As of Friday, 3,258,034 votes had been cast in Florida. Registered Republicans had nearly 20,000 more votes cast than registered Democrats. The James Comey letter came out on Friday, and there are fears that it will change the dynamic of the election.
Did it affect early voting in Florida?
It’s hard to say, but here are the numbers after a weekend of voting in Florida. A little over 5 million votes have now been cast in the state. That’s probably around 50 percent of the overall expected vote. As of 7 a.m. this morning, registered Republicans have cast 8,537 more votes than registered Democrats.
In other words, the Dems made gains on the GOP over the weekend. However, they typically make gains on the GOP over the weekend because the Dems do better with in-person voting while Republicans do better with mail-in ballots. At this point in the election in the previous to election years, the GOP had much larger leads than they do now heading into election day.
So, that’s good news. It’s still a very close race.
The other factor to consider, again, is that while registered Republicans have 8,537 more votes than registered Democrats, not all Republicans are breaking toward Trump. According to polls last week, Trump gets around 80 percent of the Republican vote while Hillary gets about 90 percent of the Democratic vote.
If that percentage holds in Florida, then Hillary Clinton actually holds around a 295,119 vote lead over Donald Trump. Additionally, Democrats have 71,000 more outstanding mail-in ballots than Republicans (in other words, of all the mail-in ballots requested, there are 71,000 more from Democrats that haven’t been mailed in than from Republicans).
That’s great news. The wrinkle is that there are 3.7 million votes from voters not affiliated with either party, and we don’t know how independent voters break down in Florida. Right now, polls suggest that independent voters are tilting toward Donald Trump (and if this surprises you, then you’ve clearly never read a weird news report out of Florida. Those people are crazy). The question is, how far are they tilting toward Donald Trump?
We don’t know, but based on early voting and the latest polls, it looks like Florida is definitely going to come down to the wire. Let’s just hope that it’s not a decisive state, otherwise we could be looking at Gore v. Bush all over again.