There are more registered Democrats than Republicans in the pivotal state of Florida, due in some measure to an increasing population of Hispanics who identify as Democrats, according to the Pew Research Center.
Pew reports that between 2006 and 2016, Hispanic voters accounted for 88 percent of the growth in the number registered Democrats in the Sunshine State. Over the previous decade, the number of Hispanics identifying as Democrats increased by 83 percent, and the number of Hispanics registering as Democrats increased 61 percent.
There was slight growth in the number of Hispanics gravitating to the Republican Party, with Hispanic Republican registration growing 16 percent in that timeframe. Additionally the percentage of Hispanics without a party affiliation grew 95 percent.
“As a result, among Hispanic registered voters in 2016, 678,000 were registered as Democrats, 610,000 indicated no party affiliation and 479,000 were registered as Republicans,” Pew’s analysis reads. “(It’s worth noting that not all registered voters cast a ballot, and voter turnout has a large impact in swing states like Florida.)”
According to Pew, the asymmetrical party growth is due largely to the expansion and increased diversity of Florida’s Hispanic population, in which Cubans represent a smaller share, as well as the changing politics of Cuban Americans.
As Pew notes, in 1990 Cubans accouted for 46 percent of Hispanic eligible voters, while in 2014 Cubans represented 31 percent of Hispanic eligible voters. In that same timeframe, the percentage of Puerto Ricans in Florida and Hispanics of Mexican and other descent increased from 25 percent to 27 percent and 29 percent to 42 percent, respectively.
Additionally, according to Pew, more Cubans are becoming Democrats than in years past.
Florida’s Republican and Democratic primaries are on March 15.