Incumbent members of Congress representing parts of Central Florida are getting a little good news from voter registration trends for their re-election bids.
The three Central Florida districts represented by Democrats got a little more Democratic in their voter mix heading toward the Aug. 28 primary, and those represented by Republicans got a little more Republican.
That’s good news for Democratic U.S. Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Darren Soto of Celebration and Val Demings of Orlando, or for Murphy’s, Soto’s or Demings’ primary challengers; and for Republican U.S. Reps. Bill Posey of Rockledge and Dan Webster of Lake County; and for whoever wins the Republican primary for Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis‘ seat.
Voter registration rolls locked in for the primary on July 31 show that Murphy’s seat for Florida’s 7th Congressional District picked up a little more Democratic advantage in voter mix in both Orange and Seminole counties since the 2016 primary. The result is she or her Democratic primary challenger Chardo Richardson now has a 2 percent advantage in voter registration over whoever wins the Republican primary, state Rep. Mike Miller, Sanford businessman Scott Sturgill, or Vennia Francois of Orlando.
That district, a Republican stronghold in the 24 years when Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica represented it, tipped ever-so-slightly in Democrats’ favor in 2016 when Murphy beat Mica. Now, in the latest voter registration “book closing” numbers for the Aug. 28 election, Democrats make up 36 percent of the voter rolls; Republicans, 34 percent; and independent or minor-party voters, 30 percent.
Soto, or his Democratic primary challenger former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, also saw a 2 percentage point swing in his advantage in Florida’s 9th Congressional District’s voter registration. That district, which covers Osceola County, south Orange County, and east Polk County, now is 40 percent Democratic in voter registration and 27 percent Republican. The Democratic winner faces Republican nominee Wayne Liebnitzky.
Webster also saw his party’s voter registration padded by 2 percentage points in Florida’s 11th Congressional District, stretching from Lake County across west-central Florida to the coast. Democrats lost ground in every county in CD 11, while Republicans picked up voter registraiton advantage in Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties, and independent voters filled in the rest. The end result: Republicans now have 46 percent of the registered voters, while Democrats have 30 percent. Dana Cottrell is the Democrats’ nominee.
In Florida’s 6th Congressional District, now represented by DeSantis, who is running for governor rather than re-election, Republicans picked up additional voter advantages in Flagler, Volusia and Lake counties. In that district, which stretches from just south of Jacksonville down the coast, across Volusia, and into north-eastern Lake, Democrats lost voter percentage to independents while Republicans held fast. The result is the voter base is now 38 percent Republican and 33 percent Democrat.
Former state Rep. Fred Costello and Michael Waltz and John Ward are battling for the Republican nomination in the Aug. 28 primary, while Democrats Nancy Soderberg, Stephen Savigny, and John Upchurch are in the Democratic primary.
In Florida’s 8th Congressional District, Posey’s advantage improved by an additional percentage point as Democrats again lost some ground to independents while Republicans held fast to their portion of the voter registration in Brevard County, northern Indian River County, and eastern Orange County. That district now has a voter base that is 43 percent Republican and 30 percent Democrat. Sanjay Patel is the Democrats’ nominee this year.
In Florida’s 10th Congerssional District, Demings doesn’t have to worry about what Republican voter registration is like, at least not this year, because no Republicans are running against her. She does have a Democratic primary challenger, Orlando businessman Wade Darius. Nonetheless, Republican voter registration there, all in western Orange County, dropped by 1 percent, with independent voters picking up that portion of the voter base. CD 10 is now 44 percent Democrat and 26 percent Republican.