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Dismal South Fla. turnout a red flag for Democrats

If South Florida voters are fired up about the 2014 election, they sure didn't show it Tuesday, as they reaffirmed a basic truth about Florida politics: The voters Democrats need the most are the hardest ones to get to the polls. A repeat performance in November is likely to produce another disaster for Democrats, who have lost the past four elections for governor.

Turnout in the state's three largest counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach again trailed the state as a whole as mass numbers of Democrats ignored the election. Those weak numbers will help Republicans reinforce the idea of an enthusiasm gap in this election. 

Statewide, the turnout was 17.55 percent, the lowest since the first primary in 1998. Broward's turnout was 10.76 percent, second only to rural Glades County, which reported a turnout of 9.3 percent. Palm Beach County wasn't much better with a turnout of 12 percent, and Miami-Dade turnout was 14.4 percent.

Turnout was significantly higher in other, medium-sized counties where Republican Gov. Rick Scott will be strong in November: Bay, 22 percent; Brevard, 22 percent; Citrus, 29 percent; Lee, 24 percent; and Okaloosa, 21 peercent.