Democrats Outpacing Republicans In Florida Registrations, But Not in Flagler
FlaglerLive | June 19, 2012
More Democrats than Republicans registered to vote in Florida in May, driven by women and Hispanics, according to state registration data released early by the Democratic Party.
Democrats said they registered 5,108 more voters in May than the Republican Party did, the fourth month in a row the party has led the GOP in new registrations.
The party released the favorable figures ahead of the state, which typically lags in its reporting of the data on its website.
In Flagler County, the numbers are reversed: Republicans, who’d relinquished their lead in July 2008, took it back in January, and have widened it since, to a full percentage point difference (36.7 to 35.7 percent), though the biggest winner–as in the rest of the state–is the independent column. The ranks of Flagler County independents grew to almost a quarter of the electorate, the highest proportion ever, and to 28 percent when minor parties are included. (See the table below.)
Republican registrations in Flagler County may be swelling in part because the Aug. 14 primary will be contested most heavily by Republicans. Many Democrats register Republican to have a voice, then cross back before the general election. In two races contested only by Republicans, independents and Democrats would have been able to cast ballots, but the presence of write-in candidates in those races have closed those primaries, perhaps encouraging further migrations to Republican ranks by voters looking to have a say in those elections.
In the rest of the state, the most recent official tally on the state’s elections website, from April, showed 4.5 million registered Democrats in the state and just under 4.1 million registered Republicans.
But when the May state data is released, the larger story is likely to continue to be that independents are outpacing both parties in recent registration statewide.
The official April state registration report, the last available from the Division of Elections, shows Democrats registered just over 7,000 new voters that month compared to about 4,000 new Republicans.
But the number of no-party voters increased by nearly 15,000 in April, according to state figures, more than double the number of new Democrats. Another 500 or so new minor party voters registered. State figures in April showed 2.3 million Florida voters registered with no party and 342,000 with minor party affiliations.
The GOP regularly dismisses registration figures as meaningless because of the large amount of cross-over voting, particularly in north Florida where many Democrats often vote for Republican candidates.
Democrats, on the other hand, say national politics have pushed women and Hispanics toward the party and also say Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s generally low popularity numbers have helped registration efforts. Democrats say the state figures for May will show their party with a 12 percent registration advantage among Hispanics and a 14 percent advantage among women.
Registration closes July 16 for voters who want to vote in the Aug. 14 primary election. Voters can continue to register until Oct. 9 to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
–News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive
Flagler County Voter Registration, 2003-2012
|Florida, May 2012|