Florida Democrats appear to have failed in their announced mission to dramatically increase the party’s lead in voter registration over Republicans.
Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum had announced plans last year to register or re-engage one million voters, including 200,000 new Democrats added by the Florida Democratic Party, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
"We're going to be a major player and deliver Florida to whoever the Democratic nominee is," he said.
But the newspaper reported Democrats have fallen well short of their goals.
The Times noted that with seven weeks until mail ballots go out for the Nov. 3 election, Florida Republicans are now closer to parity in voter registration than they’ve been in decades.
At one point in 2008, Democrats had a more than a 500,000 voter advantage in registration in the state. By 2016, the lead was down to 259,000. The Times, citing the latest data from the Florida Division of Elections, said Democrats now have a 240,423 advantage over Republicans in the state.
“We won the voter registration war,” Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters said
Millie Raphael, the co-founder of Bring it Home Florida, a nonprofit organization involved in Gillum’s effort, said: “It’s all going to come down to who gets out the vote. That’s the bottom line.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Hurst, executive director for Forward Florida Action — the voter registration organization founded by Gillum — said the organization’s partners submitted 265,752 voter registration forms to the Florida Division of Elections. That number included 89,000 voters the Florida Democratic Party says it had registered.
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