ORLANDO, Fla. – No Democratic presidential candidate has won Seminole County since Harry Truman in 1948, but there’s real optimism among party officials that will change in November.
In 2016, President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 1.2% in the historically red county that’s part of the critically important I-4 corridor, when registered Republicans there outnumbered registered Democrats by more than 13,000 voters.
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In just four years, though, that gap has significantly closed, with Democrats trailing Republicans by just 1,000 voters.
Brittany Nethers, the chair of the Seminole County Democratic Party, joined anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com” to explain the shifting demographics in the county.
“There are a lot of people moving from Orlando,” Nethers said. “Especially younger and more progressive people moving outward into Seminole County.”
Nethers believes the presidential election will resemble the 2018 midterms when two statewide Democratic candidates -- Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson -- defeated their Republican counterparts in Seminole County.
Despite those results, Republicans still call Seminole County ‘Trump country.’
“We don’t see Seminole County as Trump country,” Nethers said. “We have had quite a few people who are registered Republicans and voted for Trump come in and say, ‘I need a Joe Biden sign. I can’t believe I voted for this man.’ We’re seeing a lot of people who want to make sure they’re on the correct side of history.”
President Trump was set to host a rally in Sanford Friday night, but the event was canceled following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Nethers also discussed three down-ballot races -- FL Senate District 9, FL House District 28, and FL House District 29 -- that she’s confident will flip in November.
Early voting in Seminole County gets underway Monday, October 19.
The Seminole County Republican Party didn’t respond to News 6′s request for an interview.