NEW: Black & Latino Turnout Broke Records Last Week!

By Gypsy C. Gallardo

Just after 2 p.m. today, the Supervisor of Elections released data on the racial make-up of voters in last week’s primary election in St. Petersburg.

It’s confirmed: black voters turned out on August 29th at a higher level than for the past four mayoral primary elections, breaking the record yet again for total vote count and turnout rate. More than 9,300 African Americans voted last week, a whopping 20% increase over the 7,400 African American voters participating in the 2013 primary.

Last week’s 27.9% turnout showing by black voters was an increase of six points from the 2013 race, which was eight times the turnout hike for white voters in the city, who had less than a one point uptick. Citywide, among all groups, turnout rose by just under 2 points, compared to last time.

Also important, the Hispanic and “Other” vote count and share rose last week as well. Whereas Latinos and “Other” minorities comprised less than 3.7% of the city’s primary vote count in 2009, their share rose to 6.3% this year, which means they too can be a deciding factor this year. All minorities combined made-up 23% of the electorate on August 29th.

2009 2013 2017 2017 vs 2013
Black 21.4% 21.9% 27.9% +6.0%
White 25.9% 36.5% 37.2% +0.7%
Hispanic 10.1% 16.3% 18.9% +2.6%
Other 9.8% 15.7% 19.5% +3.8%
All 23.5% 31.5% 33.4% +1.9%

With a razor thin margin between the two Ricks last Tuesday, both candidates will be driving hard to win the hearts and minds of African Americans (and other minorities) for the November 7th general election.

A portion of African American turnout was surely driven by the eight District 6 candidates on the primary ballot. Will black and minority turnout hold out with fewer candidates now in the run-off?

It looks likely. Former Mayor Rick Baker significantly expanded his Southside-targeted field team in recent days, while current Mayor Rick Kriseman’s crew set targets for key black precincts. They may want to turn some attention to the still-small but growing Latino community as well.

Here’s a vote tally by race group in the primary

2009 2013 2017 2017 vs 2013
Black 6,939 7,411 9,321 +1,910
White 28,763 40,693 43,817 +3,124
Hispanic 482 944 1,366 +422
Other 892 1,541 2,202 +661
All 37,076 50,589 56,706 +6,117

TheBurgVotes will release a precinct-level analysis of black voting patterns later this week.

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