By Patricia Tolson
With only one week to go until the Nov. 8 midterm election, Republicans have surpassed Democrats in vote-by-mail and early voting numbers.
According to reports, Republicans surpassed Democrats in the number of vote-by-mail ballots and in-person early votes cast, as of Oct. 29. Just five days before, Democrats were ahead. In the months leading to the Nov. 8 midterms, Republicans out registered Democrats by a margin of nine to one.
According to Michael McDonald, a professor of political science at the University of Florida, this is a cause for concern for Democrats.
“Historically, Democrats lead in the early vote,” he told local media. “And right now, when you combine both the in-person and the mail ballots, registered Democrats are trailing the Republicans by about 30,000 ballots that have been returned. So that should be very concerning to them.”
According to McGuire Woods, a public policy consulting firm, Republicans dominated Florida’s August primary election turnout with 195,000 more Republicans voting than Democrats. For the Nov. 8 midterms, Florida is among the top five states predicted to play a significant role in deciding the balance of the United States House and Senate as well as in shaping the political landscape in governorships.
As reported April 1 by The Epoch Times, data released by the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, showed there were 5,145,878 registered Republicans and 5,044,802 registered Democrats, a difference of 101,076.
According to the latest data on the Florida Division of Elections website, there are now 14,461,755 active voters registered in the Sunshine State. Of those, 5,259,406 are Republicans and 4,966,873 are Democrats, a difference of 292,533.
More startling is the revelation that the historically blue stronghold of Miami-Dade County is continuing to lose Democrat voters. At the end of 2021, Miami-Dade had 594,924 registered Democrats and 427,760 Republicans. That’s a tumble of nearly 41,000 from the 635,842 registered Democrats in Miami-Dade at the end of 2020.
By April 1, there were 585,882 registered Democrats in Miami-Dade, compared to 427,000 Republicans, a loss of more than 9,000 Democrat voters (pdf). Current data shows there are 575,556 registered Democrats in Miami-Dade and 436,037 Republicans. That’s another loss of 10,326 Democrat voters and a net gain of 9,037 Republican voters.
Then there is the independent/no party affiliation factor.
Current data shows there are 260,936 minor party voters in Florida and 3,974,540 voters with no party affiliation. While independent voters leaned toward Democrats in the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade reversal and declining gas prices in August, the continued deterioration of the economy and housing market has caused independents to shift back to the Republicans (pdf) in recent weeks.
In April in Hernando County, where Republicans have traditionally held a majority, the number of registered Democrats (40,262) fell to third place below Republicans (64,488) and “others” (41,595) for the first time in its nearly 180-year history.
According to recent data on the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections website, there were 66,613 registered Republicans—a gain of 652—and 42,247 registered as “others,” leaving Democrats still in third place with 39,626 registered voters with a loss of 636.
As Democrats trail Republicans in vote-by-mail and early vote numbers in Florida, Republicans are historically known on a national level to have stronger Election Day turnout.