#rsrh Comparing Florida results.

First off: congratulations to Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and all other Florida Republicans who won their primaries last night. Time to win some Florida races, folks.

Moving along, given the noteworthy vote disparity between the Democrats and GOP total results last night I thought that I’d take a look at past results and see if anything jumped out at me. Which it has, actually. The 2010 results after the fold are taken from Politico, which unfortunately has the best real-time tracker out there that I’ve found; the past results are from the Florida state government site. I picked 2006 for Governor because it was (obviously) the last election year for one, and 2004 for Senate because there was a contested primary on both sides.

Governor first:

GOV 2006 2010 Increase
Dem 857,814 863,981 1%
GOP 985,986 1,282,998 30%
Dem 47% 40%
GOP 53% 60%

And Senator:

SEN 2004 2010 Increase
Dem 1,152,513 910,698 -21%
GOP 1,165,931 1,253,011 7%
Dem 50% 42%
GOP 50% 58%

A quick look at both tables suggests the following:

  • The enthusiasm gap in Florida is alive and well: there’s roughly a three-to-two ratio of Republican to Democratic voters last night.  The gap is particularly interesting on the Senate side, given that Meek’s race was definitely contested… and yet there was less enthusiasm there than in 2004.  Admittedly, 2004 was a Presidential year, but the Republicans came out in greater numbers in 2010.
  • There were roughly the same number of voters in the gubernatorial and Senatorial primaries.  Compared to 2006, there was an increase in turnout; compared to 2004, there was a slight decrease.
  • Which begs the question: where are the Crist voters?  I think that the answer is “voting in the Democratic primary:” Rubio won too crushingly for them to be present in the Republican primary; again, there were about the same number of voters voting for governor and Senator, so they weren’t voting in the gubernatorial primary while ignoring the Senate primary; and turnout doesn’t suggest that they just stayed home.

Which leads me to make a bold prediction: some time in the next few weeks Crist’s support is going to crater.  By mid-October, he’ll be getting Meek’s pre-primary numbers and the DSCC will be seriously considering sending out ninja after him.  Assuming that they hadn’t already written off yet another Senate race at that point.

Moe Lane


  • IJB says:

    Yeah, what was Carl Cameron just smoking on FNC an hour ago? “Low turnout election”?! In FL?!! What the heck race was Cameron talking about?! “Low turnout”, indeed!

  • Demosthenes says:

    I’m not sure whether Crist’s support or Meek’s will crater. Support will definitely shift one way or the other as the Democrats and left-leaning independents start to realize that they have no chance of avoiding the “Senator Rubio” outcome in a three-man race. Whether it will shift far enough, and whether whoever finishes third manages to hang on to enough support to deny the second-place finisher a chance to move past Rubio…those are the questions. After watching last night’s results come in, I’d say the answers will be “no” and “yes,” respectively.

  • Skip says:

    I suspect that the Democrats will end up coming home to the candidate with the D next to them. For comparison, remember the 2006 Texas gubernatorial election. It was (basically) a 4-way race between Perry, Chris Bell the Democrat, and Kinky Friedman and Carole Strayhorn running as independents.

    Early polling had Bell in third, and within the margin of error of being in fourth. But as the realization set in that Perry was going to coast to reelection, support shifted from the two independent candidates over to Bell. It wasn’t movement from Perry – he started at about 40% in the polls, never moved much from it except on a few outliers, and ended up there.

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