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Duval County sees rush of Republican voter defections since insurrection at Capitol

The influx in Republicans dumping the party is not normal.

Duval County is losing hundreds of Republicans who are fleeing the party since scenes of mayhem at the nation’s Capitol building this week, according to Supervisor of Elections data.

It’s a trend starting to appear in more counties throughout Florida.

Some 324 voters who were registered as Republicans in Duval County before Wednesday’s shocking events in Washington have officially switched their party affiliation since the ransacking of the halls of Congress after President Donald Trump urged a large crowd of his followers to march on the Capitol building.

“This is just what we processed so far,” said Stan Bethea, Director of Information Services at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office.

He said there are still outstanding applications for party affiliation changes that are pending.

“It’s an awful big number,” Bethea said of the voter requests to drop their Republican Party affiliation.

The requests to change Republican Party affiliation is nearly twice as many as all other party affiliation changes for all the voters who sought a change in the county since Wednesday. There have been a total of 450 party affiliation changes.

A large block of the Republicans changing party affiliation in the past few days in Duval County have switched to no party affiliation. That accounts for 197 of the Republican Party defections. Another 67 switched to Independent Party of Florida, 47 moved to the Democratic Party, one to Libertarian Party of Florida and six switched to the Constitution Party of Florida.

By comparison, there were only 54 registered Democrats who have switched party affiliation in Duval County since Wednesday.

The day before the riots at the Capitol building, there were only 90 total party affiliation changes in Duval County with only 34 Republican defections.

The spike in Republican Party departures among registered voters in Duval County is notable just compared to the last presidential election. Bethea provided party affiliation change data covering Nov.9, 2016 through Jan. 8, 2017 and they showed there was a total of 3,003 total party changes among voters.

In that time span four years ago, there were a total of 641 departures from the Republican Party in Duval County. That’s compared to 961 Republican Party defections since the election in November for the 2020 cycle.

From Nov. 4 to Friday, there was a total of 3,494 party changes among registered voters.

The trend is not limited to Duval County. As of Friday morning, some 290 registered Republicans in Pinellas County defected from the party since the unrest on Wednesday. Another 128 voters registered as Republicans dropped that affiliation in Pasco County since the troubles in Washington.

Written By

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.

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