Florida added 264,413 voters since the Aug. 28 primary with Democrats out-registering Republicans by nearly 18,000 during the period, and with some of the biggest party swings occuring in Central Florida.
Florida now has 13,278,070 voters registered to cast ballots in the Nov. 6 general election, according to the new book closing reports posted by the Florida Division of Elections, through last Thursday’s book-closing date for registering.
That is more than 418,000 additional voters than were registered to vote in the 2016 general election.
The biggest gains in voter rolls came in the urban counties, where Democrats are piling up new voter registrations, especially in Central Florida.
In Orange County, Democrats increased their advantage over Republicans by 9,401 voters since August, the biggest partisan gain of any county in the state. Democrats now make up 43 percent of the electorate in Orange, compared with 26 percent for Republicans.
Democrats also made impressive gains in Osceola and Seminole counties since August, while Republicans increased their advantages in the next layer of metro-Orlando counties, Brevard, Volusia, Polk and Lake.
Democrats out-registered Republicans by 1,790 in Osceola since August, and by 1,720 in Seminole. Meanwhile, Republicans out-registered Democrats by 1,174 in Brevard, 949 in Volusia, 931 in Polk, and 797 in Lake.
Overall in the seven counties of the metro-Orlando area, Democrats added 28,231 voters since August, while Republicans added 19,171.
Osceola increased its overall voter roll by almost 3 percent just since August, perhaps due to Democrats’ efforts to sign up voters among the huge wave of post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rican migrants. The latest new voters now gives Democrats a 20-point advantage in registration over Republicans. In Seminole, once a bed-rock Republican county, the Republican advantage has been trimmed to 2.4 percent, cut in half since the 2016 general election.
Republicans now hold voter-registration advantages of 13.3 percent in Lake; 11.1 percent in Brevard, with slim edges in Volusia, 1.4 percent; and Polk, 0.5 percent.
That pattern is consistent all across Florida: Democrats have been expanding their bases in urban and close-in suburban areas, while Republicans have been making gains throughout the rest of the state in rural, small-city, and exurban counties.
Indeed, the tribal split in Florida is accentuating. Republicans have added to their ranks in 55 small-to-medium counties since August, while Democrats were rolling up the scores in urban and suburban areas across just 12 counties. But while Republican voter registration totals generally were going up by the hundreds in most counties, Democrats were padding their advantages by the thousands in the few urban and suburban counties where they improved and coming to dominate.
As a result, eligible voters for the 2018 general election break down this way statewide:
– Republicans: 4,681,598 total. That’s up 87,465 since August, and now represents 35.3 percent of the electorate.
– Democrats: 4,944,867 total. That’s up 105,433 since August, and now represents 37.2 percent of the electorate.
– Small-party and no-party affiliation voters: 3,651,605. That’s up 71,515 since August, and now represents 27.5 percent of the electorate.
Overall, Democrats have just under a 2 percent lead over Republicans in voter registration statewide. That’s up only by a a tiny percentage since August, but down from the 2.3 percent advantage they held in the 2016 general election.
After Orange, other counties where Democrats most added to their advantages over Republicans since August were Broward County (9,237), Miami Dade County (6,262), Duval (3,597), and Hillsborough (3,396.)
Democrats also padded their advantages by more than 1,000 voters since August in and Palm Beach, Leon, Alachua, Pinellas, Osceola, and Seminole, and signed up 22 more new voters than Republicans in Monroe County.
Since August, Republicans have improved their advantages the most since August in Marion County, where they padded their advantage over Democrats by another 1,286 voters since August. Other counties where Republians most added to their advantages over Democrats were Citrus County, (1,178), Brevard, (1,174), Santa Rosa (1,130), and Pasco (1,109).
Republicans added to their advantages by at least 500 more voters since August in 16 other counties: Volusia, Polk, Hernando, Charlotte, Lake, Okaloosa, Bay, Columbia, Escambia, Lee, Sumter, Putnam, Manatee, Collier, Suwannee, and St. Johns. They added 100 or more voters to their advantages in 38 other counties.