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.

2016-by-2012-vote-method-party-thru-oct-29

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.

2016-by-2012-vote-method-race-ethnicity-thru-oct-29

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.

Have to laugh at the Florida Division of Elections’ Disclaimer in response to my Blog Post on 3PVROs

I guess I’m glad to see they’re covering their bases….

DISCLAIMER: The Florida Third Party Voter Registration (3PVRO) database is not intended, nor should it be used, as a source for Florida voter registration statistics. The 3PVRO database reflects the cumulative number of voter registration applications submitted by a 3PVRO to the state since the time of a 3PVRO’s registration. Please note that a voter application submitted by a political party does not necessarily translate directly into a voter registered for that party as all 3PVROs must collect and submit registrations regardless of party affiliation.

FDOE’s disclosure is new. It hasn’t been there any of the previous times I’ve grabbed the publicly available data from the Division’s website. Just wondering who might have directed Secretary of State Detzner to have his staff post the disclaimer after my blog post called out the RPOF’s pathetic voter registration efforts.  Any guesses, folks?

 

Equally Dubious of @CNN Exit Polls Showing 16% GOP voters were Hispanic

Again, the math doesn’t add up.  CNN’s exit poll of Florida voters reports that 16% self-reported Republicans who voted in the Florida PPP as being “latino” [sic].

We know that prior to Election Day, of the more than 1.2m registered Republicans who had already voted, more than 86% self-identified as “white” when they registered to vote.  Only 10.3% marked on their voter registration cards that they were “Hispanic.”

It’s stretches the imagination, then, that one in five of the 1.16m Republicans who voted on Election Day (some 254k) were Hispanic voters.  Sure, some 192k Republican Hispanics didn’t vote early in Miami-Dade, but chances are, a few of them also stayed home on Election Day.  Indeed, there were less than 400k Republican Hispanics statewide who had yet to vote on Election Day.  Nearly every one of them would have had to have voted on Election Day in order for the CNN exit poll figure for Hispanic turnout to map out.

With such dubious baseline figures, I’d throw caution to the wind for anyone digging any deeper into the CNN exit poll crosstabs in Florida.  One wonders how far off the exit polls are in the other states that have had primaries?

Very Dubious of @CNN Florida Exit Polls. Let’s Start with the GOP Age Marginals

I will be digging into this some more as time permits. Although I can’t find a link to the exit poll methodology or how weighting was done, I’m assuming CNN drew its sample of 1907 Republicans not only from Election Day voters, but sampled early in-person and called absentee voters who cast ballots ahead of the March 15, 2016 PPP in Florida.

But some quick observations of the marginals…

First, and most glaringly, I am hard-pressed to believe that only 39% of Republican respondents were 60+.  Sure, Election Day voters tend to be younger than convenience voters (early in-person and absentee mail), but my analysis of the statewide voter file and absentee and early in-person voting indicates that of the nearly 1.2m Republicans who voted prior to Election Day, 63.4% were 60+.

So, some simple arithmetic: A total of nearly 2.36m votes were cast by Republicans in the PPP; less than half of the total (roughly 1.16m) were cast on Election Day.  If CNN’s exit poll is accurate, that 39% of Republican voters were 60+, it would mean that 919.9k of the 2.36m Republican voters were in this group of older voters. But roughly 756.9k Republicans 60+ had already voted early (in-person and absentee), which leaves only 163k Republicans over 60 to show up on Election Day.  That would mean that only 1 in 8 of the 1.64m Republican voters who showed up on Election Day were 60+.

That’s just not credible.

This is not the first time I’ve found problems with CNN’s exit polls; its 2014 General Election exit polling breakdown for the age of voters was also way off.

But we’ll know for sure about the accuracy of CNN’s 2016 PPP exit polls in Florida next month.

Latest Look at Last-Minute Registrants in Florida

Floridians wanting to participate in the March 15, 2016 presidential preference primary had until February 16 to either register to vote or change their party registration to Democrat or Republican in order to vote in either closed primary.

Between February 1 and February 16, more than 36k Floridians became newly registered voters during the final run-up to the registration deadline. Roughly one-third of them cast ballots prior to Election Day.  Some 5.4k newly registered Democratic voted (3.4k cast early in-person ballots and 2.0k mailed in their absentee ballots), and 6.1k newly registered Republicans voted (3.7k early in-person and 2.4k absentee ballots).  A smattering of newly registered NPAs and 3rd party registrants also voted before Election Day.

We won’t know until next month if the 24k other newly registered voters waited to cast ballots on Election Day.  We’ll never know (because the state of Florida doesn’t track this) if those who voted, or those who waited until Election Day or didn’t vote at all, opted-in to register at DMV offices or other state or federal agencies that are required to ask voters if they’d like to register. My Ph.D. graduate student, Lia Merivaki, is looking into questions like these in her dissertation. It will be interesting to see if the ongoing implementation of online voter registration across many states (and in Florida, in 2017), or automatic registration (which is already in effect in Oregon and will be in California), will lead to these new registrants voting, or deciding not to exercise their franchise.

If it’s the later, turnout rates will likely take a tip dip due to an inflated denominator of registered voters who didn’t opt when applying for their driver’s license or other services.