Florida Republicans’ turnout beat Democrats — except among young voters

67.5 percent of GOP voters cast ballots.
Published Dec. 21, 2018|Updated Dec. 21, 2018

In Tampa Bay, 67.5 percent of Republicans turned out for the midterm election, beating Democrats by about 6 percentage points, according to data released this week by the Florida Division of Elections.

Democrats’ turnout rate in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties was 61.2 percent. Only 43.4 percent of unaffiliated voters cast ballots.

The new data set allows more granular looks at turnout in the general election, which Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis won by razor-thin margins.

Though data from some counties — including Broward and Palm Beach — were incomplete, 50 counties, or 77 percent of the state’s registered voters, were represented.

Tampa Bay largely mirrored the rest of Florida. Republicans’ turnout rate was about 68 percent, compared to 60 percent for Democrats.

It has been known that turnout levels this year were astronomic — the highest for any Florida midterm election since 1994. (The state only looks at active voters in determining its published rates — this week’s data also show inactive voters.)

The GOP turnout rate outpaced the Democratic rate in 49 of the 50 counties — the lone exception was Alachua, home to Gainesville and the University of Florida, where 66 percent of Democrats cast votes, compared to 63 percent of Republicans.

Voters 25 or younger were the only age group that leaned left, where young Democrats turned out at a higher rate than young Republicans: 45 percent of registered Democrats who were 25 or younger on election day voted; 41 percent of Republicans did.

But overall, turnout levels increased with the voter’s age, as usual.

Florida 2018 election turnout rates by age and party

Age DEM REP Overall
25 and younger 45% 41% 37%
26-35 45% 45% 39%
35-54 67% 73% 65%
75 and older 65% 75% 69%

Women voted at slightly higher rates than men: 59.9 percent to 59.9 percent. The rate for white, non-Hispanic women was particularly high, at 63 percent.

Among black, non-Hispanic voters, there was a large gender gap. Black women’s turnout rate was 61 percent, compared to 51 percent. Black women already dramatically outpace black men in the pool of registered voters, in the state with the highest felony disenfranchisement rate — and where convicted citizens skew black and male.

Hispanic voters turned out at lower rates — 50.2 percent of registered women and 46.5 percent of men cast ballots.