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Republicans closing voter registration gap in Florida: report

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New data from the Florida Division of Elections indicate that Republicans have made progress in closing the long-standing voter registration gap with Democrats in the state, Politico reported Thursday

Campaigns led by President Trump’s reelection team to register voters in Florida have helped downsize the Democratic lead of registered voters in the state to fewer than 185,000, approximately 1.3 percentage points, Politico reported.

This comes after Republicans added close to 58,000 new voters in August, a 91 percent increase from August 2016, according to Politico. The number of new Republicans who registered in August leads new Democrats by 41 percent. 

Susie Wiles, Trump’s campaign director in Florida, told Politico that the tightening of the registration gap could be attributed to more concerted efforts to reach out directly to voters, including through door-to-door canvassing. The campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has largely avoided these tactics in the 2020 election cycle due to concerns of spreading COVID-19. 

“We’ve turned our focus to voter registration in a more meaningful way than before,” Wiles explained. “Everyone said you can’t do it — get the gap between Republicans and Democrats to such a small number. Well, you can do it.” 

“We did it through the mail, but the main way we had success was at the doors,” she added. “And because the Democrats aren’t meeting people at their doors like our campaign is doing, we are having great success.”

Florida state Sen. Jason Pizzo (D) told Politico that he does not believe these new voter registration numbers, reported less than two months before the presidential election, will have much of an impact on the Biden campaign. 

“It’s late in the game now,” Pizzo said. “There’s been no pushback from us, meaning that for every 100 doors that Republicans have proverbially knocked on, it’s not like they pissed people off to the point where they’ve run to the Democratic Party because they’re pissed at the GOP. It’s shown to be effective.”

A new CNBC-Change Research poll published Wednesday shows Biden leading Trump in Florida, as well as five other key battleground states. According to the poll, Biden has a 4-point lead over Trump in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as a 9-point advantage nationally.

Tags 2020 campaign 2020 election coronavirus covid-19 Donald Trump Florida Joe Biden Politico Voter registration
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