Several of Florida’s urban counties were the margin of victory for the controversial class size amendment in Tuesday’s election despite voters in those areas supporting the re-election of incumbent Jeb Bush.
That is among the conclusions reached in early analysis of voting patterns by the Florida Center for Public Policy and Leadership at the University of North Florida.
Dr. Matt Corrigan, director of the center’s Public Opinion Research Laboratory, said the county-by-county analysis of voting patterns shows clearly that several of the large urban counties such as Orange, and Miami-Dade were instrumental in the class size amendment achieving a 52 percent margin of victory. “It is interesting that voters in these counties voted to support Jeb Bush while also voting for an amendment that he vehemently opposed. It illustrates that voters are willing to make a distinction between the candidate and the issues,” he said.
Throughout Tuesday’s evening, staff at the Center tracked the results state-wide for the gubernatorial race and the three education-related constitutional amendments.Corrigan noted that when early returns favored Bush in central Florida counties along the Interstate 4 corridor, it was clear what the eventual outcome of the race would be. “These were our tossup counties which went for Gore in the presidential election. Everyone knew where north Florida and south Florida counties were going to line up. It was clear early on from our analysis of central Florida counties that it was going to be a big night for Jeb Bush,” he said.
The gubernatorial results have been plotted on state-wide maps that are available on The Florida Center’s “Election 2002” web page which can be found at
http://thefloridacenter.unf.edu. (Use an Internet Explorer browser for best results).
For historical purposes, the site also provides statewide maps showing county voting trends in the 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial races as well as precinct data with special emphasis on election results for the largest counties in the state.
As part of its continuing analysis of the 2002 Florida election, The Florida Center will review election data in greater detail and will be releasing special research reports related to its findings. Media interested in receiving copies of these reports or wanting to review related maps, may complete the information request form in the media section of the Center’s “Election 2002” web site.
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