Republicans Hold Lead in VBM Returns, Early Voting as Primary Day Approaches

The latest data from the Florida Chamber’s Early Voting Dashboard shows that total returned vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots are near one million, with 973,343 ballots returned. Early voting totals have increased nearly 50,000 from yesterday's message, reaching 282,405 votes. However, total turnout still remains below 10 percent.

Republicans are leading in VBM returns and early voting, making their total ballots cast 586,978 versus 523,425 for Democrats. While Republicans are leading Democrats by nearly 61,000 votes in VBM returns, it is much tighter in the early vote, with Republicans edging out Democrats by less than 3,000 votes.

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Early Voting Doubled Over Weekend, Partisan VBM Return Gap Continues

The latest data from the Florida Chamber’s Early Voting Dashboard shows that total returned vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots have reached nearly 922,800, while nearly 223,700 people have early voted. Total turnout is nearing nine percent.

The early voting tally more than doubled over the weekend. On Saturday morning, 71,500 had early voted already. When Monday afternoon's numbers came in, 162,612 voters had cast their early ballots. 

The patisan return rate gap continues for VBM, with Republicans turning in 39 percent of requested ballots while the Democrats have turned in 32 percent. 

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Voters Holding on to Their Ballots Longer Than in 2016

The latest vote-by-mail (VBM) numbers from the Florida Chamber's Early Voting Dashboard show that total returned ballots have reached nearly 750,000 - however, returns are lagging behind the 2016 primary (non-presidential).

When looking at the numbers 13 days out from the primary in 2016, there had been 815,369 ballots returned. This year, Florida had returned nearly 137,000 less ballots 13 days out from the election despite the fact that ballot requests are higher than in 2016.

In 2016, Republicans had returned 395,411 ballots while Democrats had returned 312,952 13 days out from the primary. In 2018, Republicans have returned 315,642, a decrease of 79,769 from 2016, while Democrats have returned 268,653, a decrease of 44,299 from 2016.

It appears that voters are holding onto their ballots longer, possibly due to the high number of people who are undecided in key races.

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Republicans Pass More Than 30 Percent in VBM Returns, Democrats Continue to Lag Behind

The latest vote-by-mail (VBM) numbers from the Florida Chamber's Early Voting Dashboard show total ballots returned at 678,479, with Democratic returns still lagging behind Republicans by a significant margin. Republicans have returned 30.8 percent of requested ballots while Democrats have returned 24.8 percent.

Democratic women continue to turn in ballots at a much higher rate than Democratic men, showing that VBM is popular among that demographic. In fact, of requested ballots, Democratic women lead the way with 681,744 ballots compared to 555,246 among GOP women, 465,918 among GOP men and 390,103 among Democratic men.

Voters over 70 are dominating the return numbers with 48 percent of ballots returned, despite making up only 20 percent of the electorate.

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"Blue Wave" Stagnant as GOP Outpaces Democrats in Ballot Returns

The latest vote-by-mail (VBM) numbers from the Florida Chamber's Early Voting Dashboard show nearly 65,000 ballots were turned in yesterday, bringing the total ballots returned to 641,228, or more than 24 percent of ballots requested. Nearly 1 in 20 eligible Florida voters have already returned a ballot.

The "Blue Wave" doesn't appear to have materialized yet as Democratic voters continue to lag behind Republicans in VBM returns. Republicans have returned nearly 300,000 ballots while Democrats have returned just over 250,000 ballots.

For Republicans, VBM turnout could account for 15 to 20 percent of total GOP ballots cast by election day. We should see a rapid acceleration of turnout as early voting kicks in throughout this week.

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Grandma Accounts for 40 Percent of All VBM Returns To Date

The latest vote-by-mail (VBM) numbers from the Florida Chamber's Early Voting Dashboard show that VBM returns are steadily rising as the 2018 primary nears, with more than 577,000 ballots returned.

Women over 60 are turning in their ballots at a higher rate than any other demographic. Despite only accounting for 33 percent of total ballots requested, women over 60 account for almost 40 percent, or more than 235,000 ballots, of all returns to date.

Overall, women continue to outpace men, especially Democratic women who are returning VBM ballots at a 23 percent higher rate than Democratic men.

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Women Are Ahead of Men in Vote-By-Mail Returns

The latest vote-by-mail (VBM) numbers from the Florida Chamber's Early Voting Dashboard show that VBM returns rose to 491,236, or nearly 19 percent of all requested ballots.

Voting by mail appears to be more popular among women, particularly Democrats. There are 681,744 Democratic women with requested ballots as compared to 555,246 GOP women, 465,918 GOP men and 390,103 Democratic men.

When it comes to turning in their ballots, women from both parties have been more proactive. Democratic women have returned 113,972 ballots while Democratic men have turned in 70,622. GOP women have turned in 116,544 ballots while GOP men have turned in 106,406.

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Are Voters Waiting to Make Their Primary Election Choices?

The latest vote-by-mail (VBM) numbers from the Florida Chamber's Early Voting Dashboard show that returns spiked by more than 50,000 ballots from Tuesday to Wednesday.

However, it appears that voters are still sitting on their ballots longer than the 2016 election cycle. In 2016, more than half of VBM ballots were returned within 14 days of mailing. This year, most voters have had their ballot for more than 14 days, with about 30 percent of ballots being returned to county supervisors.

The takeaway?

Voters are waiting to make their choice.

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Republicans Expand Lead in Vote-By-Mail Returns

The latest vote-by-mail (VBM) numbers from the Florida Chamber's Early Voting Dashboard show that more than 390,100 VBM ballots have been returned, with a 15.15 percent return rate and a 3.02 percent overall turnout rate.

Republicans have widened their lead in VBM returns with GOP voters returning 18.3 percent of ballots while the Democrats have returned 14 percent. This is the largest gap between the party returns since returns started.

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Over 1 in 5 Florida Voters Have Requested a Primary Election Ballot

The scale of vote-by-mail (VBM) is still not fully appreciated among many observers.

Right now, over 1 in 5 Florida voters have requested a ballot for the primary election. Looking more closely, in 11 counties, over 1 in 4 voters have requested a ballot.

The population of VBM requestors skews older, with 56 percent of requestors over 60, compared to just 37 percent of the total voter population. As a result, the counties with the largest retirement populations lead in VBM requests and returns.

Nearly 328,600 ballots have been returned.

The Florida Chamber’s Early Voting Dashboard is your interactive digital resource providing the latest on early voting performance statewide, in each county, and in House, Senate and Congressional races.

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