While Florida has long been known as a swing state, newly released numbers show that it has gotten considerably redder under Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Republicans widely outpacing Democrats in voter registration
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Republicans have gained 86,376 registered voters since holding their primary this past August. By contrast, Democrats have only signed up an additional 9,380 people during the same time frame.
In other words, nine Republicans have registered to vote for every one Democrat who has done the same. As the Sentinel explained, this gives the GOP a total of 5.28 million registered voters in the Sunshine State compared with 4.97 million registered Democrats.
Further, Republicans have now pulled ahead when it comes to mail-in ballots and in-person early voting. The paper noted that this is a particularly troubling sign for Democrats given how Republicans typically have higher election day turnout.
“It might be time to consider Florida, if not a red state, than a red-leaning state,” Florida Atlantic University political scientist Kevin Wagner was quoted as saying.
“If you’re just being factual, until the Democrats start winning races statewide with some degree of regularity, it’s hard to call it a battleground state,” Wagner went on to add.
Democratic strategist Sean Phillippi agreed with that assessment, saying, “Democrats lost this election when they lost their voter registration advantage.”
Meanwhile, polling data suggest Republicans are doing well ahead of next month’s midterm elections, with a survey published last week by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab showing DeSantis beating Democrat Charlie Crist by 13 points.
What’s more, the poll also showed Sen. Marco Rubio 11 points ahead of Democratic challenger Val Demings by 11 points.
DeSantis greeted by loud cheers at a country music concert
DeSantis received a warm welcome on Saturday night when country music star Luke Bryan brought him on stage during a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Ian.
Luke Bryan brought DeSantis on stage.
Listen to that CROWD 🇺🇸🔥
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 30, 2022
The governor was met with loud cheers when he walked out and began throwing merchandise to audience members as Van Zant’s “Sweet Florida” played in the background.