Tim Saler: “Souls to the Polls” a mixed bag for Democrats

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Tim Saler has a few things to say about Sunday’s “Souls to the Polls” in his final early-vote update before Election Day.

Rick Scott’s Deputy Campaign Manager once again compares the 2014 “Obama-Crist” numbers to the 2012 campaign, where the “Obama machine” turned out more than 108,000 Democrats to early vote during their Sunday effort.

Saler expected the same thing this time — as he did in the first Sunday of early voting.

That didn’t happen, he says.

Although St. Lucie County has yet to report its Sunday numbers, Saler says one thing is clear: “The Crist-Obama team in 2014 was unable to duplicate the Obama machine’s success from 2012.”

Democrats brought out more than 20,000 “super voters” during the final day of early voting, those who have a high propensity to cast ballots in general elections.

Republicans still hold an edge — more than 2 percent over the Democrats  – in turning out “sporadic” voters, those who have not cast ballots (or voted infrequently) during the last four elections.

Republicans had previously enjoyed the largest turnout advantage among those “super voters” who cast ballots in all four of the last four general elections. They are now making headway with sporadic voters.

Over the final week of early voting, Democrats closed the gap using the voters already likely to vote on Election Day. However, Republicans maintained or expanded the turnout advantage with “presidential-only or even less frequent voters.”

“Republicans still have a turnout advantage among the voters who skipped the 2010 election but cast ballots in the 2012 presidential,” Saler says.

Democratic efforts to close the GOP lead on Election Day was a failure, Saler concludes, and Republicans will now enter Tuesday leading with roughly 100,000 voters.

In 2012, Democrats led by nearly 155,000 voters heading into Election Day, winning the race by fewer than 75,000 votes.

It will all be decided tomorrow.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.