Turnout in Florida by Race/Ethnicity

White voter turnout in Florida from 2012 to 2016 jumped by nearly 4 percentage points, from 73.1% of active voters casting ballots in 2012, to 77.1% of active voters casting ballots in 2016.

Black turnout, which was a major concern for Democrats with President Obama no longer on the ballot, was down by 3.3 percentage points, from 72.3% to 69.0% of active voters.

Hispanic turnout, which saw a dramatic increase from 2012 to 2016 during the early voting period in Florida, was up overall, from 63.1% of active voters casting ballots in 2012, to 68.9% in 2016.

Overall in 2016, Florida’s electorate was less white in 2016 than four years ago.  Whites comprised 68.4% of the electorate in 2012; in 2016, they comprised 66.8% of voters. The difference, not surprisingly, is due to Hispanics making up a greater share of the electorate, from just 12.5% in 2012 to 14.8% in 2016.

It is erroneous to conclude that higher Hispanic turnout in Florida led to greater support for Trump. This is a classic example of an ecological inference fallacy, as others have shown at the precinct level in Miami-Dade County, and as my colleagues and I will be investigating more thoroughly statewide (and by method of vote cast) in the coming days.

Florida’s 2016 General Election Turnout by Party & Race/Ethnicity, by Method of Vote

Roughly 9.59m Floridians turned out to vote in the 2016 General Election, or 74% of the state’s 12.96m active voters.

Of the Floridians who turned out in 2016, 28.4% cast a valid vote-by-mail, 40.4% cast a valid early in-person ballot, and 30.9% voted a valid ballot on Election Day.

But, as in past elections, these figures vary considerably across party and race/ethnicity.

Overall, of the 9.589m votes cast by active voters, more votes were cast by Republicans (38.7%) than Democrats (38.1%) with NPAs comprising another 20.7% of the electorate.

Among the active Democrats who voted in the 2016 GE, 72.3% cast their ballots prior to Election Day, whereas 31.5% of Republicans waited until Election Day.

In raw numbers, this translates into more than 157k Republicans voting on November 8 than Democrats.

Not surprisingly, there’s a similar breakdown across racial/ethnic groups.

Whites made up nearly 67% of those who cast ballots in the 2016 GE, while Hispanics comprised nearly 15% of all voters, and blacks 12.5%.

Nearly 52% of all blacks who voted cast early in-person ballots, and another 20% voted absentee.  Among Hispanics, nearly 45% voted early in-person, and another roughly 27% voted by mail. As such, only 27.5% of blacks and 28.2% of Hispanics who voted cast ballots on Election Day.

Contrast these figures with whites. 32% of whites who voted waited until Election Day to do so; another 37% of ballots cast by whites were early in-person, and the balance of 31% were cast by mail.

So, while minorities disproportionately voted early in-person in Florida, whites cast a greater share of votes by mail and ballots on Election Day.  Although they comprised 66.8% of the electorate, whites cast 72% of all vote-by-mail ballots and 69% of all Election Day ballots.

In the final analysis, raw numbers reveal the real story of the 2016 Presidential election in Florida: over a million white Republicans voted on Election Day, nearly double the number of Democrats who waited until Election Day to cast their ballots.