Yesterday in part 1 of the path to 270, we took a look at the starting electoral vote scoreboard.

Here is a recap of the “Strong Favors” or states that have been won by 1 party for each of the last 4 Presidential elections.

2016 Starting Scoreboard

Party Strong Favor 270 Shortage
Republicans 175 95
Democrats 242 28


 2016 Contested States

Today, we take a look at all states that are not considered “Strong Favors” for any state.  (CLICK map for larger view)
2016 Presidential Map contested states

 2016 Contested States Detail


Rep Past Wins Possible EV
3/4 31
2/4 75
1/4 15


This is the detail for the map above, color coded by the party that won the race with the margin of victory.   This provides some high level insight into the trends of the states.


ST Rep
IN 3 1.03% 15.50% 11 10.20% 1.03% 20.68% 15.63%
NC 3 0.33% 9.10% 15 2.04% 0.33% 12.43% 12.83%
NE 3 14.93% 28.00% 5 21.78% 14.93% 33.22% 28.99%
CO 2 7.16% 6.52% 9 5.36% 8.95% 4.67% 8.36%
FL 2 1.85% 2.51% 29 0.88% 2.81% 5.01% 0.01%
NV 2 9.59% 3.07% 6 6.68% 12.49% 2.59% 3.55%
OH 2 3.78% 2.81% 18 2.97% 4.58% 2.11% 3.51%
VA 2 5.09% 8.12% 13 3.87% 6.30% 8.20% 8.04%
IA 1 5.22% 0.67% 6 5.81% 9.53% 0.67% 0.31%
NH 1 5.52% 1.27% 4 5.58% 9.61% 1.37% 1.27%
NM 1 8.45% 0.79% 5 10.15% 15.13% 0.79% 0.06%
5.72% 7.12% 121



With a look of the states that neither party dominated in the last 4 years, we can start to make some early, tentative decision of which states will be important for targeting and identifying ‘must win’ states.

Plainly speaking with a base line shortage of 95 electoral votes, we can clearly observe the GOP’s room for error.

Finally, the importance of Florida jumps off the page.

  • Assuming no “strong favor” state flips color in our base analysis in part 1 , if the GOP doesn’t win Florida, there are only 92 electoral votes (EV) left on the board.
  • Or said a different way, assuming no “strong favor” state flips color in our base analysis in part 1, the Democrats are 28 electoral votes from 270, Florida’s 29 EV puts them over 270.

Tomorrow in Part 3, we dive a little deeper and will reconsider our “strong favors”, reconsider the so-called “Blue Wall” and look at possible paths to 270 for the GOP and the Democrats.

The 2016 presidential campaigns are heating up quickly, and the path to 270 or victory for any presidential campaign is going to be very interesting.

This post starts a multi-part blog post on 2016 presidential politics and strategy.

The Basics of the Electoral College

As you know, there are 538 total electoral votes in the electoral college; therefore it takes 270 electoral college votes to become President of the United States.   (CLICK – If you would like to know more about the electoral college)

In all but two states (Maine and Nebraska), electoral college votes are assigned in a winner takes all manner.  (Maine and Nebraska do a congressional district proportion)

If no one person gets to an absolute majority of 270, then the House of Representatives selects the President. (If that were to happen, God help us all)

Therefore, the total popular vote means nothing in the mechanics of electing our President.

The entire campaign is about getting to 270.

The Electoral Strong Favors

While nothing in politics is guaranteed, there are some assumptions we can make.

As a starting point for this analysis, we will label “strong favor” as any state that a political party has won for the past 4 consecutive presidential elections.  (Double-click map for a larger view)

2016 Electoral College Strong Favors

We will later reconsider if all of these states are correctly labeled as “strong favor”, but for now this is our starting point.

The 2016 Starting Score Board

Party Strong Favor 270 Shortage
Republicans 175 95
Democrats 242 28


The Republican Electoral College Strong Favor Detail

State EV 2012 Margin 2008 Margin 2004 Margin 2000 Margin Average Margin Trend4 Trend2
MO 10 9.36% 0.13% 7.20% 3.34% 5.01% 6.02% 9.23%
AZ 11 9.04% 8.48% 10.45% 6.28% 8.56% 2.76% 0.56%
GA 16 7.80% 5.20% 16.59% 11.69% 10.32% -3.89% 2.60%
SC 9 10.47% 8.98% 17.08% 15.93% 13.12% -5.46% 1.49%
TN 11 20.38% 15.06% 14.30% 3.86% 13.40% 16.52% 5.32%
LA 8 17.21% 18.63% 14.51% 7.68% 14.51% 9.53% -1.42%
AR 6 23.69% 19.85% 9.76% 5.44% 14.69% 18.25% 3.84%
WV 5 26.69% 13.09% 12.86% 6.32% 14.74% 20.37% 13.60%
MS 6 11.50% 13.17% 19.69% 16.91% 15.32% -5.41% -1.67%
MT 3 13.64% 2.38% 20.50% 25.07% 15.40% -11.43% 11.26%
SD 3 18.02% 8.41% 21.47% 22.73% 17.66% -4.71% 9.61%
TX 38 15.77% 11.75% 22.86% 21.32% 17.93% -5.55% 4.02%
KY 8 22.68% 16.22% 19.86% 15.13% 18.47% 7.55% 6.46%
KS 6 21.61% 14.92% 25.38% 20.80% 20.68% 0.81% 6.69%
ND 3 19.63% 8.65% 27.36% 27.60% 20.81% -7.97% 10.98%
AL 9 22.19% 21.58% 25.62% 14.88% 21.07% 7.31% 0.61%
AK 3 13.99% 21.54% 25.55% 30.95% 23.01% -16.96% -7.55%
OK 7 33.54% 31.29% 31.14% 21.88% 29.46% 11.66% 2.25%
ID 4 31.69% 25.30% 38.12% 39.53% 33.66% -7.84% 6.39%
WY 3 40.82% 32.24% 39.79% 40.06% 38.23% 0.76% 8.58%
UT 6 47.88% 27.98% 45.54% 40.49% 40.47% 7.39% 19.90%
175 19.36% 1.89% 5.37%


The Democrat Electoral College Strong Favor Detail

State EV 2012 Margin 2008 Margin 2004 Margin 2000 Margin Average Margin Trend4 Trend2
WI 10 6.94% 13.90% 0.38% 0.22% 5.36% 6.72% -6.96%
PA 20 5.38% 10.31% 2.50% 4.17% 5.59% 1.21% -4.93%
MN 10 7.69% 10.24% 3.48% 2.40% 5.95% 5.29% -2.55%
OR 7 12.09% 16.35% 4.16% 0.44% 8.26% 11.65% -4.26%
MI 16 9.47% 16.44% 3.42% 5.13% 8.62% 4.34% -6.97%
WA 12 14.77% 17.08% 7.17% 5.58% 11.15% 9.19% -2.31%
ME 4 15.29% 17.32% 9.00% 5.11% 11.68% 10.18% -2.03%
NJ 14 17.74% 15.53% 6.68% 15.83% 13.95% 1.91% 2.21%
DE 3 18.63% 24.98% 7.59% 13.06% 16.07% 5.57% -6.35%
IL 20 16.84% 25.10% 10.34% 12.01% 16.07% 4.83% -8.26%
CT 7 17.33% 22.37% 10.37% 17.47% 16.89% -0.14% -5.04%
CA 55 23.09% 24.02% 9.95% 11.80% 17.22% 11.29% -0.93%
MD 10 26.08% 25.44% 12.98% 16.39% 20.22% 9.69% 0.64%
NY 29 28.18% 26.86% 18.29% 25.00% 24.58% 3.18% 1.32%
MA 11 23.15% 25.81% 25.16% 27.30% 25.36% -4.15% -2.66%
VT 3 35.60% 37.01% 20.14% 9.94% 25.67% 25.66% -1.41%
RI 4 27.46% 27.81% 20.75% 29.08% 26.28% -1.62% -0.35%
HI 4 42.71% 45.26% 8.74% 18.33% 28.76% 24.38% -2.55%
DC 3 83.63% 85.92% 79.84% 76.20% 81.40% 7.43% -2.29%
242 19.42% 7.19% -2.93%

Part 1 Conclusion(s)

It’s clear, the 2016 race to 270 starts with a more difficult path for Republicans than Democrats.

In tomorrow’s Part 2, we will look at the states that are not “Strong Favors.”

In Part 3, we will reconsider our “strong favors”, reconsider the so-called “Blue Wall” and look at possible paths to 270 for the GOP and the Democrats.

About push polls


I’ve received several inquiries on whether or not a “push poll” was run in our local area this week.  While I have not polled in the area in question, the question does provide a teachable moment about push polls.

What is a Push Poll?

The American Association of for Public Opinion Research has a lengthy definition and lists characteristics of a push poll.

Here is the gist:

Here are characteristics that will usually indicate to a respondent that the call is not a legitimate survey.

  • One or only a few questions are asked, all about a single candidate or a single issue.
  • The questions are uniformly strongly negative (or sometimes uniformly positive) descriptions of the candidate or issue.
  • The organization conducting the calls is not named, or a phony name is used.
  • Evasive answers are given in response to requests for more information about the survey.

In addition, the following characteristics will indicate to journalists, reporters, and survey professionals that a telephone call is not a legitimate survey.

  • The number of people called is very large, sometimes many thousands.
  • The calls are not based on a random sample.
  • It is difficult to find out which organization conducted the interviews.

What is NOT a Push Poll?

A random sample poll testing negative statements is NOT a push poll.

Again, we look the AAPOR:

One way to tell is that message-testing surveys exhibit the characteristics of a legitimate survey, such as:

  • At the beginning of the call, the interviewer clearly identifies the call center actually making the calls. (However, legitimate political polling firms will often choose not to identify the client who is sponsoring the research, be it a candidate or a political party, since that could bias the survey results.)
  • The interview contains more than a few questions.
  • The questions usually ask about more than one candidate or mention both sides of an issue.
  • Questions, usually near the end of the interview, ask respondents to report demographic characteristics such as age, education level, and party identification.
  • The survey is based on a random sample of voters.
  • The number of respondents falls within the range of legitimate surveys, typically between 400 and 1500 interviews.

Conclusion about what is and is not a push poll

The Marketing Research Association (MRA), the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC), the American Association of Public Opinion Research and the entire survey and opinion research profession, oppose the practice of “push polling”.

However, and here is the gist:  Just because a pollster tests what you may perceive as a negative statement DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY mean it is a push poll.  

As a pollster there are legitimate reasons to test negative messages.  As an example, sometimes we test negative messages to convince candidates or interest groups NOT to use the message.

The bottom line is: Please, before you accuse someone of unethical behavior or potentially a crime (in some states), you should know about the accusation you are leveling.  

I had an email question about the Gainesville Mayor’s race from 2013.

“How did a tea-party labeled Republican win in dark blue Democratic Gainesville?”

Great question.

First some background and context on the Gainesville Mayor Race.

Context for 2013’s Mayor Campaign

Gainesville’s elections are officially non-partisan; however, that does not prevent both parties from playing prominent roles, essentially striping away the illusion of nonpartisan elections.

Gainesville elects its Mayor by popular vote.  Gainesville has a weak mayor system, with an election held every three years, in or around the March/April time frame.  Held concurrently is a Gainesville district race in one of the most liberal (containing the infamous Duckpond) districts  in Gainesville – District 4 .

Base Rate for Success for Republican Candidates

Gainesville has popularly elected a Mayor since 1998, since that time there have been 6 Mayor elections.  Of those elected, 2 have been Republicans.  A base rate of success for Republicans in Gainesville Mayor’s elections is 33%.

Some argue the first elected Gainesville Mayor’s race was essentially uncontested and the modern injection of the political parties didn’t happen until the following election where the incumbent Republican lost; therefore the base rate should be 20%.

Craig Lowe

In 2013, a Republican Ed Braddy ran against an incumbent Democratic Mayor, Craig Lowe.   (My man has is own Wikipedia page).  According to his Wikipedia page Craig Lowe became Mayor after he won “a run-off election on April 13, 2010, by a margin of 42 votes (which held through an automatic recount) Lowe became Mayor-elect of Gainesville. He was sworn in on May 20, 2010, becoming the first openly gay Mayor of the city.”

Craig Lowe’s first term was highlighted by his successful handling of the infamous “Pastor” Terry Jones and the Dove Outreach’s plans to burn a Quran on the 9/11 anniversary.  Mayor Lowe was widely praised for his part handling a volatile situation.

Criag Lowe’s first term was also highlighted by charges of favoritism in hiring Lowe’s campaign manager as a city employee, Lowe’s defense of the GREC biomass energy plant and electric rate increases, and Lowe’s heavy handed moves to limit citizen input into government proceedings.

Heading into the election, Craig Lowe was facing headwinds for re-election; however, in Gainesville it takes more than a headwind to stop the Democratic tidal-wave.

Ed Braddy

Ed Braddy was a previously two-time elected Gainesville commissioner from a district (district 2)  in the North West part of town.   The district has a history of performing well for Republicans; however, Braddy was popular and well liked in this district.

Braddy was well known for being a Republican/conservative voice on a commission dominated by Democrats.

During his second term in 2006, Ed Braddy was arrested for DUI.  Braddy spent time in treatment, plead no contest, was sentenced to one year supervised probation and a $250 fine.  Braddy’s drivers license was suspended for six months, and Braddy was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service including five hours with a victim impact panel. A civil traffic infraction against Braddy was dismissed.  (This becomes important shortly.)

Once Braddy reached term limits in his district seat, Braddy was a on-air host for a local radio talk show that was popular with conservatives the two years leading up to his election.

General Election for Mayor

The campaign for Mayor was initially a 6 way race between the incumbent Mayor, 2 former city commissioners, 1 business leader and two others.  The race was held 3/21/2013 with a 15% turnout.

The candidates receiving the two highest vote totals moved on to a run-off to be held approximately a month later on 4/16/2013.

The results of the General election are as follows:

Ed Braddy 4649 38.44%
Scherwin Henry 2058 17.02%
Pete Johnson 787 6.51%
Craig Lowe 4418 36.53%
Donald Shepherd 54 0.45%
Mark Venzke 128 1.06%


These results would indicate trouble for any incumbent.  Even in a 6 way race any incumbent should do better than 37% – especially when the District 4 election was held at the same time.

Other things of note, The District 4 election did not goto a run-off and Commissioner Henry is an African American and we will explore the significance of this later.

Run-off Election for Mayor

The run-off election was set between Ed Braddy (Rep) and Craig Lowe (Dem).

The run-off began with a bang when Mayor Lowe was immediately busted for DUI on March 20 after crashing his car.  Mayor Lowe issued a widely criticized statement after the arrest.    On April 2, Mayor Lowe and the State Attorney agreed to “a deferred prosecution agreement that resolves his DUI case.  According to news reports, Lowe was required to complete all requirements for those convicted of DUI, monitored for 18 months and gave up his driver’s license for 14 days.  The program also included 50 hours of community service and an alcohol evaluation.

The candidates’ DUIs became an issue in the campaign as well as biomass, transportation, and Ed Braddy’s conservative talk radio.  The campaign also contained a last minute mail attack from the Democratic Party affiliating Ed Braddy with the Tea Party.  The campaign also had a highly controversial open letter from 19 formerly election Democratic officials published by several news outlets that endorsed Craig Lowe while highly critical of Ed Braddy calling him “a relentless, inflammatory, and often dishonest critic.”

In the end, on April 16, 2013, Ed Braddy won a decisive victory with 55% of the vote, becoming the second elected Republican Mayor in Gainesville’s history.

Turn out increased from the general election of 15% to to 16.2%

Ed Braddy 7267 54.73%
Craig Lowe 6011 45.27%

Analysis of the 2013 Mayor’s Race

We begin our analysis at looking at the differences between the electorate’s composition from the General election and the Run-off Election. Data Notation


GnR – voted in general but NOT run-off

G&R – vote in BOTH general and run-off

RnG – voted in run-off but NOT general.

We then turn our attention to turnout.  The following three maps show the location and intensity of voters by precinct who 1) Only voted in General Election, 2) Voted in Both General and Run-off Election, and 3)Voted in Run-off election only.  (click map for larger view)






Hypothesis #1:  Ed Braddy was elected Mayor on the strength of Republican/TeaParty/Conservative votes alone.

It is safe to say, 50% or more of Ed Braddy’s support came from non-Republican voters.

In the Run-off Election, Ed Braddy received 7,267 votes.  Even if we give the impossible but theoretical 100% of the Rep and Other vote totals to Braddy, 5,139 votes, Braddy must have received a minimum of 2,128 votes from Democrats.

If we give the  impossible but theoretical every single Republican vote to Ed Braddy, 3693 votes, 3574 votes came from other than Republican voters.

Hypothesis #2:  Due to the Lowe’s DUI, Lowe’s voters didn’t show up in the run-off to vote for him, instead choosing to stay home.

LoweCorrelation1There are some marginal findings to support this.

When we explore a correlation of Lowe’s run-off percentage and the % difference in turnout between the general and run-off elections by precinct, we observe a slight negative correlation.    BraddyCorrelation1

The real, statistical significant finding is the opposite correlation.    When we explore the correlation between Ed Braddy’s run-off percentage and the difference in turnout from the General to the Run-off election, we see a statistically significant positive correlation.

Meaning, there is evidence for a slight stay-at-home effect for Craig Lowe, but there is more evidence for a surge in turnout for Ed Braddy in the Run-off.


Maps showing candidates % of vote by intensity (click map for larger view)



Party General General% Run-off Run-off% Diff Diff%
Npa/Other 1281 11.1% 1446 11.4% 165 0.4%
Rep 3162 27.4% 3693 29.2% 531 1.8%
Dem 7112 61.5% 7505 59.4% 393 -2.2%
Total 11555 100.0% 12644 100.0% 1089 0.0%


We observe a decline in the % of Democrats as a % of the Voters from the General to the Run-off election.

We observe a notable increase in % of Republicans as a % of Voters from the General to the Run-off election.

Hypothesis #3:  African Americans didn’t vote for Craig Lowe.

There is some evidence to support this hypothesis.  Democrats traditionally do well with African-American voters.

With Commissioner Henry on the ballot in the General Election, Craig Lowe did not perform well in heavy populated African American precincts.

With Commissioner Henry’s defeat in the general election, there was no African-American candidate on the ballot during the run-off election.

In looking closely at the race break down from the General Election to Run-Off election, we observe 291 fewer African American’s voting in an election that increased in over-all turnout.    African American’s decreased as a percentage of turn out from 15% to 11.4% (-3.6%) of the electorate.

You can observe in the maps above between the General and Run-off elections.


Race General General% Run-off Run-off% Diff Diff%
American Indian 31 0.3% 37 0.3% 6 0.0%
Asian 135 1.2% 121 1.0% -14 -0.2%
African American 1734 15.0% 1443 11.4% -291 -3.6%
Hispanic 298 2.6% 339 2.7% 41 0.1%
White 9036 78.2% 10378 82.1% 1342 3.9%
Blank 257 2.2% 266 2.1% 9 -0.1%
Mult-racial 19 0.2% 25 0.2% 6 0.0%
Other/Unkown 45 0.4% 35 0.3% -10 -0.1%
11555 100.0% 12644 100.0% 1089


Hypothesis #4:  Students didn’t vote.

Let’s rephrase this to young voters under 24 didn’t show up for the run-off election.

We can see the largest number of under 24 voters showed up for the first, general election, but didn’t return to vote in the run-off.

We observe 698  twenty-four and under voters voting in the general election, but only 418 voting in the Run-off election.  Young Voters decreased as a percentage of turn out from 6% to 3.3% (-2.7%) of the electorate.

The student precincts are precincts where Craig Lowe did well in the General election and past Mayoral elections.


Age General General% Run-off Run-off% Diff Diff%
<=24 698 6.0% 418 3.3% -280 -2.7%
25-34 790 6.8% 1069 8.5% 279 1.6%
35-44 998 8.6% 1333 10.5% 335 1.9%
45-54 1573 13.6% 1840 14.6% 267 0.9%
55-64 2610 22.6% 2839 22.5% 229 -0.1%
65+ 4886 42.3% 5145 40.7% 259 -1.6%
11555 100.0% 12644 100.0% 1089 0.0%

Hypothesis #5:  Many new voters who traditional don’t vote in city elections surged to the polls.


City Score 0 1 2 3 4 Grand Total
1 39 326 815 528 341 2049
2 25 252 837 934 1355 3403
3 2 69 429 624 1278 2402
4 2 41 351 743 3653 4790
Grand Total 68 688 2432 2829 6627 12644


Scoring all voters by two scores: City Score (number of times voting in last 4 Mayors campaigns) and County Score (number of times voting by last 4 county wide races), we see that 2049 or 16% of the run-off voters were casting their first vote in a city election.


So, let’s return to our original question:  “How did a tea-party labeled Republican win in dark blue Democratic Gainesville?”

Inquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi indicant, aduersa uni imputantur

Rough Translation: This is an unfair thing about war: victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone
Tacitus, Agricola 27:1 (written ~ 98AD)

As with any campaign, there is no single answer for victory or defeat.

  • Did Ed Braddy win solely because Craig Lowe drove his car through a stop sign while drunk three weeks before the election?
  • Was Craig Lowe’s DUI more damaging than Ed Braddy’s DUI due to recency?
  • Were people fed up with electric rate increases due to biomass?
  • Did people take great offense at an open letter from 19 officials telling them who to vote for?
  • Were voters fed up with the paving plans for streets (16th & 8th Ave) and / or reduction of traffic lanes?
  • Did Craig Lowe’s sexual orientation conflict with Christian African American Voters?
  • Did Craig Lowe not invest enough time with African American voters?
  • Did the students show up in force for the Mayor’s first election in the 2010 because of the remnants of President Barack Obama’s student organization?  Then fade away for the Mayor’s second election due to attrition, but not yet being revved up for the President’s reelection?
  • Is there a growing two Gainesvilles with the split growing between the urban core and suburbs?

It is fair to say that in order for a candidate to overcome a base rate of success of 33%, everything must work in concert with another in a perfect manner.

Some of my Democrat friends say plainly, “Ed Braddy got lucky, being at the right place at the right time.”  Hogwash.   Mayor Braddy is a qualified, skilled candidate who ran a good campaign that assembled a rough coalition of people who wanted change in the Mayor’s office that was able to seize when fortune presented itself.

In summation, I start with the belief that elections are referendums on the incumbent foremost. I think this election can be boiled down to the desire to get rid of the incumbent Mayor clearly outweighed the desire to save him even among those in his own party.

However, the very item Braddy owes his success to is also his challenge – especially for Braddy’s re-election.

The question is: Can Ed Braddy hold together dissimilar parties?  Mayor Braddy is a highly skilled and practiced politician, but holding the coalition together without the foil of an unpopular incumbent and outside the context of the last election will be difficult at best.

Does Gainesville regress to the mean?  This is to be determined.




Data Notation

As astute reader will notice that the totals for turnout in the data analysis do not match the actual turn out numbers on election day. This is due to only active voters being provided by the local Supervisor of Elections.

Active voters “exclude those who have moved out of county, been dropped during file maintenance, deceased, etc. Public lists also exclude voters with records exemptions on file to avoid disclosing their information directly or indirectly. “

General = 12094-11555 = 539 (.045)
Run-off = 13278 – 12644 = 634 (.048)

4.5% of the voters who cast ballots in these elections is missing from this analysis.

Back to top

In Florida, a new state House and Senate have elected new leaders and are getting ready to start a new session after the holidays.

The organizational session, the holidays, and the death of the Conservative Democrat across the nation had an interesting question emailed to us this week : “How many, if any, Christians are left in Florida’s Democratic party?”

That piqued our interest, so we started looking.


  • Downloaded the names of Democratic elected members to the FL 114th Congressional Delegation and FL Legislature.
  • Visited each members’ official websites, noting the religious affiliation. If no official website, searched campaign sites and press clippings.
  • Inferred race by caucus affiliation and political activity when appropriate.
  • Avoiding any misunderstanding, Seventh-Day Adventist was coded as Christian.
  • Avoiding any misunderstanding, any  member not declaring a religious affiliation was NOT coded as Christian.


64 total elected Democratic officials include in this review.  The break down of that number is as follows:

  • There are no current state-wide elected Democrat officials.  (0/4 = 0%)
  • There is 1 federally state-wide elected Democrat (1/2=50%)
  • There are 7 elected Democratic Members of Congress in the newly elected House of Representatives. (11/27 = 40.7%)
  • There are 52 elected Democratic members to the Florida House and Senate. (52/160 = 32.5%)
    • 38 reside in the Florida House (38/120=31.66%)
    • 14 reside in the Florida Senate. (14/40= 35%)
  • 33 of the 64 (52%) elected Democrats are minorities (28 African Americans, 5 Hispanic)

You can view and download the entire data set at the end of this post.   (Please direct any corrections to OzeanMedia)

Religion in America

Using the non-partisan, Pew Research and the Religious Landscape Study described by Pew as:

  An extensive new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details statistics on religion in America and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape. Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid.



78.4% of Americans consider themselves Christian – that is kind of a big number.

The political science literature is littered with notes of religious intensity and voting behavior.

As Pew shows us, while the over-all religious situation in America is somewhat ‘fluid’, America remains a Christian dominated country.

Religion, Race and the Democrat Party

“How many, if any, Christians are left in Florida’s Democratic party?”

The answer:  Out of the entire 64 total Democratic officials, 41 (64%) declare themselves Christian, but as Corso says, “BUT NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND, there’s more.”

If we go a step closer and consider race, we find some interesting information and observe the real fault line in Florida’s Democrat Party.

Florida Democrats – Religion by Race – percentage

Group % of Democrats Number of Democrats
AA, Christian 36% 23
White, Jewish 23% 15
White, Christians 20% 13
Hispanic, Christians 8% 4


Florida Democrats – Religion by Race – detail

Religion AA Hispanic White Grand Total
African Methodist Episcopal 2 0 0 2
Baptist 12 0 1 13
Catholic 0 3 6 9
Christian 3 1 1 5
Episcopal 4 1 3 8
Jewish 0 0 15 15
Methodist 1 0 1 2
none listed 5 0 3 8
Presbyterian 0 0 1 1
Seventh-Day Adventist 1 0 0 1
Grand Total 28 5 31 64

Florida Christian Democrats by Religion, race=white

Chamber Member District Religious Affiliation
Congress Graham, Gwen 2 Episcopal
Congress Castor, Kathy 14 Presbyterian
Congress Murphy, Patrick 18 Catholic
Senate Nelson, Bill USSEN Episcopal
FLHOUSE Jenne, Evan 99 Episcopal
FLHOUSE Jacobs, Kristin 96 Methodist
FLHOUSE Dwight, Dudley 68 Catholic
FLHOUSE Murphy, Amanda 36 Christian
FLHOUSE Rehwinkel Vasilinda, Michelle 9 Catholic
FLSEN Sachs, Maria Lorts 34 Catholic
FLSEN Abruzzo, Joseph 25 Catholic
FLSEN Soto, Darren 14 Catholic
FLSEN Montford, Bill 3 Baptist


I realize this blog post is mixing race and religion (yes, I am fun at the Holidays), but race and religion almost have to be talked about together at this point because they are so intertwined.

It is true that we can find little information as to the true base rate of Florida’s Christians/Jews among Party, and a valid point can be made as to this is nothing more than a reflection of redistricting.dem-rel

No one is going to lament that the white Christian viewpoint is underrepresented in Florida; it isn’t.

However, it appears that the white Christian viewpoint is underrepresented in Florida’s Democratic party.

According to a Washington Post article written in 2012, The Politics of Race and Religion in Two Pie Charts, 35% of white Democrat voters in 2012 considered themselves Christian – that is 15% different than Florida’s Democratic delegation of elected officials.  Even accounting for Florida’s increased Jewish population, this still remains a stark difference.

This under-representation makes one consider the long-term ramifications, if any, for Florida Democrats and the Democratic party.

We can observe the Democrats starting to question the current state of affairs in Jason Zengerle’s provocative piece for the New Republic, The Death of the Southern White Democrat Hurts African-Americans the Most and the current redistricting court case in Florida.

  • If African American lawmakers are elected from minority-majority districts, is there little to no incentive to reach beyond their districts’ constituents?
  • Do members elected from minority-majority seats even have a responsibility to reach past their districts’ constituents?
  • Do African American lawmakers – who now outnumber white lawmakers in the State House – find themselves increasingly isolated?
  • Do White, Christian Democrats find themselves increasingly isolated?
  • Does this 20% (White, Christians) indicate the major weakness in Florida’s Democrats bench?
  • Do Democrats remember how to talk with white Christians?  Do they care to?
  • Even with Florida’s changing Demographics and with Florida & America becoming less white, can Florida Democrats win statewide if they don’t know how to talk with white Christians?
  • Have we created a complete segregation of the political system?
  • Is this a whole lot to do about nothing?

The biggest question of all:

  • Is the Democratic Party counting on the courts to do for them in the redistricting process what they know politically they can’t do themselves- move away from minority-majority districts?


Download csv file

ChamberMemberDistrictReligious AffiliationRaceSexofficial website
CongressHastings, Alcee20African Methodist EpiscopalAAM
FLSENJoyner, Arthenia L.19African Methodist EpiscopalAAF
CongressBrown, Corrine5BaptistAAF
FLHOUSEWilliams, Alan B.8BaptistAAM
FLHOUSEJones, Mia14BaptistAAF
FLHOUSEWatson, Jr., Clovis20BaptistAAM
FLHOUSEBracy, Randolf45BaptistAAM
FLHOUSEPritchett, Sharon82BaptistAAF
FLHOUSELee, Jr., Larry84BaptistAAM
FLHOUSEDuBose, Bobby94BaptistAAM
FLHOUSEStafford, Cynthia A.109BaptistAAF
FLHOUSEMcGhee, Kionne L.117BaptistAAM
FLSENMontford, Bill3BaptistWhiteM
FLSENThompson, Geraldine F. "Geri"12BaptistAAF
FLSENSmith, Christopher L.31BaptistAAM
CongressMurphy, Patrick18CatholicWhiteM
CongressCurbelo, Carlos26CatholicHispanicM
FLHOUSERehwinkel Vasilinda, Michelle9CatholicWhiteF
FLHOUSECruz, Janet62CatholicHispanicF
FLHOUSEDwight, Dudley68CatholicWhiteM
FLHOUSERodríguez, José Javier112CatholicHispanicM
FLSENSoto, Darren14CatholicWhiteM
FLSENAbruzzo, Joseph25CatholicWhiteM
FLSENSachs, Maria Lorts34CatholicWhiteF
FLHOUSEMurphy, Amanda36ChristianWhiteF
FLHOUSECortes, John43ChristianHispanicM
FLHOUSENarain, Edwin61ChristianAAM
FLHOUSERogers, Hazelle P. "Hazel"95ChristianAAF
FLHOUSEJones, Shevrin D. "Shev"101ChristianAAM
CongressGraham, Gwen2EpiscopalWhiteF
CongressWilson, Frederic24EpiscopalAAF
USSENNelson, BillUSSENEpiscopalWhiteM
FLHOUSETorres, Jr., Victor Manuel "Vic"48EpiscopalHispanicM
FLHOUSEClarke-Reed, Gwyndolen "Gwyn"92EpiscopalAAF
FLHOUSEJenne, Evan99EpiscopalWhiteM
FLSENBraynon, Oscar , II36EpiscopalAAM
FLSENBullard, Dwight39EpiscopalAAM
CongressGrayson, Alan9JewishWhiteM
CongressDuetch, Ted21JewishWhiteM
CongressFrankel, Lois22JewishWhiteF
CongressWasserman-Schultz, Debbie23JewishWhiteF
FLHOUSERader, Kevin81JewishWhiteM
FLHOUSEPafford, Mark86JewishWhiteM
FLHOUSEBerman, Lori90JewishWhiteF
FLHOUSESlosberg, Irving "Irv"91JewishWhiteM
FLHOUSEMoskowitz, Jared Evan97JewishWhiteM
FLHOUSEEdwards, Katie98JewishWhiteF
FLHOUSEGeller, Joseph100JewishWhiteM
FLHOUSEStark, Richard104JewishWhiteM
FLSENRing, Jeremy29JewishWhiteM
FLSENSobel, Eleanor33JewishWhiteF
FLSENMargolis, Gwen35JewishWhiteF
FLHOUSEAnton, Bruce46MethodistAAM
FLHOUSEJacobs, Kristin96MethodistWhiteF
FLHOUSETaylor, Dwayne L.26none listedAAM
FLHOUSERouson, Darryl Ervin70none listedAAM
FLHOUSEKerner, Dave87none listedWhiteM
FLHOUSEPowell, Bobby88none listedAAM
FLHOUSEWatson, Barbara107none listedAAF
FLHOUSERichardson, David113none listedWhiteM
FLSENGibson, Audrey9none listedAAF
FLSENClemens, Jeff27none listedWhiteM
CongressCastor, Kathy14PresbyterianWhiteF
FLHOUSECampbell, Daphne108Seventh-Day Adventist AAF

(Please direct any corrections to OzeanMedia)

If you know me, I am not a fan of the Libertarian “philosophy” and I generally find Libertarian candidates to be anti-social blowhards.  I say this out loud and from the get go so that you can understand my biases and judge accordingly.

Noting the disclosure, I set out to analyze the effect, if any, Adrian Wyllie had on Florida’s 2014 gubernatorial election.

I became interested because a friend of mine- who is a Democrat – was lamenting about the FACT that Libertarian Adrian Wyllie was the reason that Charlie Crist is not the next Governor of Florida.

Interestingly, they asked my opinion about their FACT.

So, I promised I would do a quick analysis and publish it on the Ozean Blog.


I came up with the following possible hypotheses for evaluation:

  • Adrian Wyllie had no effect on the Gubernatorial race.
  • Adrian Wyllie ‘took’ more votes from Crist than Scott.
  • Adrian Wyllie ‘took’ more votes from Scott than Crist.
  • Adrian Wyllie ‘took’ votes from both Scott and Crist equally.
  • Adrian Wyllie ‘took’ votes from neither Scott or Crist, instead Wyllie brought new voters to the polls.

My Working Revision:

Further study is warranted, but an initial review of the data indicates Wyllie having a far greater negative effect on Rick Scott with almost no effect on Charlie Crist.  However, that is not the end of the story.

There appears to be a strong correlation of increased turnout (at least higher than the statewide turnout increase) in the counties that Wyllie performed best in.

Did Wyllie increase turnout?  I am not sure yet, because it would take more research and analysis to be able to risk declaring causation.

However, from an initial glance of one afternoon’s work, there appears a revised hypothesis forming:

Wyllie may have ‘took’ votes from Governor Scott, but Wyllie also brought more new voters to the 2014 Florida Gubernatorial Campaign (at least in the counties surrounding the Tampa Bay Area)

The data and graphs are below, I would love to know your thoughts on the matter.



We are still working with non-official data for 2014 and the vote totals may change slightly.

Observations & Data

Observation #1

Looking at a map of Adrian Wyllie’s returns, we see he did his best in the area surrounding Tampa Bay.Adrian Wyllie2014



County % of Vote Total
Pasco 7.05%
Citrus 6.50%
Hardee 6.34%
Polk 6.20%
Manatee 6.08%
Hernando 6.05%
Pinellas 5.63%
Hillsborough 4.83%


For the sake of time, I narrowed my focus into analyzing this area.

Observation #2

From the counties studied, Wyllie received 76,283 votes.

County Raw Vote Total
Pasco 11329
Citrus 3790
Hardee 342
Polk 11910
Manatee 7270
Hernando 3869
Pinellas 19802
Hillsborough 17971

Observation #3

Governor Scott lost % points in each of these counties from 2010 to 2014.

When we compare 2010 to 2014, we see that Governor Scott lost % points in each of these counties.

 County 2010 Scott % 2014 Scott % Change
Pasco 51.73% 46.80% -4.93%
Citrus 54.60% 53.68% -0.92%
Hardee 59.69% 59.49% -0.20%
Polk 53.49% 51.17% -2.32%
Manatee 54.22% 51.75% -2.47%
Hernando 51.53% 47.89% -3.64%
Pinellas 45.04% 41.00% -4.04%
Hillsborough 46.74% 45.74% -1.00%

Observation #4

Charlie Crist, when compared to Alex Sink, was almost flat.

 County 2010 Sink % 2014 Crist % Change
Pasco 43.28% 45.03% 1.75%
Citrus 39.40% 38.45% -0.95%
Hardee 36.03% 32.48% -3.55%
Polk 42.55% 41.40% -1.15%
Manatee 41.79% 41.41% -0.38%
Hernando 43.08% 44.74% 1.66%
Pinellas 50.72% 52.27% 1.55%
Hillsborough 50.07% 48.44% -1.63%

Observation #5

There is a statistically significant negative correlation between the Wyllie percentage received and the change in votes for Governor Scott.  There is no correlation between Wiley percentage and the change in votes from Sink to Scott.

p_willey2014 Rep_p_Diff Dem_p_Diff
p_willey2014 Pearson Correlation 1 -.418** .163
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .187
N 67 67 67
Rep_p_Diff Pearson Correlation -.418** 1 -.534**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000
N 67 67 67
Dem_p_Diff Pearson Correlation .163 -.534** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .187 .000
N 67 67 67
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Scatter of Wiley % and Rep Change in Performance


Scatter of Wiley % and Dem Change in Performance

Observation #6

Statewide turnout for the election was up 1.71%

Year Total Votes Cast % Turnout
2010 5460573 48.70%
2014 6026093 50.41%

Observation #7

There was an average 4.29% increase in turnout in the counties studied.


County % increase in turnout
Pasco 6.67%
Citrus 3.67%
Hardee 5.74%
Polk 3.81%
Manatee 3.45%
Hernando 3.58%
Pinellas 5.94%
Hillsborough 1.42%
Average 4.29%



Introducing Poli-Hub


I could not sleep this morning, and I have been thinking through a question someone asked me the other day.

Where do you get your political information from?

I use feedly to aggregate most of the news that I read.  It is a great product, but it doesn’t allow you to share feeds that easily with people.

So, this morning over coffee I built

It is a little buggy, and your comments are welcome.

If you find the site useful, I will continue to work on it.

In the meantime, enjoy!



Ozean Media in connection with the Ward Scott Files recently completed a “Political You Pick ‘em” contest.  We asked people to enter the contest and pick who they thought was going to win – NOT polling them on who they were going to vote for.  The contest was open from 10/20 to 10/27.

We agreed to keep the people who entered the contest anonymous, but we will release the opinions in the aggregate.

Our panel consists of political nerds, friends of mine, media, party officials, elected officials, previously elected officials, and listeners of the Ward Scott Files talk radio.  It is no means a scientific random sample.

Yesterday, we announced the Alachua County Results, today the Florida Results.


Florida Results

Who will win the campaign for Florida Govenor?

Who will win the campaign in Florida’s second congressional district?  

Will Florida’s Amendment 1 otherwise know as Water and Land Conservation Initiative 1 pass?

Will Florida’s Amendment 2 otherwise known as the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative pass?


Ozean Media in connection with the Ward Scott Files recently completed a “Political You Pick ‘em” contest.  We asked people to enter the contest and pick who they thought was going to win – NOT polling them on who they were going to vote for.  The contest was open from 10/20 to 10/27.

We agreed to keep the people who entered the contest anonymous, but we will release the opinions in the aggregate.

Our panel consists of political nerds, friends of mine, media, party officials, elected officials, previously elected officials, and listeners of the Ward Scott Files talk radio.  It is no means a scientific random sample.

This will be an interesting experiment in the wisdom of crowds.

The Wisdom of Crowds:  the aggregation of information in groups, resulting in decisions that, he argues, are often better than could have been made by any single member of the group

This blog post will announce the results for the Alachua County section of the poll.   The Florida, US Senate Races and the US Governors’ races will be announced in future blog posts.

Let’s get started:

Who will win the campaign for Florida House – district 21 between Keith Perry and Jon Uman?

Who will win the campaign for Alachua County Commission – District 4?

Who will win the campaign for Alachua County Tax Collector?

Will the proposed 1 cent sales tax for transportation pass?