Last Call for 7.18.23 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Florida Republicans now outnumber Democrats by 541,798 voters, according to new data touted by the state GOP.

Florida Division of Elections numbers, current as of June 30, show just over 5.26 million Florida voters are registered as Republicans while 4.72 million voters are registered as Democrats. The state electorate also includes about 4.2 million third- and no-party voters.

Florida Republicans overtook Democrats in voter registrations nearly two years ago, marking the first time in modern history that the GOP held a registration advantage in the Sunshine State.

The advantage has continued to grow — since Jan. 1, Republicans have grown their advantage by 157,844 voters while Democrats have shed about 206,697 voters. And last month, the Republican Party of Florida celebrated registration data showing the party’s registration advantage had nearly hit the 500,000-voter mark.

“Month after month, Florida becomes a darker shade of red. Despite what the left-wing lunatics want you to believe, the facts are that Floridians and those who have recently moved here are not buying the radical agenda being peddled by the Democrat party,” Republican Party of Florida Chair Christian Ziegler said in a news release.

“This is great news, but we must keep our foot on the gas until the Florida Democrat Party waves the white flag of surrender, which looks more and more inevitable with every new voter registration monthly update.”

RPOF also highlighted county-level numbers showing that Democrats have ceded the advantage to Republicans in 14 counties since 2018.

The growing gulf is partially due to voters being removed from the rolls — there were 321,614 fewer eligible voters on June 30 than before the 2022 election. Arithmetically, Republicans have added 14,125 voters since October while Democrats have lost about 250,000. The number of no-party voters fell from 3.99 million to 3.91 million over the same stretch.

Still, Ziegler’s assertion that newly registered voters are more likely to register as Republicans is correct. According to a Florida Politics analysis based on L2 data, about 394,000 active voters moved to Florida from other states between mid-March 2020 and November 2022. Of those, 193,300 registered as Republicans and 96,900 registered as Democrats.

Evening Reads

—“Ron DeSantis, set for rare CNN interview, struggles to reboot” via Jonathan Weisman and Maya King of The New York Times

—”DeSantis thinks Donald Trump should have ‘come out more forcefully’ during Jan. 6 riots” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—”Trump and his legal woes overshadow DeSantis as he rolls out military policy plan in South Carolina” via Meg Kinnard and Michelle L. Price of The Associated Press

—“Protester’s pride flag provokes unhinged DeSantis rant” via Tori Otten of The New Republic

—“Trump’s ‘horrifying news’” via David A. Graham of The Atlantic

—”Dissecting Trump’s Truth Social post on his Jan. 6 probe-target letter” via Philip Bump of The Washington Post

—”A viral video of DeSantis talking like a toddler and saying he’s ‘hungwy’ is fake, but his critics are dogpiling on him anyway” via Kwan Wei Kevin Tan of Business Insider

—“Could a third-party candidate actually derail Biden?” via Nicole Narea of Vox

—”At New College of Florida, a ‘ridiculously high’ number of faculty are gone” via Ian Hodgson of the Tampa Bay Times

—“The Good Book in spotlight after Moms for Liberty gets books pulled” via Alaijah Brown of the Tallahassee Democrat

—”An ACL crisis at a moment of global growth for women’s sports” via Ella Brockway of The Washington Post

Quote of the Day

“I think it was shown how he was in the White House and didn’t do anything while things were going on. He should have come out more forcefully.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis, on Donald Trump’s actions during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

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Breakthrough Insights


Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Staff Reports


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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