Florida voters have turned out in big numbers during early voting in this year’s midterm election. Entering the final day of early voting nearly 5 million voters, 4,817,062, to be exact, have already cast a ballot in the Sunshine State. That’s almost as many who cast ballots in the last midterm election in 2014 which was 6 million.
Nearly 2.5 million of those ballots were cast at early voting site across the state, while more than 2.3 million were mailed in. That’s based on numbers compiled by the state Division of Elections through Sunday morning.
Republican voters hold a slight edge in the number of ballots cast thus far. More than 1.96 million Republicans have submitted ballots, compared to nearly 1.94 Democrats. The block of voters that could play a significant role in the outcome of this year’s election, independents, have cast more than 883,000 ballots.
The focus for the campaigns now centers on working to motivate their bases and encouraging their supporters who have yet to vote to head to the polls. Democrats turned to singer Jimmy Buffet Saturday night who held a concert in Palm Beach County for Democrats Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum, who are running for U.S. Senate and governor, respectively.
President Trump returned to Florida to motivate his base to turn out at the polls for Gov. Rick Scott, who’s trying to unseat Nelson in the Senate contest, and Ron DeSantis, who is seeking the governor’s seat.
Trump appeared at a rally in Pensacola, where he told supporters that Gillum and Nelson would be bad for Florida.
“Gillum will tax and regulate your jobs into oblivion and Gillum wants to abolish ICE, can you believe that?” Trump asked the cheering crowd. “He wants to flood your cities with criminal aliens … when you have people camping out on your front lawn remember Gillum. That’s what will happen. People will come in if you don’t have those borders.”
Polls indicate the races for the U.S. Senate and governor are tightening with two days remaining in the election. Real Clear Politics, which provides an average of the polls taken to date, shows Nelson up by just 1.4 in the Senate race. In the race for governor, Real Clear Politics shows Gillum with a 2.6 percent lead. Essentially, both races are toss ups as the candidates spend the next couple of days trying to motivate their supporters to cast ballots and be counted in Tuesday’s election.