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Florida Republicans narrow voter registration gap with Democrats to historic low

TAMPA, Fla. — Voter registration books are now closed, and the numbers between registered Democrats and Republicans in Florida are closer than ever.But our ABC Action News Political Analyst explains that these numbers are not actually a true predictor of an election’s outcome.Democrats led the Florida voter registration count during the 2016 election, and Donald Trump still went on to win Florida by a narrow margin. Now this year, Republicans have managed to close that voter registration gap even more.“Florida is the battleground state, the biggest swing state, the most up-for-grabs, and the most important,” said Dr. Susan MacManus, ABC Action News Political Analyst.Florida has 29 electoral votes up for grabs, in the state President Donald Trump flipped red back in 2016 by a mere 112,911 votes.“It’s gonna be another down-to-the-wire election,” said Dr. MacManus.In 2016, Republicans lagged Democrats by 327,483 registered voters. This year, the gap is narrower. Republicans now lag by a mere 134,242 registered voters, that’s according to the Florida Dept. of State.“The problem with just looking at registration figures is that you simply can’t predict turnout from registration figures,” said Dr. MacManus.Those registered as No Rarty Affiliation (NPA) in Florida now account for over 3,753,286 registered voters.“In 2016, the Independent voters as we would call them, were split almost right down the middle,” said Dr. MacManus.And just days ago, Florida election officials made the decision to remove felons with unpaid debts from voting rolls.“Particularly the Florida Democratic Party is really using that as a rallying cry to voters who really felt strongly that that was not fair, to turn out to vote,” said Dr. MacManus.Now the question is, could these voters actually make or break an election?“You can pick any issue, or any narrow slice of Florida and say, ‘if ‘X’ doesn’t happen, that candidate’s going to lose,’ because we are the half-percent state. The last statewide election, the governor’s race, was decided by less than half of one percent,” said Dr. MacManus.A race where record-high voter turnout is expected, and for the people of Florida, Dr. MacManus says, “If there is ever a year that people wondered if their vote mattered, this is it,” said Dr. MacManus.For all of the voter information you need to know to cast your ballot in the Tampa Bay area, visit our election guide by clicking here.

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