White Democratic Election Day (and Early In-Person & Vote-by-Mail) Support for Trump in Florida

In his detailed article today, New York Times Upshot’s Nate Cohn asks the following:

“Is it possible that the registered Democrats who turned out were Trump supporters, and that the Democrats who stayed home were likelier to be supporters of Mrs. Clinton? Perhaps, but our polling suggests the opposite. In our pre-election Upshot/Siena polls, voters were likelier than nonvoters to support their party’s nominee.”

My preliminary analysis from Florida suggests otherwise. Along with my UF Election Sciences team, we painstakingly collected precinct-level election results for Trump and Clinton by method of voting (early in-person, vote-by-mail, and Election Day) from the nearly 6,000 precincts in Florida’s 67 counties, parsed them and cleaned them up, and then merged the presidential results with precinct information gleaned from the Florida voter file. Since we know which method of voting Florida voters used to cast their ballots, we’re able to make lots of different kinds of precise estimates. One goes to the heart of Nate’s question, at least for Florida.

The plot below shows the proportion of total votes cast on Election Day by White Democrats in each precinct, and the vote share for Trump and Clinton won on Election Day.  The horizontal (X-axis) reveals that the range of White Democratic Election Day voters making up a precinct’s total Election Day votes ranges from 0% (e.g., heavily Republican, or Hispanic and Black precincts) to a handful that top 40%.

The precinct dots (weighted by Election Day turnout) and the accompanying lowess fit lines suggest a telling pattern: Trump generally won a greater share of the Election Day vote in precincts where the share of White Democrats exceeded 5% of the total Election Day votes cast on Election day. The greater the share of White Democratic Election Day voters, the greater Trump’s share of the vote.


(This is the identical plot, just with Trump’s precinct vote share overlaying Clinton’s precinct vote share.)


Interestingly, the pattern doesn’t exist for either Early In-Person or Vote-by-Mail votes cast in a precinct by White Democrats (see below), suggesting that some 11th hour surprise (hmmm, I wonder what that could have been, James Comey?), may have influenced the vote choice of White Democrats who waited until Election Day to cast their ballots.

The New York Time’s @Nate_Cohn finds “Turnout Wasn’t the Driver of Clinton’s Defeat,” but in FL, Trump crushed Clinton in precincts that had high turnout and in those where White’s cast greater share of ballots on Election Day

Nate asks, “So how much did turnout contribute to Mr. Trump’s victory? As the party registration numbers and turnout figures by race imply, just a bit. But Mr. Trump won the election by just a bit — by only 0.7 percentage points in Pennsylvania, for example.”

That seems reasonable.

Let’s take a closer look at the precinct results in Florida.

Trump crushed Clinton across Florida’s precincts that had high voter turnout, as the figure below reveals (with the size of the precincts weighted by the total votes cast).  Trump won a greater share of the total votes cast in the smattering of low turnout precincts, but more impressively, in precincts with turnout (of registered voters) that exceeded 75%. For example, he won more than 60% of the total votes cast (which includes write-ins and 3rd party votes) in precincts with greater than 90% turnout.


Trump also crushed Clinton in precincts that had high rates of Whites voting on Election Day. The figure below reveals that Trump won bigly in precincts in which Whites comprised more than 65% of those who waited until Election day to turn out (precinct size is weighted by Election Day Turnout).


So, it appears that that Trump did well in Florida not only in precincts with high voter turnout, but also in those where White voters turned out on Election Day.

More to come…

Hey, @NYTimes, Millennials in Florida are still registering as Democrats

I feel compelled to push back on this New York Times story that ran yesterday.

I’ll leave it to others to analyze party registrations in other states, but in Florida, newly registered millennials are actually as partisan as ever. They are not, as Jeremy Peters and Yamiche Alcindor write, citing a PEW study, “declaring themselves unaffiliated with either party at a rate faster than any other generation.”

Here are the facts:

Of the 650.9k Floridians who registered to vote between January 1, 2016 and September 1, 2016, 221.7k (34%) are between the ages of 18-30.

Of those 221.7k, 24% registered at Republicans, 37% registered as Democrats, and 35% registered as NPAs (No Party Affiliates).

Only 137 of these millennials registered with the Green Party and another 768 registered with the Libertarian Party. That’s less than 1/2 of 1% of the total new millennials.

Compared to the other, older 429.2k who newly registered over the same time period, newly registered millennials were actually MORE likely to register as Democrats. Only 33% of all 30+ newly registered voters registered as Democrats.

So, in short, Clinton may indeed have an enthusiasm gap in Florida, but it’s not the case that millennials in the Sunshine State are “not moving toward the party” as Peters and Alcindor write.

NYT: “Records Raise Questions About Jeb Bush’s 2008 Vote” You be the judge. Here’s John Ellis Bush’s vote history

Not sure why the fascination about Jeb not voting in the 2008 presidential election (http://nyti.ms/18IUxH1 via @NYTPolitics). Here’s the voting record of John Ellis Bush according the the Florida voter file, 1996-2012.

“PRI” “A” 3/12/1996
“PRI” “Y” 9/3/1996
“PRI” “Y” 10/1/1996
“GEN” “Y” 11/5/1996
“PRI” “Y” 9/1/1998
“GEN” “Y” 11/3/1998
“OTH” “Y” 7/29/1999
“PRI” “A” 3/14/2000
“PRI” “A” 9/5/2000
“PRI” “A” 10/3/2000
“GEN” “A” 11/7/2000
“OTH” “A” 4/10/2001
“OTH” “A” 6/12/2001
“PRI” “A” 9/10/2002
“GEN” “Y” 11/5/2002
“PRI” “A” 3/9/2004
“PRI” “A” 8/31/2004
“GEN” “A” 11/2/2004
“OTH” “A” 3/8/2005
“OTH” “A” 4/12/2005
“PRI” “A” 9/5/2006
“GEN” “A” 11/7/2006
“PPP” “Y” 1/29/2008
“PRI” “E” 8/26/2008
“PRI” “E” 8/24/2010
“GEN” “A” 11/2/2010
“OTH” “Y” 3/15/2011
“PRI” “A” 5/24/2011
“GEN” “A” 6/28/2011
“PPP” “A” 1/31/2012
“PRI” “A” 8/14/2012
“GEN” “A” 11/6/2012

Want the Real “New” Voter Registration Numbers in Florida?

Matt Dixon of the Florida Times Union, who I think is a fine journalist, had a piece the other day with the headline: Democratic registration all but dries up since new Florida laws.

The column has been picked up several by several outlets, including the New York Times and Rachel Maddow’s Blog, and it has sparked lively discussions in such outlets as Weasel Zippers, Hullabaloo, and Addicting Info.

But Dixon’s figures, which I discussed earlier today here, are wildly off the mark and completely misleading.

Yes, “new” voter registrations are down in Florida, but nowhere near are they as dire as Dixon’s column suggests.

My collaborator Michael Herron at Dartmouth and I have just crunched the numbers, using data from the Florida Department of State voter files created on April 1, 2012 and April 1, 2008.

According to the state’s official records, more than 155k voters registered as Democrats in 2011.  Slightly less than 138k voters registered as Republicans in 2011.

Not surprisingly, given House Bill 1355’s draconian restrictions placed on third party voter registration organizations (3PVROs), which went into effect on July 1, 2011 and frustrated the ability of groups like the League of Women Voters to sign up new voters, registration figures for both parties were down in 2011 compared to 2007 (28.1% fewer Floridians registered as Democrats in 2011 compared to 2007, and 15.5% fewer Floridians registered as Republicans in 2011 compared to 2007).

But these dampened voter registration figures are nowhere near those published in Dixon’s column.

The bottom line: More than 155 thousand voters registered as Democrats and more than 138 thousand voters registered as Republicans in Florida in 2011.  The numbers are down, but that hardly looks like “drying up” to me.