Since I posted here on Election night that Clinton won I owe some explanation.

It was sent during a canvass near the VT border in NH – I got a couple of texts from Floridians from Hillsborough and Broward from former legal protection colleagues.

Tampa decides Florida.  We won Tampa, and the Broward margin looked great.

I posted at 7:47.

No way we lose.  I felt relieved – my precincts in NH were behind 2012 by a good margin.

But the suburbs of Tampa I missed.  And it was there Florida, and the Presidency would be lost.

I wasn’t in any position to update – I left the vote canvass (ie the vote count) when completed and went immediately to Concord. And by the time I had finished the hour drive it had all gone to hell.

Pasco County.   Just north of Hillsborough.  The text came at 8:03.   The people in the text chat I was in all knew what it meant: doom.

Here is why:

  1. Obama margin: -14k
  2. Clinton margin: -52

Clinton runs 9 points behind Obama. Turnout explodes.

As Steve Shale documents well, it presaged the collapse of the white vote in the exurbs.  The pattern would be repeated.

Moments later Pinellas (St Pete) – which Kerry carried in 2004
Obama 2012: +26K
Clinton 2016: -6K

Polk County came 8:17

  1. Obama -17K
  2. -40K

Obama: 46%, Clinton 41%

Sarasota about 10 minutes later

  1. Obama -15
  2. Clinton -26

Clinton ran behind Obama by 10 points.

And finally Hernando, about 45 miles north of Tampa.  Obama lost by only 7K, and won 45% of the vote.  Clinton ran 11 points behind Obama, and lost the County by 27K

Total Change in Margin from the 5 counties surrounding Tampa: -122K
Total Florida margin: -114

There were other changes.  On the other end of I-4 Clinton ran far behind Obama.

But the counties I mention are not rural counties, but not urban either.  These are home to subdivisions. Sarasota is upscale and rich.  Polk home to Lakeland – cracker country. But Obama had won 46% of it by piecing the African American and Hispanic communities together and holding his own elsewhere.

I have never been more hopeful about American politics as when I looked at Polk post 2012. In the hardcore redneck precincts a black man fought Romney to a near draw. These are places with gun racks in the back of the cab of the pickup. Obama didn’t win them – but he was competitive.

The future seemed obvious: increasing Hispanic vote would finish the tide begun in 2008

But for the dream to live the margin in places like Polk and Pasco had to be reasonable.

It was the that last part that collapsed.  The decline in the margins in some precincts are frightening – as high as 20 points.  

Steve Schale’s own analysis – he did targeting for Florida for Obama is here.
http://steveschale.squarespace.com/blog/2016/11/14/florida-2016-in-the-rearview-mirror.html

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