A loyal reader has taken umbrage with my assertion that Charlie Crist and/or Alex Sink on the ballot in 2014 would drive voter turnout to “near-presidential levels.“
This helpful reader supplied the following statistics:
In 2006 — with Crist, Sink and Jim Davis on the ballot — turnout in Pinellas was 47.6; in Hillsborough, it was 46.0%.
In 2008 — a presidential year — turnout in Pinellas was 72.8%; in Hillsborough it was 73.6%
And in 2010 — with both Crist and Sink on the ballot in a non-presidential year — turnout in Pinellas was 51.2%; in Hillsborough, it was 47.7%.
In other words, I have no clue what I am talking about.
Even if a groundswell of support turned out for Crist and/or Sink in 2014, turnout would have to improve by twenty to twenty-five percent to match turnout in a presidential year. No one is more enthusiastic about Charlie Crist than me, but even I recognize that’s not going to happen.
That said, I do believe you will see turnout in both Pinellas and Hillsborough above the 50% mark, perhaps even as high as 55%. Still, that’s a long way away from Obama-esque numbers.