From Jacksonville to Miami and Naples to The Villages, Florida's candidates for governor are criss-crossing the state in a final push to get out voters. Take a look at where they have been, and where they are headed with the Herald/Times Story Map here. (Special thanks to the @KnightLab.)
Charlie Crist gave a brief introduction before Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Mout Hermon, a black church in Fort Lauderdale, Sunday afternoon.
“You can early vote up until 4 o’clock,” Crist said, shortly before 3 p.m. “ I heard some tried to make it a little longer but you know how things go sometimes in Florida. ... I’m on your side and Rick’s not.”
(Here is our background about Broward’s late attempt to extend early voting which was rejected by the state.)
Biden reflected back on the civil rights movement and efforts to desegregate movie theaters, push for voting access and fighting housing discrimination. He quoted Dr. Martin Luther King’s words from the Selma jail, African-American poet Maya Angelou and said he was here to deliver a simple message from President Obama:
“He has had your back, you’ve got to have his back. ... Give him some governors he can work with.”
Biden bashed Scott for “eviscerating” education and for giving tax breaks to the wealthy and for trying to reduce voting access.
He said that Scott made “repeated efforts to make it harder for ya’ll to vote,” Biden said.
While waiting for Biden, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair from Weston, criticized Scott for education cuts and for the failure of the state to expand Medicaid. Scott initially opposed expanding Medicaid, later flip flopped in support of it but didn’t lobby for it and the Legislature rejected it.
Crist is hoping that Democrats in South Florida turn out at higher numbers than they did in 2010 when Alex Sink lost to Scott. Through Saturday, Broward’s turnout was about 21 percent but the full turnout won’t be known until Tuesday night.
Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, acknowledged Broward’s poor showing during the last governor’s race. But he expressed optimism that Broward will turn out in greater numbers this time.
“Four years ago we did not turn out like we should have,” he said. “The numbers this year are up in Broward County.”
Broward has surpassed early and absentee voting from 2010 days before election day. But a key question remains unknown: are more Broward voters turning out simply before election day or will overall turnout in Broward be higher than in the past? Broward turnout was 41 percent in 2010.
After Biden speaks, Crist plans to march with Democratic voters from New Hope Community Church, another nearby Fort Lauderdale church, to the early voting site at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center.
Through Saturday, the library has been nearly in the middle in terms of turnout among the 20 early voting sites. The most crowded sites have been at sites in Coral Springs, Tamarac and Pembroke Pines.
There's a good chance that half of the 2014 ballots have already been cast now that 3 million Floridians have voted absentee or at early voting stations in person.
This morning's data (complaicated by the fact that five* of 67 counties have not updated yet) shows Republicans still holding a lead over Democrats in ballots cast, but it's not as strong as it used to be.
GOP lead over Democrats: 125,623, or 4.3 percentage points. Yesterday morning's lead: 133,521, or 4.8 percentage points.
So Democrats have narrowed the raw vote gap back almost to where it was on Monday, Oct. 20 when in-person early voting began: 123,502. In percentage terms, the margin was more daunting: 14 points.
Democrats are hoping for a big early vote turnout today, but polls close at 4 p.m. In Democrat-rich Broward County, Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes might want the polls opened longer today. Only Gov. Rick Scott can do that and, if 2012 is any indication, he'll say no. Democrat Charlie Crist is playing up the contrast, noting how he kept polls open longer in 2008, in contrast to Scott. This could help fire up Democrats heading into Election Day in South Florida, but considering they haven't flocked in huge numbers to the polls so far, it's anyone's guess.
Prior posts can be found through the Florida Voters tab here, and here are the early vote, absentee and combined totals followed by a graphic of how Democrats have narrowed the gap in percentage terms.
*The five laggard counties: Hardee, Polk, Santa Rosa and Union.
Almost 2.8 million Floridians have cast early and absentee ballots so far, and Republican returns are still ahead of Democrats, who have been in slow-motion catchup.
GOP lead over Democrats: 133,521, or 4.8 percentage points as of this morning. Yesterday's lead: 134,910 or 5.3 percent.
While Democrats can rightly boast they're closing the gap, the question lingers: Is it enough? Probably not. Republicans' lead could be cut to less than 4 percentage points by Election Day, according to an extrapolation of the past five days' voting rates. That could be a vote margin of more than 128,000 in Republican's favor. Again this is an extrapolation based on current rates. This analysis is conservative both in its mathematical assumptions and, incidentally, in its political outcome because it shows Republicans doing rather well.
This weekend could easily throw the averages more in Democrats' favor. This is the last weekend of in-person early voting, when Democrats have a chance to flex their more than 455,000-voter advantage. This is the time to see if Souls to the Polls, when African-Americans have flocked to vote after church, will really make a difference.
Last weekend did relatively little for Democrats. And this weekend, Republicans want to make sure it's a repeat.
One factor in Democrat Charlie Crist's favor, most polls show him winning independents. And no-party-affiliation and third-party voters could make up as much as 18 percent of the pre-Election Day voters. Obviously, we only have polls to guide us because votes won't be tallied until Election Day.
Polls show the race essentially tied. Ask many of Florida's top political minds who's going to win and they say they have no clue. There are so many unknowns and oddities with this race, with two deeply flawed candidates who are basically both incumbents.
Many are predicting low overall turnout. If we have 2010's 49 percent turnout, about 5.8 million people will vote. So about 47 percent of the vote is already in. Based on current rates, 3.2 million could vote by absentee or early vote ballot, which could be 60 percent of the electorate.
Prior posts on related topics can be found through the Florida Voters tab and here are today's in-person early votes and absentee votes, followed by the totals:
Gov. Rick Scott is leading Democrat Charlie Crist 47-44 percent in a new poll from Democratic leaning SEA Strategic Polling & Design exclusively obtained by The Miami Herald.
Scott’s 3 percentage-point lead is still no statistically significant because it’s within the 1,800-respondent poll’s error margin. The poll has been conducted in three waves, each of which is larger than many standalone polls (background here and here).
Meantime, the Florida medical marijuana initiative appears in trouble. Support is at 55 percent, with 39 percent opposed. It takes 60 percent approval to pass a proposed constitutional amendment such as this.
Scott’s job approval is at 52-44 percent. The poll shows that 50 percent have a favorable impression of him compared to 46 percent who have an unfavorable impression. In comparison, Crist’s fav-unfav: 44-53 percent. President Obama’s: 48-51 percent.
The poll of likely Florida voters screened from a voter list has more Republican respondents than Democrats, 43-41 percent. No-party-affiliation and third-party voters are 16 percent of the poll.
The survey’s screen reflects a relatively typical mid-term election in Florida, where Democrats typically stay home in greater numbers than Republicans. So far, in pre-Election Day voting, Republicans have stayed ahead of Democrats in casting ballots, about 135,000 more as of this morning.
Once change in this final pool compared to the prior two waves: Crist’s lead among independents has almost evaporated. It’s now just 1 percentage point (39-38 percent) over Scott.
Crist also faring more poorly among Democrats (82 percent of whom support him) than Scott is among Republicans (87 percent of whom support the Republican). Scott gets 9 percent Democratic support and Crist 8 percent Republican support.
Obviously, this isn’t good news for Democrats who must now content themselves with the hope that 1) they have a big turnout for early voting on the weekend to cut more deeply into the GOP-ballot margin 2) have a bigger Election Day turnout 3) the poll’s screen of likely voters who have voted in two of the three previous major elections hasn’t picked up a significant number of so-called “sporadic voters” who don’t get through tight likely voter screens.
From a press release
Governor Rick Scott and Governor Jeb Bush to Get Out the Vote in South Florida on Sunday
TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott will be joined by Governor Jeb Bush on Sunday as the two-week Get Out the Early Vote bus tour stops in South Florida.
WHO: Governor Rick Scott and Governor Jeb Bush
WHAT: Get Out the Early Vote bus tour
WHEN: Sunday, November 2, 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Milander Park
4700 Palm Avenue,
With four days until Election Day, nearly 2.6 million people have cast in-person early votes and absentee ballots. As in past days, the GOP is holding on to its lead in ballots cast over Democrats, who are nibbling away at the margins.
GOP lead this morning over Democrats: 134,910 or 5.3 percentage points.
Yesterday's GOP lead: 140,123, or 5.9 percentage points.
Prior posts can be found through the Florida Voters link here.
Through all the debates, TV ads, emails to supporters and appearances on the campaign trail, PolitiFact Florida has been fact-checking the race for Florida governor. We’ve published more than 80 fact-checks over the past year on everything from abortion to immigration to university tuition.
Overall, the race between incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist has been chock full of attacks, with each side sending out a barrage of negative commentary on the other guy.
Here, then, is PolitiFact Florida's rundown of our most significant fact-checks in the campaign for Florida’s governor. Since 2010, we have fact-checked Scott 125 times and Crist 77 times (the difference is due to the fact that Scott has been in office nearly all of that time unlike Crist who left the governor's job in January 2011).
Gov. Rick Scott is winning reelection by about 2 percentage points in a major new poll exclusively shared with The Miami Herald.
Democrat Charlie Crist is winning by 3 percentage points in Quinnipiac University’s new poll.
Which survey is right?
The results rest within each poll’s margin of error, meaning the race is essentially a tie – regardless of the poll. Every other major survey shows that. And it looks like it will stay a squeaker through Election Day, Nov. 4.
“This race is closer than we thought George Bush vs. Al Gore was before the 2000 elections,” SEA pollster Tom Eldon said, referring to the 537-vote margin that made Bush president after 37 days of disputed results, court challenges and ballot reviews.
So Tuesday is going to be a long night?
“You’re potentially talking about a long month,” Eldon said.
Gov. Rick Scott is holding on to a 46-44 percent lead over Charlie Crist, according to a new likely voter poll exlusively shared with The Miami Herald.
Scott’s 2 percentage-point lead is well within survey’s 2.7 percentage-point margin of error – like every other recent major poll in this race – making the contest a tie. The 1,300-respondent poll was conducted by Democratic-leaning polling firm SEA Polling & Strategic Design.
A Quinnipiac University poll this morning found Crist led Scott 43-40 percent, a lead that was also within the margin of error.
The SEA poll, chartered by a coalition of businesses and exclusively shared with The Miami Herald, has been conducted in two waves over the past three days. The first results, of 800 likely voters, were reported yesterday.
While Scott’s margin has held at 2 percentage points, Florida's medical-marijuana constitutional amendment has slightly slipped by 2 points, with 57 percent supporting it and 37 percent opposing.
The amendment needs 60 percent support to pass. It still could pass if the undecideds stay home.
What makes the survey from pollster Tom Eldon stand out is that he’s one of the best in Florida, he’s a Democrat and he doesn’t sugarcoat his numbers. It’s also proof that good pollsters produce good numbers, regardless of party affiliation.
Eldon produced the poll showing Crist running strong in a bellwether seat in Pasco County.
This poll shows Scott is viewed more favorably by the electorate, relatively speaking, than President Obama or Crist.
Scott’s fav-unfav rating: 49-47 percent
Crist’s fav-unfav: 45-51
Obama’s fav-unfav: 48-50 percent.
Basically, no one is liked very much. And, as noted earlier today, all the polling and ballot numbers make this look like a squeaker of a race.
Crist used to be viewed much more favorably. But then Scott in March embarked on a mammoth $70 million TV ad campaign. Much of Scott’s ads have been devoted to trashing Crist, though the Republican has called the Democrat a “mudslinger.”
And, indeed, Crist has thrown mud. But he and his allies have less money for slinging; they’ve spent about $35 million on ads, much of savaging Scott.
Also aiding Scott somewhat is the condition of the state’s economy: 40 percent say it’s heading in the right direction; 31 percent in the wrong direction and 20 percent say it’s mixed. As for Scott’s job performance, 51 percent approve and 44 percent disapprove.
Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is not a factor, getting 4 percent of the vote.
Scott and Crist get about equal amounts of their base voters; with the Republican drawing 86 percent support from Republicans and the Democrat 83 percent from Democrats. Scott and Crist each get 9 percent support from voters of the other party.
Crist is leading Scott 38-33 percent among no-party-affiliation and third-party voters.
Crist’s lead among independents could prove crucial. Quinnipiac, which identifies party ID differently, found Crist leading by an astonishing 18 percentage points – an outlier compared to other polls. Both surveys have different methodologies.
More on polling can be found in the polling tab here.