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Republican Ballots Lead in Florida Early Voting

Republican Ballots Lead in Florida Early Voting

By David Byler - October 29, 2014

Republicans lead Democrats, 45 percent-38 percent, in the tally of early voting and absentee ballots in Florida, according to the Miami Herald

Democrats hold a slight edge over Republicans in the former, 42 percent-41 percent, while Republicans have a significant lead over Democrats in the latter, 46.2 percent-36.5 percent.

The results are a promising sign for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for re-election against Charlie Crist -- a Democrat who served previously as a Republican while governor and then ran for Senate as an Independent). The RCP polling average shows Crist ahead of Scott by 0.5 percentage points -- a virtual dead heat.

Republicans lead in the overall tally by roughly 143,000 votes cast -- a significant but not decisive edge. In the 2012 presidential election, Democrats led Republicans in early voting, 43 percent-40 percent, but saw that margin shrink to a razor thin 50.0 percent-49.1 percent win for President Obama.

Nearly 2.2 million Floridians have either voted early or turned in absentee ballots, which is a significant portion of the likely electorate. Almost 5.4 million Floridians cast votes in the 2010 gubernatorial election (in which Scott won his first term) and close to 8.5 million Sunshine State residents voted in the 2012 presidential election.

Floridians still have time to vote early or send in an absentee ballot. Early voting is open through Saturday and absentee ballots must be received by Election Day. More votes are likely to come in during that time.

David Byler is an elections analyst for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at dbyler@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidbylerRCP.

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