Q&A – How Have Those Who Move To Florida Been Voting?

Today’s entry: Hi Brian, my parents-in-law from Cuba met in the states and have been American citizens since 1976 and have been married almost 60 years. They had businesses for years and live in Ft Lauderdale now. I am really worried about the votes of Puerto Rican new to Florida and the fifth of Florida's new people coming from New York. I don't have anything against any of these groups but I hope they vote wisely. DeSantis and Rick Scott barely won as it was. We need to take back the House. Florida concerns me on the congressional races.

Bottom Line: Last week, I shared the latest study showing that just over 21% of New Yorkers who left the state last decade, came to Florida. It’s no secret that people moving from New York are huge in South Florida, but news that nearly 300,000 migrated in the last decade alone still seemed to surprise many. I’ve joked that if you’re coming to Florida to flee high taxes you're home, but you’re not allowed to come and vote for the same type of politicians who gave you the high taxes you’re fleeing. The more I think about it, it’s not really a joke. Similar concerns have been voiced by many on the right regarding the growing Hispanic vote in Florida. Many pundits and pollsters predicted hurricane Maria’s permanent displacing of Puerto Ricans would seal the deal for Florida’s Democrats during the 2018 election cycle. Now, I would never advocate taking any election for granted but those predicting the demise of Republicans in Florida have been wrong for well over a decade.

There’s no accredited data on how specifically Puerto Ricans, Venezuelans, New Yorkers, etc., who've relocated to Florida have voted but we can compare overall data to find answers that may surprise you. Ten years ago, Democrats held a 669,882 registered voter advantage in Florida over Republicans. A decade later with nearly 300,000 additional New Yorkers and well over a million others from different places and countries, that advantage for Democrats is down to 330,428. In other words, Republicans have gained 339,454 more registered voters than Democrats over the past decade. Based on this type of information, it appears that those who move to our state are more likely to be Republicans than Democrats regardless of where they’re originally relocating from. 

Additionally, exit polling from 2018 showed that a key to the wins by Governor DeSantis and Senator Scott, were Puerto Ricans. Both candidates pulled in about half of the Puerto Rican vote, far higher than was anticipated. Political assumptions are often unwise, it’s why many pundits and pollsters are often wrong about outcomes, especially when it comes to Florida’s complicated politics. It’s also why I’m optimistic about Florida today and for the future. It would appear that most new Floridians get it when they get here. 

Submit your questions by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Images

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