Saturday, November 15, 2014

Voter Turnout Anomalies in Florida's 2014 Gubernatorial Election.


Issue:   Florida decided the 2000 election and could be pivotal in 2016.  The 2016 governor’s election was fascinating for a number of reasons.  

The Democrats nominated a Republican.  Not surprising Democratic turnout was low.   There were documented reported of voter intimidation in Miami Dade, a Democratic stronghold.



Polling stations went offline in Broward County another Democratic stronghold.   The Campaign of Charley Crist asked a court to extend voting hours so that voters affected by the glitch could vote.   The court turned down the request.






Questions:   How did turnout change from 2012 to 2014 in Florida Counties that went for President Obama compared to Florida counties that went for Governor Romney in 2012?   Discuss the potential causes of the decline in voter turnout in these two counties?   

How did turnout decline in Miami Dade and Broward counties compare to the rest of the state?   Discuss potential issues related to the decline in turnout in these two counties?

Answer:  

Below I show that the decline in voting was larger in Districts that went for President Obama than for districts that went for Governor Romney.


Declines in Total Voting 2012 to 2014 by County Type in Florida
Counties won By Obama
4,232,423
2,808,617
-33.6%
Counties won by Romney
4,241,756
3,142,250
-25.9%


Democrats were deflated and did not go to the polls nationwide in 2014.   However, the decline in Democratic participation was larger in Florida than in other states.  See my post of voter turnout in Colorado.




But the issue of depressed turnout is only part of the story in Florida’s 2014 Governor’s contest:


·      Obama won 67 percent of the vote in Broward County in 2012 and 62 percent of the vote in Miami Dade.  

·      Together Broward and Miami Dade amounted to 19.3 percent of the total voting in Florida in 2012.

·      Broward and Miami Dade accounted for 25.5 percent of the decline in voting between 2012 and 2014.


The declines in voting in the two Democratic strongholds were disproportionate to decline in voting in other parts of the state. 

The decline in voting in Broward County and Miami Dade are anomalous.   These declines are much larger than declines in other parts of the state.   These unusual numbers cannot be exclusively explained by the general decline in turnout among Democrats in 2014.


Crist probably would have lost this election had voter turnout in Broward and Miami Dade not been so exceptionally low but it would outcome would have been thin.

The voting irregularities that occurred in Florida in 2014 would appear strange in a third world country.   The Broward and Miami Dade numbers are true outliers that would be flagged in any statistical outlier detection model. 

Given what happened in 2000 and the strange numbers of 2014 I have very little faith the 2016 election in Florida will be clean.
  


County
County Share of 2012 Vote
% Obama
Decline in Total Number of Voters 2014-2012
Share of Voter Decline
Gadsden
0.3%
70.1%
4,905
0.2%
Broward
8.9%
67.2%
287,592
11.4%
Osceola
1.3%
61.9%
40,239
1.6%
Miami-Dade
10.4%
61.6%
356,913
14.1%
Leon
1.8%
61.3%
40,232
1.6%
Orange
5.5%
58.7%
158,742
6.3%
Palm Beach
7.1%
58.2%
181,327
7.2%
Alachua
1.4%
57.9%
42,271
1.7%
St. Lucie
1.5%
53.5%
34,042
1.3%
Hillsborough
6.4%
52.8%
170,172
6.7%
Pinellas
5.4%
52.2%
105,868
4.2%
Jefferson
0.1%
50.5%
1,503
0.1%
Monroe
0.5%
49.7%
10,561
0.4%
Volusia
2.8%
48.9%
58,681
2.3%
Madison
0.1%
47.9%
2,356
0.1%
Duval
4.9%
47.8%
141,846
5.6%
Hendry
0.1%
46.6%
3,489
0.1%
Seminole
2.5%
46.2%
63,851
2.5%
Polk
2.9%
46.1%
56,739
2.2%
Pasco
2.5%
46.0%
52,877
2.1%
Flagler
0.6%
45.9%
12,739
0.5%
Sarasota
2.4%
45.8%
46,039
1.8%
Hernando
1.0%
45.2%
19,698
0.8%
Manatee
1.8%
43.3%
33,946
1.3%
Brevard
3.4%
43.1%
63,842
2.5%
Charlotte
1.0%
42.4%
17,569
0.7%
Desoto
0.1%
42.3%
2,358
0.1%
Marion
1.9%
41.4%
41,540
1.6%
Lee
3.1%
41.4%
55,883
2.2%
Hamilton
0.1%
41.2%
1,689
0.1%
Lake
1.8%
41.0%
38,301
1.5%
Glades
0.0%
40.2%
969
0.0%
Okeechobee
0.1%
39.4%
3,430
0.1%
Escambia
1.8%
39.2%
50,582
2.0%
Citrus
0.9%
38.5%
15,618
0.6%
Indian River
0.8%
38.5%
18,963
0.8%
Martin
0.9%
38.2%
17,661
0.7%
Highlands
0.5%
38.0%
10,467
0.4%
Putnam
0.4%
37.2%
8,614
0.3%
Wakulla
0.2%
35.3%
3,105
0.1%
Jackson
0.2%
35.1%
5,835
0.2%
Collier
1.8%
34.7%
35,509
1.4%
Hardee
0.1%
34.1%
1,835
0.1%
Franklin
0.1%
33.7%
1,169
0.0%
Levy
0.2%
33.3%
5,104
0.2%
Sumter
0.7%
32.3%
5,323
0.2%
Columbia
0.3%
31.2%
8,790
0.3%
St. Johns
1.4%
30.7%
28,309
1.1%
Taylor
0.1%
30.3%
2,445
0.1%
Liberty
0.0%
28.7%
612
0.0%
Bradford
0.1%
28.6%
3,092
0.1%
Gulf
0.1%
28.3%
1,939
0.1%
Bay
0.9%
27.6%
22,821
0.9%
Calhoun
0.1%
27.0%
1,965
0.1%
Suwannee
0.2%
26.9%
4,854
0.2%
Clay
1.1%
26.7%
28,454
1.1%
Dixie
0.1%
25.9%
1,582
0.1%
Washington
0.1%
25.6%
2,743
0.1%
Nassau
0.5%
25.3%
9,836
0.4%
Union
0.1%
24.8%
383
0.0%
Okaloosa
1.1%
24.7%
33,639
1.3%
Gilchrist
0.1%
23.8%
1,946
0.1%
Walton
0.3%
23.4%
8,081
0.3%
Santa Rosa
0.9%
23.1%
23,541
0.9%
Baker
0.1%
20.3%
2,924
0.1%
Lafayette
0.0%
20.2%
801
0.0%
Holmes
0.1%
15.3%
2,561
0.1%



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