There's a meme that's been going strong on Reddit's Florida page all summer. It shows Rick Scott and Charlie Crist side-by-side with the caption "Giant Douche Versus Turd Sandwich." That South Park reference seemed to resonate especially in Democrat-rich South Florida. As Riptide noted yesterday, local Facebook feeds and Twitter updates were rich with cynical "Why bother?" messages because of the matchup.
Sure enough, Miami-Dade had the worst turnout in Florida yesterday, with Broward not far behind. In a razor-tight election, the result of that voter apathy in those left-leaning bastions became clear by around 10:30 last night: Gov. Rick Scott had won. Congrats, South Florida apathy!
The final returns from the Florida Division of Elections this morning show Miami-Dade clocked in with a state-low 40.67 percent turnout. That's almost 10 percentage points below the statewide average of 50.3 percent, and it's actually a shade under the results four years ago, when Miami registered 41 percent.
Broward didn't vote with much more passion. It finished with a turnout of 43.51 percent (though some absentee ballots are still being tabulated), which was the lowest except for Hendry, Orange, Osceola, and Santa Rosa counties.
Palm Beach nabbed a more respectable 49.11 percent turnout, but it wasn't enough to counterbalance the low motivation in two of the most Democratic-leaning counties in the state.
Look, if you were truly backing Governor Scott -- despite the laundry list of failures as state executive, from openly mocking Sunshine Laws to handing a comically conflict-of-interest-tainted slow-train contract to a company with ties to his chief of staff after turning down federal funds for a real high-speed rail system -- hey, that's your choice.
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A couple hundred thousand people statewide also found a constructive way to critique the matchup by casting a ballot for Libertarian Adrian Wyllie. Also a totally defensible choice.
It's the tens of thousands of voters in South Florida who can't stand Scott but decided that not voting at all was a way to lodge a protest against Florida's Democrats running out an orange retread like Crist that are the truly frustrating constituency in this race.
Because it's crystal clear this morning that that protest was nothing more than a ticket back to Tally for Scott.