In the Arena: General Election Turnout Indicators

In the Arena: General Election Turnout Indicators

With seven days to go before election day the auguries in Senate District Three look bad for incumbent State Senator Loranne Ausley.  The stars are aligned for Republican challenger Corey Simon to take the win.

There are thirteen counties in Senate District Three.  All but one county, Wakulla, have a higher percentage of Republicans voting when compared to the percentage turnout by Democratic voters.  Why do I use turnout figures for analysis?  It shows the eagerness to vote among the members of the two parties.  It also often reflects on the organizational skills of the respective parties get-out-the-vote efforts.

We also can look at the Democratic and Republican performance numbers of the counties within the Senate District.  While Gadsden, Leon, and Jefferson counties have the vast majority of voters in the District, Democrats must really turn out to offset the up to 75% to 80% a Republican will receive in the remaining ten counties.

Republican turnout among early voters is accelerating and has far surpassed Democratic turnout.  Most Republicans prefer to cast their ballots at early voting locations or in person on election day.  Republicans once dominated absentee ballots but have recently shifted to in person voting.

In Leon County the Republican turnout on election day is three percentage points higher than Democratic turnout.  When you add the Republican early voting advantage it means close elections may end up as a Democratic loss.

The Leon County Democratic Party has focused its attention on the Mayor’s race to the exclusion of other offices.  What it should have been doing is motivating Democratic voters to turnout.  Instead, they are relying on an approach which has proven ineffective over the last nine election cycles.

With seven days to go and with the likelihood of a higher Republican turnout on election day, the local Democratic Party organization will have one of the worse voter turnouts per thousand voters, when compared to Republican turnout, going back to 1968.

Currently Republican turnout in Leon County is running 23 voters higher per thousand party members over the Democratic turnout.  Over the last twenty years the local Democratic Party organization has relied solely on its near two-to-one voter registration advantage over Republicans rather than work to get their voters to the ballot box.

The current county Democratic Party Chair, Erik David, may actually podium as being the Chair for one of the worse Democratic turnout performances compared to the Republicans going back over the last twenty-seven elections.  He already holds the 22nd worse spot but due to a lack of effort and foresight he probably can hit the 25th worse or even lower among the last 27 general elections.  Of course, this disgrace will be shared among every member of the current Leon County Democratic Executive Committee (LCDEC) who sat back and allowed this to happen.

As an aside, the LCDEC when I was Chair occupies the top three podium positions in gubernatorial elections for turnout per thousand party voters over Republican turnout per thousand.  The members of the LCDEC in the 1980s and 1990s were focused on turnout and winning elections.  The current LCDEC seems more interested in writing policy statements while ignoring the fundamentals of effective electioneering.


Jon M. Ausman is the longest serving Chair of the Leon County Democratic Party in Leon County’s history (April 1980 to January 2000).  He can be reached at or at 850-321-7799.

13 Responses to "In the Arena: General Election Turnout Indicators"

  1. @Pat. So much of this is due to the legacy programs that treats blacks like subjects, not citizens. We’re nearing 60 years since the Civil Rights Act finally declared the races equal, but there are entirely too many ways that their treatment is not. The result is the collapse of the black family and an over-dependence on government programs that cripples minorities. There’s no valid reason why 3 generations after the CRA was put into law that things should be like they are today.

    Every law officer in the country knows that a black male is more than 10 times more likely to shoot a cop than that cop is to shoot a black. They also know that if you line up a dozen random white males and a single black male that they are more likely to be shot by the single black male than any of the white. I find it hard to criticize the folks in blue when they understand where the danger is and react to it.

    I wish I had a good answer to the problem. I wish ANYONE had a good answer. It’s clear that something needs to be done as the status quo is unacceptable.

  2. Mr Ausman’s article should include a disclaimer of the candidates he is presently working for or against. He can be found in the parking lot of African-American churches this Sunday blanketing car windshields for Nick Maddox. I think Ausman did come out one time and let it be known he didn’t think a lot of Gillum, but a lot went down with other candidates that he never said one word about. Case in point Scott Maddox who he never publicly questioned.

  3. “Jon M. Ausman is the longest serving Chair of the Leon County Democratic Party in Leon County’s history (April 1980 to January 2000)”

    So, everything is Ausman’s fault. I’m glad we can all agree on something. Now we need to decide what we are going to do to him…

  4. Our community is feed up with weak on crime politicians. Read the 10/31/2022, Leon County Booking report and note how many arrested are “people of color”. And note, the vast majority are young people with criminal records. And note how many were charged with violations of parole. Royle King’s Men and Boy’s club seems to be failing. Police citations instead of arrest seems to be failing. Throwing money at the problem has been failing for decades.

    And guess what race the three suspects in the last Tallahassee shooting are? Only the 32304 can decide to live a life not in “The Life”.

    It is time to vote liberal politicians out of office and build more prisons and jails and fill them up.

  5. Mr. Whiplash,

    To answer your query here is some information you might find helpful. We would have to use inductive reasoning to draw a conclusion. It is likely there is some polling in the District, but I do not have access to the cross-tabulations.

    Partisan identification is still an important determinant of vote choice. The rate of defection among major-party identifiers has hit the post-1950 lows which reflects the increased polarization in the electorate.

    Partisan shifts are more common among younger age cohorts.

    The rate of Republicans defecting to a Democratic presidential candidate in the 2010s averaged around seven percent. The rate of Democrats defecting to a Republican presidential candidate during the same time was about three percent higher than the Republican shift. Normally Republicans are more loyal to their party than Democrats.

    The strong wind of recent partisanship has shrunk the number of partisan defectors. In balloting at lower levels there may be higher defection rates. Among non-partisan races the net impact is normally about plus five for the minority party.

    I hope this helps a bit.

  6. @Resident — Thanks for pointing out that Ausman is the author. I had started reading without looking at the byline was thinking that Steve was giving us the straight dope.

    Both parties have changed over the years, with the Republicans long favoring the private sector over the public sector and the Democrats the opposite. What has changed is that the left keeps moving further and further left with the Republicans drifting in that direction. Republicans of the 60s, and even Democrats of that era, were further to the right than either party is today.

    When you at the bigger picture (outside of the local area) I see a lot of hope. Latinos are moving away from the Democrats in huge numbers. Blacks are moving away in smaller numbers. Both groups see that what has been peddled to them for decades isn’t a path to success.

    Stay strong, conservatives!

  7. Ausley won a close race with Marva Preston in the last cycle. Now with Corey Simon’s name recognition and the current political winds going against the democrats this race should go to the GOP especially is Simon can bleed off some of the black vote.

  8. ‘In the Arena’ should be ‘In the Spin Cycle’

    I am surprised – no shocked – Jon didn’t blame Putin! It would have made more (non)sense. He could at least blame the mailer that Lauren Book put out — with the unknowing Ausley (wink) — with shooting targets on her opponent and children.

  9. Good information Jon Thank You.

    Steve here is a fun idea which may be of interest to the readers.
    We know there is an exact number of registered Democrats and an exact number of Republicans regestered in Leon County. My idea is based on the strong feeling we are going to get large numbers of Democrats voting for DeSantis this time.
    Is there any way we can prove that after the election? It seems like it should be a straight numeric calculation. Or would it be impossable to prove if it indeed happens?
    Seems like mathamatically there should be a tipping point in the votes cast where we should know without a doubt that large numbers of Democrats voted for DeSantis. And if that is mathamatically true than we should also be able to extrapalate aproximently how many Democrats cast their vote for DeSantis.
    I think we are safe in the assumption that only 3 or 4 Republicans will cast their vote for Crist so that should make it a pretty much elementary math calucalation.
    Just a thought thank you.

  10. The Democrat Party made a HUGE mistake by ignoring the rational polls and the majority of their Party voters, and acquiescing to the minority of loud mouth radicalized Marxists the likes of Sandy Cortez and the Twidiot mob, which is comprised of a boatload of bots by the way.

    Long gone is the courage of the “Blue Dog” Democrats like my father. They have been overrun by whinny woke manbun’r wackos and dude wannabes, whose only contribution to society (in their weed induced bloodshot eyes mind you) is adding the 158th gender category to the list of delusions.

    The fasted growing Political Party in America is the “Exit” Party. Informed citizens have had enough of what is seen as the Uni-Party (just two sides of a singular corrupt coin) and are flocking to Independent and NPA registration. The individual candidate and his/her convictions is becoming more important that the “Party” and its banal pablum. Instead of 40/40/20… we will soon see 30/30/40.

    Write it down

  11. Asuman is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s trying to make Republicans think that they have already won the election. They haven’t. So, Republicans, get out and vote!!

  12. What did Loranne Ausley think would happen when she supported extreme liberal agenda items. If she believes most normal people want kindergarden students taught about the homosexual lifestyle then she is an idiot. And trying to normalize abortion, especially up to birth, acceptable, she must be an idiot. Law school must be an easy major.

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