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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Absentee votes cast so far spell trouble for David Jolly



As of Wednesday, Pinellas residents had cast more than 64,000 absentee ballot votes in the special election to succeed the late C.W. Bill Young. Of those, 42 percent came from Republicans and 39 percent from Democrats, so you might think this is good news for Republican nominee David Jolly.

Wrong. Democrats and Republicans alike have predicted Republicans would have a significant turnout advantage in Congressional District 13, probably by at least seven percentage points.That Republicans have only a three point advantage at this point has to be troubling for Jolly.

Consider that in 2012, Republicans turned in nearly six percent more absentee ballot votes than Democrats in the district. That was a presidential year where the Obama machine had a huge get-out-the-Democratic vote effort.

Jolly allies think 2010 is a more comparable year, but if so Republicans should be even more worried by the early vote so far, where 42 percent has come from Republicans and 39 percent from Democrats. In 2010  (the district lines were slightly but not significantly different), Republicans accounted for 46.4 percent of the nearly 112,000 absentee votes cast and Democrats 35.4 percent.

Obviously, we don't know how any absentee ballot voter has voted, but our recent Tampa Bay Times poll found Sink peeling off twice as many Republicans - 16 percent - as Jolly was winning Democrats. That makes Jolly's narrow edge in early votes so far even more problematic for him.

[Last modified: Friday, February 21, 2014 10:14am]


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