Tell us: Florida’s Democratic Party lost 331,000 voters. Where did they go?

Florida Democrats are badly in disarray, says News 6 political analyst

Supporters of Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist and Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis stand outside the Sunrise Theatre ahead of their debate, in Fort Pierce, Fla., Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (Rebecca Blackwell, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Put out a missing persons report: 331,000 Florida Democrats have disappeared.

The Florida Division of Elections released its voter registration report for the November election, known as book closing, earlier this month.

Taken with the reports from the general elections in 2020 and 2018, Republicans and no-party-affiliate voters show a steady increase in voter registration.

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But from 2020 to 2022, Democrats lost 331,810 voters. That loss translates across all major ethnicities too.

Most of Florida’s third parties also saw an increase in voter registrations from 2020 to 2022 as well, except for the Libertarian Party, which saw a slight drop in voters, from 39,538 in 2020 to 39,451 in 2022.

No political party saw a bigger drop in supporters in Florida than the Democrats.

News 6 political analyst and UCF professor Dr. Jim Clark says the problem can be laid at the feet of the Florida Democratic Party.

“It’s really depressing for the Democrats,” Clark said. “There are polls showing (Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis) may carry Orange and Miami-Dade counties, two solidly Democratic counties in the past.”

Clark believes a few things are at play. One is the continued realignment of so-called “yellow dog Democrats” who are traditionally more conservative.

“Now those people are dying off or changing to the GOP finally. This does not bode well for the Democrats,” Clark said.

Clark also says that switching parties, which is now available online, has become easier. We’ve also seen increases in no-party-affiliate voters.

Hispanic voters, a once-reliably Democratic voting bloc and the largest minority bloc in the state, has also shifted loyalties as more naturalized immigrants from the Americas register to vote.

“We found out 2 years ago the Dems can’t count on Hispanic voters anymore,” Clark said. “Democrats lost two safe congressional seats in South Florida thanks to a tsunami of Hispanic voters going Republican.”

Finally, Clark says Florida Democrats are not fronting decent candidates on the ballot, and the party’s leadership has been poor.

“The only election I think the Democrats can win is when they elect a new party chairman every couple of years. They are badly in disarray,” Clark said.

Combine this with the Republican Party’s robust voter registration program, and an influx of new voters from other states, and it’s no wonder the GOP overtook Democrats in voter registration last year for the first time in the state’s history.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.