Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GA-06 Election Night Guide

The special election we have all been waiting for, Jon Ossoff’s special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district is taking place today. Here is a guide with county benchmarks and data points to watch while the returns are reported.  


This congressional district represents the high income northern Atlanta suburbs. It represents the northern portions of Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb Counties. It is traditionally heavily Republican (George W. Bush won a similar iteration of this district with 70% in 2004) and even Romney won 60% in this district. In 2016 however, Trump won it 48%-47%. Demographic changes in this district are helping Democrats with a fast growing Latinx and AAPI population (the demographics are 13% African American, 10% AAPI, 12% Latinx and 61% White).


Trump however appointed the 6th district’s representative Rep. Price (R) to be his Secretary of Health, opening up the seat. Investigative filmmaker Jon Ossoff (D) gained national attention after Daily Kos started fundraising for him and raised him over $1 million (Ossoff has raised over $8 million total). The main Republican candidates are Bob Gray (a strong Trump supporter), Karen Handel (the former President of Susan G. Komen), Dan Moody (a former State Senator) and Judson Hill (a former State Senator).


Ossoff’s goal is to not gain a plurality of the votes but win 50% of the vote because winning less than 50% of the vote triggers a runoff on June 20th between the top two vote getters while winning 50% or more of the vote means Ossoff wins the seat outright. Most polls show Ossoff in the low to mid 40s but there is high enthusiasm for Ossoff which could underestimate his support in the polls. Whether that enthusiasm is enough to get Ossoff to 50% remains to be seen. If there is a runoff, most polls show a tight race with Ossoff generally leading Handel (the Republican most likely to be in the runoff if Ossoff does not win 50% today) by one to two points.


This article is an election night guide for the runoff tonight. It shows the county benchmarks for Ossoff (the minimum percentage he needs in each county to win the district), by combining results from the 2016 Presidential and congressional elections. The guide also describes the three counties as well as the early vote factor.


This election night guide is also the second in a series of special election night guides. The first one, written about the Kansas 4th congressional district special election where the Democratic candidate lost by seven points in a district Trump won by 28 can be found here.


Without further ado here are the benchmarks:


County Benchmarks:
Georgia congressional.jpg


Map of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District:
Georgia District Map.PNG
Legend:
Green =6th district
Left county = Cobb County
Middle county = Fulton County
Right county = DeKalb County


Cobb County:
Despite the Democratic trend (voting 66%-32% for Romney and 55%-40% for Trump), this part of Cobb County is heavily Republican. It is most Republican section of the 6th district. It is high income and suburban. It is also home to LMRC (Liberal Moms of Roswell and Cobb Counties, they have bumper stickers with “LMRC” so conservatives do not recognize the organization. Many of these voters however (as shown by the 2016 election results) are averse to Trump and some may be open to Ossoff’s message. While Ossoff does not need to win 50% of the vote in Cobb County (if he did, that would mean he would win), he needs to hit roughly 44% here when the Election Day vote has reported.


DeKalb County:
This is the most Democratic part of the district, voting 57%-38% for Clinton in 2016 (and it is quickly trending Democratic too, Romney won here 51%-47%). It also cast 22% of the vote in 2016. While DeKalb County is known for being heavily African American, the northern part of DeKalb County is more white. This is the area where Ossoff must perform in order to reach 50%. In the early vote, DeKalb County’s turnout has been lower than the rest of the district but that may be because there is only one early voting location in DeKalb county. What Ossoff needs to do here is not simply win 60% of the vote. DeKalb County needs to cast at least 22% of the district wide vote because if the early vote numbers are a harbinger, then DeKalb’s turnout will be lower and that will hurt Ossoff.


Fulton County:
Fulton County is the bellwether of the 6th district. It is also the most populous county in the 6th district with just under half the voters. It contains wealthy Republican leaning suburbs similar to Cobb County, the main city of Roswell and has a growing minority population similar to the DeKalb County portion of the district. Fulton will the barometer for the district. In order to avoid a runoff, Ossoff must win at least 49% of the vote in Fulton County.


Early Votes:
Nate Cohn (the New York Times political expert) has been keeping track of early votes for the 6th district. Although 41% of the early voters voted in Democratic primaries and 41% voted in Republican primaries, Cohn estimates 57% of early voters backed Clinton. Keep in mind that early voting is not indicative of the final result (as shown in the Kansas special election last week when we led in the early voting by a large margin but lost in the election day vote). If Ossoff is leading in the early vote by 60% or more though, it may be a sign he is overperforming initial estimates, winning over Independents and even a few Republicans which could bode for a good night for him. Still, wait until a county is at 100% reporting and then compare the result to the benchmarks to determine whether Ossoff will win 50%.


Takeaways:
Overall, expect a long night and this election may not be decided tonight if the results are extremely close due to uncounted provisional ballots (which in past elections such as 2016 lean Democratic). While watching the election night returns, keep an eye on these three factors:

  1. Is there robust turnout in DeKalb County allowing Ossoff to win 60%+ there?
  2. Is Jon Ossoff overperforming early vote estimates and hitting 60%+ in the early vote? (Remember that a high early vote lead does not guarantee Ossoff will hit 50%).
  3. Is Ossoff hitting 49% in Fulton County?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What Happened in Pennsylvania?


In 2008, I was 14 years old and a proud supporter of then-Sen. Obama, I watched the Pennsylvania primary as then-Sen. Hillary Clinton swept the working class western part of the state as Obama swept the eastern part of Pennsylvania. In 2016, Clinton again won the Pennsylvania primary. I always viewed Pennsylvania as the consistent state that wavered, but in the end always sided with the Democrats. There were times when Republicans won in Pennsylvania such as Sen. Toomey (R) in 2010, but they won by making inroads in the Philadelphia suburbs. In 2012, however, Obama won Pennsylvania by five points despite  Romney’s inroads not only in the Philadelphia suburbs, but also in West Pennsylvania’s working class areas. It seemed impossible that Trump could win enough votes in West Pennsylvania to offset the Philadelphia suburbs that trended toward Clinton. Unfortunately, however, he did. Some analysts have blamed low Democratic turnout in Philadelphia for Clinton’s loss.

This article will analyze how Trump won Pennsylvania and examine many regions including: the Philadelphia metropolitan area, Southeast Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Lancaster), West Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Erie) and Northeast Pennsylvania (Scranton, Poconos).

This is the second article of a series analyzing swing states post election. My Florida analysis can be found here:  

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Pennsylvania’s 2016 Two Party Vote:
Red: Trump by 20%+
Light Red: Trump by 10%-19%
Tan: Trump by 0%-9%
Light Blue: Clinton by 0%-9%
Blue: Clinton by 10%-19%
Dark Blue: Clinton by 20%+
Pennsylvania County map actual.png
All election data used in the article can be found here and here:

Shift in 2016 vs. 2012:
Red: 10+ gain for Trump
Light Red: 5%-9% gain for Trump
Tan: 0%-4% gain for Trump
Light Blue: 0%-4% gain for Clinton
Blue: 5%-9% gain for Clinton

Pennsylvania shift.png

Philadelphia Metropolitan Area:
Philadelphia.png
Clinton’s strategy relied on increasing turnout in Philadelphia and its suburbs at such a high number that it would offset all of Trump’s gains throughout other parts of the state. Many analysts blame Clinton’s loss in Pennsylvania on low Philadelphia turnout. Clinton did garner less votes than Obama in 2012 in Philadelphia; her margin decreased by 17,000 votes (and it was only 2,000 votes lower than Obama’s 2008 margin in Philadelphia). Even if Clinton had won Philadelphia by the same margin as Obama in 2012 though, it would not be enough for her to win - so Philadelphia is not responsible for Clinton’s loss.

In fact, Clinton’s margin in the Philadelphia metropolitan area was higher than Obama’s margin. While her margin shrank by 17,000 votes in Philadelphia city proper, her margin in the Philadelphia suburbs ( historically a bellwether area) increased by 62,000 votes. She flipped historically Republican-leaning Chester County and increased Democratic margins in Montgomery County (31,000 votes) and Delaware County (6,000 votes). Even Bucks County-  a bellwether in all Senate, Gubernatorial and Presidential Elections since 2000- voted for Clinton. Bucks County is a mix of working class voters and wealthy suburbanites. Clinton still carried Bucks County by 3,000 votes.

Overall, Clinton won the Philadelphia metropolitan area by 659,000 votes and increased the Democratic margin by 45,000 votes, performing extremely well here and winning two thirds of the vote.  

Philadelphia data table:
Philadelphia data table.png
(for full data table click here:)

Southeast Pennsylvania
Southeast PA.png
This region contains York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, Cumberland, Berks, Northampton and Lehigh Counties. It is a Republican leaning area with a few Democratic pockets such as Dauphin County (Harrisburg) and Lehigh County (Allentown). Lehigh and Northampton Counties are historically bellwether and combined they voted for Clinton, suggesting that they may be trending more Democratic than the state as a whole. Their growing Latino populations (22% in Lehigh, 12% in Northampton) may be helping their Democratic trend relative to other working class areas in Pennsylvania with minimal or no Latino growth.

Trump increased the Republican margin in this region by 67,000 votes, but there is a warning sign. The trend in the Lancaster/Harrisburg area, while the counties did trend toward Trump, they were very narrow (Lancaster, Cumberland and Dauphin Counties  trended only one, one and three points respectively toward Trump). Lancaster County, a historically Republican county, gave George W. Bush a 71,000 vote margin in 2004, but gave Trump only a 47,000 vote margin in 2016. Cumberland County is a suburban county next to Harrisburg and is located in the region due to its connection to Harrisburg even though it may geographically fit in Central Pennsylvania. The surrounding counties such as York also gave strong margins to Bush in 2004, making  Pennsylvania close. Decreasing Republican margins in Lancaster and Cumberland Counties as well as keeping Dauphin County blue are key to Democrats ensuring that 2016 was a fluke and not the norm.

Southeast Pennsylvania Data Table:
Southeast PA data table.png
For full data table click here:

West Pennsylvania:
West Pennsylvania.png
This region is one of the most famous regions within Pennsylvania politics, due to its voting trends and problems it has given the Democrats recently. In 2008, West Pennsylvania became well known when the Obama campaign worked hard there to ensure that he would not lose the state after his poor primary performance in West Pennsylvania.

Some definitions of West Pennsylvania extends its boundary further east into the Appalachian Mountains. This article’s definition includes the Pittsburgh area and the heavily unionized counties along the Ohio border such as Washington, Beaver and Erie Counties.

Despite Pittsburgh’s working class history which could spell trouble for Clinton, she actually increased the margin in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) by 17,000 votes due to Pittsburgh’s changing downtown and wealthy suburbs that may be historically Republican but trended toward Clinton as did the Philadelphia suburbs. Trump did make gains in the heavily white industrial counties such as Beaver and Washington. He increased Republican margins there by 10,000 and 12,000 votes respectively. Trump also flipped historically Democratic Erie County which in 2012 had voted for Obama by 16 points.

Trump gained about seven points in West Pennsylvania, while making strong gains in the industrial counties, his gains were blunted a bit by Pittsburgh and its changing demographics. While West Pennsylvania is considered a large component of Trump’s gains, they were not as strong as the part of the state in the next paragraph.

West Pennsylvania Data Table:
West PA accurate data table.png
For full data table, click here:

Northeast Pennsylvania:
Northeast PA.png
Many analysts suggest that Trump’s win was based on his margin from West Pennsylvania. As the results show, there was another area that trended more strongly for Trump: Northeast Pennsylvania around Scranton. In 2012, Romney’s disconnect with blue collar workers and Biden’s connection to Scranton may have prevented Romney from obtaining strong gains here (Obama actually improved in Scranton compared to 2008). Trump, however, made strong gains in Northeast Pennsylvania. While working class counties such as Beaver and Washington shifted about 12 points more Republican than 2012, working class counties in Northeast Pennsylvania shifted more than 20 points more Republican.

For example, Clinton did not need to win Susquehanna County, a heavily working class county in Northeast Pennsylvania.  She did not even need to lose narrowly, she could manage to lose by about 20 points which Obama did in 2012. Instead, she lost by over 40 points and lost by similar margins in many Pennsylvania counties demographically similar to Susquehanna. There were more stark examples for Clinton in Northeast Pennsylvania as well. The biggest swing was in Schuylkill County with a 31 point swing to Trump. Romney won by 14 points in 2012, Trump won by 45 points.

Even though Clinton flipped suburban Chester County near Philadelphia and won there by 25,000 votes, Trump flipped historically Democratic Luzerne County near Scranton and won there by 26,000 votes. Luzerne County is over 90% White and is heavily working class. While Bucks County is the historical bellwether in Pennsylvania, perhaps the new bellwether should be the combined votes of Luzerne and Chester Counties. A win in Chester County would show how strongly a candidate is performing in the Philadelphia suburbs as a Luzerne County win would show how strongly a candidate is performing in working class voters in Pennsylvania.

Obama won Northeast Pennsylvania by four points. If Trump won Northeast Pennsylvania by nine instead of 19 points, Clinton would have won Pennsylvania, even if the margins stayed the same in the other regions. Northeast Pennsylvania may have cast roughly 8% of the votes in Pennsylvania but its impact on the election was much greater than 8%.

Northeast Pennsylvania Data Table:
Northeast PA data table.png
For full data table click here:


Conclusion:
Overall, how was Trump able to win Pennsylvania?

At first glance, Trump should have lost Pennsylvania due to the historic losses he faced in the Philadelphia suburbs. He lost Bucks County which is normally a bellwether in not only Presidential, but also state elections. He also lost Chester County which Clinton flipped from 2012 and is normally more Republican than the rest of the state.

Trump made up some ground in West Pennsylvania where had had a seven point gain, he made some ground in Southeast Pennsylvania where had a six point gain and he also gained in Central Pennsylvania. The one area, though, that saw the fastest shift to Trump is Northeast Pennsylvania which voted for Obama by four points, but voted for Trump by 18 points. If the margins throughout the rest of Pennsylvania stayed consistent and there was only a 13 point shift to Trump  in Northeast Pennsylvania and Clinton lost by nine points there, she would have won Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is not the reason for Clinton’s loss, she could have matched Obama’s 2012 margin there and still lost.  While 2016 showed Democrats can produce strong margins in the Philadelphia suburbs, have high turnout in Philadelphia and can hold their own in parts of Southeast Pennsylvania, they need to devote more time and energy to more rural regions of Pennsylvania in order to win in 2018 and 2020, especially Northeast Pennsylvania.

Monday, November 28, 2016

What Happened in Florida?

One of the first political books I read was the Almanac of American Politics 2006 which I read as an 11 year old. It discussed how Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry increased Democratic turnout in Democratic parts of Ohio compared to Vice President Gore in 2000. Kerry increased turnout in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Franklin County (Columbus) and overperformed in Hamilton County (Cincinnati). According to the Almanac, if President Bush’s margins in the Republican rural areas had remained the same compared to 2000, the passage said, Kerry would have won Ohio by 17,000 votes and thus the Presidency. Kerry lost Ohio by 119,000 votes because Bush had increased Republican margins in heavily Republican areas.

A similar phenomenon happened in Florida 2016: Secretary Clinton increased her margins in almost every Democratic county, especially in the Gold Coast region. Those margins could have given her a strong win compared to President Obama’s 2012 win and her win would have been in line with  polls showing her with a 2%-3% win. Donald Trump, however, won Florida by about one point because he increased turnout in heavily Republican areas.

This article will analyze how Trump was able to win Florida and how Democrats can win Florida for the 2018 midterms and the 2020 Presidential Election. This article will break down Florida into a few regions: the Gold Coast (the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach area), the I-4 Corridor (the counties along Interstate 4), the rest of Florida and a sub-region: North Central Florida.

Map of Florida’s 2016 results:
Dark Red: Trump 20%+
Red: Trump 10%-19%
Tan: Trump 0%-9%
Light Blue: Clinton 0%-9%
Blue: Clinton 10%-19%
Dark Blue: Clinton 20%+
Florida Map.png
Map of Florida’s trends 2016 vs. 2012  
Dark Red: 10+ point gain for Trump
Red: 5%-9% gain for Trump
Tan: 0%-4% gain for Trump
Light Blue: 0%-4% gain for Clinton
Blue: 5%-9% gain for Clinton
Florida trend 2016 vs. 2012.png

The Gold Coast:
Gold Coast Map.png
The Gold Coast (Palm Beach, Broward, Monroe and Miami Dade Counties) is Florida’s most densely populated region and where Democrats earn the bulk of their margins. While demographics may not have been enough to win Florida, they are enough to produce historic margins in the Gold Coast. One theme as to why Clinton lost Florida is that she performed poorly among Cuban voters. While she may not have won Cuban voters, she outperformed Obama in Miami Dade County which is home to Florida’s highest population of Cuban voters.

While Clinton’s margin in Palm Beach County remained static, she increased her margin over  Obama’s by 28,000 votes in Broward County which has a rapidly shrinking white population (it is at 39% compared to 57% in 2000). Broward County is also the 2nd most populous county in Florida. Where Clinton overperformed Obama the most is in Miami Dade County, home to nearly one out of seven Floridians. She won a margin of 290,000 votes there and 63% of the vote, 82,000 higher than Obama’s in 2012. This represents a long term shift toward the Democrats in Miami Dade County. As recently as 2000, Gore won Miami Dade County by only 39,000 votes and by only seven points. Miami Dade also has a 67% Latinx population with a high Cuban population and although Cubans are historically primarily Republican, many Cubans, especially younger ones have started voting Democratic.

Gold Coast Data Table: (all election data is from the U.S. Election Atlas and New York Times)

Gold Coast Table.png
For full data tables click here:


I-4 Corridor:
I-4 Corridor.png
The I-4 Corridor is defined by the author as the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Flagler. This fast growing area with the Tampa metropolitan area (Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties), the Orlando metropolitan area (Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties) and the Daytona Beach area (Volusia and Flagler Counties) is historically a swing area in Florida. It is home to Hillsborough County (Tampa) which from 1964 to 2012 voted for the presidential winner of Florida. This year, however,  Clinton won Hillsborough County even though she did not win Florida.

One narrative suggests that Clinton lost the election because she was unable to turnout Latinx voters. While Latinx turnout may vary from state to state, she did not lose Florida due to Latinx turnout. In fact, Clinton nearly flipped historically Republican Seminole County, losing by only two points and Democrats gained Seminole County’s congressional seat which was held for 20+ years by a Republican, due to the Latinx growth in Seminole County (it was at 20% in 2015, compared to 17% in 2010). Also, Clinton won Orange and Osceola Counties by 29 and 25 points respectively (Orange contains Orlando with a large Puerto Rican population and Osceola is suburban with a rapidly growing Puerto Rican population and a 51% Latinx population). Thus, with a combined 171,000 vote margin from the two counties, Clinton increased her margin over President Obama’s by 57,000 votes.

If margins in the counties outside of the Gold Coast and Orange/Osceola Counties did not change compared to the 2012 election, Clinton would have won by 237,000 votes in Florida, matching President Obama’s 2008 margin and matching many of the pre-election polls.

As we have seen, that did not happen and the I-4 Corridor reflects this. Trump gained votes in heavily white Pinellas, Volusia, and Flagler Counties. Each of the three counties has an above-average elderly population, and each is over 70% White. Volusia County for example went for Romney by one point in 2012 but in 2016 went for Trump by 13 points (the author also has relatives who live there). Even though Clinton nearly flipped Seminole County, Trump was able to flip Pinellas County in the Tampa Area with a 75% White population.  Trump was able to reduce the Democratic margin in the I-4 Corridor and to help offset Clinton’s gains in the Orlando area.

I-4 Corridor Data Table:
I-4 Corridor Table.png
For full data tables click here:

Rest of the State:
The rest of Florida contains retirement areas along the West Coast, the Panhandle, some East Coast of Florida communities and the Jacksonville area. Some analysts say that a low turnout among African Americans hurt Clinton, but the results show that did occur at least in urban areas. Clinton overperformed Obama in Duval County (Jacksonville) where she lost by 6,000 votes compared to Obama’s 16,000 vote loss in 2012 (Duval County has a 30% African American population). Clinton also overperformed Obama in Alachua County (University of Florida) which has a 21% African American population as well as a higher number of millennials. She also matched Obama’s numbers in Southwest Florida which is more wealthy. In contrast, Trump won large margins throughout the rest of the West Coast, the Florida East Coast north of Palm Beach County and the heavily Republican Panhandle.

Many analysts blame Trump’s win on the heavily conservative Panhandle that reported late and erased Clinton’s narrow statewide lead. The Panhandle voted heavily for Trump and he received roughly an 186,000 vote margin from the five counties on the northwest part of the Panhandle (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay Counties) which is higher than his 113,000 statewide win. The Panhandle, however, is not responsible for turning Florida red compared to 2012 because the Panhandle was already heavily Republican and voted heavily for Romney in 2012 as well (he received roughly a 168,000 vote margin). These counties border Alabama, are culturally very southern, have voted extremely Republican for decades so there are less swing voters to persuade and less new Republicans to turn out compared to other Florida regions. Trump’s margins in the Panhandle were expected, yet they were not responsible for flipping Florida. One of the major regions responsible for Trump’s win in Florida is what I describe as “North Central Florida.”

North Central Florida
North Central Florida.png

My previous Florida analyses have not singled out this area, instead dividing Florida into the “Gold Coast”, “I-4 Corridor” and “Rest of the State” but six counties I describe as the “North Central Florida” area are key due to the unmistakable Trump trend and demographic similarities. The counties are Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Pasco, Sumter and Marion. They are mostly part of Florida’s old 5th Congressional District from the 2000s and all of the counties have  high retiree populations as evidenced by the high 65+ population ranging from 22% in Pasco County to 54% in Sumter County (which is partially home to the Villages, a large and fast growing retirement community).

These six counties are all located directly north of the I-4 Corridor and in the 2000s were extremely fast growing, slowed during the recession but have started seeing new growth post recession. They are all >70% White and have a large population of Midwesterners. In 2000,  Gore won two of these counties, in 2008 Obama was close in Pasco County. It may be noted that Lake County is closely connected to the I-4 Corridor due to its proximity to Orlando, but it is included with the other five counties north of Tampa due to demographic similarities with a high population of retirees and a low minority population (Lake County also contains part of the Villages).

In 2016, however, these counties gave Trump a 226,000 vote margin with 64% of the two party vote and a roughly 115,000 margin gain over Romney’s margin in the area  (111,000 votes with 58% of the two party vote). That 115,000 increase in 2016 compared to 2012 is higher than Trump’s statewide 113,000 vote margin. If the Republican margins in these six counties stayed stable compared to 2012, Clinton would have won Florida, although by roughly 2,000 votes, a situation similar to the 2000 election.

Gore won two of these six counties and even Obama in 2012 came close in Pasco and Hernando Counties. As recently as 2014, Charlie Crist (D) who ran for Governor (and lost by one point) lost Pasco County by one point and lost Hernando County by three points.The 2014 Gubernatorial race was a bit of a reverse of the 2016 Presidential race where Crist lost narrowly in >70% White counties such as Pasco, Hernando and Volusia Counties but lost because he could not run up the score in heavily Latinx areas such as Osceola and Miami Dade counties. Overall, both Obama and former Governor Crist show that, although difficult,  Democrats can narrow the margins in these six counties.



North Central Florida Data Table:
North Central Florida Table.png
For full data tables click here:

Conclusion:

Overall, how was Trump able to win Florida?

He was able to produce stunning margins from unexpected areas. Clinton was able to overperform Obama on the Gold Coast, heavily Latinx areas such as Osceola and Orange Counties and even in areas with high African American populations such as Broward and Duval (Jacksonville) Counties. If Trump received the same margins Romney received in all the counties outside of the Gold Coast plus Orange and Osceola, Clinton would have won Florida by 237,000 votes matching President Obama’s 2008 margin. Trump’s win relied on increased turnout in Florida’s West Coast and North Central area above Romney’s numbers, mainly in areas that were >70% White with a high population of former Midwesterners. Republicans such as Romney in the previous election made improvements with white voters, but those were mainly white rural voters north of Ocala which are culturally southern. Trump made those same improvements in areas with high populations of former Midwesterners.


As shown by the high turnout numbers in the Gold Coast and the Orlando area, the reservoir of new Democratic voters may be drying. Therefore, in order to win in 2018 and 2020, Democrats need to ensure that their margins in the counties just north of the I-4 Corridor such as Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Lake return to President Obama’s 2012 levels.