About 1 million votes already cast by mail in Florida by Friday morning, the Republicans are showing a 17,000-person advantage in returns. That surprising revelation counters much of the negative talk regarding Republican chances this fall — negativity Democrats and the predominantly liberal media are eager to spread.
The state has another 2.1 million ballots out that have not been cast. And early in-person voting starts Monday in some Florida counties.
It’s a surprising turn of fortune for Republicans in Florida, where Hillary Clinton has retaken a lead in polling over Donald Trump.
The early Florida returns could indicate potent enthusiasm for Trump among his base of supporters.
By last Friday 3 million people had voted. “That more registered Democrats have requested ballots and returned them does not signal Democratic victory,” wrote Michael P. McDonald, an associate professor at the University of Florida and curator of the U.S. Election Project for The Huffington Post. “Iowa Democrats typically do much better than they are currently doing.”
McDonald wrote that as of Oct. 16, requested ballots for Democrats were down 42,397 from a similar point in 2012. President Obama won Iowa in 2012.
The Republicans are also closing in on surpassing their past performances in Iowa early returns. McDonald said the GOP was down 14,099 from their point in 2012 on Oct. 7, but down only 2,221 by Oct. 14.
Ohio is another state in which Democrats typically do better than Republicans in absentee voting. But local Republican officials say their Senate race is also helping the presidential race put GOP voters into the ballot booths.
More than 1.28 million ballots have been requested so far in Ohio. Early voting began Oct. 12.
“Based on what we are seeing, Democrats appear to be cannibalizing their base to vote early,” said Brittany Warner, Ohio Republican Party communications director. “Republicans are seeing high interest so far from newly registered voters and low-propensity Republican voters. Democrats appear to have stronger numbers for in-person [early] voting — but that’s always the case, as our base is typically [made up of] Election Day voters.”
CNN noted that the Republican-led Ohio legislature reduced the number of early voting days from 35 to 28.