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14 Days Out to Election -- and FSU basketball

To:       People who love democracy and dogs.

From:   Steve Schale

Re:       2 more weeks

It is great to be writing this from America’s county, Duval.  It isn’t so great to be writing this while riding in a van – so forgive me if there are any more typos than normal.

Yesterday was the first day of in-person early voting, as 113,750 people went to the polls.

Not surprisingly, it was a record first day for a midterm election, but how much of a record might surprise you.  More people voted yesterday than the first two days of early voting in 2014, combined.  This happened to coincide with Joe Biden being in Florida. I am not necessarily saying the two are correlated, but the two events are facts. 

In total, about 25% of all the ballots cast to-date were cast yesterday.  Between VBM ballots, and in-person early vote, more than 300,000 votes were processed.

Today was also the first day that Democrats “won” – driven by their small advantage among in-person early voting.  Vote by mail looked like it has pretty much every day last week – with the GOP winning the day there by a few thousand votes.

As we enter early voting, there have been 1,260,846 total ballots returned. 

Republican ballots 545,327 (43.25%)

Democratic ballots: 496,104 (39.35%)

NPA ballots: 291,415 (17.4%)

Total GOP advantage:  49,223 (3.9%)

Monday’s numbers were 930,657 total votes with GOP advantage: 50,399 (+5.75%)

And for comparison purposes, 14 days out in 2014, the election looked like this.

Total ballots returned (2014): 1,609,835

Total Republican advantage:  141,433 (+8.8%)

Assuming turnout at 7,000,000 voters, roughly 18% of the potential total turnout is in. 

Just to stress one point – this time just for my Democratic friends:  There are 118,508 more Democratic ballots sitting on kitchen tables or in piles by the front door than there are Republican ballots.   

In terms of in-person versus vote by mail, right now, vote by mail accounts for 90% of ballots processed so far, though more people are likely to vote by mail than vote in-person early.

The Republican advantage in vote by mail is 53,745

The Democratic advantage in early voting is 4,522

In total, 31.5% of all requested ballots have been returned, with Republicans returning 35.81 % of their ballots, Democrats 29.8%, and NPA returning 26.93%

As I said yesterday, this isn’t going to be a deep dive.  I will be back to some more normal schedule tomorrow, plus after a few days of early voting, there will be more data to look at in terms of the make-up of that voting universe.

Couple of quick notes though:  voting in Broward and Miami Dade was strong.  Overall, voting in the three southeastern main Florida counties made up about 37% of all the early votes cast yesterday.  One flag on this stat – in person early voting isn’t up statewide until Saturday, so the early returns will favor the larger counties. 

The Panama City and Tallahassee markets continue to really lag where they should be, driven by the 8 counties most impacted by Hurricane Michael.  As I laid out a few days ago, I don’t expect the impacts of Michael to change anything but the most 2000-esque types of elections, but this is something to continue to watch.   The Jacksonville market is also lagging, though this should catch up as early voting continues. 

Look for more tomorrow.  Until then, thanks for reading.





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