This early mail-voting advantage should not lull Florida Democrats into complacency, warns a data analyst.
Sometimes, the blue wave comes from the unlikeliest of places. Some of Florida’s reddest counties show the highest turnout rate among Democrats this election cycle, a look at county totals shows.
As of Saturday morning, Democrats were outvoting Republicans in 57 of 67 Florida counties, with more Democrats voting by mail and more Republicans opting to vote early in person statewide.
As an example, here are the three highest Democrat turnouts among traditionally Republican strongholds in the Sunshine State:
· In Collier County, Democratic turnout has exceeded 62%. This is remarkable, considering Democrats make up just 24.5% of voters in the county. In contrast, approximately 54% of Republicans in the county have cast their ballot.
· Sumter County showed the second-highest Democrat turnout: 60% of all registered Democrats have already voted.
· In Martin County, another GOP-majority area, 58% of Democrats, or 10,751 residents, have already voted.
Analysts believe that President Trump needs to win the nation’s largest swing state—with 29 electoral votes up for grabs—to remain in the White House.
Although Democrats are voting in record numbers, there are still areas of concern for the Dems and of opportunity for the GOP.
Key to the Win
Miami-Dade, Florida’s most populous—and traditionally blue—county, is among the 10 where Republicans have come out to vote en masse. About 41% of Republicans have already voted, while Democratic turnout has been around 39%.
A high turnout in Miami-Dade County, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 1 percentage point, could be the key to a Democratic win.
So far in Florida, Democrats have outvoted Republicans by a 596,000 margin by mail, while Republicans have a 230,000 edge on in-person voting.
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Republicans Gaining Ground
But this early mail-voting advantage should not lull Florida Democrats into complacency, warns Tom Bonier, a Democratic data analyst.
“There are signs of Republicans being engaged. We do expect them to come out in very high numbers on Election Day,” Bonier said on a recent call with reporters.
If, as expected, Republicans do go out to vote en masse on Election Day, some worry that Trump will declare victory, as early votes are counted last in Rust Belt battleground states. However, votes are counted quickly in Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina, three important swing states. This may help balance out which party seems ahead on election night.