In 2008, Florida Democrats had a voter registration lead of 700,000.
By the beginning of 2021, that lead shrunk to roughly 100,000 more registered voters than the Florida GOP.
And now, according to the state’s August registration numbers, Democrats have just 23,055 more registered voters than Republicans.
According to Pew Research, Republican voter registration in Florida began to surge in 2016.
“There currently are 5.3 million registered Democrats and 5.17 million registered Republicans in the state – an edge of about 134,000 voters in favor of the Democrats. But the size of that margin has fallen from 327,000 in 2016 and 658,000 in 2008,” a Pew study found.
Florida Democrat Party Chair Manny Diaz admitted the party’s registration infrastructure has faced “years of neglect,” but tried to claim the real differences between Republican and Democratic registration in the state is due to Democratic counties cleaning their voter rolls faster than Republican counties.
However, other Democrat leaders in the state believe the problem is much bigger.
“It is a huge deal for Florida Democrats, I can’t stress that enough,” said state Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat, told Politico. “This is an all-hands-on-deck crisis for those who care about common sense and decency, and those who care about our policies.”
Florida Republicans see this as an opportunity to make the state a GOP stronghold for years to come.
Joe Gruters, the GOP Florida Chair, said he has hired an outside firm to work with local party chairs and help them overtake Democratic registrations.
“We are just over 60,000 voters away from flipping Florida red permanently,” Gruters said during an internal July conference call. “And we need all-hands-on-deck to push us over by year end.”