Two weeks before Florida’s primary day, Marc Caputo at Politico has some data that could dampen the hopes of the Democrat Party to gain wins in the swing state.

The state’s elections division shows Democratic voter registration in Florida fell by almost two points since 2016 while Republican voter registration remained steady.

Since 2016, the Democrats hoped for a rise in Hispanic and younger voters, especially after the tragic Parkland school shooting. Caputo noted that analysis from TargetSmart insisted “how youth voters are surging,” yet there is no comparison to 2014 data.

Caputo found the information and even then it seems a little lackluster for the Democrats:

According to an analysis last month, performed for POLITICO by [political science professor Daniel] Smith, the University of Florida professor, and the Republican-leaning Associated Industries of Florida, the net growth in voters ages 18-29 since the Parkland massacre was 5 percent, while the overall voter registration rolls grew 10 percent. A spokesman for the students said they had no numbers concerning how many voters they registered on their recent bus tour in Florida.

Even Matt Isbell, a top data analyst for the Democrats, doesn’t “see a significant boom in voter registrations by young people after the students from Parkland captured the nation’s attention following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.”

Hurricane Maria brought “tens of thousands” of Puerto Ricans to Florida, but active Hispanic voters is at 16%, which is basically the same as 2016. The data shows that Hispanics make up 17% of the registered voters in Florida, which is a 1% jump from 2016. The party lost black voters by 1% in that same time frame and now sits at 27%.

From Politico:

For this election, the percentage of active registered Democrats is down by nearly 2 percentage points compared with 2016, according to Florida Division of Elections data published Sunday for the primary. Because Florida doesn’t allow last-minute voter registration, the figures are final.

Some Democrats are worried, but they won’t say so publicly. They haven’t occupied the governor’s mansion in 20 years, and the only statewide elected Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson, who is seeking reelection, is slightly trailing Gov. Rick Scott in recent polls as the Republican has unloaded on him in a broad TV ad campaign.

“None of us will admit this publicly, but we’re worried. Where’s the blue wave?” a Democratic consultant tied to a major Florida campaign said about Florida‘s 2018 election. “The party has no money. The Republicans do. … But, thankfully, Republicans have Trump, and he’s a disaster when the elections are close. And this election will be close.”

Let’s look at the race between Nelson and Scott. Nelson has a 44-41 percent lead among Latino voters, but another “poll of 400 Florida Hispanics, commissioned by a coalition of Democratic-leaning Latino outreach groups, showed that Scott topped Nelson among Cuban-American voters, who tend to vote Republican, by 24 percentage points” while “Nelson’s advantage over Scott among Puerto Ricans, who tend to vote Democrat, was smaller: 7 points.”

58% of the Hispanic voters “said Trump hasn’t done enough to help welcome Puerto Ricans to Florida after Hurricane Maria.” However, their tone changed when it came to Scott:

When it comes to Scott, 41 percent of respondents said he has done enough to welcome Puerto Ricans to the state, compared to 33 percent who say Nelson had done enough.

Scott made inroads with the Boricua community soon after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. He opened welcome centers in Florida for evacuees, visited them frequently, stood by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, advertised in Spanish and snared the endorsement of the island’s secretary of state and its nonvoting member of Congress.

Since he announced his campaign, Scott immediately targeted the Hispanic community by setting up a campaign website in Spanish and sending ads in Spanish. He also started to learn the language and accepted interviews with the Spanish-language media in Florida.

A Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll on July 31 shows Scott leads Nelson overall, 47 to 44 percent and 9 percent undecided.


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