Florida independent voters 'probably lean Republican' in midterm election

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Nearly a third of all Florida voters fall outside the traditional two-party circle in the United States. Florida has 14.5 million voters, and about 4 million of them have refrained from declaring allegiance to Democrats or Republicans in 2022.

Still, political analysts in Florida expect the race to be skewed toward Republican incumbents.

Florida happens too a closed primary state, This means that voters who are not members of, or head of, a political party cannot vote in the primary election without their party on the ballot.

However, all voters can vote in general elections, such as Tuesday’s midterm.

No party affiliation and minor party voters have increased every year since 2017. As a result, about 30% of Florida voters did not participate in the midterm primaries because they were not represented by Democratic or Republican candidates in August’s ballots.

According to the Florida Department of State, which administers the elections, Florida’s number of independent or NPA voters has increased 13.2% since 2017, from 3.45 million in 2022 to nearly 4 million. This has had an impact on how red or blue has been in different Florida counties. Compare with the 2020 election.

As for the impact of unaffiliated voters, some political analysts expect it to be an advantage for both the Republican incumbent, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and US Sen. Marco Rubio.

Independent Voters Are “Chance” [to] “What we’re seeing in the country is a strong support for Republicans,” Dr. Rob Mellon Jr., assistant professor of instruction/political science at the University of South Florida, told WFLA.com. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence here in Florida to suggest a different outcome. The big question is whether some of them will even bother to vote. If only those with a high level of interest vote, they will probably lean Republican as well.”

Combined with minor party voters, which in themselves have increased by about 75%, voters in Florida who do not ally with Republicans or Democrats are up about 17% since 2017.

The growth of NPA voters coincides with an increasingly polarized political culture. A recent poll by the USF found that respondents were not represented by any major party.

“Less than half of Floridians say they have a favorable view of the Democratic or Republican Party (41% and 43%, respectively),” USF in its survey, “In each case, only 38% of respondents felt that either party was representative of ‘liberal’ voters.”

Nearly 20% of those polled said the Democratic Party is catering to its most extreme voters. A substantial proportion of respondents, 30%, said the same thing about the Republican Party. The respondents who felt that the two major political parties were not representing them were not alone.

In Jan Gallup poll found The number of Americans who identified as independent voters had risen to their greatest level since 1991, when the research organization began to “regularly” study voters by partisan leanings.

Gallup reports that by 2021, 42% of Americans say they are free voters.

Gallup reported, “The broader trend toward an increasing share of political independents has become apparent over the past decade, with more Americans viewing themselves as independent, as in the late 1980s into the 2000s.” was.” “At least four in 10 Americans have considered themselves independent in all years since 2011, except in the 2016 and 2020 presidential election years.”

However, in Florida, the number of independent voters is small, instead at around 29%.

registration yearRepublican Party of FloridaFlorida Democratic Partysmall partiesno party affiliationTotal Registered Voters
(Source: Florida State Department)

With the increase in the number of registered voters across all parties and affiliations, the number of voters removed from Florida’s electoral rolls has actually decreased. Still, voter list updates by the State Department show that after the 2020 election, the number of new voters added each year has decreased.

expulsion yearnew votersDeleted Active VotersInactive voters removed
(Source: Florida State Department)

Dr. Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida, said independent voters in Florida are unlikely to change the outcome of the election, and “many of them will not vote at all.”

Binder also noted that many party voters may instead be “closet” biased.

“Even though about 30% of registered voters are NPAs/others, less than 20% of those who voted so far during this election are NPAs. NPA party registrars are a diverse group in Florida,” Binder told WFLA.com Told. “Some are clearly disillusioned with each of the major parties, but many – especially those who show up and vote – are really just closet partisans. They will vote for a single party the vast majority of the time. “

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