At least eight Republican-held Florida House seats should be in Democrats’ grasps, at least if voters vote their colors, while Republicans have two Democratic seats that ought to be flippable, and several of those most-vulnerable seats are in Central Florida.
And another 14 districts, all but one of which are held by Republicans, the voter registrations between Republicans and Democrats are air-tight, within two percentage points.
That’s according to an Orlando-Rising analysis of voter registration trends that has Republicans picking up strength in rural, small-city, and exurban areas. Democrats meanwhile have improved in cities and inner suburbs.
A look at the latest voter registration numbers, broken down by Florida House District, shows registration trends turning the Orlando urban core more blue are also making Central Florida Republicans among the most vulnerable going into next Tuesday’s election. And that brings eight Republican seats into play, where Democrats actually have more voters in the districts, while just two Democratic-held seats are in districts with more Republican voters.
Many of the most pronounced are in Central Florida.
Republican state Rep. Bob Cortes‘ House District 30, including parts of south-central Seminole and north-central Orange counties, has moved three points toward Democrats, and now Democrats have a five-point advantage in voter registration there. Cortes, of Altamonte Springs, faces Democratic Maitland City Commissioner Joy Goff-Marcil.
Just to the south, House District 47 including much of north and central Orange County, being vacated by Republican state Rep. Mike Miller of Winter Park, has trended three points toward Democrats. Now that party has a four-point advantage in voter registration. Democrat Anna Eskamani and Republican Stockton Reeves are battling in that one.
Farther to the south, Republican state Rep. Mike La Rosa‘s House District 42’s voter base remains unchanged, yet Democrats have a six-point advantage in voter registrations. La Rosa, of Saint Cloud, is being challenged by Democrat Barbara Cady.
In three other Central Florida districts the voter registration percentages for Republicans and Democrats are within two points of each other: House District 44, where Republican state Rep. Bobby Olszewski faces Geraldine Thompson; House District 50, where Republican state Rep. Rene Plasencia faces Democrat Pam Dirschka; and in House District 53, where Republican state Rep. Randy Fine faces Democrat Phil Moore.
Statewide, in 53 of Florida’s 120 House districts, one party or the other has an advantage of more than 15 percentage points in the voter registrations. In none of those districts is that party out of office, and any swings there next Tuesday would be historic upsets.
The most extreme cases:
— House District 108, Democratic state Rep. Roy Hardemon is running for re-election with a voter roll that is 69 percent Democrat and 8 percent Republican.
— In House District 3, Republican state Rep. Jayer Williamson is seeking re-election in a district where the voters are 59 percent Republican and 19 percent Democrat.
Republicans didn’t bother challenging Hardemon; Democrats didn’t bother fielding anyone against Williamson. There are 21 other districts where one party or the other has a 30-point advantage in voter registrations.