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Voter registration up 264K since primary with Democrats registering most

Florida added 264,413 voters since the Aug. 28 primary with Democrats out-registering Republicans by nearly 18,000 during the period.

Florida now has 13,278,070 voters registered to cast ballots in the Nov. 6 general election, according to the new book closing reports posted by the Florida Division of Elections, through last Thursday’s book-closing date for registering.

That is more than 418,000 additional voters than were registered to vote in the  2016 general election.

The biggest gains in voter rolls came in the urban counties, where Democrats are piling up new voter registrations, especially in Central Florida.

Meanwhile, Republicans have been making gains all across the state in rural and small-city counties.

Indeed, the tribal split in Florida is accentuating. Republicans have added to their ranks in 55 small-to-medium counties since August, while Democrats were rolling up the scores in urban and suburban areas across just 12 counties. But while Republican voter registration totals generally were going up by the hundreds in most counties, Democrats were padding their advantages by the thousands in the few urban and suburban counties where they improved and coming to dominate.

As a result, eligible voters for the 2018 general election break down this way statewide:

– Republicans: 4,681,598 total. That’s up 87,465 since August, and now represents 35.3 percent of the electorate.

– Democrats: 4,944,867 total. That’s up 105,433 since August, and now represents 37.2 percent of the electorate.

– Small-party and no-party affiliation voters: 3,651,605. That’s up 71,515 since August, and now represents 27.5 percent of the electorate.

Overall, Democrats have just under a 2 percent lead over Republicans in voter registration statewide. That’s up only by a a tiny percentage since August, but down from the 2.3 percent advantage they held in the 2016 general election.

Since August, Democrats improved their advantages the most since August in Orange County, where the new registrations increased the Democratic advantage over Republicans by 9,401 voters just since August. Other counties where Democrats most added to their advantages over Republicans since August were Broward County (9,237), Miami Dade County (6,262), Duval (3,597), and Hillsborough (3,396.)

Democrats also padded their advantages by more than 1,000 voters since August in six other counties: Palm Beach, Leon, Alachua, Pinellas, Osceola, and Seminole, and signed up 22 more new voters than Republicans in Monroe County.

Since August, Republicans have improved their advantages the most since August in Marion County, where they padded their advantage over Democrats by another  1,286 voters since August. Other counties where Republians most added to their advantages over Democrats were Citrus County, (1,178), Brevard, (1,174), Santa Rosa (1,130), and Pasco (1,109).

Republicans added to their advantages by at least 500 more voters since August in 16 other counties: Volusia, Polk, Hernando, Charlotte, Lake, Okaloosa, Bay, Columbia, Escambia, Lee, Sumter, Putnam, Manatee, Collier, Suwannee, and St. Johns. They added 100 or more voters to their advantages in 38 other counties.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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