What explains Nikki Fried's victory in 2018 for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture? What explains the difference between votes received by Commissioner Fried and fellow Democrat candidates on the ballot in four other Fl. statewide races in 2018 at the county level? Florida's unique plural executive branch and diverse demographics have led to competitive elections resulting in narrow vote margins with the victory more often tipping in favor of Republican candidates across state politics in the last two decades. The 2018 Florida midterm election provides an opportunity to analyze the margin-of-victory for a Democrat candidate in comparison to the vote margins of four other Democrats defeated in statewide races that year. Fried attributed her victory in part to her support for medical marijuana and the female vote. Regression analysis is used to examine support for Fried in addition to the percentage difference of votes received by Fried and the other four democratic candidates in 2018 Fl. statewide races at the county level. The results indicate that there was greater support for Fried than the average of the four defeated Democrat candidates in counties with higher percentages of female population, in counties with higher percentages of population 25 and over with a bachelor's/graduate degree, and in counties with higher percentages of absentee ballots cast by Democrat registered voters. The impact of minor-party or no party affiliated candidates on the ballot in two races also increased the difference in vote margins between Fried and the two Black Democrat candidates with third-party candidate(s) listed on the ballot in their races.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Jewett, Aubrey


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences


School of Politics, Security and International Affairs

Degree Program

Political Science



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date