By Thomas Perrin, JMI Public Affairs Director
Today is the big day for candidates who have been scrapping it out in their respective primary races. There are still a lot of unknowns, but let’s look at some of the facts we do know:-During this election cycle, voter registration has shifted slightly towards independents, who grew by 2.5 percent to 2,154,818 since the 2008 Primary. Independents now makeup nearly one-fifth of all voters in the state. Democrat registration has declined by 2.3 percent, to 4,610,771, and Republican registration declined by 1.6 percent, to 3,997,998. The current total number of registered voters in Florida is 11,120,316.-The amount of early voting is up significantly this year. As of yesterday, 361,615 ballots have been cast early compared to 251,110 the day before the 2008 primary. That’s a 44 percent increase. The number of absentee ballots is also expected to be quite higher than in 2008.-Polls have been all over the map indicating that there will probably be several close races. For example, over the past few days in the Republican gubernatorial primary, a Mason-Dixon poll shows Bill McCollum up by 9 points, 45-36 percent; the Quinnipiac poll has McCollum with only a 4 point lead, 39-35 percent; while Public Policy Polling has Rick Scott up by 7 points, 47-40 percent. It’s also noteworthy that all of the numbers in these polls have shifted significantly over the past few weeks. The U.S. Senate Democratic Primary has also seen similar fluctuations.We also know that today is an important day for civic engagement. So get out there and vote if you haven’t already…and bring a friend or co-worker while you’re at it.The results should be exciting to watch roll in tonight. What are your predictions for Florida’s 2010 Primary?