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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bellwether county flips from red to blue to red and now back to blue



Republicans had every reason to gloat in March when Republican regained the upper hand in registered voters in the bellwether county of Pinellas, where Donald Trump outperformed his statewide showing during the primary and some Democrats saw trouble signs for Hillary Clinton. But now Democrats have regained a bare plurality -- more than 231,000 Democrats and nearly 230,000 Republicans.

It's another sign that Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign appear to have been outhustling the Florida Republicans and the Donald Trump campaign in recent months on voter registration. Republicans stress that the Democratic lead over Republicans in registered voters has shrunk significantly since the last presidential election. That's true. But since that election, 80,000 more Floridians still have registered as Democrats than Republicans, notes political scientist Daniel Smith:

....So, with Democrats out-pacing Republicans on new registrations over the past 44 months, how is it possible that the the registration gap between the Democratic and Republican parties has closed by some 176k registered voters, with the relative percentage of Republicans growing and the percentage of Democrats decreasing?

The main reason is that the attrition rate over the past 44 months of previously registered Democrats is larger than that of Republicans who were registered prior to January 1, 2013. Some 1.24m voters have ‘exited’ the voter file over the 3 1/2 years.  Some 514.9k Democrats who were registered prior to 2012 are no longer on the rolls; 435.8k Republicans who were on the books back on December 31, 2012, are no longer registered to vote....



[Last modified: Monday, October 17, 2016 7:26am]


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