Early voting numbers favor GOPby Jane Musgrave | November 1st, 2010
For the first time since early voting began in 2004, more Republicans than Democrats cast ballots in the two-week run up to Tuesday’s general election.
According to an analysis by Palm Beach Post writer Adam Playford, Republicans represented 44.6 percent of the 1.089 million voters who cast their ballots at early voting sites across the state that closed Sunday. Slightly more than 40 percent were Democrats and the rest weren’t affiliated with a major party.
Republicans, who have consistentlly lagged in early voting, have said the turnout shows their voters are energized about upsetting the Democrat-controlled Congress and throwing out incumbents.
In 2006, 43.6 percent of those who voted early were Democrats and 41 percent were Republicans. In 2008, with Democrats embracing Barack Obama, voting patterns were far more lopsided. A whopping 52 percent of early voters were Democrats compared with 30 percent who were registered Republicans.
Locally, early voting patterns reflected the political make up of area counties. In Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties, where Democrats outnumber Republicans, more Democrats voted early. In Martin County, a Republican stronghold, the GOP ruled early voting.
Of the 62,762 who voted early in Palm Beach County, nearly 48 percent were Democrats and 32.5 percent were Republicans. In St. Lucie County, where roughly 15,000 people voted, the breakdown was: 46.4 percent Democrats and nearly 37 percent Republicans. In Martin County, about 58 percent of the 12,000 who voted early were Republicans and 25 percent Democrats.