We’re now only five weeks away from Election Day with the voter registration deadline right around the corner for November’s elections. The deadline is October 5th. A record 5 million vote by mail ballots have been requested and thousands have already been returned. Voter registration efforts have been different, just like campaigning, due to the pandemic this year but have been and are in full force by political parties leading up to the deadline. Late last week, Florida’s Division of Elections provided the most recent update on voter registration by party. The current update includes all Floridians registered through August.
Some of the takeaways include Republicans gaining ground on Democrats for a fifth consecutive month. Also, Republicans have now erased Democrats' voter registration advantage for 2020 and have narrowed the partisan registration gap to the lowest record in state history since 1972. Furthermore, voters have been more likely to register in a political party than in past years, and new voter registrations gained speed in August, after light activity due to the pandemic earlier in the year.
August was easily the best month of the year for Republicans in Florida. After Democrats outpaced Republicans in overall registrations early in the year driven by the Democrat’s Presidential Primary in March, Republicans have once again outpaced Democrats in voter registrations, continuing the long-term Florida trends towards the right.
Here’s the year over year change in voter registration by party in Florida through August:
- DEM: +217,275
- GOP: +255,794
- Minor: +41,041
- NPA: +11,687
Republicans have added 38,519 more voters than Democrats over the past year.
The longer-term trend is highly favorable for Republicans due to gains made since the 2016 cycle. Democrats held a 2.5% advantage on Election Day 2016 when Donald Trump won Florida. Democrats currently hold a 1.3% advantage. Now clearly not all registered Democrats or Republicans vote for all candidates in their party, but most do. Given that more than a quarter of Florida’s voters are NPA’s, how they mostly break determines close elections. It’ll be interesting to watch the future/final updates to see where the momentum lies heading into Election Day in our state. As of the most recent info, there’s room for Republicans to feel cautiously optimistic.
Photo by: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images