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GOP Voter Registrations Explode, Florida No Longer ‘Battleground’ State

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Republican voter registrations in Florida have been rising for years, a trend that began after Ron DeSantis became governor, and now GOP voters in the Sunshine State outnumber Democrats by an amount that suggests it’s no longer an electoral “battleground.”

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, a local news outlet, “With another presidential election year taking shape, Florida’s reputation as the nation’s biggest battleground state has faded: Republicans now hold the biggest advantage in voter registration either major party has held in almost four decades.”

The outlet reported that the Republican Party in Florida currently has an 851,417-voter lead, the largest gap between the parties since Democrats dominated by over 854,000 votes in 1988.

The Florida presidential primary on Tuesday was mostly meaningless as the rematch of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump is already set for November, making the state an afterthought in this year’s presidential contest.

Both sides agreed that more competitive states will be the focus of advertising, campaign staff, and barnstorming visits in the coming months, noted the local paper.

“From a presidential standpoint, I think we’ll win pretty big here,” Florida Republican Party chair Evan Power told the outlet, looking ahead to the fall. “Obviously, we’re going to continue to work hard on the U.S. Senate race and down-ballot contests. But I think it’s clear we’re a firmly red state now.”

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According to the Florida Division of Elections, there are 5.2 million registered Republicans, 4.4 million Democrats, and 3.9 million voters who are not affiliated with any party.

Democrats in the state, however, claim that the gap between the political parties in the state has widened because almost a million voters had their status changed from active to inactive as a result of a recent state law that stipulates people who failed to cast a ballot during the previous two general elections risk losing their right to vote.

Still, the Tallahassee Democrat added:

Tracking company AdImpact already projects that Florida, after leading the nation in media spending in the 2020 presidential contest, will fall to eighth place in this year’s contest. Florida is forecast to fall behind Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, and Wisconsin, all states where the White House may be won or lost.

Biden once again sailed to victory in Florida’s Democratic primary last week, but that doesn’t mean he’s doing well in the state where his most-liked GOP challenger, Trump, calls home.

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Biden won all 224 delegates in the state, while Trump, who also easily won the GOP primary, picked up the 125 delegates up for grabs for the Republican winner, ABC News reported.

Once a true battleground state, Florida, under Gov. Ron DeSantis, has shifted decidedly to the right, as has Ohio in recent election cycles. Trump won the state by a narrow margin in 2016 and by a much wider margin in 2020.

Additionally, a recent survey by St. Pete Polls for WMNF Radio in Tampa indicates that Trump appears to be on track to win the state once more. In that poll, he holds a 6-point lead over the president.

“The survey also shows, however, that among political independents in Florida, the race is virtually tied, with Trump at 41.3% and Biden at 40.9%,” the Florida Phoenix reported, adding that “nearly six percent said they preferred another candidate, and five percent were undecided.”

What’s more, as in several other recent surveys, the St. Pete Poll has Trump dramatically leading Biden among younger voters ages 18-29 by a 51-33 percent margin. Among Florida Hispanics, Trump outpolls Biden 53-36 percent.

The Florida Phoenix added:

Trump’s lead in Florida isn’t a surprise, as the Republican Party of Florida continues to build up a lead over the Florida Democratic Party in terms of voter registrations in the state. Republicans had a lead over the Democrats of nearly 780,000 at the end of 2023.

Trump has defeated his Democratic opponent in Florida in the past two presidential elections. As to voter registration numbers, Republicans are at 5,141,848, Democrats at 4,362,147, and No Party affiliation (NPA) at 3,528,807, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

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