Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Florida primary election results show that GOP voters are fired up

Jim Geraghty touched on this last night, but with the 99% tallies in, it's worth a closer look.

First, let’s look at the Florida Governor’s race, which had two high-profile candidates duking it out in an expensive, brutal primary campaign on the GOP side and a less intense race on the Democrat side.

Republican

Rick Scott 595,484 46%
Bill McCollum 557,455 43%
Mike McCalister 130,059 10%
Total 1,282,998
Democrat
Alex Sink 664,063 77%
Brian Moore 199,918 23%
Total 863,981

An argument could be made that the vote total difference —419,017 —was due to the high profile nature of the GOP campaign.  Rick Scott spent $30 million of his own money; McCollum had the financial support and backing of the party apparatus. But that argument doesn’t hold up too well when you look at the other major statewide races yesterday.  Let’s look at the Attorney General’s race, next:

Republican
Pam Bondi 455,069 38%
Jeff Kottkamp 394,752 33%
Holly Benson 351,508 29%
Total 1,201,329
Democrat
Dan Gelber 486,962 59%
Dave Aronberg 337,633 41%
Total 824,595

The difference between GOP and Democrat turnout in this election is on the same order of magnitude as the Governor’s race, in this case 376,734 votes, as is the total turnout for both major parties.  This was nowhere near as much of a high-profile primary election as the Governor’s race, yet turnout and turnout differential are about the same.

Last of all of the major statewide elections is the Florida Senate primary:

Republican
* Marco Rubio 1,059,546 85%
William Kogut 111,590 9%
William Escoffery 81,875 7%
Total 1,253,011
Democrat
* Kendrick Meek 523,106 57%
Jeff Greene 283,497 31%
Glenn Burkett 59,587 7%
Maurice Ferre 44,508 5%
Total 910,698

In this race the GOP winner Marco Rubio garnered more votes than the entire field of the Democrats candidates, combined,  and the difference between total GOP turnout and turnout in the Democrat race is 342,313.  There was a higher total turnout in this race than the other two, and the difference is less than the other two.  These figures are still in the same neighborhood though, and these three races demonstrate a pretty clear pattern. In the three major statewide races, each shows a similar proportion of Republican vs. Democrat votes in the primary, with vote totals and differences consistent across all three.

There are similar patterns in US House of Representative races as well, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats in a handful of key races.

The only conclusions that can be reached is that Republican voters in Florida are more motivated than their Democrat counterparts, and since primary voters are the ones most likely to return to the polls for the general election, it’s safe to say that Florida is setting up as a 2010 battleground that Republicans look very likely to win, and win big.

All election results come from this site.

Gimme some feedback in the comments.

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