Florida's Early GOP Voters Are Crossing Party Lines, Proving Just About Anything Can Happen This Election Day

You know the Republican party's in trouble when a quarter of their voters in a key swing state have already cast their ballots for the opposite party's nominee. That's reportedly the case in Florida, where a recent poll shows some surprising figures regarding the way the state's Republicans voted. Among early voters in Florida, 28 percent of Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton, and these figures are telling.

A joint poll conducted by TargetSmart, an electoral demographic data agency, and the College of William & Mary found that 28 percent of Republican early voters said they voted for Clinton. Pollsters surveyed 530 people online and 188 people over the phone, and pulled from TargetSmart's election data to select candidates that they believe represent Florida's overall demographics accurately.

These numbers are just the most recent in the months-long trend of Republican defection to the Clinton camp, spurred on, most likely, by the sheer horror of a Trump presidency. For months, pundits have speculated about how some Republicans will settle for Trump and how others will vote on the other side of the aisle. This most recent poll seems to point the latter. Clinton herself has reached out to Republican voters, utilizing the sheer mass of public dissatisfaction with the top of the Republican ticket. In Florida, at least, it seems like it might be working.

Florida has traditionally been one of the key swing states that predicts a national win or loss based on the way the majority of the state's population votes. With 29 electoral college votes, the state is one of the biggest and most essential battleground states for either party to win. Just a few days before the release of the TargetSmart/William & Mary poll, The Washington Post reported that Florida might be Trump's last saving grace, but these polling results suggest otherwise.

While the Florida poll is certainly gratifying for Clinton supporters, it's foolhardy to put too much stock in polls at such a pivotal climax in the presidential election season. In mid-October, an excellent New York Times investigation revealed that one young Black Republican Trump supporter from Illinois has disproportionately affected the Los Angeles Times poll, revealing a critical look into the wild and weird world of polling. Polls do measure public opinion on candidates and other issues, and should be paid attention to. But if you're like Taylor Swift and asking if we're out of the woods yet, I hate to break it to you, but we're not good just yet.