The press continues its attempt to drive a narrative by ignoring the data.
In the days running up to our blessed release from this election cycle there is a supreme amount of focus on the state of Florida. Both candidates regard this state as a linchpin to winning the election and the media have been doing their best to swing things in favor of Joe Biden. Polling has been their preferred tool of influence.
If you have paid any mind at all to this topic here you have seen our resident expert on polling, Scott Hounsell, explaining the flaws and problems with these measurements. In the Sunshine State you can get a sense of how the press wants to tip the scales in the way they cover the polls. When Trump is shown to have a lead the journalists look into the factions in order to sell a rosy Biden story. They claim he is gaining with retirees, and they tout the wide lead he holds with Hispanics, while ignoring the large gains Trump has made with that demographic from the 2016 election.
But as we saw during that infamous vote tally the voters do not act in accordance with the polls. Florida also defied convention during the 2018 midterms. As the news was filled with the talk of Democrat Blue Wave that year Florida actually became more Red, taking the legislature, the governorship, and even gaining a Senate seat in D.C. This is the first time Florida has two GOP Senators since the 1800s.
Another sign of media cheerleading comes from Politico. That outlet grudgingly reports how GOP voters are turning out in impressive amounts, the headline declaring that Republicans are ‘’crashing’’ the early voting at the polls, like uninvited party guests. This appears to be bothersome, and it is revealing, something that indicates the polls are skewed.
Politico refers to the Democrats’ early vote lead as ‘’historic’’, which I suppose is technically accurate. The early mail-in voting is a new development in Florida, so any result was bound to be historic, and as that was a largely Democratic voting push it was inevitable the postal tally would favor that party. But the Republicans are showing up in person already, and this is why the Dems and the media are nervous.
As they look at the early turnout the results are not encouraging. The black turnout at this point has been shown to be below that of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and that demographic is supposed to be Biden’s foundation of support. For this reason President Obama has been dispatched to campaign on behalf of Biden here. He was giving a stump speech on Tuesday, tellingly held in Orlando. The surrounding counties of the resort town are Blue, filled with Puerto Rican communities, so to see the former President working in the area is telling how they see a need to shore up their base, rather than motivate new voters.
Elsewhere the early vote figures are revealing. Dave Wasserman offers up a list of the counties which have shown the highest turnouts in early voting.
FL counties w/ highest turnout of registered voters so far:
1. SUMTER: 58%
2. Collier: 55%
3. Martin: 50%
4. Lee: 47%
5. St. Johns: 46%
6. Nassau: 46%
7. Indian River: 46%
8. Monroe: 45%
9. Charlotte: 45%
10. Sarasota: 45%
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) October 25, 2020
The noteworthy part is these are all GOP strongholds. In 2016 Trump defeated Hillary in all ten of these counties, most by a margin of nearly 2/1.
There is more indicating strength on the GOP side. In Broward county the early vote numbers are favoring Democrats, as expected, but the GOP performance is the noteworthy detail. As local political outlet Red Broward has recorded, the numbers do favor Dems, but the GOP activity has strengthened as the days moved forward.
Understand that Broward is such a Blue enclave that it could be colored like the Chicago Bears helmets. To see GOP energy in this area is revelatory, and it shows a sign of the activity seen in other areas of the state.