Florida’s political landscape continues to take shape for November. This week the Florida Division of Elections released new data that produced many takeaways from our August primary elections and the latest voter registration information available. It also included the most polling data of the cycle yet.
We learned from the Florida Division of Elections that Republicans led Democrats in voter registrations for the fourth consecutive month. Furthermore, Republicans have narrowed the Democrats' lead in voter registration from 2.5% in 2016 to 1.7% today. Lastly, more Democrats than Republicans voted in the August primary elections for the first time in over 20 years.
There’s something for both parties to like. Republicans likely feel good about voter registration trends that have continued to be favorable for them over both the short and longer-term in Florida. It’s clear Florida’s electorate generally is continuing to inch toward the right. Democrats should feel good about setting a record for votes by mail in Florida’s August primaries, flipping a traditional Republican strength. This week also included Florida TaxWatch issuing a recommendation against Florida’s proposed Constitutional Amendment 2, the proposal to raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 was said to be detrimental for taxpayers, businesses, and low-skill workers.
Last week, I discussed the importance of Florida’s 26th and 27th Districts which flipped from Republicans to Democrats in 2018 and proved to be indicative of what we’d see in key districts nationally as Democrats gained control of the House. In that update, I shared with you that the only polling data in District 26 showed Republican Carlos Gimenez leading incumbent Democrat Debbie Mucursal-Powell by five points. That remains the case this week, but we do now have polling in District 27 and it’s a big boost for the challenger in that race as well. In a rematch of a race won by incumbent Democrat Donna Shalala in 2018 by six points, the first poll in this race shows Maria Elvira Salazar with a three-point lead. If even reasonably accurate, the implications are significant for that race but for Florida and perhaps the country.
Numerous polls this week show President Trump and Republicans generally, polling well ahead of 2016 and 2018 with minorities. This included two polls that showed President Trump leading Biden with Hispanics in Florida. Florida’s 26th and 27th districts include large Latino populations and what we’re seeing in the Congressional polling in these districts jibes with the improvement in Trump polling. This is a huge storyline to watch going forward. If Trump wins the Latino vote in Florida, he’ll doubtlessly win the state and you’ll see Florida’s 26th and 27th districts flip to Republicans as well.
Speaking of the Presidential race, President Trump is pacing near identically with four years ago today. On September 10th, 2016, Trump trailed Clinton by 1% in an average of the polls. The same is true with Trump trailing Biden by an average of 1% this week. Trump won Florida by 1.2%.