campaign memo: The Obama turnout model is a 'pile of rubble' for Charlie Crist" »

October 23, 2014

Steve Schale makes the case that things ain't so bad for Charlie Crist

With Republicans significantly edging Democrats in early and absentee ballots (background here), Charlie Crist adviser Steve Schale is again making the case that Democrats are in a pretty good place:

With three days in the early voting books, lets take a quick look at where we are today in the Florida Governor's race.

I apologize for not writing these daily like the Scott campaign. I continue to be amazed that they have enough time to write daily memos. I barely have time to steal a candy bar from the secret stash of some field organizer in the office.

First, thank goodness the debates are over, and for me the winner was clear: The Omni in Jacksonville was definitely nicer than the Sheraton Suites in Plantation.

Continue reading "Steve Schale makes the case that things ain't so bad for Charlie Crist" »

1.3m ballots in; GOP lead grows to 142k -- but Dems make small percentage gains

@MarcACaputo

More than 1.3 million Floridians have cast absentee and in-person early-vote ballots and Florida Republicans continue to have a strong lead over Democratic ballots cast: 142,000.

Yesterday morning, the GOP lead was almost 138,000.

There’s a sliver of good news in here for Democrat Charlie Crist: the GOP’s advantage in terms of percentages has fallen slightly from 11.7 percent to 10.8 percent.

Democrats will be quick to note this trend and point out that they’re getting more elusive “sporadic” voters than the GOP. Democrats are doing much better relative to 2010, a governor’s race year, when the GOP won early AND absentee ballots before Election Day.

Republicans will point out they’re doing relatively better than in 2012, a presidential election year, and their base is motivated. Indeed, 15 percent of registered Republicans have cast ballots so far compared to just 10 percent of registered Democrats. There’s just more conservative intensity.

Republicans are outvoting Democrats big time by absentee ballot (12.1 percentage points), and they’re narrowly winning in-person early voting by fewer than 2 percentage points.

No matter how you slice it, this is much better news for the GOP.

Continue reading "1.3m ballots in; GOP lead grows to 142k -- but Dems make small percentage gains" »

October 22, 2014

With 1.2m ballots in, FL GOP leads Dems by 138,000 in early-absentee votes

@MarcACaputo

There are two ways to look at the pre-Election Day ballots being cast in Florida: compare them to 2012 or 2010.

Republicans would prefer 2012. It was a high watermark for Democrats with Obama at the top of the ticket and, within two days of early in-person voting, they started to eclipse the Republican advantage rolled up after two weeks of absentee voting. Democats wound up with a total 1 percentage point lead, after having trailed by about 6 percentage points.

Democrats would prefer 2010 as a benchmark. It was a high watermark for Republicans, with Marco Rubio at the top of the ticket and, within two days of early in-person voting, Democrats were losing the in-person early vote by 11.3 percentage points in the first two days in this election. Now Democrats are down 0.18 percentage points to Republicans in early votes cast. The absentee margin for Republicans was bigger in 2010 as well: 22 percentage points. Now it’s 12.8 percentage points.

History aside, the advantage is with Gov. Rick Scott right now for a simple reason: More of his people are voting. And the fact is, Democrats pride themselves on doing well in early voting. And they're losing it at the moment.

The big test comes Saturday and Sunday, the first full weekend for early voting, when Democrats tend to flock to the polls.

Here are the numbers as of this morning:

All ballots

Party  All ballots  %
REP     559,133 47%
DEM     421,425 36%
IND     198,423 17%
TOTAL  1,178,981  

Absentee ballots

Party  AB's  %
REP     514,679 48%
DEM     377,159 35%
IND     182,081     17%
Total  1,073,919  

Early vote (in-person) ballots

Party  EV  %
REP       44,454 42%
DEM       44,266 42%
IND       16,342       16%
TOTAL     105,062  

 

October 20, 2014

Nearly 900,000 absentee ballots cast as early voting begins; GOP still leading big

@MarcACaputo

More than 888,000 absentee ballots had already been cast of Monday morning when early in-person voting began in Florida.

Right now, Republicans lead Democrats 49-35 percent in terms of absentee ballots cast by party. That 14 percentage point margin is lower than it was in 2010 but it’s far higher than in 2012.

Here's what's remarkable: the number of absentee ballots cast at this point relative to the 2012 elections is actually greater, by 140,695. And that's despite the fact that midterm elections have about a 50 percent turnout compared to presidential election years when turnout is over 72 percent. 

Democrats typically excel at early voting while Republicans dominate voting by mail.

But at a Miami rally today, Gov. Rick Scott and a host of other local Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, said the GOP needs to start banking in-person early votes as well.

“In 2012, when Mitt Romney lost, he lost because Republicans didn’t early vote,” Scott said. “We can win this election. We’ve got to get out and vote.”

The first part of that statement is probably historical revisionism. Romney lost for a variety of reasons, but it’s likely cause in Florida is that the GOP is so outnumbered by Democrats.

That remains the case today, with Democrats holding a 39-35 percent registration advantage of 455,946 voters. One troubling sign for both parties: the rise of the No Party Affiliation voters, who account for 23 percent of the rolls. Add in third party voters, particularly those who think “Independent Party” is really like NPA, and the proportion of independents swells to 26 percent.

Despite having such an edge, Democrats have typically been killed in midterms in Florida. Will this year be different? We'll know more in one week's time, when African-Americans (the most likely to vote early in-person) have a chance to vote after church. If Democrats haven't lowered the Republican edge to single digits in pre-Election Day ballots, Democrat Charlie Crist likely has a huge problem on his hands.

Here are the top 10 counties sorted by party affiliation

 Ballots cast  Party County % of total
      40,225 REP PIN 43%
      36,157 REP LEE 56%
      36,067 REP DAD 47%
      34,027 DEM PIN 37%
      28,146 DEM DAD 36%
      21,899 REP HIL 43%
      19,706 DEM HIL 39%
      19,022 DEM BRO 52%
      18,851 REP ORA 42%
      18,696 DEM ORA 41%

October 19, 2014

'Rick Scott is betting his mansion on Tampa' --and other tidbits from the $83m ad war

@SteveBousquet and @MarcACaputo

Gov ad spendFor the past year, living in Florida has meant having Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist as constant and mostly unwanted companions.

If you own a TV, you get the picture.

Ad infinitum. Ad nauseam. About $83 million since March.

For months, TV viewers have been forced to withstand a seemingly endless barrage of vicious ads from Scott and Crist as they try to trash talk their way to the Governor’s Mansion, 30 seconds at a time.

Scott and Republicans have spent $56.5 million on ads and Crist and Democrats have spent $26.5 million. Scott has bought far more ads in Tampa Bay than anywhere else: It’s the biggest TV market in Florida and Crist’s home base.

“Gov. Scott is betting his mansion on Tampa,” said Scott Tranter, a principal and consultant for a Republican-leaning data analytics firm, 0ptimus.

Using data from broadcast stations and the Florida voter file, 0ptimus has concluded that Tampa Bay viewers have seen the most negative ads from Scott about Crist, with 95 million impressions since Sept. 1.

That means a Scott ad has been seen in whole or in part 95 million times across the Tampa Bay TV market.

In a first-of-its-kind race where both candidates have been governors, voters say the two men have cheapened and demeaned the high office they seek. Their total lack of mutual respect is magnified by the fact that they refuse to address each other as “governor” and instead use “Rick” and “Charlie.”

More here