Democrats Got Creamed in the Florida Rural Vote

Surprising Florida Presidential Election Results: I'm not one who follows the Florida county votes, but if I read this right, this chart seems to say that the GOP get-out-the-vote operation worked well statewide. In urban counties they tended to get more new voters than the Democrats; in rural areas they either got Democrats to switch or Democrats stayed home.

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10 Responses to Democrats Got Creamed in the Florida Rural Vote

  1. E-mart says:

    These results seem odd to me. Let’s look at Duval county (Jacksonville, for fellow non-Floridians).

    For context, in the 2000 election, 291,110 votes were cast in Duval County. Bush received 151,832 (52.16%), while Gore received 107,664 (36.98%).

    In 2004, 378,330 ballots were cast. Bush received 218,276 (57.69%), Kerry received 157,624 (41.66%). This suggests to me that, assuming icreases in voter turnout were even between Republicans and Democrats, Independents and Others who had voted for Nader in 2000 broke fairly evenly between Bush and Kerry. If instead, Republican turnout percentages increased over Democratic turnout as compared to 2000, then we actually would have a break among Independents and Others which favored Kerry.

    Now, there were this year 515,202 registered voters in Duval County – 238,264 registered Democrat, 190,111 registered Republican, 70,356 Independent, and 16,471 registered Other.

    73.4% of Duval County registered voters came out and voted. So, from this final turnout, Kathy Dopp says we would have expected Bush to get (0.734*190111) = 139,541 votes from registered Republicans. Bush actually got 218,476 total votes.

    Similarly, we would have expected (0.734*238264) = 174,886 votes from registered Democrats. Kerry actually got 157,264 total votes.

    So let me get this right, Democrats not only had lower turnout percentages, but they also failed to woo independent voters in numbers sufficient to make up for that diminished turnout?

    Let’s play with some numbers. If 100% of Republicans had come out and cast their votes for Bush, that would make up 190,111 of the 378,330 actually cast, leaving 188,219 to be distributed among Democrats, Independents, and Others. Distribute those pro rata among the groups based upon registration percentage, and you get 73.29% of those being Democrats, 21.64% Independent and 5.07% Other. So that’s 137,946 Democrats, 40,731 Independent, and 9,542 Others who came out and voted. Just as I assumed Republicans voted for Bush, I am going to assume that registered Democrats who voted all voted for Kerry. Based upon this turnout distribution, Bush drew (218276-190111) = 28,165 votes from Independent and Other voters, or 56.02% of them.

    Now, let’s say that Republicans got 80% voter turnout among registered Republicans. That would make up 152,089 of the 378,330 actually cast, leaving 226,241 to be distributed among Democrats, Independents, and Others. Distribute those pro rata among the groups based upon registration percentage, and you get 73.29% of those being Democrats, 21.64% Independent and 5.07% Other. So that’s 165,812 Democrats, 48,959 Independent, and 11,470 Others who came out and voted. Again, I am going to assume that registered Democrats who voted all voted for Kerry. Based upon this turnout distribution, Bush drew (218276-152089) = 66,187 votes from Independent and Other voters, or 91.3% of them.

    Note that, as Republican turnout decreases, the percentage by which Bush had to woo the independent vote increases. Indeed, to explain the results, one must assume (a) that Bush courted significant numbers of registered Democrats, or (b) that Democratic turnout percentages were actually much lower than the turnout for Independents and Others, or (c) that Bush courted between 56% and 100% of the independent vote, with that percentage inversely proportional to turnout levels for registered Republicans.

    That doesn’t make sense to me, not in the context of expectations as to how independent voters break, not in the context of actual GOTV efforts, and not in the context of Duval County results as compared to 2000.

    The smaller counties look even crazier. E.g. Hamilton County, 78.9% registered Democrat, but with 66.3% turnout Bush gets more than half the votes? Even assuming 100% of registered Republicans (1139) came out and voted for Bush, that leaves 1647 votes for Bush to come from the remaining electorate of 6032 registered Democrats and 474 independents. Even assuming all independents voted for Bush, that still requires 1173 votes from registered Democrats who voted. Since we’re assuming 100% Republican and Independent turnout, and only 5065 of all 7645 registered voters turned out, that means only 3452 registered Democrats voted. Are you telling me that, *at the very least*, 34% of registered Democrat voters who actually voted in Hamilton County voted for Bush?

    Either there is something wrong with the numbers, there is something wrong with me, or there is something seriously wrong with Florida voters.

  2. Zardeenah says:

    I will never believe the results in either Ohio *or* Florida, since they used “faith based voting machines”. Some people are saying that exit poll results were spot on in paper ballot areas, but strangely up to 5 points off in computer voting land.

    Kerry’s concession means that we will probably never get to the bottom of this, never really pursue the numbers, and at a minimum, tens of thousands of people will never have their votes counted. You’d think, given Bev Harris’s and Greg Palast’s reporting, there would have been more mention of irregularities in voting in Ohio and Florida, but it wasn’t until Fareed Zakaria mentioned TPM at 1 am that viewers of the networks heard anything other than “voting is going really well!”

    I think there is something seriously wrong with the numbers. As Palast said, this election is spoiled rotten, and all the media is doing is putting its fingers in its ears and humming “LALALALA” as loudly as they can.

    Bush isn’t my president, until he can prove it, and guess what? There’s no paper trail, and he can’t!

  3. Riggsveda says:

    Cow patties and psilocybin mushrooms, surrounded by strip malls and cheap, fatty-food squat-and-gobbles. That’s your rural Florida. And for them, I have to give up my due process?

  4. niq says:

    This chart is more misleading than most of the Graphs in the “2004 Economic Report of the President”. I can’t even parse what’s going on; if the GOP makes a gain of 27% of the number of Republicans in Broward county, how is that meaningful?

  5. There’s something wrong with these numbers. They show that counties with 85%+ Democratic registration going Republican, and the same counties went Republican in 2000. Discussion here.

  6. food for thought….

    if every 50th vote for Kerry was recorded as a vote for Bush, it would be virtually indetectible, yet have provided Bush with a 4% edge.

  7. Hmm, now that’s interesting stereotyping there. Nothing but cow patties and mushrooms and strip malls. And yet here I am in a county twice the size of Rhode Island with more agricultural production than most of the 50 states, and we went 60.35% for Kerry.

    Isn’t it simply ludicrous to suggest that the same exit polls we know were wrong 4 years ago are so infallible now as to suggest widespread voter fraud when they’re 5 points off?

    Or is it just sour grapes.

    We lost, people. Now’s the time to realize why, and try to get a real candidate for 4 years from now. I keep hearing Republican talk radio suggesting HIllary’s the best option. And funny enough, the Democrats seem to only want to wander about in a shell shocked daze wondering what happened.

    Eyes on the prize, people. Only 47 months to go.

  8. ej says:

    exit polls in florida, as well as across the country, indicated that citizens voted within their registered parties approximately 90% of the time (i.e. 9 out of 10 democrats voted for kerry, 9 out of 10 republicans voted for bush). but if you compare the florida voter registration data with the results of the presidential election, you will begin to notice that some heavily democratic counties ended up voting in strong favor of bush. just one example:

    calhoun county–
    993 registered republicans
    6879 registered democrats
    3780 (63%) voted for Bush while 2116 (36%) voted for Kerry

    anomalies such as this one occur in counties all over the state of florida. these disparities in data are amazingly large. and i promise you they are not due to the GOP get-out-the-vote campaign. the numbers just don’t add up.

    check the data for yourself:
    registration data by county: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/voterreg/registration.asp
    election results by county: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/FL/P/00/county.000.html

    thom hartmann discusses the various facts pointing to fraud: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm

  9. Calhoun County, yes, is a heavily democratically registered area. Its also a county of only 13,000 people, half of whom arent’ registered to vote, 20% of whom are below the poverty line, and going there feels a lot like stepping out of a time machine set to “Grapes of Wrath.”

    But go look at the entirety of that county’s election results. There was massive turnout of almost 80% across the board, and in a lot of races I can’t imagine anyone bothering to fix, there were matching lopsided republican vote totals.

    And at the same time, in some key local democratic races there was the same lopsided turnout for Democrats, all but requiring a huge Republican swing across party lines. Does that happen in a rigged election? Not so sure…

    Regardless. Even if you could prove massive voter fraud that would’ve swung the election the other way, I have a sneaking suspicion it might not convince the SCOTUS to hand the election to the democratic party. Obviously I have no evidence for that theory, but…well…call it a hunch.

    None of this matters as much as choosing our own candidate in 47 months. The only speculation I even hear on the subject is from the far right scary screaming talk radio 24 hour tv news types. Should we cry over spilt chads for the next four years and let them run the show s’more?

  10. Jim Ginch says:

    I have seen only sporadic mainstream media addressing the anomaly in Florida voting. Dozens of counties whose voter registration is as much as 90% Democrat, going 3-1 for Bush? Then they explain it away saying Florida Democrats have voted Republican for years. I detect the odor of Rattus norvegicus!

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