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Here are some preliminary turnout numbers from the 2014 Florida statewide election gleaned from the Dec. 31, 2014 Florida voter file. (Standard caveats for discrepancies between the Florida Department of State’s “Official Results” and votes cast in the Division of Elections statewide voter file, as well as any rounding errors apply.)
Of those who cast ballots in the 2014 General Election, more than 42% were Republicans, 38% were Democrats, less than 17% were NPAs, with the balance comprised of those registered with third parties.
In terms of the race and ethnicity of the 2014 General Election electorate, more than 73% of those who turned out were white, slightly more than 12% were black, 10% were Hispanic.
So much for exit poll estimates, which overestimated black (14%) and Hispanic (13%) turnout, and underestimated the composition of the electorate that was white (69%).
Less than 44% of registered (active and inactive) Democrats, 31% of NPAs, and 55% of Republicans turned out to vote. (Only 45% of the state’s registered Libertarians turned out to vote; so much for Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie or the chance to legalize Medical Marijuana smoking them out of their bunkers.)
Close to 50% of registered whites turned out to vote, but only 40% of registered blacks cast ballots. Even worse, only 30% of registered Hispanics and roughly 26% of registered multiracial and those of unknown race/ethnicity bothered to turn out to vote in the November 4, 2014 General Election.
More to come…
Marc Caputo reports that John Morgan’s Medical Marijuana initiative is sporting a new look as he tries to qualify it for the 2016 ballot.
Will tweaking the wording make a difference? Perhaps.
But contrary to Morgan’s claim that “turnout wasn’t what it could have been” and that “old people, 65 and older really did us in,” what really hurt Amendment 2 was not the wording of the constitutional amendment or poor turnout, but rather down-ballot roll-off.
As this Figure reveals, support for Amendment (Yellow line) was fairly strong across the state of Florida (it only dipped below 50% in 15 mostly rural counties). The big problem for Morgan and his campaign consultants was ballot roll-off, that is, voters who cast ballots in the gubernatorial race for Democrat Charile Crist (Blue line), but who didn’t vote for legalizing medical marijuana. Support for Crist in Broward county, for example, topped 70%, and support for Amendment 2 was nearly as high. The down-ballot roll-off on Amendment 2, however, was 5.3%. Crist tallied 17,000 more votes than Morgan’s Amendment 2 in Broward. In Miami-Dade county, Crist out-polled Amendment 2 by more than 28,000 votes, as roll-off was 6.7% in the populous South Florida county. Amendment 2 failed to achieve 60% in Miami-Dade not because of poor turnout, but because of the high roll-off among Crist supporters. Across the state, roll-off on Amendment 2 was by far the greatest in Broward and Miami-Dade, strongholds for Democrats and support for the legalization of medical marijuana.
Looking forward to 2016, the electoral demographics for Morgan’s retooled medical marijuana ballot measure should be in place in a high turnout presidential election. But limiting ballot roll-off among Democrats–especially peripheral voters who come out every four years–will again be key for the deep-pocketed Orlando trial lawyer.