Update: As of Monday night, (counting through Sunday), the GOP advantage with absentee voting has grown to five points.
Saint PetersBlog reports that one of the trends that had been worrying Republicans in tomorrow’s special House election in Florida — the partisan breakdown of absentee ballot returns — has reversed itself and may in fact be on its way to exceeding expectations. The gap in favor of Republican David Jolly in his race against Democrat Alex Sink had been only two points as of a week ago, below the expected four points. Now it’s up to four points, and it will probably grow today and tomorrow:
At this point, the GOP has increased its returned-ballot advantage by more than two points from a week ago. And it would appear, based on Friday’s returns, that the gap will only continue to increase. Of the approximately 3,200 ballots which were returned on Friday, 53% of them came from Republican voters, with just 29% coming from Democrats.
In other words, the GOP surge got surgier on Friday.
In three previous elections in 2012 and 2013, the day before Election Day and Election Day itself see the most early ballots returned. It’s not certain this will be the case in the CD 13 special election, but if it does, the GOP could extend its returned-ballot lead even further.
This could be easily explained by a vigorous and successful push by Dems to get their people’s absentees in as early as possible — a good strategy, but one that might obviously create a misleading impression that Sink is running away with the race.
Then again, you never know for whom those absentee voters are actually voting. Republicans in D.C. seem to be trying in advance to produce excuses for a loss, which is not a good sign. It’s been a very expensive race, and it’s likely to be very, very close tomorrow night.
h/t Jim Geraghty, who also provides a general rundown of the race.