Independents on the rise in Florida

The ranks of independent voters are growing in Florida, a state hosting one of this cycle's marquee Senate races with Gov. Charlie Crist running as an independent.

New voter registration stats from the state show Democrats still maintain their voter registration advantage in Florida, but for a second straight year, independent voters have increased.

The current make-up of the state's electorate is 41 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican and just more than 19 percent unaffiliated. 

Still, Democrats have seen gains among Hispanic voters, one of the state's crucial and growing constituencies. 

Ahead of the 2008 election, Hispanics registered as Democrats numbered 513,252 voters. As of the end of July, that number was 542,384.

Republicans lost some 4,000 Hispanic registrants over that same period, according to the new figures. 

The state will have a three-way race for Senate this fall between Crist (I), Marco Rubio (R) and either Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) or self-funder Jeff Greene (D).