Nearly one-fifth of Florida’s electorate already voted

Oct 29, 2008

South Florida Sun-Sentinel–October 28, 2008

By Aaron Deslatte
Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer


With the presidential election still a week out, nearly one-fifth of Florida’s electorate has already cast ballots. And Florida Democrats are claiming they’ve got an edge over Republicans among the more than 2.3 million voters who have already cast ballots.

The state Democratic Party said Tuesday that 53 percent of the nearly 1.2 million early voters were Democrats compared to 30 percent who were Republicans.

Of the 1.1 million absentee ballots returned so far, Republicans have a 49 percent to 35 percent advantage over Democrats, the party said. That adds up to give Democrats an overall 44-39 percent edge in ballots cast.

Democrats have been buoyed this year by stretching their overall registration lead to 657,000 voters, even though Republicans in recent contests have proven more adept at getting their voters to the polls.

Republican Gov. Charlie Crist went so far as to congratulate Democrats for expanding their lead among the state’s total of 11.2 million voters, although he didn’t sound convinced Tuesday that it would translate to a ground shift in the state’s politics.

“What it means depends on turnout, obviously,” he said. “You can have great registration but you need great voter turnout to compliment the registration effort. Only time will tell.”

He also heaped praises on John McCain, saying, “As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing, I think he’s going to take Florida.”