2018 Election Center
One Million Vote-By-Mail Ballot Threshold Broken

The latest data from the Florida Chamber’s Early Voting Dashboard shows that as of this morning, 936,413 vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots have been returned for a 28.4 percent total return rate. However, this number does not include ballots in the mail, and the one million ballot official count will be updated sometime later today. Expected returns are in the 2.2 million range.

The leading counties for non-party affiliated (NPA) voter returns are Broward, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Lee and Pinellas Counties, accounting for roughly 45 percent of all NPA returns so far. This is notable because it means that NPAs in conservative areas like Lee are returning ballots. Older blue collar NPA voters are a key part of the Trump coalition that DeSantis must turn out.

Republicans will go into early voting with a 6 percent advantage on Democrats, which is under their historical norm. Just like in 2016, the question is whether the Democrats have shifted their early and Election Day vote in favor of VBM.

Fast Take on macro factors: Under-30 year olds account for just 3 percent of VBM returns. Return rates are less than 2 percent in counties most impacted by Hurricane Michael. Republicans account for 44 percent of returns (-4 percent from 2014) and Democrats 38 percent (+3 percent from 2014)