Was there a Blue Wave or Red Wave in the Florida Primary?

Ft. DeSoto Photo by Laura Meacham Keane

Maybe a ripple more than a wave.

3,558,241 people voted in Florida’s primary on Tuesday, August 28. That is 27.43% of the 13,013,657 registered voters in the state. This does not include all of the provisional ballots. That is a higher turnout than the last three midterm primaries, when Floridians elect their governor [2014: 18%, 2010: 22%, 2006: 20%]. But not as high as 2002, with a 29% voter turnout. That was a race mainly between Bill McBride and Janet Reno for the Democrat’s nomination.

About 1.5 million people voted in the Democratic primary for governor race, choosing Andrew Gillum. About 1.6 million people voted in the Republican primary for governor race, choosing Ron DeSantis, though 21,155 more Republicans than that voted in the Senate primary race.

Voters registered as Independent, No Party Affiliation (NPA), or with a small party, could vote in a handful of elections on the ballots.

In 2014, about 61.4% Floridians were registered to vote. This year the number is 61.1%. No wave there.

What happened locally?

In Hillsborough, 219,118 people voted, out of the 837,681 registered (26.14%). About 60% of the county population is registered to vote.

In Pasco, 112,366 people voted, out of the 408,221 registered (27.53%). About 66% of the county population is registered to vote.

In Pinellas, 205,490 people voted, out of the 654,447 registered (31.4%). About 67% of the county population is registered to vote.

The highest percentage of voter turnout in a county award goes to Liberty County, with  a 55.3% turnout! 2,415 of their  4,365 registered voters showed up, about 75% voted in the Democrat races, and 25% in the Republican ones. Franklin County did really well too, with a 52.3% turn out, 3,990 of their 7,632 registered voters did their civic duty.

Red vs Blue vs…. clear?

We covered voters registering outside of the two main parties earlier, here.  While registrations for the GOP and the Dems is mainly flat, independent, NPA, and small party voters’ registrations grew. Sean Kinane wrote about an uptick in voters self-identifying as Hispanic in Osceola County (where many fleeing Puerto Rico settled) here. The Sun Sentinel wrote last month that

Florida’s registered voters are 64 percent white, 16 percent Hispanic, and 13 percent black…People born since 1965 — so-called Generation X, millennials and the youngest group, called Generation X or the Hashtag Generation — represent 52 percent of the state’s voters. That’s up 2 percentage points from the 2016 election…Overall, the state’s registered voters are 53 percent female and 45 percent male. (Percentages sometimes don’t add up to 100 because of incomplete data.) 

Conventional wisdom is that because of Florida’s closed primaries, where voters can only choose candidates in their party (unless there is no opposition), candidates that move forward are picked by the party loyalists, and tend to be less centerline. Certainly Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum seem further away from each other than Adam Putnam and Gwen Graham may have been. 

Onward to the general election! Voter registration, or changing party affiliation deadline is October 9, 2018.




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