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Right Now, Republicans Are Dominating the Voter Registration Game in Florida

AP Photo/John Raoux

 Florida has remained in GOP hands. You’d think that with the changing demographics and the fact that Obama carried it twice, the Sunshine State would be a solid blue bastion by now. As it stands, if Democrats are able to keep the states they’re guaranteed to win in the Electoral College, plus Florida, they have the 270 votes they need to lock up the presidency. That was why some on the right supported the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. And then, the 2016 election happened. Trump handily beat Hillary Clinton in Florida. He also broke down the blue wall in the northern states, winning Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin—states that haven’t voted Republican since the 1980s. As of now, he’s primed to win them again, as Democrats’ impeachment circus isn’t popular with voters, they credit him with the economy, and the 2020 Democratic crop is just plain milquetoast, weak, and out of touch. They’re pushing Medicare for All, which will gut 150+ million private health care plans, including those in union households. They hate fracking, which will screw blue-collar workers in Western Pennsylvania. They bash police, one of the few jobs where those without college degrees can get a decent salary and benefits. And they want illegal aliens to get health care. It’s a far-left nightmare goodie bag that no one, but those who live in California and New York want. Yet, let’s get back to Florida.


This is another must-win state for Democrats and the Trump team. Everyone knows the stakes. Yet, the 2018 election showed the solid work the Florida GOP has done. Rep. Ron DeSantis is now governor and his approval ratings across the board are something to behold; more than half of Democrats in the state approve of the job he’s doing. Good luck trying to beat him when he’s up for re-election. That same year, Gov. Rick Scott defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who might have alluded to his own demise when he was campaigning in Pasco County at the time. He told supporters that whoever this place goes, so goes the rest of Florida. Well, Pasco County is now a hardcore Trump county. 

Right now, across the state, for every Democrat that registers, two Republicans are added as well (via WGCU SW Florida):

Despite much-publicized efforts by the Florida Democratic Party and its allies, state data shows Republicans in the swing state are far outpacing Democrats when it comes to the raw number of registered voters.

Between January and September 2019 -- the latest month for which data is available -- Republicans registered a net 23,084 new voters in the state, compared to 10,731 Democrats, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

That’s more than a two-to-one net advantage for Republicans.


Joshua Karp, a spokesperson for Forward Florida, dismissed concerns on Democratic voter registration numbers, and pointed to what he said is a strategic build-up of efforts before 2020.

“There’s two numbers that really matter right now. The first one is -- we still have ten months before the voter registration deadline for 2020,” said Karp. “The other number is the current gap between Democrats and Republicans that are registered in the state.”

Democrats have over 200,000 more registered voters than Republicans in Florida, and has long held that advantage. But in election cycle after election cycle, the Republican Party has been better turning out its voters to the polls, despite the slight numerical disadvantage. Over the last two decades, it has translated to a near Republican monopoly on Florida politics.


And you see, that’s the key here. While registered voter numbers are cool to cite, it’s turnout. Just because someone fills out a form doesn’t mean they’ll be there at the polls on Election Day. Oh, and there’s this part of the article that could muddy the numbers from folks like Forward Florida because they consider “anyone who filled out a voter registration form as a ‘new’ voter, even if they were just updating their voting address.” Also, you have to factor in the Trump element. Millions of Democrats flipped their vote in 2016 and a lot of these folks were Obama voters, some two-time Obama voters. In Pasco County, that’s what turned the tide. The same could be said for Ohio. No way Trump clobbers Hillary by that margin with just Republican voters. So, these numbers are good for morale and fundraising letters, but turnout will always be key. And given how Democrats have behaved for the past two years, culminating in this impeachment mess, I think the base is going to be pretty motivated to vote Trump in 2020.

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