‘That’s what you call winning’: Republicans close voter registration gap to 1 point
Donald Trump. Image via AP

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Republicans are now behind by less than a single percentage point.

Despite polls showing a favorable year for Democrats in the Sunshine State, the Republican Party narrowed the voter registration gap to 134,242.

The book closing count ahead of Election Day shows that there are 5.3 million registered Democrats and 5.2 million registered Republicans in the state. Republicans now trail Democrats 36.7%-35.8%, less than a single percentage point out of the state’s 14.4 million active registered voters.

Republicans narrowed that gap by more than 129,000 voters compared to the 2018 midterms, when there were 4.9 million Democrats and 4.7 million Republicans. When President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Democrats had 4.9 million registered voters while Republicans had 4.5 million, a gap of 327,438 active registered voters and 2.5 percentage points.

“That’s what you call winning,” Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters told Florida Politics.

Polls show former Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ahead of Trump in the 2020 race for Florida’s crucial 29 electoral votes. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Biden up 2.7 percentage points, and FiveThirtyEight’s presidential election model gives the former Vice President a 72% chance to win the state at the time of publication.

Republicans have touted their voter registration gains in the Sunshine State. Gruters says internal polling looks good for Trump.

Since the primary book closing on July 20, when they were down by 263,269 active registered voters, Republicans halved the gap. Gruters attributed gains since the pandemic struck Florida to the party’s continued ground game.

“Increasing the size of your base is what matters, and we have no doubt that we’re going to be able to turn out our voters in Florida,” Gruters said.

However, Democrats in the state are pointing to their vote-by-mail advantage. Democrats have returned 1 million ballots while Republicans have returned 623,395. There are also still 1.5 million Democratic ballots not yet returned compared to 1.2 million Republican ballots.

“The reality is Democrats have amassed an overwhelming vote by mail advantage and turned out in historic numbers for the primary election in August,” said Biden for President Florida Communications Director Carlie Waibel in a statement. “Democrats are leading in the metrics that will determine this election and returning their ballots at a higher rate than Republicans — and we aren’t letting up.”

But Gruters credited Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Republican National Committee, and the Trump Victory team for energizing and registering voters in the state.

“Today’s voter registration numbers are proof of Florida’s enthusiasm for President Trump and Republicans,” Trump Victory spokeswoman Emma Vaughn said. Democrats just can’t compete with that type of passion and Trump Victory’s superior ground game and infrastructure. The Sunshine State is ready to deliver.”

Republicans’ gains come despite efforts by prominent groups backed by former New York City Mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum to register more Democrats. Gillum’s plan included registering 1 million new Democrats while Bloomberg pledged $100 million to Democrats’ Florida efforts.

“When we’re faced with all that, we still ended up crushing the Democrats,” Gruters said.

Part of the crushing came in Miami-Dade County. Since the Aug. 18 primary book closing, they added 29,873 new Republican voters there, while Democrats added just 11,274.

Gruters pointed to enthusiastic support from the Cuban American community in Miami and Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced‘s endorsement for Trump.

“With people who have experienced more government control and socialism, I think for them it’s a no-brainer,” Gruters said. “There’s a good chance we could win the Hispanic vote outright.”

Democrats still hold a 40.5%-27.4% registration advantage over Republicans in the county, and there are more independent voters than Republican voters.

Since the books previously closed in July, Republicans also made gains in the I-4 Corridor, except in Orange and Osceola counties.

In Pinellas County, Republicans increased their registration by 10,131, while Democrats managed just 6,117. In Hillsborough County, Republicans increased by 12,621, and Democrats by 11,171. At the east end of the corridor, Brevard County Republicans added 8,051 and Democrats added 3,437, and Volusia County Republicans added 8,395, while Democrats added 3,192.

In the middle, Seminole County Republicans held onto and increased a longtime hold that had been slipping away. Seminole Republicans added 3,755, while Democrats added 2,881. That increased the Republicans’ advantage to 0.5% over Democrats. That gap was 0.2% in August.

But in the heart of the I-4 Corridor, Democrats continued to dominate. Orange County Democrats increased registration by 16,997 since August, while Republicans added 10,382. In Osceola County, Democrats added 3,952, while Republicans added 3,714.

Statewide, there are 3.8 million voters with no party affiliation and 216,317 third party voters.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Mira

    October 15, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    The only ones for Biden are Iran, China, Russia, N Korea, Antifa, BLM, Any country that owes the United States money, Democrats, Communists, Socialists, Illegal Aliens, and programmed unconscious white taxpayers.

    How do you like Democrat-Socialism so far?

    If Joe Biden is elected President America will be on fire by the leftist terrorists only Biden won’t send federal officers to help. Biden/Harris will support the rioters as they, and the Democrat party have throughout.

    Here are the Socialists and far-left Democrats who are supporting & fundraising for Biden. llhan Omar, Rashida Talib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Karen Bass (Leader Congressional Black Caucus), Val Demings, Valerie Jarrett, Richard Blumenthal, Stacy Abrams, Cory Booker, Al Green, Ayanna Pressley, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Chuck Schumer.

    What do these leftist Mayors & Governors listed below have in common?

    All are Democrats, all kept their economy closed as long as they could (many still are) and all ordered police in their cities to stand down allowing the city to be looted, burned. citizens beat in the streets, killings, monuments destroyed, All support Biden.

    Ralph Northam (Gov VA) Tom Wolf (Gov PA), Jim Kenney (Mayor Philadelphia), JB Pritzker (Gov Il), Lori Lightfoot (Mayor Chicago), Gavin Newsom (Gov CA) Kate Brown (Gov OR), Ted Wheeler (Mayor Portland OR), Jay Inslee (Gov WA), Jenny Durkan (Mayor Seattle), Andrew Cuomo (Gov NY), Bill Di Blasio, (Mayor NY) Tim Walz (Gov MN) Jacob Frey (Mayor MN), Lyda Krewson (Mayor St. Louis), Gretchen Whitmer (Gov MI), Mike Duggan (Mayor Detroit) , Keisha Bottoms (Mayor Atlanta GA)

    (Listed here on this page are some of the socialists and far-left radicals who have infiltrated congress, senate, governors, and even mayors.)

    Democrats want to sell us that Biden is a “centrists.” Joe’s “centrist” policies include free health care for illegal aliens, trillions in taxes on the middle class, and once again, like his hero Obama, ship our jobs overseas and flooding our country with illegal aliens. Sounds pretty liberal to me? Bidens’ policies almost mirror that of socialist Bernie Sanders’s platform.

    Vote Republican across the board.

  • Mira

    October 15, 2020 at 9:54 pm


    1. Free Healthcare for Illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients & their families. Taxpayer-funded with one estimate at $52 trillion.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    2. Citizenship for 30 to 50 million illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients, and their families with a cost of billions to taxpayers.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    3. De-fund Police. Biden is doing his best to walk this back. In the Senate (so there’s a record), Kamala Harris called it “re-imagine law enforcement.” Biden recently stated he was in favor, quote “redirecting law enforcement funds.” If Biden/Harris is elected, you know what will happen.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    4. Taxes. Biden has stated he will raise taxes to over 4 trillion. With this Democrat platform, he will have to.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans NO TAX INCREASES / TAX CUTS.

    5. Sanctuary Cities & States. Biden & Harris supports sanctuary cities.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    6. Immediately end all deportations of illegal aliens, Bernie’s website calls it a “moratorium” on deportations.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    7. Reparations for the race’s harmed by Caucasians (already starting in California) Biden & Kamala Harris committed to Al Sharpton to support Sheila Jackson Lee’s reparations bill in the House. Basically, a tax will be levied on all people of Caucasian descent in America. The funds distributed to African Americans.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    8. Coal / Fracking: I don’t understand how voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, West Virginia can even consider voting for Biden? You do realize that as soon as Biden/Harris takes office. Fracking, Coal Mining jobs are long gone You’re voting for your own unemployment in these states people. The Democrat Governors in these states know this and still support Biden. Sacrifice jobs of their citizens for a Biden Presidency.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    9. The 2nd Amendment will be under attack even more under Biden. Biden stated, “Beto O’Rourke will be his gun Czar,” “Hel yeah I’m coming for your guns.”
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    10. Medicare for all: Ending of all private / employer-based health care Feds run everything. This is Kamala Harris’s baby. Kiss goodbye to your healthcare plan if Biden/Harris is elected. Taxpayer-funded at a cost of trillions.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    11. Free college for all, including illegal aliens & non-citizens Bernie Sanders’s plan adopted. (taxpayer-funded with estimates in the billions).
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    12. Immediately decriminalize all illegal entry into our country. So no need for the Border Patrol.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    13. Open Borders.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    14. De-fund & terminate border patrol & ICE. Funds redistributed to other programs.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    If Joe Biden is elected President America will be on fire by the leftist terrorists only Biden won’t send federal officers to help. Biden/Harris will support the rioters as they, and the Democrat party have throughout.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Frankie M.

    October 16, 2020 at 12:10 am

    I think Mira needs a hug. It’s gonna be ok. If we can get thru the last 4 years of Trump the next 4 will feel like a vacation.

    This election comes down to what every election comes down to…turnout. Can Trump(and Mira) cast Biden in the same negative light they did with Hillary 4 years ago? I don’t believe Joe has the negatives Hillary had to keep voters at home and away from the polls. Not even covid can do that. The Hunter Biden thing is played out and only served to get Trump impeached. The Sleepy Joe angle actually sounds refreshing and is a positive at this point. Packing the Court? I remember somebody saying that elections have consequences.

    Meanwhile we’ve had 4 years of Trump’s negatives up close & personal. It’s not even close.

  • Ana

    October 16, 2020 at 2:07 am

    Progressive millennial voter here who wanted Bernie. I already cast my vote and it wasn’t for Biden-Harris.
    Bernie’s platform is with the Green Party.
    Vote Howie Hawkins!

  • Madalina

    October 16, 2020 at 6:05 am

    The Silent Majority (those of us who keep to ourselves and refuse to speak with pollsters) will be out in mass to vote for President Trump.

    We are sick and tired of being labeled as racist. We are sick and tired of watching our cities burn. We are sick and tired of of hearing screeching hillary, demented joe, commrads aoc and bernie. Enough is enough. We are sick and tired of being told by low IQ actors, and even lower IQ athletes who we should listen to.

    We will witness another media meltdown, and see the dems roll up into the fetal position after Trump wins overwhelmingly.

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 16, 2020 at 7:15 am

    The goptrump cult of lies and corruption are the Republican Party! The goptrump cult is a damn death cult! From children to the old to the disabled the goptrump cult believes and forces policy that make these folks EXPENDABLE! As in DEAD! Stand up for yourself and others! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good!

  • Dan Lanske

    October 16, 2020 at 7:37 am

    trump will win in a landslide in florida 🙂
    and the GOP will continue to control the state for the next 10 years
    libs might as well just move to california now

  • James Robert Miles

    October 16, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Vote for fascism is what your voting for when you vote for Trump. No right to protest even peacefully, no freedom of speech or the press, Lots and lots of welfare for the rich and corporate America in the form of more tax breaks and maintaining the largest deficit in U.S. history. Don’t forget Trump will TAKE AWAY your Social Security which you earned and paid for. Vote for Trump so that America as a democratic nation will go down the tubes! Trump and his idiotic followers don’t care about the U.S. which explains why they love their wanna-be dictator who loves other dictators like Putin and Kim Jong Un and others! We are entering their desperate phase where they will say and do ANYTHING in order to retain power! And of course, their usual rhetoric of love it or leave it, if you don’t like it, the usual fascist B.S. because they don’t have a clue about what democracy is!

  • just sayin

    October 16, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    “No freedom of speech or the press”. LOL. Yeah, it’s really hard to find anyone criticizing Trump, especially in the press. They’ve all been sent to jail! Crazy what people can be suckered into believing.

Comments are closed.


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