In bellwether Hillsborough, Dems beat GOP in early voting but trend close to 2012
TAMPA — In the critical Florida bellwether of Hillsborough County, 28,000 more Democrats than Republicans have already cast ballots.
But Republicans had a slightly larger jump in early voters compared to 2012 than Democrats did.
In all, 419,667 voters cast mail-in ballots or voted early — 24 percent more than in 2012 — representing half of all registered voters. That’s right: Before polls even open on Nov. 8, 50 percent of registered voters have already collected their “I Voted” stickers.
Among them, 176,393 were Democrats compared to 148,080 Republicans. Another 95,194 independents or people without a party affiliation voted as well.
The latter group actually saw the largest increase in voters from four years ago — 28,027. Meanwhile, Democratic early turnout was up 26,353 from 2012 and the GOP jumped 27,346.
President Barack Obama won Hillsborough County in 2012 by 36,000 en route to winning Florida by less than 75,000 out of more than 8.4 million ballots cast.