Who is voting in Florida
The presidential election in 2022 had the highest turnout in recent history at 72% of eligible voters and 77% of registered voters. The epic reelection campaign of President Trump and the fight of former Vice-president Biden resulted in an 8 million vote plurality for Biden, but many very close state races for electoral college votes.
Voting patterns in 2022 were interesting as 41% cast mail in ballots, 39% voted early and 17% voted on election day. Fifty-three percent of Democrats voted by mail which let to cries of fraud and many Republican states adding new restrictions to the mail ballot process. Republicans voted 34% by mail and it will be interesting to see the impact on their numbers in the next election.
The off-year elections show an interesting pattern from 2014 to 2022. Many state and local elections take place then with congressional terms renewed but turnout is always less than presidential years. The Florida pattern for 2014, 2018 and 2022 was pretty consistent across different demographics, lowest in 2014, significantly higher in 2018 and dropping in 2022. The percentage of eligible voters for whites (47.5; 57; 54.2), non-whites (40; 45.6; 41) and 18-29 year-olds (22.1; 33.1; 26.7), and overall turnout (44.8; 52.6; 49) showed a consistent drop in the last election.
What strikes one looking at these data is that many local and state issues and races are decided by a minority of voters in many off years. And these voters tend to be whiter and older, even though many of the ballot issues and electors will be making decisions that affect the younger generation for years to come. The challenge of the future is how to get younger voters to the polls (which many Republican states are making it harder to do) and how to get candidates for office that they find attractive enough to get them involved in the political process. A tough job indeed when the media is paid for by those who benefit from the status quo and apathy or chagrin about the constant political dog-fights is most commonly heard.
Who will speak for the next generations is the both the question and the challenge.