Home News BREAKING: Florida Dems open up 302k vote-by-mail enrollment advantage

BREAKING: Florida Dems open up 302k vote-by-mail enrollment advantage

by Paul Goldberg

In a new memo, Juan Peñalosa, executive director for the Florida Democratic Party declares “Democrats now have a 302,000-voter lead in vote-by-mail enrollments.

Later in the memo, Peñalosa writes:

Vote-by-mail enrollment numbers spell trouble for Republicans in 2020 at the top of the ticket as well as down ballot.

The enrollments are a result of tens of thousands of volunteers making calls, sending mail and text messages — and this level of volunteerism indicates an enthusiasm for Biden and Democrats which should worry the Florida GOP.

In addition, the change in voting patterns and the fact that a large number of Democrats who are not traditional voters are enrolling into vote-by-mail indicates that not only is there enthusiasm on behalf of volunteers and the grassroots, but also enthusiasm to vote on the behalf of Democratic voters.

Voting pattern changes also benefit Democrats as vote-by-mail voters tend to vote all the way down the ballot helping the record number of Democratic candidates who filed to run for office this year. Republican voters move away from vote-by-mail means the Florida GOP is going to be responsible for a massive increase in voters they need to turn out on election day.

There are more than 100 days until people begin voting in Florida. With Democrats doubling down on voteby-mail, the Florida Democratic Party expect that the 300,000-vote margin in vote-by-mail enrollment will only grow. This spells trouble for Republicans on Election Day.

Politico reports Democrats have opened up a 302,000-voter advantage over Republicans in vote-by-mail enrollment, an edge that could pay big dividends in President Donald Trump’s newly adopted must-win state.

Five months before Election Day, more than 1.46 million Democrats have signed up to vote by mail compared to 1.16 million Republicans, according to an analysis of state Division of Election data released Friday. By comparison, in 2016, Democrats held an advantage of about 8,800 in vote-by-mail enrollment.

The reason for the success is twofold. Democrats have put heightened emphasis on getting more people to cast ballots from home, an effort that preceded the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. And Trump has demonized this type of voting so much that Republicans, who once dominated mail-in ballots, are souring on it.

Florida’s vote-by-mail enrollment gap is among a number of warning signs for Trump, who carried the state by fewer than 113,000 votes, or 1.19 percentage points, four years ago.

Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has led in every public poll in the state over the past two months by an average of 4.6 points, similar to Hillary Clinton’s margin over Trump in 2016 during the same period. Democrats have a 2-point lead over Republicans in the number of registered voters as of April 30, state data show.

Juan Peñalosa, executive director for the Florida Democratic Party, called the vote-by-mail numbers “striking.” In a memo, he pointed out their importance in a state where elections often are won in the margins.

Peñalosa marveled at Trump’s “insane” success in dampening GOP enthusiasm for mail-in voting because it has worked so well for Florida Republicans.

“They’re going to have to turn out more people — maybe 300,000 more voters — on Election Day,” Peñalosa said in an interview. “They haven’t had to turn out that many more voters in one day in more than a decade that I’ve been in Florida.”

Any registered voter in Florida can request a mail-in ballot up until 10 days before an election, a policy put in place nearly 20 years ago in the wake of the chaotic 2000 presidential recount.

Signing up for a mail-in ballot doesn’t guarantee that a voter will send it in. But more than 90 percent of Republicans who asked for a ballot in 2016 returned it, compared to 87 percent for Democrats, according to GOP pollster Ryan Tyson.

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