The Florida Democratic Party’s voter registration problem is worsening.
Republicans now outnumber Democrats in the state by over 470,000 voters, according to data from the Florida Department of State.
The GOP only took the lead in registration in the former purple state in 2021.
The widening gap has primarily been fueled by a decline in registered Florida Democrats.
The party’s registration rolls swelled in advance of the 2020 presidential election — only to consistently decline in the following years.
The Florida Democratic Party has lost a whopping 134,583 voters since late 2022, according to Florida’s Voice.
Florida Republicans have lost voters since last year as well, but only a fraction of what the opposition has lost. Only about 18,000 voters were removed from the GOP rolls in the same timeframe.
The GOP’s registration advantage in the Sunshine State has escalated this year, growing by over 17,000 in April alone.
Republicans led Democrats by just over 350,000 registered voters in November, according to Florida’s Voice.
Will there be a red wave in the 2024 election?
That was enough to secure landslide victories over Democrats in that month’s midterm elections, even as Republicans failed to meet expectations of a red wave across the nation.
The historic GOP success in Florida has led many to identify the party’s leader — Gov. Ron DeSantis — as the agent of a political transformation in a historically competitive swing state.
DeSantis described the Florida Democratic Party as a “dead, rotten carcass” in one February interview.
The growing Republican registration advantage has led some to count on Florida as a reliably red state in the 2024 presidential election.
Those predictions will likely solidify if DeSantis throws his hat in the ring for the GOP presidential nomination, as he is expected to do soon. (A fellow Floridian, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, is also expected to announce a White House bid in the coming weeks.)
In spite of the worsening registration deficit, the reports of the Florida Democratic Party’s demise may be premature.
Democrat Donna Deegan flipped the mayoralty of Jacksonville this week, taking control of a city that was previously the largest (in terms of municipal population) held by Republicans in the nation.
The GOP maintains control of both houses of Florida’s state legislature.