Florida’s vote-by-mail totals…both parties dead even!

entering-sarasota-county-630x286I have started a new blog called “Elections Florida”, where I will be examining the numbers behind elections in Florida. The numbers will range from voting behavior to campaign finance. Also, this site will examine more of the scientific side of campaigns and elections in Florida and will not be focused on commentary. This is the most recent post on the site. Also, the site will have up-to-date numbers on all registration numbers throughout the state and pre-Election Day results. Click HERE to visit the site, and subscribe today.

With exactly one week until early voting starts in Florida, Democrats have caught up to Republicans when it comes to vote by mail numbers. However, even though the pre-Election Day totals are now even, Democrats seem to maintain an advantage over the Republicans.

First, let’s look at the raw vote totals. With 513,698 votes cast so far in the state, only 90 votes separate the two major political parties, with the Republicans having the edge. Additionally, the overall state turnout rate as of now is 4.06%. When we break that down into political parties, the Democratic turnout rate is 4.39%, the Republican turnout rate is 4.68%, and NPA/Other turnout rate being 2.74%. Of those who have requested vote-by-mail ballots (which, as of now, is 2.453,504), 19.38% have been returned and counted.

If we examine the swing* throughout the state, Republicans do have an advantage of 2.34%. While this might sound like good news to the Republicans, there are two possible issues. First, many Republican votes have already been cast. In the strongest Republican performing counties, Republican return rates are much higher than Democratic return rates. For example, in Okaloosa County, 64% of Republicans have already turned in their vote-by-mail ballots compared to 26% in the same county. We see this gap of at least 25% in the counties of Walton, Okaloosa, Clay, Santa Rosa, Nassau, Bay, and Collier Counties. As a result, Democrats should be able to close the gap, assuming that Democrats who requested a vote-by-mail ballot actually mail in their ballot.

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