As goes Florida, so goes the nation?
Florida is preparing to take center stage in a presidential race once again. The polls have flip back-and-forth between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and both sides are pouring a great deal of time and resources into their campaigns in the state. We found this, an analysis written by a Democratic operative, to be pretty fair and informative about how the vote is going so far:
To give some sense of what the last week might look like, we started Monday with about 1.2million Vote-By-Mail ballots, so since Monday, we’ve seen about 2.5 million additional votes. Given that there are 1,345,257 vote-by-mail ballots still sitting on kitchen tables, I assume we will be between 6.5 and 7 million votes in prior to election day. This would put the election at 70% complete before the first poll opens at 7:00 AM on November 8th.
That is an astounding figure. And it also shows that any last minute surprises may have a diminished affect on the Florida vote because millions of ballots have already been cast. Not that a last minute bombshell can't move the millions who haven't voted yet. Getting them to the polls all depends on the political parties ground games:
However, as I’ve warned a number of national Democrats and told many in the media, I don’t think the Trump operation is as nonexistent as some on my side wanted to believe. The GOP Chairman Blaise Ingoglia here is a friend, and a smart guy. Take Trump out of it – their party has been doing this, and doing it well for 20 plus years, they aren’t going to lay down. Back in my true hack days, they were an adversary who I truly respected, and honestly, learned from. Democrats who take their turnout operation for granted do so at their own peril.
One other factor: There are a ton of really important down ballot races. Add to the many Congressional races, every seat in the State House and State Senate are on the ballot. In other words, a lot of people are turning out voters.
Democratic voter registration advantage is about 200K less than it was in 2012, and about 350K less than it was in 2008. This in part explains why Republicans are still “ahead” at this point. But it is important to note that a lot of that decrease comes from voters who switched parties – most of whom hadn’t voted for a Democrat since Carter or Kennedy, and the overall electorate is much more friendly to Democrats. This electorate could be as much as 7 points more diverse than 2008, which is the reason I think she has a small built-in edge.
In other words, the key state of Florida is still up for grabs, despite the millions of votes already cast in the election. Watch Florida carefully, folks. It may yet decide who gets the keys to the Oval Office.