A Democratic operative
Steve Schale has sent the Tampa Bay Times‘ Adam Smith some very interesting data showing “Barack Obama is crushing Mitt Romney when it comes to banking the votes of sporadic and infrequent voters before election day.”
Of the nearly 414,000 Floridians who did not vote in the last three general elections, Democrats have an advantage of more than 53,000 votes. Of the more than 482,000 Floridians who have only voted in one of the last three general elections, Democrats lead by more than 77,000 – a total of more than 132,000.
Republicans are trying to throw water on this data by suggesting that Obama ’12 is trailing Obama ’08, but this is an apples and oranges comparison. Not only do I agree with Obama for America – Florida director Ashley Walker, who tells Smith the GOP “decided to decrease early vote so that they have more of an emphasis on vote-by-mail,and we played on their playing field and cut into their margin.”
I also think Democrats still have an ace up their sleeve, a black ace actually, that no one wants to fully discuss. The hard truth is African American voters are notoriously poor absentee and early voters. If the black vote is still out there, waiting to cast its ballot for Obama, that may trump any GOTV effort Florida’s GOP is planning.
There is increased speculation that Romney is losing his grip on Florida, his must-win state. During Chuck Todd’s show today, a couple of pundits went out on a limb to say that the surprise they think will happen is Florida will go for Obama.
With Obama’s most straightforward path to the 270 enduring with five days to go, the last thing Romney needs is a weak southern flank. But Romney spent all of yesterday in Florida, and it’s not hard to see why. CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac and other polls released yesterday pointed toward a tied race in Florida. On average, Obama by .8 in Florida in polls conducted since the final debate. Unlike the other battleground states, Romney’s standing in these averages may be inflated by outlying polls from second-tier pollsters showing Romney ahead by 5 points.
Perhaps, when it is all said and done on Tuesday, it still will be Florida! Florida! Florida!