Could voter registration surge help Trump win Florida?
Florida has never had more registered voters going into the August primary season than it does now, thanks to a surge of 377,000 voters that have been added to the roles just since January.
And that gives Donald Trump reason to be hopeful.
New state voter registration data shows 59 percent of the increase has been within GOP ranks. Republican voters grew by more than 222,000 while Democrats were up by almost 156,000, data released on Friday by the Florida Division of Elections showed. The number of voters who signed up with no political party grew by almost 8,000, but those picking one of Florida's minor parties actually decreased by 8,500 since January.
Democrats still have a majority of voters in Florida, but that margin continues to shrink. In January, Florida had about 326,000 more Democrats than Republicans. That is now down to 259,000.
That reduced margin of 67,000 may seem lsmall at first glance, but it has the potential to be significant. In 2012, President Barack Obama carried Florida by less than 75,000 votes.
Overall Florida had 12.4 million voters as of Aug. 1, the deadline to be eligible to vote for the Aug. 30 primary election. The deadline to register to vote in time for the general election in November is on Oct. 11.
In Tampa Bay, Republicans have similarly increased their voter registration since January more than Democrats. In Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas combined, Republicans increased their numbers by 23,000 voters. Democrats increased their total by just under 20,000. Combined those four counties have 665,000 Republicans compared to 693,000 Democrats. The Democrats margin over Republicans shrank by more than 6,600 since January, the new numbers show.
Combined, those four counties have 1.9 million voters.
In South Florida, the voter registration trend is very different. In both Miami-Dade and Broward, Democrats grew their voter registration advantage over Republicans since January. In Miami-Dade, the Democrats advantage went from 170,000 over Republicans to 187,000. In Broward, the advantage went from 312,000 to 322,000.
Overall, Miami-Dade, now has 1.3 million voters. Broward has 1.1 million.