Republican Voter Registration Surges, Securing Nearly Half-a-Million Advantage in Florida

In Florida, Republicans have seen a significant boost in voter registration, with the latest data published by the state revealing a gain of nearly half-a-million voters.

The figures, updated on Tuesday, indicate a notable advantage for the Republican Party in the state.

There are 5,311,365 registered Republican voters in Florida, compared to just 4,815,215 registered Democrats, according to the Florida Division of Elections, a lead of 496,150 for the GOP. Whereas the number of registered Republicans in Florida has increased since 2020, the number of registered Democrats has declined by 500,739 during the same period. 

The number of Democrats has declined even as Florida’s population has rapidly increased, with a net migration rate of 1.9% in 2022, representing 318,855 people, the highest in the United States per the National Association of Realtors. Amid this increase, the decline in Democrats means that incoming voters are either choosing to register as Republicans or remain unaffiliated, but not join the Democratic Party.

Other parties have observed modest increases in their numbers of registered voters, with minor parties gaining approximately 50,000 voters since 2020 while the number of unaffiliated voters increased by 212,000.

Democrats have faced difficulties winning statewide elections in Florida, with the party having lost the state in the last two presidential elections, last two gubernatorial and senatorial elections as well as elections to the state’s cabinet positions, with the cabinet losing its last Democrat when Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried’s term expired earlier this year. The state’s Cook Partisan Voting Index (CPVI) rating, which scores states based on their voting tendency, is R+3.

As a joke, a Republican member of the Florida State Legislature in March introduced the “Ultimate Cancel Act,” which would effectively de-register the Democratic Party from the state. “There is no plan. There’s nothing. It’s just a state of suspended animation and chaos,” said a Democratic operative in Florida of the state party to The Washington Post in January.

“There are really no Democrats in Florida who have money or are motivated,” said John Morgan, a major Democratic donor in Florida, to the Post.

As Democrats have declined, Republicans have increased their control over Florida politics — now holding all state-wide offices and winning them by large margins. In 2022, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida won re-election to his office by a margin of 19.4%, representing over 1.5 million votes, while Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida won re-election by a similar margin.

A larger number of registered voters is considered an advantage for political parties, who use registration data to plan their get-out-the-vote campaigns and deploy resources more effectively. Having a voter registration advantage in a state makes it more likely that parties can turn out more voters and win statewide offices, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The Florida Democratic Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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