Election 2020

Florida Republicans See Massive Surge in Voter Registrations Making Democrats Nervous

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democrats in the state of Florida are getting very nervous over the massive jump in Republican voter registrations in the state, leading some activists to criticize the Biden campaign for preventing them from going door-to-door to get people signed up.

Republicans have been canvassing Florida neighborhoods for months. Their door-to-door registration campaign has yielded spectacular results.


In August, Republicans added a party record of almost 58,000 new voters — a 91 percent increase compared to August 2016, the Florida election data show. The number of new Republicans added in August is 41 percent more than the number of new Democrats who registered. Democratic registration, meanwhile, was 6 percent lower than the total racked up in August 2016.

Overall, Republicans have cut the Democrats’ registration advantage by an astonishing 44 percent to where now, Democrats have only a 1.3 percent advantage.

But the Biden campaign thinks it would send a mixed message on the coronavirus if a Democratic volunteer showed up at a voter’s door when the candidate is making such a huge deal about the contrast between his “science says” method of dealing with the pandemic and Trump’s. Leading Democrats in the state are grousing about the restrictions and point to the obvious hypocrisy.

“Democrats sort of said two different things: no one should go out and do political activity, but it was OK to go out and demonstrate,” said a top Florida Democrat who had been involved in state voter registration drives. “A lot of this was safety and common sense, but the fact is that campaign didn’t want us to get crosswise with Biden’s message, which, don’t misunderstand me, is the right one but we may have gone a little too far.”

It’s either a national emergency requiring draconian measures to combat it, or it isn’t. When it’s people demonstrating against Trump, I guess there’s not much of a national emergency.

In addition to tens of thousands of new GOP voters, 119,000 Democrats have switched parties. What this means is a lot more Republicans will be going to the polls in November.

RyanTyson, a Republican pollster and strategist, saidthat an electorate with more Republicans could have an effect on polls, some of which model a far-higher Democratic voter base than exists and therefore run the risk of making Trump appear to be farther behind Biden. In an analysis, Tyson’sdata analytics team found that 119,000 more Democratic voters have switched their registration to Republican or independent than Republicans Party switchers since 2016.

“When we manage to get 57,000 new registrants in a month, It’s historic. And a lot of that is just organic,” he said. “Something’s in the water and with 41 days out of the election, we find ourselves beating the Democrats at their own game.”

Something’s in the air as well as the water. Recent polls suggest a toss-up. But in an election that will probably be decided by less than 1 percent, I’m liking Trump’s chances thanks to the efforts of the state party to register a record number of Republicans.