TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — The Republican Party of Florida took a victory lap on Monday by announcing a majority lead of over 300,000 registered voters. Voter registration for November’s elections closed on Tuesday, October 11. Florida GOP championed the final count on social media channels, adding both a warning and call to action.
“Under Governor @RonDeSantisFL's leadership, Florida is solid RED, but we can't take this for granted! Freedom is FRAGILE. We saw states forcibly shutter places of worship while allowing strip clubs to operate. Get out and vote to protect the Sunshine State from the radical Left,” Florida GOP tweeted.
FLIPPING THE STATE UNDER DESANTIS
With 22 million residents, Florida is the third most populous state in the country. It has long been considered a purple battleground state, but has gotten significantly redder in recent years under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis. Democrats held a lead of over 200,000 voters heading into the 2018 election. Since then, the Republican Party has added more than 540,600 registered voters in the state, while Democrats have lost over 9,000 registered voters.
While DeSantis has become a national political figure for his commitment to preserving liberty for Floridians in the face of COVID-19 lockdowns and battling the left’s “woke” ideology, Florida GOP Chairman of Chairs Evan Power pointed to the governor’s less conspicuous work as a major factor in the flip.
“Governor @RonDeSantisFL invested in Voter Registration and [Republican Executive Committees] across the state flipped counties Red. It’s one reason Florida is a permanently red state,” Power tweeted.
“A POLITICAL PROMISED LAND”
Although the Florida Department of State website lists the lead at 292,533, Power said the individual county sites represent a more accurate count, which is where the party tallied their 300,000 figure. In the last two years, the GOP has also flipped five counties from blue to red.
In addition to voters who have changed parties and longtime residents registering for the first time, Republicans have also benefited from Americans relocating to the Sunshine State. Many of them fled Democrat-run states and sought refuge in Florida.
The governor employed biblical rhetoric to underscore this phenomenon in an exclusive interview with The Florida Standard in August.
“You’ve really seen a Great American Exodus. These people are coming to kind of a political Promised Land, where they’re fleeing these blue jurisdictions,” DeSantis said. “We’re offering something for people that I think they viewed instinctively as more consistent with what America is supposed to be.”