A surge of early and absentee voters
Take a muddled Republican presidential field, toss in a pocketbook issue like property taxes and what do you get? Turnout! Seven percent of Florida voters have already cast early or absentee ballots in next week's presidential preference and property tax election. In a state with a history of lackluster turnouts that's a pretty impressive number, and the polls won't open for several more days. Nearly 100,000 people have voted so far in Miami-Dade County alone, according to the county's election web site.
In addition, early turnout numbers indicate that 10-percent of voters not affiliated with either party are showing up to register their opinions about Amendment 1, the property tax. "It's good for democracy," says Democratic strategist Steve Schale. Steve Bousquet's report is here.