On Friday, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced Republicans have overtaken Democrats in the voter registration race. “Today for the first time in the history of Florida we’ve now overtaken Democrats,” DeSantis said at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
DeSantis’ announcement is particularly meaningful, because “For years, Democrats have touted a massive voter registration advantage over Republicans” writes The Hill. “In 2008, when former President Obama carried Florida by about 200,000 votes, there were nearly 700,000 more registered Democrats in the state than Republicans.”
The balance is changing as the two parties combat to retain voters as well as recruit new ones. “Democrats have suffered a series of disappointing defeats in Florida in recent cycles, often losing key races by razor-thin margins.”
“The 2020 election proved particularly devastating for Florida Democrats. Former President Trump not only carried the state for a second time in a row, but won it by more than 3 percentage points – a veritable landslide by Sunshine State standards.”
Democrats also lost two South Florida House seats in 2018 as Miami-Dade County swung right. Florida’s chair of the Democratic Party, Manny Diaz, has vowed to build out the party’s voter registration operation.
Governor DeSantis’ conservative policies and gumption in standing up against the Biden administration’s overreaching covid-19 mandates and measures have made him, and his state, attractive to many.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, from January 2020 to April 2021, at least 555,710 people moved to Florida from other states. Florida was ranked the #1 place to move during the entire year of 2020. In August, Florida’s local FOX 4 news station reported “nearly 1,000 people are moving to Florida every day.”
On Thursday Politico wrote “Florida Democrats anxious as DeSantis seems unbeatable.”