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Dems Post Big Registration Surge in Key Florida Districts

by: James L.

Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 5:31 PM EDT

The Florida Division of Elections has released their latest tallies of voter registration by congressional district (as of 7/28), and Democrats are posting some big gains since 2006 in targeted races this fall.

Let's take a look at the numbers in the chart below. In the 2006 column, we have the GOP's voter registration advantage in each district as of October 10th, 2006. In the next column, we have the most recent spread, followed by the net change. In the last column, we've ranked the districts according to the percentage change in the GOP-Dem spread. Take a peek:

District 2006 2008 Change %age
FL-08 14,388 2,113 12,275 85%
FL-25 21,818 7,857 13,961 64%
FL-18 23,202 8,456 14,746 64%
FL-21 28,146 14,999 13,147 47%
FL-16 31,228 21,201 10,027 32%
FL-15 31,509 22,153 9,356 30%
FL-24 32,310 23,263 9,047 28%
FL-09 33,956 28,614 5,342 16%
FL-13 62,230 55,542 6,688 11%

The ground is shifting quickly in the Orlando-based 8th District, where GOP Rep. Ric Keller could be facing a real battle to hang onto his seat. The next biggest shift is in South Florida, where Democrats have posted huge registration gains in recent months, and where Democrats Annette Taddeo, Raul Martinez, and Joe Garcia are giving Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers the fight of their lives.

The biggest black eye for Florida Democrats continues to be the open seat of FL-15, where despite having cut into the GOP's voter registration advantage by over 9000 votes, Democrats were not able to find a top-tier candidate for the race. Democrats held retiring Rep. Dave Weldon to a 56-44 margin with an unknown candidate in 2006, but it appears that our candidate this year won't be much stronger: both Democrats in the race have raised under $40K each.

Still, there's a lot of good news here, and we should see some exciting races in Florida this fall.

James L. :: Dems Post Big Registration Surge in Key Florida Districts
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Quick correction
Dave Weldon is the Congressman for FL-15.  Curt Weldon was the old rep in PA-07 whom we beat in 2006.  I get the two confised sometimes too.

FL-08 isn't surprising at all
I'm very familiar with the 8th.  That district is trending our way VERY fast.  epubs are just hoping Keller can hold on until 2012 so they can redraw the district more favorable to them.  Thankfully I feel confident we can win it this year with Stuart, who came close in 2006.

What do you think of the primary?
Does Stuart have it locked up or does Alan Grayson have a chance?

[ Parent ]
Could be close, but Stuart should win
Stuart is better known from his 2006 run and has most of the local party support as well as backing from a few powerful moderate republicans such as former Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood (she supported him against Keller in the 2006 general election and probably will this year).

Grayson is a non-factor.  Not sure where you heard he was a threat.  The only threat to Stuart is from Mike Smith.  I'm rooting for Stuart, but Smith is a perfectly capable threat to to Keller if he won.

[ Parent ]
"Not sure where you heard he was a threat."


[ Parent ]
I never heard he was a threat
But I have been a fan of his work since before his congressional run. It has always seemed a little far fetched that he could win and so I wanted a local perspective.  

[ Parent ]
Ya, from what I've read
He seems like a great guy.  But he's raised almost nothing outside of the $600,000 he donated to his own campaign.  I've heard or seen almost no ads on TV or radio from him either.  He's just in a little over his head in this one.

[ Parent ]
That's what I thought
Hopefully Stuart will be added to Red to Blue as soon as he wins then and will be able to put together enough of a campaign to win!

[ Parent ]
You can be assured they will
The 8th may be our #1 pickup opportunity this year in FL.  No chance the DCCC will sit this one out.

Just don't expect to get a liberal out of this district.  If Stuart in the 8th or Kosmas in the 24th get elected they will probably have a record in Congress similar to that of Mahoney (FL-16), moderate but not too moderate.  That is the only way we can win and hold districts like these.

[ Parent ]
The real question
How does this affect the state legislature races? Cause we need control of something for redistricting or else we'll lose everything we gain this year.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

Forget about it
We had some nice gains in the state House in 2006, but it was the equivalent of a dead-cat bounce.  At most we may gain 1 seat in the state Senate this year and probably another half-dozen seats in the state House.  The state legislative districts are so gerrymandered it's scary.  The only positive we have is the fact that Florida does have term-limits.

Barring a major state republican scandle we will have no say in 2012 redistricting.

[ Parent ]
The Cuban Miami districts
FL-18, FL-25, and FL-21 see a drastic change in just two years...very worrisome for the Repubs not only in this election cycle, but in 2010 and 2012 as the old guard anti-Castro Cubans start to lose the inevitable fight with time...

And good to see the 18th have big improvements in our favor. Those who say Annette Taddeo isn't running as serious of a race as the other two just are not looking at the facts.

I think there is a really strong possibility that there will not be a single Hispanic Republican in Congress by 2011. I think at least two of the reps are going down this cycle and if not all three the last will come down next cycle along with Mel Martinez  

[ Parent ]
I also noticed a big shift in our favr in FL-10.  That may not mean anything this year, but it will when Young retires.

Funny stuff
The Florida department of elections even has a breakdown of current registration by precinct and party.  

My precinct is Volusia County #705, a suburban Daytona Beach precinct:

488 Democrats
487 Republicans
374 Others

It's all me, I'm the difference maker!  

Some more Florida registration stats
Overall change in party registration for the state between 2006 and 2008:

Dems +170,167
Reps -11,594

Yep, republicans have actually had a DECLINE in registration despite Florida's huge growth rate.

Party registration by %:

Dems - 40.4%
Reps - 37.7%

Dems - 41.3% (+0.9%)
Reps - 37.0% (-0.7%)

Increase/Decrease in voter registration by race:
Whites    -23,277
Blacks     68,550
Hispanic  128,626
Indian      2,685
Asian      15,001

Not quite as dramatic of a shift as Texas but still quite massive.  

One more stat
Which party did all those new Hispanic voters register with?

Hispanic Democrats:    +84,896
Hispanic Republicans:  +10,681
Hispanic Independents: +28,501

It's not even close.  Hispanic voters are going overwhelmingly in our favor.

[ Parent ]
Another positive
While growth is soaring in most of Florida, it's ranging from stagnant to declining in north Florida (the Panhandle).  That region is pretty much a conservative cesspool and an extention of the old south.  That should shift a good deal more power to south and central Florida come redistricting and complicate republican gerrymander plans.  

Though it could theoretically also cost us our one north Florida Democrat in the House Allan Boyd (FL-02) his seat, I'm not sure that's a big loss.  He's probably not far off from retirement anyway.

what is FL-02 like?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Also, as for cesspool...FL-01.
FL-01, R+19.  Includes, of all things, Pensacola Christian College, whose homeschooling books, including a science book that spends an entire chapter arguing (and presenting political cartoons ridiculing) evolutionary biology.  I'm still trying to figure out how my mom ended up getting them for me when I was a kid...

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Good gawd...
Last time I was in the Panhandle was 2004 while fleeing one of our many hurricanes that year.  My experience was so bad in the Pensacole area that the following hurricane I rode out in the safety of my tolerant left-leaning bastion.  I saw everything from Jesus billboards to anti-abortion nuts to world enders in that God forasken place.  It's a place I'm trying to never venture to again in my lifetime.

[ Parent ]
Well it's pretty evenly split
Overall the district is economically somewhat liberal but quite conservative with a PVI of something like R+2.  The party registration is about 5:3 Democratic/Republican, but don't let the numbers fool you, it's loaded with DINOS.  The district is heavily rural encompassing about a dozen counties which are mostly very conservative.  However, the district does include most of the state capital of Tallahassee which is what makes the district Democratic enough for a blue-dog like Boyd to hold it.  If he retired it would be a tough place to hold.

As another poster mentioned it's the other big panhandle district (FL-01) that's batshit crazy conservative.  That district is one of the most conservative in the entire country.  I believe it has the highest % of military personnel/vets of any district in the U.S. which is part of the reason why.

[ Parent ]
FL-02 is conservative socially I meant to say (eom)

[ Parent ]
lol, I was that other poster
and yeah, I was guessing that anything that's as little as R+2 in a place like this is probably socially conservative.

Isn't that why they say FL-16 is so conservative, even though its PVI is R+2?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Actually I'd say FL-16 is more of the opposite of FL-02
The 16th is a much wealthier district that is economically conservative leaning and culturally liberal leaning.  That is the reason Mark Foley was able to carry the 16th district for so long.  I believe Foley even had a mostly pro-choice record.

[ Parent ]
I had the opposite impression because had written that because Mahoney was a conservative Christian candidate that he might be able to hold FL-16 "under his own steam" or something like that.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]

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