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Steve Schale: Notes on the fifth day of early voting in Florida

in 2017/Top Headlines by

To: FSU Fans, and the rest of America

From: Steve Schale

Re: 10 Days Out, and Clemson comes to Doak

*1 day since Gus Bradley should have been fired
*10 days until the election
*14 days until FSU basketball tips off

I apologize for the delay today. Before I wrote the first memo, I had a life planned for the last two weeks of the election. While that all changed, I did get up and run a half-marathon today.

After getting up at 4:30 a.m. and running 13 miles in the heat and South Georgia hills, yes, I am going to tell you that.

Tonight also is FSU/Clemson. If your team needs a head coach, the guy sitting three seats over and a row down is a football genius. If you don’t believe me, just come sit by me tonight and he will tell you.

On to the story.

Florida now has over 3.25 million votes. With the increased voter registration, I am adjusting my raw voter turnout projections, but even still, I think about 35 percent of all likely voters have already cast a ballot.

We also are heading into the weekend. Traditionally, Democrats do better with in-person early voting on weekends.

Friday looked like the rest of the week, with Democrats leading in in-person early voting, and Republicans leading with vote-by-mail.

Day 5 of in-person early voting looked like this: vote-by-mail: 128,058 (+1K from yesterday) votes, GOP won (43-36-21), or just under 10K votes.

In-person early vote: 265,310 votes (up about 1,500 from yesterday), Dems won (40-39-21) or just under 1K votes; 393,368 votes were counted, and GOP won the day by about 9,000.

This brings us into total votes — 3,258,034 — with leading GOP up about 0.6 percent. One other big-picture number: There are now almost 70,000 more Democrats in Florida with a vote-by-mail ballot they have not returned. Data does show Democrats have been returning theirs as quick, if not quicker than Republicans, but had a higher number of post-Oct. 1 requests.

Because Democrats have 5,000 more overall requests, the GOP VBM numbers should level out. Even at current lower Dem return rates, the GOP advantage should reduce by about 20,000 by Election Day, given the Dems larger number of outstanding ballots.


Looking at the usual benchmarks. I am going to do a deeper dive Monday after we see the weekend, so this will be quicker.


Friday was like the previous three days. Democrats won both the early vote and the vote-by-mail tabulations, and now carry a 13,300-vote lead (+6.4 percent), pushed again by strong in-person early voting. Over two-thirds of the votes Thursday came from in-person early voting, which is a good sign for Dems. And Dems are up about 600 votes Saturday through 1 p.m.

And again, why Hillsborough? Hillsborough has correctly picked 19 of the last 20 Presidents.


JMart, Dems won in-person early voting in Imperial Polk County for the fifth day in a row!

Heading into weekend, here is I-4 (north to south):

Volusia: 92,850 total votes (42R-38D-20 NPA)
Seminole 80,280 (44R-36D-20 NPA)
Orange 180,804 (48D-31R-21 NPA)
Osceola 50,673 (48D-29R-23 NPA)
Polk 89,599 (42R-39D-19 NPA)
Hillsborough 214,259 (43D-37R-20 NPA)
Pinellas 193,042 (39.6D-39.4R-21 NPA)

South Florida

Turnout in South Florida was solid again today. Between in-person early and vote-by-mail, more than 107K people voted.

From north to south:

Palm Beach 180,804 (49D-29R-22 NPA)
Broward  268,767 votes (58D-23R-19 NPA)
Miami-Dade 361,679 (45D-32R23 NPA


Republicans had a very good VBM day, but Dems edged out another EV win.

Duval: 125,152 votes (44R-42D-16 NPA)

Complete aside, President Obama comes to Jacksonville Thursday, eight years to the date after his last rally in Florida in 2008, on Nov. 3.

Final Voter Registration

The state just released the final voter registration numbers.

We go into the election with about 12.8 million voters.

By comparison, there were 11.9 million in 2012.

Right now, I am thinking turnout will be right around 2012 levels, so that would be just over 9.2 million votes. I might revise this next week as we get further into early votes.

Since August, Democrats increased their voter registration advantage by just under 70,000. The Democrats go into the election with just over a 327,000-voter advantage.

The state is now 38D-35R-27 NPA

Democrat’s top growth counties since August:

Miami-Dade (+26,343)
Broward (+18,456)
Orange (+15,545)
Hillsborough (+8,618)
Osceola (+5,046) — Near Orlando

Republican’s top growth counties:

Bay (+1,836) — Panama City
Okaloosa (+1,586) — Panhandle
Santa Rosa (+1,436) — Panhandle
Marion (+1,387) — between Gainesville and Orlando
Pasco (+1,342) — north of Tampa

Voters by ethnicity:

Black (African-American & Caribbean): 13.4 percent
Hispanic: 15.7 percent
White: 64.2 percent
Other: 6.7 percent

*Keep in mind, Hispanic in Florida is underrepresented by these statistics, as it is a self-identification. Surveys suggest in 2012, real Hispanic was closer to 16 percent of voters.

One last thing, the voters who joined the rolls since August are very diverse.

Of the growth in registration, it looked like this:

White: 44.7 percent (+220,493)
Hispanic 24.7 percent (+121,771)
Black 14.7 percent (+72,538)
Others: 15.8 percent (77,591)

Tomorrow’s memo will probably be late morning, unless FSU gets blown out and I get home early, in which case it will be midmorning, or unless they beat Clemson, which means it might come Wednesday.

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