In Florida, Democrats hopes hinge on a huge turnout with in person early vote. In 2008 they ran up enormous margins in heavily Democratic districts. We expect that to continue this week, but unfortunately for the Democrats these margins won’t be enough.
Day one of early vote is a case in point. In 2008 the GOP only outvoted Democrats in 15 counties. Through one day we have almost doubled that number up to 26. The GOP cut into the Democratic lead at the same point in 2008 by nearly 10 points in early voting (from 23.2 in 2008 to 13.5 today). Taking early vote plus absentee returns, the GOP still leads, whereas 4 years ago Democrats had a 7-point advantage.
Add the GOP advantage with independents on top of the early vote gains and the math looks especially bleak for Obama. In 2008, Obama had the support of 52% of independents according to exit polls. The Tampa Bay Times poll showed that this year Governor Romney has a 13 point edge.
On a county by county basis there is more evidence of GOP momentum.
- Turnout is up in the most Republican areas of the Panhandle. We are already at almost 14 percent of 2008 early votes in the Mobile-Pensacola market, where Republicans out-voted Democrats by more than 10 points four years ago.
- Turnout is already over 17 percent of ’08 early voting, after just one day, in Martin County. Republicans out-voted Democrats by 13 points in Martin County four years ago.
- Turnout is over 16 percent of ’08 early voting in Indian River County. Republicans out-voted Democrats by 12 points in Indian River County four years ago. (West Palm Beach DMA)
- Turnout is less than 8 percent of ’08 early voting in Miami-Dade County, where Democrats out-voted Republicans by 29 points in 2008 early voting. (Miami DMA)
- Turnout is less than 10 percent of ’08 early voting in Alachua County, where Democrats out-voted Republicans by 41 points in 2008 early voting. (Gainesville DMA)
- Turnout is less than 10 percent of ’08 early voting in Orange County, where Democrats out-voted Republicans by 33 points in 2008 early voting. (Orlando DMA)
While Democrats will continue to try to push as many of their election day voters as possible to vote early to try and run up the score, it is clear that GOP enthusiasm plus gains with independents position Governor Romney for a win on November 6th.
Wanted to provide an update on Day 2 of early vote in Florida. The trendlines look much the same as day 1.
After two days of early vote the GOP has improved 10 points over the same time in 2008. Early vote + Absentee returns combined are essentially even between the GOP and Dems, whereas in 2008 Democrats had a 7 point advantage. (Recall Obama won the state by less than 3 points).
The three DMAs with the biggest growth in turnout compared to 2008 – Jacksonville, Panama City, and Mobile-Pensacola – all went for McCain in 2008.
In addition over 84K independents have voted early and a recent Tampa Bay Times poll shows the GOP with a 13 point advantage among those voters.
So the Democrats might crow about a very slight edge in total returns, but it is nowhere near the numbers that they need to run up to be in position for victory on election day.
Elections Election 2012