Florida Election 2014 Takeaways: Youth Vote Surged, Cubans Continue Shift to Democratic Party
Last night's election results didn't look a lot different from 2010's election. Rick Scott snuck out a small but definite win over his Democratic opponent, but if you look at the exit poll data you will notice some shifting allegiances in Florida's electorate even if it didn't make much of a difference to the end result.
For one thing, young voters will show up to a midterm election when pot is involved -- though, they may vote for a third-party candidate. Cubans continue to shift to the left. And Scott supporters seem really concerned with racial issues and illegal immigration.
The Youth Vote Surged Compared to 2010
Fourteen percent of the electorate yesterday was between the age of 18 and 29. That's a huge surge compared to 2010 when just 8 percent of voters were between 18 and 29. However, that's slightly down from the presidential election year of 2012, when the share was 16 percent.
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The odd thing is that in 2010, 59 percent of young voters chose Democrat Alex Sink. This year, just 52 percent backed Charlie Crist. It's not that they liked Scott. A whopping 8 percent of them voted for a third-party candidate, likely Liberterian Adrian Wyllie (though the poll doesn't specify), compared to just 2 percent who voted for someone else in 2010.
The reason for the youth vote surge: Medical marijuana. Seventy-nine percent of young voters voted "yes" on Amendment 2.
The Cuban Vote May Be Shifting but It Still Differs From Other Hispanics
Apparently, for the first time, exit polls differentiated the Hispanic vote in Florida by Cuban and non-Cubans.
The takeaway: Cubans are in fact becoming cautiously more Democratic, but they still vote quite different from Florida's non-Cuban Hispanics.
Hispanics Turned on Scott, but They Still Don't Show Up For Midterms
In 2010, Hispanics made up just 12 percent of the electorate and voted for Scott at a rate of 52 percent.
Yesterday, the electorate was 13 percent Hispanic and backed Charlie Crist at 58 percent.
The problem: Hispanic turnout is still considerably down compared to presidential election years. In 2012, 17 percent of Florida's voters were Hispanic.
Obama-Haters Turned Out in Mass, and Voted For Scott, Duh
Charlie Crist did well amongst those who strongly or approve approve of President Obama's job handling. That's not much of a surprise.
He also narrowly won amongst those who "somewhat disapprove" of Obama, 48-46. That's somewhat of a surprise, considering Alex Sink lost that group 40-57 in 2010.
But he was trounced by those who "strongly disapprove" of Obama. Scott won that group by 85 percent, and that group made up 41 percent of the electorate.
Scott Voters think Race Relations Have Gotten Worse
You can go ahead and read between the lines on that one.
Sixteen Percent of Floridians Think That Illegal Immigration Is the Single Biggest Issue Facing America Today, and They Voted for Scott
Again, there's some lines to read between there.
Crist's Party-Hopping Hurt Him
Sixty percent didn't buy the story of his political evolution.
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