TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Super Tuesday results may have come as a surprise, knocking third-place Elizabeth Warren out of the race and reviving Joe Biden’s campaign.
With 219 delegates up for grabs, Florida could be a major determining factor in whether the Democratic nomination goes to Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.
Florida has more than 5 million active registered Democratic voters in the state, according to data from the Florida Division of Elections.
In Hillsborough County alone, more than 41,109 of the registered Democrats have already submitted a primary vote. More than 34,000 of those have voted by mail. That leaves many local voters wondering what happens to that vote when their candidate drops out of the race.
In Pinellas County, nearly 31,000 ballots have been cast among registered Democrats. Between both parties, more than 80,000 ballots have been mailed into the supervisor of elections.
While it isn’t possible to see how many of those early votes went to which candidate, it’s fair to say a decent portion of them could have gone to the 14 names listed on the ballot who are no longer in the race.
Unfortunately for those early birds who didn’t vote for the party’s two front-runners, they’ll have to wait until November’s general election before casting a vote with any weight. Some states have different rules but, in Florida, if you’ve already mailed in a ballot for a candidate who has dropped out, you cannot change your vote.
According to a recent survey by St. Pete Polls, Biden leads Sanders 61 percent to 12 percent among Florida’s voters. The poll also reflected Biden’s strong support of the key Latin population community in Florida, garnering 60 percent of the group that makes up around 30 percent of the Sunshine State.
Florida’s presidential preference primary is March 17, but early voting is underway in some Tampa Bay counties already.
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