Q&A of the Day – Florida election trends
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1
Today’s entry: Brian, what were you going to say before you got cut off about when the polls are tied in Fla and who usually wins?
Bottom Line: Saturday was the first time I’d been back in a professional studio for TV appearance since February. Ironically, the camera system I’d ordered all the way back in March to improve the Skype sessions I’d being doing from home during the pandemic finally came just over a week ago. I used it for exactly one BBC World News election show. Best laid plans... Anyway, Saturday's appearance on Fox News was all about Florida and that’s what brought about this question. At one point, I illustrated the best sampled poll of the previous week was the USA/Suffolk poll (which I addressed in Friday’s Q&A) and was getting ready to make a comment regarding what polling ties in Florida usually result in. That’s where I was stopped and transitioned to a different topic. So, to answer your question...
When polls are tied in Florida on Election Day Republicans usually win. That’s been the longer-term trend. If you look at the top of the ticket race statewide going back to 2014’s cycle here’s the performance of the Republican candidate relative to the final polling averages:
- 2014: Rick Scott – Outperformed polls by 1.7%
- 2016: Donald Trump – Outperformed polls by 0.8%
- 2018: Ron DeSantis – Outperformed polls by 4%
Out of the three highest profile statewide elections in Florida since 2014, Republicans have outperformed the polls in all of them with an average outperformance of about 2% on Election Day. In baseball, the rule is that the tie goes to the runner. In Florida, the runner is usually Republican. The average undecided voter (often NPA’s) tend to be slightly right of center in Florida. That’s been a growing trend, along with the continuation of improved voter registration for Republicans, going back to 1980 (with Democrats currently holding their lowest advantage in voter ID since Florida began tracking in 1972). With that said, I am especially interested in seeing how the late registering voters in Florida broke. As of now the most recent registration data is through August. We still don’t know the official breakouts on those who registered in September or through last Tuesday’s extended deadline yet. I’ll update you once we have that info.