Over the last four Presidential general elections 74% of Florida’s registered voters turned out to cast ballots. When the Florida Division of Elections and Leon County Supervisor of Elections report a percentage of the vote is in, they are running that number against 100% when it should be put against the last four average turnouts of 74%.
As of Thursday morning, statewide 29.5% of the voters have already cast ballots which means if the average turnout of 74% is met then 40% of Florida voters have done their civic duty already.
In Leon County more than 59,000 ballots have already been cast. By election day it is likely that 60%+ of the ballots will have already been received by the Supervisor of Elections. The days of precinct in person voting and neighborhood polling locations are numbered.
Florida uses an absentee ballot system. In Florida, each voter must take an affirmative step to receive an absentee ballot through the mail.
In universal mail ballot jurisdictions, the elections office mails a ballot to the last known address of every individual voter. No affirmative step needs to be taken by the individual voters. The nine universal mail ballot jurisdictions are: California; Colorado; Hawaii; Nevada; New Jersey; Oregon; Utah (county opt in but all counties opted in); Vermont; and, Washington, DC.
In a detailed review of six states polling data, including Florida, there are some consistent findings across red, blue, and purple states. In every poll the percentage of voters that declare they have made up their mind and there is no chance of them changing it is over 95%. In Florida 40% of the likely voters have already voted so we know they are not changing their mind.
Another key finding is that 94% of the Democratic voters are voting for Biden and 94% of the Republicans are voting for Trump. There are no party disloyal voters to speak of this year. Some of the 6% that are going the other way loudly announce they are doing so but when 19 of 20 stay loyal and the number of defectors is the same in each party those defections cancel each other out, so no real change.
A final finding confirms what every interested political observer already knew. Independents are turning out at a significantly lower rate than either Republicans or Democratic voters.
In Leon County 32% of the Democratic voters have already cast ballot and statewide that number is 37%. Republican turnout in Leon County is 24% and statewide it is 28%. No party affiliation and minor party affiliation turnout in Leon County is 17% and statewide it is 22%.
When you look at the total number of ballots cast in Leon County the party split is 64-23% in the Democratic Party’s favor. Statewide the Democrats have a 45-34% advantage. Independents only make up 13% of the turnout in Leon County but statewide it is 20%.
Polling suggests in all six states reviewed that independents are favoring Biden over Trump.
Four years ago, there was an October surprise that shifted at least one or two percentage points from one party to the other. Eleven days before the 2016 election, on October 28th, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress announcing he was reopening the Hillary Clinton email probe even though he closed it earlier. Comey’s announcement helped Trump to narrowly carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and by so doing, win the Presidency.
The President is attempting to get an FBI investigation going on Biden’s son (which he has been doing for over a year and go impeached for his effort). With days to go that effort is not going to influence enough voters to change the trajectory of this election.
All the television and mailing advertisements, all the news coverage, are almost inconsequential because a large number of voters have already cast their ballots.
Jon M. Ausman is the longest serving member of the Democratic National Committee in Florida’s history (December 1992 to January 2017). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 850-321-7799.