Elections 2012: State of Play in Florida

With just 10 days left until the election, President Obama stands in a strong position to win Florida’s 29 electoral votes.

TALLAHASSEE – Through Organizing for America, the Obama campaign has been on the ground in Florida since 2009, recruiting volunteers, reaching out to supporters, and building the largest grassroots campaign in history.

Across the state, volunteers and supporters are talking to their neighbors and members of their local communities about President Obama’s specific, achievable goals to help Florida families, strengthen the middle class, and move America forward.


Democrats are building upon the historic grassroots organization we built in Florida in 2008, including our 106 Obama for America offices in every corner of the state. As a result of that strong foundation and enthusiasm for President Obama, today we are on track to keep Florida blue November 6th.

In an attempt to make up for a lack of infrastructure, enthusiasm and grassroots organizing, Republicans are boasting about their numbers on voter outreach – but their lofty assertions rest on shaky ground.

Here are the facts:

1. Democrats have dramatically reduced the Republican Party’s historical vote by mail advantage by 87 percent from +257,690 requests at this time 4 years ago to just +33,530 today.

2. As of today, the number of registered Hispanics has increased by more than 300,000 since November 2008, and only 31,000 registered as Republicans. This means that just 10% of the increase in Hispanic registrations was accounted for by Republicans. The other 90% accrued to Democrats and independents.

3. The African-American, Caribbean-American and Latino registered voter population increased by more than 450,000. To put this number in perspective, note that in 2008, Barack Obama won Florida by 236,450 votes (2.8 percentage points).

So here is why this matters:

As we are witnessing across the nation, the dynamics of the Florida electorate have changed substantially – it has grown more diverse since 2008, and the Latino population has become increasingly Democratic.

As recently as January 2008, Republicans had a 2-point registration lead (R 36 / D 34) among Latinos. Today, Democrats have a 10-point registration lead (D 39 / R 29) among Latinos – a 5 point gain for Democrats and a 7 point loss for Republicans.

Not only have Democrats cut the 2008 GOP absentee ballot request margin by 87%, we have also slashed the 2008 GOP partisan advantage in returned ballots by well over 50%. Furthermore, among those who have cast mail ballots already, 14% are African-American, Latino Democrats or Latino independents – up from 12% at this point in 2008. Latino Republicans have fallen from 7% of mail voters at this point in 2008 to just 5% today.

In a state that is won at the margins, these are significant shifts.

We earned 54% of the statewide independent vote in 2008. We will match that record again this time in part because of our strong support among Latino independents. Furthermore, the growth of Hispanic and African American voters means that we estimate minority voters will make up more than 30% of the vote here up from 28% of the vote in 2008.

These trends, combined with the historic grassroots operation that has been built over the last four years, will carry President Obama to victory in the Sunshine State.

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