It’s not looking good for Hillary Clinton in the critical battleground state of Florida.
In early voting, about 48,000 more Republicans than Democrats have already voted in the state’s “First Coast” region, encompassing five counties around the city of Jacksonville.
Not only do Republicans lead Democrats, but over 40,000 independent voters have already cast a ballot – that’s almost one in five unaffiliated voters in the counties of Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns. One third of registered GOP voters have already cast ballots and 28 percent of Democrats have already voted.
The fifth county- Baker County – doesn’t release its vote totals online.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that looking at the state as a whole, Democrats are lagging behind:
Four years ago, Democrats led by about 13,000 in ballots cast at this point, whereas today Republicans lead by nearly 9,000 votes. The great news for Hillary Clinton/lousy news for Donald Trump is that the Hispanic vote has soared—as in nearly 100 percent—since four years ago. The bad news for Clinton/good news for Trump is that African-Americans and millennials are voting considerably lighter—so far—than four years ago.
“Right now, the GOP is ahead of where I thought they would be – albeit not by a lot,” Democrat Steve Schale wrote in his excellent analysis of where stuff stands. It doesn’t mean Trump or Clinton is winning – nope, it means it is a dog fight for turnout. So if you want your candidate to win, go to the local field office and get to work.
For the first time in six weeks, Trump today leads in the RealClearPolitics.com average of Florida polls, 44.8 to 44.3 percent.
Ryan Tyson, vice president of political operations for Associated Industries of Florida, said AIF’s polls have consistently shown Clinton narrowly leading Trump in Florida by an average of 3%, but the votes cast early and by mail to date show lower than expected participation with groups that are key to her winning in Florida.
“The pivotal demographics that were the cornerstone for how President Obama won by .9 percent, or 74,000 votes, was strength in turnout by African-Americans, millenials and Hispanics,” Tyson said. Hillary has never enjoyed the same level of enthusiasm as the President did with these groups. I wouldn’t say Democrats are sweating bullets today, I would say they’re hoping for better weather down south and thinking, ‘We’ve got work to do these next eight days.’ ”
Recent polls in the Sunshine State are mixed. Two polls show Hillary Clinton leading Trump by one point and two others show Trump leading by four points.