Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Some Election Morning Photography

Instead of taking my daily bike ride at 4am, I decided to leave about 6:30 and see how things looked at "my" polling place as voting was set to begin (in Florida, poll hours are 7am-7pm). I got there about 10 minutes before 7.

This isn't all the signs, of course, just a sample that fit nicely into a photo. There were some signs for Democratic Party candidates ... but none for Hillary Clinton. On the presidential level, only Trump had signage there.

On one hand, west of Gainesville to the Gulf Coast -- rural Alachua County and all of Levy County -- is generally GOP territory (while I was out and about last night, I saw last-minute Trump signs springing up, a guy driving a pickup truck down the road flying a giant Trump flag, etc.).

On the other hand, this particular area is smack in the middle of upscale university city suburbia, so I'd expect it to be something of a Democratic island. I haven't looked at prior presidential election returns for the area, and frankly the area is in enough flux with new developments, etc., that I'm not sure they'd tell me anything. But I'd say it's telling that Democratic sheriff Sadie Darnell and Democratic congressional candidate Ken McGurn and Democratic state senate candidate Rod Smith and Democratic state legislature candidate Marihelen Wheeler have signs up at that place and Hillary Clinton doesn't.

Ten minutes before the polling place opened, there were more than 20 people lined up to vote. I've definitely seen longer lines, but in Florida nearly half of the state's voters had already cast their ballots by yesterday in early voting. I'm guessing that with lines at 6:50am on election day too, Florida will beat its 2012 turnout of 72%.

How did the early voting play out? Hard to tell. As the Miami Herald story linked above notes:

  • Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.6 million Democrats and 2.5 million Republicans voted early this year -- a party affiliation differential of less than 100,000 votes. In 2012, that differential was twice as large in favor of the Democrats. Advantage Trump.
  • On the other hand, early voting turnout was higher in Miami-Dade (55%) and Broward (52%) counties, Democratic strongholds, versus the rest of the state (49.5%) -- also a reversal, as those two counties usually lag the state in turnout. Advantage Clinton.

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