As polls open, Democrats hold 90,000 ballot lead out of 6.5M
As polls opened across the state Tuesday, Florida was tearing up the voter turnout record books on the way to setting an all-time high for participation in a statewide election. More than 6.5 million voters had voted, a majority of the state's electorate of 12.9 million, and far more than any other state.
Democrats had cast more ballots than Republicans -- but not by much -- and the level of interest in the election suggests anything could happen on Tuesday. Democrats held a 90,000 advantage in ballots cast over Republicans (about 2.6 million to 2.5 million) with unaffiliated and minor party voters making up the rest).
It's a historic election in Florida and especially in Miami-Dade, which will shed its unwelcome image as a laggard in voter turnout, as will its neighbor to the north, Broward.
As voting began on Tuesday, 768,873 ballots were in in Miami-Dade, equal to 56 percent of voters and almost 90 percent of the entire turnout four years ago -- an unprecedented level of enthusiasm before Election Day. Broward's early turnout was 52.6 percent, also well above the statewide turnout average of 50.6 percent.