October 27, 2014

Rick Scott ahead, but Charlie Crist gaining, in FL's early vote war

@MarcACaputo @adamsmithtimes

The race for Florida governor is tied in the polls, but the past week has brought more good numbers for Democrat Charlie Crist than Gov. Rick Scott.

After the first full week of in-person early voting, Democrats have started to eat into Republicans’ lead in casting pre-Election Day ballots — a margin in the GOP’s favor of 138,000 of more than 1.8 million cast statewide.

In 2010, Republicans led Democrats by 12 percentage points in ballots cast before Election Day, when Scott went on to beat Democrat Alex Sink by just over 1 percent of the vote. As of Monday, the Republican lead for this election was about 7.6 percentage points.

In a sign of how tenuous Scott’s lead appears, the governor reversed course and broke his word not to spend his personal millions on the race. An estimated 10,000 ads attacking Crist and promoting Scott are expected in the final week.

“I think they’re pretty desperate,” Crist said Monday at an early voting rally at Florida International University. “He wouldn’t be spending that kind of money if he wasn’t afraid.”

The actual early and absentee votes won’t be tabulated until Election Day, of course, so it’s impossible to say how many votes each candidate has received so far.

More here


1.8m in FL have voted; Dems win early voting, continue to eat into GOP ballot lead


South Florida in-person early voting turnout might have been relatively lighter than expected this weekend, but Democrats for the first time this election still topped Republicans in pre-Election Day ballot casting at the polls in the entire state.

But, thanks to strong vote-by-mail absentee ballot returns, Republicans still lead Democrats in overall early voting: 138,572 of the more than 1.8 million ballots cast as of this morning. In relative terms, the GOP is up 7.6 percentage points.

Either way, the GOP lead over Democrats has been shrinking. Yesterday it was about 147,000 or 8.4 percentage points.

Continue reading "1.8m in FL have voted; Dems win early voting, continue to eat into GOP ballot lead" »

October 26, 2014

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


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


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


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


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  





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


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


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


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