Exclusive Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of 2016 Early Votes Cast (EIP & VBM) in Florida, with 2012 Comparisons

Here are the latest figures I’ve calculated by linking the statewide September 30, 2016 voter file with daily Early In-Person and Vote-by-Mail returns, and comparing these figures with data from 2012 at the same point in time (that is, through Sunday, October 30, 2016, and Sunday, October 28, 2012).

Note, that in 2012, there were only two days of early in-person voting at this juncture (Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28), whereas in 2016, some 50 counties have had at least 7 days of EIP, and all 67 counties have had at least two day (Saturday, October 29 and yesterday, Sunday October 30).

I’ve tweeted and blogged earlier today about the trends, and spoken to about a dozen reporters today, so dig around if you want my interpretation.


Hispanic Turnout is the the Big Story in Florida…

The presidential election (and the US Senate, too) in Florida will be decided by Hispanic turnout.

Hispanics now comprise 15.6% of the state’s 12.7m active registered voters; in 2012, Hispanics comprised 13.6% of the Sunshine State’s voter rolls.

So far, as of yesterday, October 29, 2016, Hispanic voters are comprising a considerably higher percentage of voters than they did at this point in time in 2012, far exceeding their 2% point share of registered voters.

Here’s the Hispanic share of total votes cast (VBM & EIP) by all voters, 9 days out from election day, in 2016 vs. 2012.

Percentage of all Vote-by-Mail (VBM) ballots cast by Hispanics:

2016 =  12.9%
2012 = 9.5%

Percentage of all Early In-Person (EIP) ballots cast by Hispanics:

2016 = 14.2%
2012 = 9.9%

Exclusive: In Florida, No Party Affiliation (NPA) Voters and Hispanics (who skipped 2012 or weren’t registered) are Flocking to the Polls

The story of the election in Florida thus far is that No Party Affiliates and Hispanics who sat out (or who’ve registered since the 2012 General Election) appear to be much more engaged in the Florida election than other partisan or racial/ethnic groups.

Over 1/3 NPAs — 33.7% — who’ve already voted (EIP or VBM) in Florida through yesterday, Saturday October 29,  did not cast a ballot in the Sunshine State in 2012.

In contrast, only 18.2% of Republicans who’ve voted thus far didn’t vote in 2012; 1/5 Democrats who’ve voted EIP or ABS through yesterday sat out 2012.

So, although overall numbers through the first six days of EIP (and months-long VBM ballots coming in) aren’t looking terribly robust for Democrats–they’re down 23.5k votes to Republicans — it appears that they are mobilizing a larger share of “new” voters.

The Republican lead thus far, on the other hand, is being floated by disproportionately by likely voters, that is, those who voted in the 2012 General Election. Republicans are also cannibalizing 2012 Election Day voters at a higher rate than Democrats: 18.7% of the 1.51m Republicans who’ve voted thus far in Florida waited in 2012 to cast a ballot on Election Day; 16.8% of the 1.43m Democrats who’ve voted to date voted on Election Day four years ago.


Similar trends can be seen along racial/ethnic categories of voters. Over 29% of the 476k Hispanics who’ve cast ballots thru yesterday are either new to the registration books or skipped the 2012 election. This is true for only 1/5 of the 2.5m white voters who’ve voted, and 17% of the 391k black voters who’ve cast ballots thus far in 2016.


So, what does this all mean?

Florida’s electorate is dynamic. Millions of new voters have registered since the 2012 General Election. Florida’s electoral rules are also fluid, changing back and forth since the 2008 election. As such, the modes of voting by Florida voters is in flux, with voters shifting from one method to another (as I’ve published extensively elsewhere).

As a result, one should be weary of pollsters who model their surveys on expected vote using 2012 voting patterns (if they even have them!), as objects in the mirror may appear closer (or farther) than they they really are.

All I’ll say is there still lots of voting to be done in Florida.

An ElectionSmith Exclusive: Florida’s Latest Party & Race/Ethnicity & Age Turnout Figures (as of this morning)

As of this morning, some 3.23m of the state’s 12.7m active registered voters have cast Vote-by-Mail or Early In-Person ballots in Florida. So, 25.5% of active voters on the rolls have already turned out to vote in the Sunshine State.

Here are the partisan and demographic breakdowns.


Party Turnout

29.4% of 4.5m active registered Republicans have voted.

27.0% of 4.8m active registered Democrats have voted.

17.6% of 3.0m active registered No Party Affiliates have voted.


Racial/Ethnic Turnout

28.1% of 8.2m active registered Whites have voted.

20.6% of 1.7m active registered Blacks have voted.

21.4% of 2.0m active registered Hispanics have voted.


Age Turnout

41% of the 4.5m voters 60 and older have voted.

25.6% of the 3.3m voters 45-59 have voted.

14.7% of the 2.3m voters 30-44 have voted.

9.5% of the 2.0m voters 18-29 have voted.


Still lots of voting to come, including EIP happening today and tomorrow.