“Voting by Mail and Ballot Rejection: Lessons from Florida for Elections in the Age of the Coronavirus”
Check out my report for the ACLU of Florida, “Vote-By-Mail Ballots Cast in Florida.” Vote-by-mail ballots cast in the 2012 and 2016 general election had a higher rejection rate than votes cast at assigned precincts on Election Day and at early voting sites, and more importantly, younger voters and racial and ethnic minority voters were much more likely to cast mail ballots that were rejected and were less likely to have their ballots cured.
Full report is available here.
Although the Anti-Trump vote looms large in Florida, with some independents and Republicans experiencing buyer’s remorse, mobilization of younger people of color remains the key for any prospects of a Blue Wave in Florida.
Here’s turnout, by age, of registered blacks in the 2014 General Election. Turnout among the nearly 1.8m registered blacks in the 2014 midterm was 41.5%.
And here’s turnout of registered Hispanics in the 2014 General Election. Turnout among the 1.9m registered Hispanics in 2014 was just 31.1%.
Contrast minority turnout in Florida in 2014 with white turnout, by age. of the nearly 8.5m registered white voters in Florida in 2014, 51.5% cast ballots in the November election.
If Democrats–from Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum on down–are going to win in Florida, there needs to be massive GOTV to mobilize younger minority voters to the polls.
The following analysis comes from an extensive database my team and I have put together. It combines individual-level information of Florida voters (including where they were born) with precinct-level results.
The following graph plots precinct-level results. The size of the precincts are scaled to the total votes cast in a precinct in the 2016 General Election. The Y-Axis is vote two-party share for Trump and Clinton. The X-Axis is the proportion of Hispanic voters in the precinct who are Cuban-born. Each precinct has at least 100 Cuban-born voters and at least 50% of voters were Hispanic.
As the LOWESS curves reveal, as the share of voters who are Cuban-born Hispanics increases, Trump’s share of the two-party vote steadily increases, intersecting with Clinton’s share of the vote around 42 percent of Cuban-born Hispanics, but then peaking at roughly 55 percent of the vote when the proportion of Cuban-born Hispanic voters reaches roughly 50 percent.
Although Trump won more than 60 percent of the two-party vote in a handful of these majority Hispanic precincts with a prevalence of Cuban-born voters, in Miami-Dade Precinct 335 (Hialeah), where 60 percent of the Hispanics who cast ballots were Cuban-born, Trump won less than 45 percent of the two-party vote.
Working on fumes, so this will be quick.
One day (“Souls to the Poll”) of Early-in-Person voting still to tabulate, and thousands more Vote-by-Mail ballots still to make it to election offices by 7pm on Tuesday, but we’re headed for record turnout in Florida.
Over 6.1m votes already cast, rapidly approaching the 8.5m tallied in 2012.
So, with Election Day voting still to come, the Big Q is , which party has cannibalized voters who waited 4 years ago, until Tuesday, November 6, 2012 to vote, by getting them to vote early in 2016?
Let’s start with the parties first:
So far, of the 2.43m Democrats who’ve voted early, 76% voted in 2012. This includes slightly more than 1/2 million Dems who in 2012 waited until Election Day to cast their ballots.
Of the 2.40m Republicans who’ve cast their lot through this am, 79% voted in 2012, including 558k who voted on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.
Of the 1.16m No Party Affiliates who’ve already voted in the Sunshine State, only 60% voted in 2016, but the plurality of the 2012 voters cast their ballots on Election Day.
So, Republicans are cannibalizing their 2012 likely voters at a slightly higher rate than Democrats, and both parties are drawing in their likely voters at a much higher clip than NPAs.
Flipped upside down, this means that NPAs who stayed home in 2012 are coming out a a much higher rate than the partisans.
None of this surprises me.
What is notable is that nearly 1/4 Republicans who have already cast their mail or in-person ballots in 2016 waited to vote on Election Day in 2012, whereas it’s only slightly more than 1/5 Dems and NPAs who voted on Election Day in 2012 who have already voted. That means there are more votes (raw and percentage) to be had by Clinton than Trump as the final GOTV push occurs on Tuesday.
I don’t feel like writing up the Race/Ethnicity & Age & Gender cannibalization rates right now, but suffice to say, they ain’t pretty for The Donald.
As a tease, I’ll leave you with this tidbit: So far, 36% of the 907k Hispanics who have voted in 2016 didn’t vote by any method in 2012. That’s a full 12 points higher than whites, and will likely be the key to who wins the presidency.