MIAMI, FLORIDA — The Florida Democratic Party announced that it will spend $1 million on voter registration efforts as they attempt to close the gap with Republicans who now boast more than half-a-million more registered voters in the state.
“It is all hands on deck in Miami,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said in a press conference yesterday. “We have not just the Florida Democratic Party, but a lot of our partners that are going to be spending significant resources on voter registration, vote by mail, re-enrollment, as well as messaging.”
PREVIOUS EFFORTS FAILED
But while Democrats are still licking their wounds from a crushing statewide defeat in November, Republicans are reminding the fizzled party of their failed efforts in 2019 to increase voter registrations.
“In March 2019, the Florida Democratic Party pledged to spend $2 million on voter registration,” Republican Party of Florida Chairman Christian Ziegler told The Florida Standard. “Their goal was 200,000 more Democrats for the 2020 Election.”
At the time of the announcement in March 2019, Democrats outnumbered registered Republicans in Florida by 246,326 registrations. But by 2021, Republican registrations began to dramatically increase.
As of today, there are 541,798 more registered Republicans than Democrats – a net swing of 788,124 towards the Republican Party.
ATTEMPTS TO RE-ENGAGE
Still, Democrats will launch a 17 county “Take Back Florida” tour next Wednesday with a focus on South Florida – specifically Miami-Dade County – where Democrats suffered a series of high-profile losses in November 2022.
Fried says the new spending is part of a broader effort to re-engage with South Florida voters who have been overlooked by Democrats. She admits that closing the gap completely isn’t realistic, but the party’s goal is to cut the Republican advantage down by around 35 percent, or about 190,000 voters.
In November, both DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio benefited from a red wave in Miami-Dade County – a densely-populated region that Democrats have long relied on for statewide victories.