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Florida Dems’ claim big voter registration drive advantage; yet racial splits widening

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The Florida Democratic Party is reporting that more than 221,000 new Democratic voters have been added to the state’s voter rolls during the first eight months of this year – 20 percent more than the number of new Republicans.

The gap is far wider among new voters who are black, Hispanic or reporting “other” races on their voter registrations, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the FDP.

On the other hand, almost twice as many white people registered as Republicans than as Democrats between Jan. 1 and Sept. 1, according to numbers released by the Democrats.

Florida’s racial splits by party are widening.

Independent voters have them both parties beat among new voters this year, however. The new numbers reported by the Florida Democratic Party show that 244,000 new voters register with no party affiliation or registered with minor parties, including a slightly larger number of Hispanic voters than Democrats attracted, a much larger number of “other” race voters, and a total of white voters that is close to but still below the number of new voters who registered as Republicans.

But the bottom line for Democrats is a widening overall advantage over Republicans in Florida.

With the latest counts there now are 5.21 million registered Democrats and 4.79 million Republicans in Florida, according to the FDP. Independent or minor party voters are creeping up on both parties’ totals, and they combine to add up to 3.69 million.

The latest voter registration efforts also accentuated the sheer dominance Democrats have over Republicans among black voters, and the increasing advantages with Hispanic and “other” race voters.

“As we head into the final months of the presidential campaign, Florida Democrats have managed to once again register tens of thousands more voters than Republicans,” FDP Executive Director Scott Arceneaux stated in the news release. “Democrats have out-registered Republicans by a 3-to-1 margin with Hispanic voters, a 20-to-1 margin with African American voters, and a 2-to-1 margin among all other minority communities in Florida. Our field team has opened 57 offices throughout the state and has talked to hundreds of thousands of Floridians.”

So as of Sept. 1, 80 percent of the state’s 1.9 million black voters are Democrats, 16 percent are independents, and 4 percent are Republicans.

Among Florida’s 2.1 million Hispanic voters, 39 percent are Democrats, 35 percent are independents, and 25 percent, are Republicans.

Among the 876,000 voters who identified other races, 44 percent are independents, 35 percent are Democrats, and 21 percent are Republicans.

But among the state’s 8.8 million white voters, 45 percent are Republicans, 29 percent are Democrats, and 27 percent are independents or pledged to minor parties.

Put another way: 64 percent of Florida’s registered voters are white; while 50 percent of registered Democrats are white; 61 percent of independent or third-party voters are white; and 83 percent of Republicans are white.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]

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