Last Call for 11.3.20 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

If Democrats fail to flip Florida, it won’t be for lack of spending.

According to a new ad spending analysis from Smart Media Group, Democrats and left-leaning committees have spent more than $176 million on presidential advertising this cycle — nearly $88 million more than Republicans.

The final tally includes $11.8 million in Democratic spending over the last week, compared to $3.5 million for the GOP.

The biggest spender of the cycle is Biden’s campaign proper, which has shelled out $77.7 million since Sept. 1. At $38.3 million, Trump’s campaign managed less than half that. Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC follows in the No. 3 position at $35.6 million.

After a massive drop-off, GOP-leaning America First Action and Preserve America PAC shelled out $19.7 million and $15.8 million, respectively. Priorities USA Action — which has benefited from Bloomberg’s cash — sits at $11.6 million.

Democrats also entered the final week with an advantage in congressional adverts, $22.5 million to $18.7 million, with more than half the combined spend heading to South Florida.

Of the $25.3 million spent in the Miami market, the vast majority has landed in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, where Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell faces Republican Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez. CD 26 is considered the most competitive congressional district in the state this cycle.

Republicans, however, lead in both state Senate and state House spending, though just barely in the latter.

The GOP campaigns and committees had tossed $11.7 million into Senate ads at pencils down compared to $4.7 for Democrats. The Senate District 9 race between Republican former Rep. Jason Brodeur and Democratic labor attorney Patricia Sigman accounts for $7 million.

In the House, the gap is a mere $367,000 — $10.85 million for Republicans and $10.5 million for Democrats.

Again, the Miami and Orlando markets dominate, vacuuming up $6.6 million and $3.6 million of the overall spend, respectively.


Young voters could break records tonight.

According to NextGen Florida, more than 1.52 million Florida voters aged 18-35 cast ballots during the early voting period, compared to 1.68 million total who voted in the 2016 election.

With 90% of the 2016 total already in and accounted for, Election Day numbers put the demographic in position to outpace the total from four years ago.

There are some other noteworthy stats buried in NextGen’s analysis: Among Florida voters 18-29 who have cast their ballots, 30% are first-time voters this year, 55% are infrequent voters, and 60% did not vote in 2016.

“These are just a couple of signs of how the youth vote has woken up this year in Florida, and we expect to soundly beat that 2016 turnout today,” NextGen Florida press secretary Abel Iraola said.

NextGen America is an advocacy organization focused on turning out young voters in support of progressive candidates.

In the 2020 cycle, the group has pumped more than $8.1 million into their ground game operations, which has resulted in millions of voter contacts — 1.7 million via digital ads, 1.9 million by phone, 4.8 million by text, and 2.1 million by mail.

“Despite the challenges of organizing around a pandemic during a historic election, we shifted gears quickly to ensure that we continued to reach young people where they are and empower them to demand a seat at the table,” said NextGen Florida state director Justin Atkins.

“Young Floridians are realizing the incredible potential we have to drive change at home and in D.C. for the issues that matter to us, from health care to climate change to student debt. This year we’ve shown that we’re up for the fight.”

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 805,924 FL residents (+4,553 since Monday)

— 10,776 Non-FL residents (+84 since Monday)


— 7,340 Travel related

— 306,170 Contact with a confirmed case

— 8,171 Both

— 484,243 Under investigation


— 49,715 in FL


— 17,099 in FL

Evening Reads

With 100 million votes cast early, the U.S. heads toward its highest turnout in over a century” via Michael Cooper, Maggie Astor, Luke Broadwater, Danny Hakim and  of The New York Times

Donald Trump signals chaotic stretch after election” via Anne Gearan, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Amy Goldstein, and Josh Dawsey of The Washington Post

How Trump could attempt a coup” via Barton Gellman of The Atlantic

Protests won’t be enough to stop a coup” via Judith Shulevitz for The Atlantic

Republicans publicly silent, privately disgusted by Trump’s election threats” via Ryan Lizza and Daniel Lippman of POLITICO

Generals privately brief news anchors, promise no military role in election” via Jonathan Swan of Axios

Judge orders Postal Service to sweep for unsent ballots, get them out for delivery” via Erin Durkin of POLITICO

On voters’ minds: the pandemic, the protests and the TLC channel.” via The New York Times

Trump says he’s ‘winning Florida really big’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Melania Trump votes in Florida” via The Associated Press

Jill Biden brings last minute GOTV push, and sweets, to Tampa Bay area” via Kate Bradshaw of Florida Politics

At a Hialeah polling place, dueling salsa music, taunts of ‘comunista,’ and shy voters” via Yadira Lopez of the Miami Herald

Conservative media influencers get early start pushing misleading claims about Pennsylvania election” via Brandy Zadrozny of NBC News

Also on the ballot: The future of Trump’s family political dynasty” via Meridith McGraw and Nancy Cook

Tired of Trump, Deutsche Bank games ways to sever ties with the president” via Matt Scuffham, TomSims, John O’Donnell of Reuters

Republicans eye 2024 White House bids and debate post-Trump era as 2020 election ends” via Manu Raju of CNN

Andrew Gillum Forward Florida PAC gives over $100K to political campaigns in October” via Jeff Schweers of the Tallahassee Democrat

Choosing judges in primary elections challenged” via The News Service of Florida

Quote of the Day

“We knew that the Democrats had gravitated toward the mail. Republicans have gravitated toward in-person early and in-person on Election Day. So, if the trend continues, you’re looking at between two and three hundred thousand Republican ballot advantage over Democrats.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, predicting Election Day turnout will fuel a Trump victory in Florida.

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