Notes on Arizona & Florida’s Primary Elections

Arizona and Florida held their primary elections this week on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Arizona (with 81 percent of precincts reporting)

In Arizona, the most interesting contests were the Democratic and Republican primaries for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, as well as the Republican primary for US Senate:

  • The overall turnout of registered voters was 26.9 percent.
  • The vote share was 43.9 percent Democratic to 56.1 percent Republican. Although it should be noted that this disparity is not too meaningful as the Republican contest was much more competitive than the Democratic one.
  • However, 53 percent of votes in the 2nd Congressional District were cast in the Democratic contest—the home of Republican Rep. Martha McSally.
  • Kyrsten Sinema handily won the Democratic primary for US Senate with 80.6 percent of the vote, while establishment favorite Martha McSally won the three-way Republican primary with 52.5 percent, beating out Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio.
  • Ann Kirkpatrick, after winning a seven-way primary with 41.4 percent, will be the Democratic nominee in the 2nd Congressional District. She is favored to win against Republican Lea Marquez Peterson in November.


In Florida, there were contested primaries for both parties for governor as well as the state’s 6th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 26th, and 27th Congressional Districts. Here are some key takeaways from this week’s results:

  • The total vote in Florida’s primary was 48.3 percent Democratic and 51.7 percent Republican—indicative of a close race this fall.
  • In the Democratic primary for governor, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum won with 34.3 percent, followed closely by former US Representative Gwen Graham with 31.3 percent, and Philip Levine at 20.3 percent.
  • Andrew Gillum had a great show of support in South Florida (Broward: 39.8%, Miami Dade: 38.8%) and his nomination is likely to drive Democratic turnout this fall.
  • In the Republican primary for governor, Trump-backed US Representative Ron DeSantis won the Republican primary overwhelmingly with 56.5 percent over former congressman Adam Putnam’s 36.6 percent.
  • In the general election, DeSantis may have to defend his racist allusion that Florida voters should not “monkey this up” by electing his Democratic rival Andrew Gillum, who is African-American.
  • Additionally, independent voters may be turned off by DeSantis’ connection to Trump.
  • Regarding Florida’s congressional primaries:
    District Democratic Share of Primary 2018 NCEC’s Democratic Performance 2018 Clinton 2016 Comments and Notes
    FL-06 42.7% 45.6% 41.2% The total primary vote closely tracks past races.
    FL-15 43.0% 46.3% 44.8% The total primary vote closely tracks past races.
    FL-16 * 45.9% 44.4% This is a sleeper race.
    FL-18 44.8% 48.8% 45.3% Republicans ran ahead of past norm, but only slightly. Mast is still favored in the general election.
    FL-26 48.5% 53.8% 58.4% Curbello is a formidable candidate. Turnout was low in the primary relative to other districts. This is a toss-up race.
    * In the Republican primary, Buchanan ran unopposed so the partisan share is not comparable in Florida’s 16th District.

NOTE: The results cited here are accurate as of 4:15 PM EST Aug. 29, 2018. The final results are subject to change as the Secretaries of State finalize and certify the election result totals.