Tags: | florida | early | voting | scott | crist

GOP Lead Slips in Florida Early Voting

Image: GOP Lead Slips in Florida Early Voting
A sign points to the early voting station setup at the Government building in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 04:01 PM

Republicans continue to hold an advantage over Democrats in Florida's early in-person voting, but their lead is slipping slightly, reports The Tampa Bay Times.

As of Thursday morning, about 2.4 million Floridians have cast early or absentee ballots and, the GOP current leads Democrats by 140,123 votes, which is down from the 141,363 vote margin registered Wednesday.

The early and absentee ballots are not counted until Election Day, but both parties base the estimates on the breakdown of who is casting ballots.

The tightening of the Republican margin is a result of more Democrats and Independent casting ballots, says Adam Smith, the Times' political editor.

Both Republicans and Democrats are placing their own spin on the results so far, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune.

Democratic strategists point to 2010 when Republicans held a larger advantage before Election Day, but Scott only managed to eke out a win.

For their part, Republicans point to the 2012 election when the strong registration effort led by Barack Obama's campaign led to a high number of early votes. They contend that kind of get-out-the-vote success will not be replicated this year.

Adding to the uncertainty heading into the campaign's final days is the difference in two polls released today.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, which endorsed Scott, released a survey of likely voters which gave Scott a 44 percent to 39 percent lead over Crist.

In that poll, Scott also leads Crist by 47 percent to 42 percent among Floridians that have already voted and in all age categories 40 and above.

However, the latest Quinnipiac poll has Crist in the lead 43 percent to Scott's 40 percent as a result of a boost in support from independent voters. Adrian Wylie, the Libertarian candidate garners 8 percent of the vote, and 9 percent said they were undecided.

In Quinnipiac's last poll released on Oct. 22, the race was in a dead heat with Crist and Scott both at 42 percent.

Crist increased his support among Independent voters. In today's poll, Crist gets 47 percent of the Independent vote, compared with 41 percent last week. Scott is down from 38 percent to 29 percent in the latest poll.

"Independent voters are often the difference in swing states like Florida, but the size of former Gov. Charlie Crist's lead among them is truly remarkable," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Ironically, Brown says Crist's decision to shift his political affiliation from Republican to Democrat "branded him as the kind of less political politician with the most important voter group."

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Republicans continue to hold an advantage over Democrats in Florida's early in-person voting, but their lead is slipping slightly, reports The Tampa Bay Times.
florida, early, voting, scott, crist
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2014-01-30
Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 04:01 PM
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