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Turnout watch in Florida and Arizona

One of this primary season’s most reliable trends is higher turnout — slightly higher in most states for Republicans, far higher for Democrats. Tonight, as they look at states where they hope to compete for a total of nine House seats, two Senate seats, and three governor’s mansions, Democrats are watching turnout closely.

They were optimistic about some early numbers from Florida, but that optimism burned them in the past. In 2014, a poor year overall for Democrats, they cast a total of 65,700 votes in Miami-Dade’s primary. They had exceeded that by the start of Tuesday, thanks in large part to the competitive primary in the Miami-based 27th district. Turnout may double in neighboring Broward County and may grow by 50 percent in Tampa’s Hillsborough County.

But there’s plenty left to count. Here, for comparison, were the turnout totals in tonight’s two big state primaries, in their last statewide contested primaries:

Florida 2010
Democrats: 910,393
Republicans: 1,252,970

Arizona 2010
Democrats: 250,201
Republicans: 506,323

Each number comes from that year’s contested Senate primary; the only statewide race that diverted that year was the Arizona GOP primary for governor, where more than 80,000 voters participated while blanking their Senate ballot.

Live primary results: Florida and Arizona, plus Oklahoma runoffs

There are big races today in Arizona and Florida. In both states, voters are picking their candidates for key Senate races, though in Florida the winners have looked clear for months. In Florida, voters in both parties are weighing in on their candidates for governor.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, voters are choosing candidates in runoffs, including for the GOP nominee for governor.

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