ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Democrats are touting early success in turning out base supporters to the polls.
- Florida Democrats: More than 1 million Democrats have voted so far
- Joe Biden wrapped up a 4 city trip to Florida in Orlando
- DECISION 2018: Latest News | Voting Guide
Early voting started in a handful of counties Monday, including Orange and Seminole counties.
With polls predicting narrow races for various state and federal seats, former Vice President Joe Biden held a series of campaign stops in Florida with Democratic party candidates like Sen. Bill Nelson, Rep. Stephanie Murphy and Agricultural Commission candidate Nikki Fried.
Biden visited four cities in two days, wrapping up Tuesday in Orlando.
“Democrats have to choose hope over fear," Biden said.
“Remember who we are, we can lead the world, this is the United States of America,” he added.
Nelson is locked in a tight race to keep his seat, as he’s facing a challenge from Republican Governor Rick Scott.
A new Decision 2018 Poll shows Nelson with a growing 8 point lead over Scott: 49 percent to 41 percent, but still 10 percent of voters undecided or choosing other candidates.
Meanwhile, Andrew Gillum is leading Republican challenger Ron DeSantis in the race for governor, according to the same Decision 2018 poll, 49 percent to 42 percent, with 8 percent of voters undecided.
However, our SurveyUSA, which conducted the Decision 2018 poll, said DeSantis led among voters who had already turned in their ballots, 50 percent to 49 percent.
The Florida Democratic Party says it has seen more than 1 million registered Democratic voters submit early votes so far, with large turnout in Orange County and in South Florida.
Both parties know that turnout, more than rallies, will win the election. Appearances by party heavyweights could be the ticket to rally base supporters, as well as find firm support in unaffiliated supporters.
Numbers show NPA voters will be the weight that tips the scales of the November 6 election.
In Orange County, for example, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the number of registered voters (340,355 Democrats vs. 211,383 Republicans), yet the number of NPA voters is a large margin, totaling 242,025.
Popular former President Barack Obama has yet to make an in person appearance for Florida Democrats this campaign season, though he has campaigned elsewhere in the country. Obama has at the least given his public endorsement to Democratic candidates on paper.
Republicans are also relying on big party names. President Donald Trump appeared at a rally in Tampa, and made multiple Twitter endorsements, on behalf of candidates including former Rep. Ron DeSantis, in his bid for the open governor’s seat, and for Gov. Rick Scott, who is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in the U.S. Senate.
Sources say Trump may be returning to Florida to campaign in the coming weeks.
Vice President Mike Pence made a campaign stop in Orlando earlier this year on behalf of Scott, and sources tell Spectrum News that President Trump will likely return to Florida to campaign by the end of October.