Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Lots of statistics

As you can imagine there’s been a real drive by Democrats to register more people to vote in Florida. In 200/ if there’d been one more vote cast for A3 Gore in each precinct (roughly equivalent to a council ward, say of 5000 voters), he’d have been elected President.

Be warned – a blizzard of statistics now follows…

In 2004 in Miami-Dade county there were 1 million registered voters, including 453,000 registered Democrats, and 368,000 registered Republicans. This is out of a population of just under 3 million, but that includes children and people who aren’t entitled to vote, e.g. illegal immigrants, visitors and felons.

Fast forward to 2008….

There are now 554,000 registered Democrats in Miami-Dade county, cf. only 382,ooo registered Republicans. So - you do the math, as we say in the US of A. The Republicans have added 14,000 registered supporters since the last election; the Democrats have added more than 100,000. (There’s been a bit of controversy about this, in particular the role of a not-for-profit company called Acorn, but neither the time nor the inclination, nor indeed the knowledge, to dwell on that at the moment. The Democrats say it’s been stoked up by their opponents, that’s all I really know).

Bear in mind this is only one of 67 counties in Florida, and the rest of the state is more Republican; it was always Democrat – or ‘Dixiecrat’ – until the civil rights era, when the segregationists jumped ship to the Republicans. In 2004, 409,732 people voted for John Kerry in Miami-Dade county, out of a total 3.58m voting for him in Florida.

In Florida – i.e. the state - there are now 4.72m registered Democrats, and only 4.06m registered Republicans. There are 2.5m registered as independents. (Some people choose not to register a preference for a political party; we were told this is in part because some people choose to vote for the person rather than a party – and certainly the TV ads for the Congressional candidates didn’t even mention which party they were standing for. But also, we were told that the older Cubans in Florida are staunchly Republican but their children are less so; they may well vote Democrat, but aren’t going to let their parents know that by registering as Democrat supporters.)

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