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Florida 2018 - Peyton Manning Days (18) until the Election

To:      Friends, Romans, and FloridaMen

Re:      Friday of Texans Hate Week -- 18 days out from Election and FSU Hoops


As of this morning, there are 791,438 ballots vote by mail ballots returned

Republican ballots 348,222 (44.00%)

Democratic ballots: 302,118 (38.17%)

NPA ballots: 141,098 (17.83%)

The week has been exceptionally consistent – Republicans winning the day by 3,000 or so voters, with Democrats chopping into the lead a percentage of all ballots.  I fully expect this to stay consistent for the next few days.

 Today GOP advantage:  46,104 (+5.83%)

Yesterday GOP advantage: 43,098 (+6.31%)

Wednesday morning GOP advantage: 40,179 votes (+7.28%).

And for comparison purposes, 18 days out in 2014, the election looked like this:

Total ballots returned (2014): 1,017,704

Total Republican advantage:  131,509 (+12.9%)

I will probably move this number once early voting starts and the final voter registration numbers are posted, but for starting purposes, estimating turnout at 7,000,000 voters, meaning roughly 11.31% of the potential total turnout is in. 

Yesterday, another 26,512 VBM requests were processed, moving the total number of requests to 3,202,683.

Democrats have a 67,492 -voter edge in total requests, meaning Democrats have 113,596 more ballots yet to be returned.  

Republicans are chipping away a bit at the Democrats’ request lead.  The Dem advantage has dropped a few thousand each day.   I don’t think this is significant, but just interesting.  In total, 24.71% of all requested ballots have been returned, with Republicans returning 24.6%% of their ballots, Democrats 23.2% of theirs, and NPA 21.4% of theirs.

I apologize this memo is going to be a little shorter – or maybe, you all will appreciate that.  But I want to give a little heads up about what is coming next.

When I think about these races, there are two things I will watch. 

First, for Democrats to win, we win our votes in a handful of counties, and generally try to keep margins in play elsewhere.  For the Nelson/Gillum math, there are a few places where Clinton’s vote shares outperformed Crist in 2014.  

On this side, there are three base counties:  Orange, Osceola, and Dade.  The latter has seen a lot of organic growth towards the Democrats, but the former two Central Florida have been turnout issues in midterm cycles.    If Dems can get those two counties to perform closer to Presidential cycle margins, the math starts to look good.

On the defense side, two counties where Clinton outperformed Crist worth watching:  Escambia (Pensacola), and Duval – also known as DUUUUVAL, which is Jacksonville.  The key for the ticket in those two places will be increasing African American participation.  These are also two communities that both DeSantis and Scott will want to look more like they did for Scott in 2014 than they did for Trump in 2016


Miami Dade (Crist 58.4%, +99,704 votes, Clinton 63.7%, +289,898 votes)

Orange (Crist 53.5%, +36,556, Clinton 60.4%, +134,537)

Osceola (Crist 51.8%, +6,026, Clinton 61%, +35,080)

Offense to Play Defense

DUUUUVAL (Crist 41.5%, -34,381, Clinton 47.5%, -6,060)

Escambia (Crist 34.1%, -27,285, Clinton 37.7%, -31,347)

Secondly, for the Republicans, to counter balance the growth the Democratic ticket is likely to see in the urban counties, there are about a dozen counties where Trump (2016) outperformed Rick Scott (2014).  While the GOP ticket is unlikely to see the same kind of raw vote margins Trump won in these counties, they will want the final percentage spread to look more like Trump than like Scott.  Most of these counties are in the I-4 corridor:

Tampa market:

Hernando (Scott 47.9%  +2,013 votes - Trump 62.9%, +27,211 votes)

Citrus (Scott 53.7%, +8,881 – Trump 68.3%, +31,667)

Pasco (Scott 46.8%, +2,859 – Trump 58.9% +51,967)

Pinellas (Scott 41% -39,659 – Trump 48.6%, +5,551)

Sarasota (Scott 48.7%, +4,972 – Trump 54.3%, +26,541)

Manatee (Scott 51.7%, +12,356 – Trump 57.0% +30,647)

Orlando Market

Marion (Scott 55.3%, +19,869 – Trump 61.7%, +45,806)

Volusia (Scott 48.8%, +6,434 – Trump 54.8%, +33,937)

Charlotte – Ft Myers DMA (Scott 52.5%, +8,273 – Trump 62.5%, +26,781)

Martin – West Palm DMA (Scott 55.3%, +9,220 – Trump 62.0%, 23,091)

These numbers might give you a good sense why Joe Biden is coming to Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville for the ticket next week.

I hope to dive into these places in a little more depth this weekend, as well as to take my first real look at who is voting, and if we can begin to see any meaningful trends.  

Looking ahead, as I mentioned earlier, I suspect we will see a pretty big in-person early voting day on Monday, when the counties that opted to open early voting for two weeks will open, then if tradition holds firm, the rest of the week will level out, and just like vote-by-mail this week, I suspect midweek will look a lot a like from day to day. 

The next big change after Monday will be next Saturday, the day before Jacksonville takes on the Eagles in London, when early voting opens statewide.

As always, thanks for reading, and while everyone reading this memo may not always agree on politics, I think we can all agree on one thing:  May the Jaguars beat the Texans on Sunday.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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