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29% Have Already Voted in Flagler; Trump and Clinton Hold Commanding Poll Lead in Florida

| March 14, 2016

trump clinton florida poll

But their fate in Ohio is less certain.

The last major poll in Florida before Tuesday’s primary election shows Donald Trump maintaining a seemingly insurmountable 2-1 lead over Marco Rubio, and Hillary Clinton maintaining a similar lead over Bernie Sanders.

But the word “before” must be qualified: almost a third of voters have already cast ballots in Flagler County and a quarter have cast ballots in St. Johns, with similarly buoyant early-voting numbers across the state.

For Marco Rubio, who so far has won only one state (Minnesota), one territory (Puerto Rico) and the District of Columbia, losing Florida will mean the end of his campaign.

Among likely Republican voters, Trump leads Rubio 41-25, with leads in every category. Ted Cruz gets 14 percent and Ohio Governor John Kasich 10 percent. Among likely Democratic voters, there is no gender gap: women back Clinton over Sanders 60-35 percent and men back her 60-33 percent.

The last Quinnipiac University poll before Tuesday’s primary was completed Sunday evening and surveyed 615 likely Republican Floridian voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Quinnipiac surveyed 519 likely Democratic voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. Florida’s winner will take all of the state’s 99 delegates in the first of numerous winner-takes-all primaries.

Ohio, too, is winner-takes-all. There, the Quinnipiac poll found Kasich and Trump tied with 38 percent each, with Cruz at 16 percent and Rubio at 3. Clinton is barely ahead of Sanders in Ohio, 46-41, placing her lead just outside the margin of error.

A huge number of voters have already cast ballots in early voting and with absentee ballots.

In Flagler County, early voting ended Saturday, after eight days of early voting, with 9,516 voters casting ballots, and another 6,143 voting by mail. The total of 15,659 votes already cast, out of 53,500 registered Democrats or Republicans (the county’s 20,500 independents may not cast a ballot) represents a turnout of 29.3 percent.

In comparison, in 2012, when only Republicans had a presidential primary, a total of 9,416 voters cast a ballot, representing a turnout of 46.6 percent among Republicans at the time. Of those, just 1,661 voted early, and 1,149 voted by mail. Clearly, early voting and voting by mail is gaining popularity.

The numbers are disproportionate in one way: almost twice as many Republicans voted as Democrats, a reflection of the Trump effect to a degree. If the Democrats’ Sanders was to generate similar excitement in Florida, the numbers have not borne that out.

A closer look at Flagler County’s early voting patterns this year shows that Grand Haven, once again, has the most engaged voters–the gated community generally has the highest turnout in every election–with 41 percent of eligible voters there casting ballots either by mail or in early voting. Palm Coast’s older, central section (the Palm Coast Community Center) and St. Mary’s Catholic Church on South Old Dixie Road are next, each turning out 37 percent of their eligible electorate.

The least interested voters so far are in precincts 1 and 2, in Bunnell and West Bunnell, even though Bunnell has a municipal election on this ballot, with three candidates (including two incumbents) vying for two seats on the city commission. The two precincts turned out 16 and 19 percent of their eligible voters. Bunnell has notoriously had poor turnout at elections.

The Floria House passed a bill that would have required cities like Bunnell and Flagler Beach to change their elections schedules and force them to match up with major elections in an effort to improve turnout. The bill did not pass the Senate, however, and died.

Late Monday afternoon, the News Service of Florida reported that Pam Bondi, the attorney general, who had initially backed Jeb Bush for president before the former Florida governor dropped out, praised Trump for his outspoken style and endorsed him.

“People today are looking for leadership, the kind that Mr. Trump offers, that’s unafraid to tell it like it is and will do something about renewing America’s strength and greatness,” the News Service reported, quoting a statement Bondi released through the Trump campaign. “We have been friends for years, and I know his family personally. I’ve seen first-hand how he leads, and how he cares deeply about the people of this country.”

10 Responses for “29% Have Already Voted in Flagler; Trump and Clinton Hold Commanding Poll Lead in Florida”

  1. anonymous says:

    I dont care about presidential election. Um not voting.
    I am voting for the local officials and try to clean up palm coast.

  2. Layla says:

    Even if he loses, Rubio will stay in the race. If the GOP are going to try and broker this convention and attempt to keep Trump from the nomination, they will need both Rubio and Kasich to remain in the race.

    Just think of the money all those major donors are spending on those two… Stealing an election costs BIG MONEY!

  3. Cruz2016 says:

    If you don’t vote, are you going to be one of the people who complain about the president?

  4. The other geezer says:

    I feel the voting totals won’t be completely accurate. My husband and I,plus friends weren’t able to vote due to a “closed” election.What this means for people from northern states ,you can’t vote as an Independent if no Independent is running.Makes no sense to me.If you also decide to change your mind of who you want to vote for,make sure you meet the deadline to change your affiliation.For instance ,if candidate A and candidate B are running,and you want candidate B but its the day before you vote,you change your mind and want candidate A,stay home because you can’t vote because you are crossing party lines.That’s how it is.Just stay home,don’t vote for someone you no longer want to vote for.

  5. Flagler Resident says:

    I can’t figure out why ANYONE would vote for “Ronald Mc” Donald Trump. He is the biggest clown I’ve ever seen.

  6. I/M/O says:

    Florida is a given for Donald Trump.

    The other news today is the polls in Ohio show he has closed the gap with Kasich and has now taken the lead.

    Kasich announcing “I Love Illegals and will give them legal status in my first 100 days as President” has had a very bad effect on the Kasich campaign.

    Eton Corporation announcing they are leaving Ohio for Mexico isn’t helping him either.

  7. PCer says:

    Trump winning in the primaries gives the general election to Hillary. Trump voters won’t budge and will stick with him – but many Republicans will switch to Hillary, go to a 3rd party candidate, or will not vote at all. Bernie’s voters will move over to Hillary and will vigorously go for the non-Trump vote. Hillary will win in 2016. Thanks GOP for the clown car politics.

  8. Instigator says:

    Don’t understand the Hillary love. Is she the lesser of two evils? So you will vote for a serial liar? She just said, “The US didn’t lose a single person in Libya” under her watch. Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods could not be reached for comment.

    Holy smokes, what in the heck is wrong with this world? God help us!

  9. Swizz says:

    Flagler Resident, I can’t tell you why people will vote for Trump. I can tell you why I voted for Trump. I’m sick of polished politicians reading canned speeches from teleprompters. I’m sick of the same false promises. I’m tired of the backroom Washington deals and politicians that are obligated to big money supporters and lobbyists. When I see the Republican’s upper brass orchestrating secret meetings and forming superpacs to spend millions of dollars to stop a candidate. When I hear of other country’s tyrannical leaders getting worried about the possibility of a Trump presidency.. It makes me think we might be on to something. One thing’s for sure, I couldn’t support anyone on the democratic side.

  10. Knightwatch says:

    So, I’m guessing that Trump supporters, in their paranoia, are willing to back a racist, xenophobic and bigoted bully because the Republican Party establishment disavows him. Let me ask his followers — does that make him less racist, xenophobic and bigoted, and less of a bully?

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