TAMPA – Today is a big day for the United States. The 2018 Midterm elections are in full swing as voters pack the polls. Record-shattering voting is already being measured in many states and the final results are sure to surprise every citizen in some way or another. As of 12:00pm, Tuesday, Florida is one of the closest watched races.
Early voting in Florida during this midterms election almost doubled from 2014 totallying 5.1M votes, Democratic votes casting the majority at 40.6% of ballots, Republicans 0.5% behind and independents consuming 19.3% of the vote. In other words, 11% more citizens voted this time around than in 2014 and some publications are projecting Florida voter turnout will exceed the 2016 presidential election.
Florida is a dependably purple state during election seasons, or at least it was until 2016. The total amount of voters increased from 2016 to today by 300,000 and the Republicans took a whopping 35% of those new registered voters where Democrats cultivated only 5%, the rest registering as independent. Further research shows the demographic of these new voters is not as young as expected, averaging between 27-42 years of age. Also, Florida launched an online voter portal and registrar that saw a 1,700% increase in applicants, jumping from 3,700 apps in 2017 to nearly 77,000 in 2018.
There are two major seats up for grabs. One Senate seat and the governorship. Both have led fiery campaigns and held fast to the respective party lines.
Up for Senate is incumbent Senator – (D) Bill Nelson who would be serving his 4th term if re-elected and he is running against current Florida governor – (R) Rick Scott. Polling is within the margin of error but favors Nelson by 2.4% on average.
As for the governorship Congressman (R) Ron DeSantis is running a pro-Trump campaign focused on working with Washington to help Floridians against Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum who is invigorating his voting base with “medicare for all” and higher teacher pay. Polling favors Gillum on average at 3.6% within the margin of error.
The counts are starting and it is sure to be a late night for Floridian voters. If we have learned anything from 2016 it’s that polls can be misleading and the only way to ensure your voice is being heard is to go and vote. To find your polling location click HERE.