Q&A – Florida’s Voter Registration Changes Since 2018’s Midterms


Today’s entry: What’s the change in voter registration look like compared to 2018 when the statewide races were so close?

Bottom Line: Today’s note follows my Florida voter registration update from Friday, which showed Florida’s Democrats holding the narrowest advantage over Republicans in Florida’s history. The trend of Republicans gaining ground on Democrats in Florida is literally at 43 years and counting. Democrats held their peak advantage in voter registration in 1978 when 67% of all registered voters in Florida were Democrats compared to only 28% who were registered as Republicans. 

That 39-point advantage, which coincided with Democrats retaining complete control of the state government until the ’90s, is now down to under one percent. It’s realistic for Republicans to eye being at parity with Democrats by next year’s elections. Speaking of which, on Election Day 2018 in Florida there were 4,875,282 Democrats and 4,626,815 Republicans.

Democrats held an advantage by 248,467 voters. Today, there are 5,267,864 Democrats and 5,178,159 Republicans.

Democrats now hold only an 89,705 advantage in registrations. The gain of 158,762 registered voters by Republicans easily exceeds the margin of victory of all of 2018’s close statewide races. Of course, not all registered partisans vote for a straight ticket and close races will always come down to how registered NPA’s and minor party-affiliated voters generally break. However, that’s where there’s even greater optimism on the right.

Given that Republicans have held complete control of the state government for over 20 years with Democrats holding a voter registration advantage in Florida the entire time, Florida NPA’s have historically been far more likely to break right than left. When you factor in the historical midterm trends, with the President’s party commonly losing ground, there’s a double dose of good news for Florida’s Republicans heading into next year’s elections. That’s without even diving into the impact of redistricting which based on the Census is also likely to be of benefit to Republicans in non-statewide races. 

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Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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