To: Press, Friends, Interested and Disinterested Parties, Residents of "Exclusive" Southwood Tallahassee and Canes Fans who once wrote for the Palm Beach Post
From: Steve Schale
Date: October 27, 2014
The numbers for the day: 7.5, 10,000, 66,398 & 61,500
7.5: This is the Republican advantage in votes cast compared to 2010. This is down from 8.2% yesterday and compares to 17.7% at this point in the race in 2010.
10,000: The number of Rick Scott ads purchased for the last week of the campaign, which also equal the number of reasons that Charlie Crist is leading this race.
66,398: The difference in real votes between the GOP advantage in 2010 and today, meaning the GOP lead is 66,398 votes fewer today than it was at this point in 2010.
61,500: The total number of votes, rounded slightly, that Rick Scott won the Governor's race by in 2010.
Democrats won the first weekend of early voting, and the first Sunday by just under 7,800, or 15%. In 2010, Republicans won the first weekend of early voting by a small percentage.
As a result, in two days, the Republican advantage over Democrats dropped from 9.1% to 7.5%. Republicans began early voting with a 13 point advantage, meaning the advantage has dropped from 5.5% in a week. In 2010, their advantage held fairly steady during the first week of early voting.
In addition, if we simply compare the election at roughly the same number of votes, Democrats have basically cut the Republican advantage in 2010 in half. To date, roughly 1.825 million Floridians have voted, and with a the 7.5% GOP edge. In 2010, as of October 28th (Day 5 of that election), 1.8 million Floridians had voted, with the GOP holding a 14.9% advantage among all voters.
Digging into Numbers
Democrats continue to be outpacing their 2010 totals in 54 of 67 counties, and are running particularly well in the three southern counties. In terms of percentage improvement over 2010, the Democratic base counties of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach continue to lead the way.
Democrats in Dade are running 15 points better compared to the GOP today in Dade than we did in 2010, and 14 points better in both Broward and Palm Beach. In fact, in the latter two counties, Democrats have turned out roughly twice as many voters at this point in the election than we did in 2010, while in Dade, the number is about 76% more than 2010.
In addition, we are doing very well in key I-4 media markets. Compared to our margin against the GOP in 2010, Democrats are up 19% in Osceola, 15% in Sarasota, 14% in Pasco and 12% in both Orange and Seminole County. And again, those numbers are the change in the margins between the two parties -- real gains.
Even in hyper conservative Lee County, the largest county in the Governor's home media market, Dems have cut the GOP lead from 41% at this point in 2010 to 29%.
In fact, if you add up all 13 counties where Republicans are outpacing their 2010 margins, the total number of votes they've picked up versus the Democrats is just 1,518 votes.
In total, Democrats have exceeded their 2010 votes to this point by 75%, compared to 38% for the GOP.
It is important to remember that Governor Scott was elected by roughly 61,500 votes in 2010, spending well over $100 million, in the best election cycle for Republicans -- not in a decade, or a generation, or even a century -- but since Reconstruction. That was their margin of victory in a year that wasn't a wave, but instead a tsunami.
I don't think that anyone but the most partisan GOP operative would suggest that Scott enters Week 1 anything but vulnerable. The 80,000 ish ads they have run, mostly negative, has moved Scott from 42% at the start of the year to, wait for it...42, and there is no reason to think that 10,000 more will do something that the first 80,000 didn't.
Democratic turnout is definitely better than 2010 -- and the gap continues to close. The trend line suggests an election where Republicans will have a turnout advantage in the range of 1.5 to 2, but certainly not anywhere near the 5 point advantage in 2010.
To get to the 5 point advantage in 2010, the GOP had a 12 point advantage in all votes cast going into the election that year. Today it is 7.5%.
Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald suggested last night that it wasn't turning out to be a GOP or a Dem year, and that I would agree with. But one thing I know for certain, Rick Scott has to have a GOP year to win. I firmly believe anything resembling a push in terms of partisan advantage benefits Governor Crist.
And lastly, it is important to always remember Florida's changing electorate.
Florida's electorate will be several points more diverse in 2014 than 2010, and not because of any specific turnout efforts. No, Florida actual voters will be more diverse than 2010 because Florida is more diverse. The pie is different. Even if you assume the wave year of 2010 repeating itself in turnout, Rick Scott's margin of victory would be cut by 50-75% just because of demographics. And we know that it is not 2010. Not even close.
Democrats should not rest easy by any sense of the imagination. This race is razor tight. We are uncomfortably ahead -- but we are ahead. And don't believe me, believe Rick Scott's contribution and 10,000 TV ads this week.
But it is far from over. So if you are on my side, stop reading this email and go grab a clip board and talk to voters. I've pulled a couple of shifts this year and I stay pretty busy! We can all find 2-3 hours to go talk to real voters.
And if you are on their side, go to the beach, it is a stunningly beautiful day.
Until the next volley of emails --