This blog has moved.

Please visit our new page here

« Gov. Rick Scott has released his 2013 tax return; see it here | Main | New report documents potential Latino voting power in midterms -- but low turnout issues as well »

With nearly 700k ballots cast, memo says 'Rick Scott is winning' early-vote war. True


More than 683,000 absentee ballots were cast as of Thursday morning, and Republicans continue to hold a solid lead over Democrats in returns, 48-35 percent.

That's not huge news, in that Republicans typically overperform in absentee-ballot casting while Democrats do the same when it comes to early in-person voting. But Democrats have been expected to close the gap with Republicans in ballots cast. Instead, the margin has increased, to 13.7 percent.

"As Charlie Crist likes to say, facts are stubborn things. Here’s a particularly stubborn fact for Charlie: Election Day is already here – and Rick Scott is winning," Gov. Rick Scott's deputy campaign manager. Tim Saler, says in a fundraising memo to donors (the entire memo is below).

Yesterday, it looked as if Democrats were starting to really pull ahead in Hillsborough, remaining close in Miami-Dade. But now Republicans are widening the gap.

But after the 2012 elections, when President Obama was supposed to have left a solid campaign infrastructure behind, Democrat Charlie Crist should probably be doing better. This is a measure of voter interest in a campaign and a campaign's ground-game turnout operation. So far, Scott is winning on both counts.

Democrats can still pull even, either with an improved ballot chasing program or an early-vote operation. Early voting starts Monday. Here's a top 10 list of ballots cast by county and party:

 Ballots cast  Party County % of total
      34,779 REP PIN 43%
      30,503 REP LEE 55%
      29,510 DEM PIN 37%
      23,039 REP DAD 46%
      18,357 DEM DAD 37%
      16,418 REP HIL 42%
      15,650 DEM HIL 40%
      14,835 DEM ORA 43%
      13,873 REP ORA 40%
      13,369 DEM LEE 24%
The memo:

FROM:             Tim Saler, Deputy Campaign Manager
TO:                 Campaign Supporters
DATE:             October 16, 2014
SUBJECT:       152,387 People


152,387 – that’s how many Floridians had their votes for Governor cast and counted yesterday alone.

In total, almost 700,000 votes have already been counted, with tens of thousands more ballots being returned each day. That’s more than twice as many ballots had been counted at this time in the 2010 campaign, and almost 150,000 more ballots than at this time in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Where are all these votes coming from? It’s pretty simple – they’re coming from Rick Scott supporters.

At this point in the 2012 campaign, Republicans led Democrats in absentee returns by almost 5-1/2 points. Today, Republicans lead Democrats by 14 points in absentee returns.

In 2010, 18 percent of Republicans had returned their ballots so far, compared to 16 percent of Democrats. In 2012, 25 percent of Republicans had returned their ballots, and 23 percent of Democrats had done so.

Today, 31 percent of Republicans have already returned their ballots – a 7-point lead over Democrats, and an advantage nearly 3 times larger than at this time in the 2010 Republican wave election.

As Charlie Crist likes to say, facts are stubborn things. Here’s a particularly stubborn fact for Charlie: Election Day is already here – and Rick Scott is winning.

We’re not only winning, we’re winning in Charlie Crist’s home base. Charlie’s whole campaign is a carbon copy of the Obama machine – but Republican returns are over-performing by 10 points in Southeast Florida, while Democrat returns are under-performing by 6 points.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that, despite Charlie Crist’s full embrace of all things Obama, a serial flip-flopper and party switcher can’t inspire the Democrat base in Southeast Florida. Apparently Charlie can’t even inspire the base in his home county of Pinellas, where Republican returns are over-performing by 3-1/2 points and Democrat returns are under-performing by more than 1-1/2 points.

With 700,000 votes in the bank, Charlie Crist has good reason to be sweating bullets. Charlie’s campaign of arguing that he was powerless to help the economy when he was Governor and his relentless negative attacks on Rick Scott have turned off his own base. Our voters are energized and they’re sending Charlie Crist and Barack Obama a message with their votes every day.

Thank you for everything you do. It’s just 19 days until victory, and your continued support will get us there.