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.

Exclusive: Latest Presidential Primary Vote Totals in Florida

As of this morning, which accounts for all early in-person ballots cast through the final day (Sunday, March 13) of early voting as well as all absentee ballots processed by the state’s 67 SOEs this morning, over 2 million votes have been cast ahead of Florida’s 2016 presidential preference primaries.  Roughly 2.038m, to be more precise.

Over 1.136m Republicans have voted, including 657.1k absentee ballots and 479.2k early in-person voters.

Nearly 846.8k Democrats have voted, including 481.1k absentee ballots and 365.7k early in-person voters..

Not surprisingly, Florida’s electorate is old. Over 61.5% of the total votes cast have been by voters over the age of 60.  Less than 6% of the total votes cast (GOP, Dem, and NPA/3rd parties) have cast by voters under the age of 30.

White Republicans over the age of 60 still dominate the GOP presidential primary electorate: over 635k white Republicans have cast ballots, or nearly 65% of the total Republican ballots cast thus far. Hispanics registered as Republicans have cast a total of 117.3k ballots, or roughly 10% of the total Republican votes cast.

On the Democratic side, older white voters also make up a majority of those who have voted in advance of tomorrow’s election. White Democrats have cast 535.9k ballots, or 63% of all Democratic ballots cast thus far.  Of those 535.9k ballots cast by white Democrats, nearly 67% have been cast by voters over the age of 60.  Hispanics registered as Democrats have cast 85.3k ballots (10%), and blacks registered as Democrats have cast nearly 187.0k ballots (22%).

Be very weary of pollsters who haven’t been weighting their early votes (early in-person and absentee) by these figures. They might be heavily #Skewed.

Exclusive: 1.98 million votes cast in Florida; Over 25k Last Minuite Party-Switchers

As of this morning, 1.98m early in-person and absentee ballots have been cast in Florida.  Early voting is now complete in Florida, and these totals include all early in-person ballots cast in Florida (except for those cast in the 9 counties that extended the option to voters today) as well as absentee ballots received as of this morning.

Over 1.125m Republicans have cast absentee and early in-person ballots.  Of the 4.59m registered Republicans (active and inactive), 24.5% have voted.

Over 824.4m Democrats have cast  absentee and early in-person ballots.  Of the 5.05m registered Democrats (active and inactive), 16.3% have voted.

The balance of votes have been cast by NPAs and those registered with 3rd parties.

These early vote totals include last-minute party-switchers and new registrants.

The Democrats picked up more than 4k Floridians who registered in the final two weeks prior to the February 16 book closing and who have already voted in the Democratic PPP primary. But the total also includes nearly 10k registered voters who switched to the Democratic Party in the final two weeks before the cutoff date, including nearly 6.9k NPAs and 1.9k previously registered Republicans.

Republicans picked up more than 4.8k new registrants during the final two weeks who have already voted, but also added 15k previously registered Floridians who switched their party registrations, including 7.7k NPAs.

Is this party-switching registration during the final two weeks prior to the book closing on February 16 evidence of strategic voting?  Likely so. (I’ll be digging into this in greater detail for a forthcoming academic paper).

 

Still awaiting several counties to post Early In-Person tallies for yesterday, but here’s the party and race/ethnicity breakdown

As of Friday morning, nearly 700k Democrats had cast ballots ahead of Florida’s PPP.  Roughly 18% of white Democrats have already voted; less than 10% of registered black and Hispanic Democrats have cast ballots.

On the Republican side of the ledger, over 934k have cast ballots. More than 1/5 registered white Republicans have voted; Hispanic Republicans are also voting in sizable numbers, with 18.5% of those registered having cast ballots.

Another 4.2k voters who registered in the final two weeks before the February 16 registration cutoff have voted, but we won’t know their party registration or race/ethnicity until a later time.

Are #Millennials voting? So far, no sign of them. They have until Sunday in 9 counties to vote early in-person or until Election Day to get their absentee ballots in, or, of course, turn out to their designated precincts on March 15.

Fewer than 5% of Democrats who are under 30 (as of February 1, 2016) have voted. Less than 3% of the more than 326k black Democrats under the age of 30 have voted; a slightly higher percentage of the 170k under 30 Hispanic Democrats have voted, some 4.7%. Nearly 25% of registered Democrats 60 and over have voted, with older black and white Democrats leading the way.

On the Republican side, over 34% of white Republicans 60 and up have already voted. Older Hispanic Republicans are right behind, with 31% of those registered having voted. Fewer than 6% of Republicans under the age of 30 have voted, with younger Hispanic Republicans outpacing younger white Republicans.  #NeverTrump voters, perhaps? If so, it’s less than 5k votes, hardly a counter-punch to rapidly approaching million votes cast by Republicans to date.

 

Florida’s Election Day is a Week Away, but as of this morning, 1.265 million Floridians have already voted. Details:

As I’ve noted, as of this morning:

15.1% of the state’s registered 4.56m Republicans have voted absentee and early in-person ballots.  Around 14.5% of the 511k Hispanics registered as Republicans have cast ballots and 15.5% of the 3.81m white Republicans have voted.

On the Democratic side, 10.8% of the state’s 5.033m registered Democrats have cast early in-person and absentee ballots. Roughly 7.3% of the state’s 1.44m black Democrats, 7.2% of the 757.3k Hispanic Democrats, and 14.2% of the state’s 2.56m white Democrats have voted.

What about Millennials?

Of the roughly 2.31m registered voters under 30 in Florida, 2.3% have voted thus far. Contrast that with the 18.5% turnout of registered voters 60 and over.

Of the 578.0k registered Republicans under 30, 3.9% have voted.

Of the 847.5k registered Democrats under 30, 3.3% have voted.

The reason why voting among the under-30 crowd in Florida is so low is because some 819k voters under the age of 30 are registered as No Party Affiliate, and thus are excluded from the parties’ primaries.