Is Florida Still a Swing State? Learn More About Political Betting Odds
The latest sign that Florida is moving away from its reputation as the nation’s largest battleground state is active voter registrations ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The latest numbers from the end of October show that there are now 6,035 more active Republican voters than Democrat voters in the Sunshine State out of nearly 14.3 million registered active voters. Political betting websites are also leaning heavily toward Republican candidates in these races a year ahead.
Even with recent polling showing some vulnerability for incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), traders on the popular political betting site PredictIt have Republicans keeping the seat by a large margin – with between 60¢-70¢ separating the two contracts for several months. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be without a Democratic opponent as they try to regain some footing in the state. Rep. Val Demings’ odds of becoming the challenging nominee are at 96¢ on PredictIt.
Democrats in the state are also trying to knock out rising national Republican star Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in the 2022 midterm elections, and the voter roll news is another hit to their efforts. Under Florida law, voters are considered active if they vote, request a mail-in ballot, or update their voter registration information in two general elections, and are placed on the inactive list if they don’t respond to address confirmation notices. Recent data shows there are around 961,000 inactive voters – of which 343,000 are Democrats and 275,000 are Republicans.
Democrats held a substantial edge in voter registration in the state just a few years ago. During the 2010 midterms, amid the tea party wave and the election of Rick Scott to the governor’s office, Democrats had a 568,000 voter advantage. That fell to 264,000 in 2018 when DeSantis narrowly defeated his Democratic opponent. Democrats also held the active voter advantage by more than 134,000 registered voters in 2020 when former President Donald Trump defeated President Joe Biden in the state.
Gov. DeSantis has pushed for his party to focus efforts on voter registration in recent years, but he also attributes the influx, in part, to people migrating to Florida for the state’s less stringent pandemic-related mandates and lockdowns.
High-profile Democratic challengers to Gov. Ron DeSantis also, so far, don’t appear to be swaying traders on the political betting website PredictIt away from thinking the incumbent will win a second term. Former Florida governor, Rep. Charlie Crist, and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, barely touched double digits in the market tracking the 2022 Florida gubernatorial election. A former Florida governor, Crist has odds around 9¢ and Fried at 8¢ on PredictIT. Meanwhile, DeSantis’ PredictIt odds are in the 80¢ range.
Between a national mood favoring the outlook for Republicans and census data adding another (likely safe Republican) seat to Florida’s congressional delegation, the voter roll data is another signal that Sunshine State Democrats have their work cut out for them if they want to flip the governor’s mansion and Sen. Marco Rubio’s senate seat in the 2022 midterms, but we’ll be keeping an eye on the political betting sites for any significant shifts.