People of color are expected to make up a majority of the US population by 2044, according to American Progress Action, but particularly now race and ethnicity make a big difference in election outcomes. One-third of Florida’s registered voters are nonwhite, so for candidates trying to win in the Sunshine State—where the electorate might be the most diverse in the nation—demographics could be the key to determining the winners of the 2018 elections for US Senate and governor.
As people from all over the world are pouring into Florida, the state’s voting population is changing and becoming more diverse. Florida’s registered voters are 64 percent white, 16 percent Hispanic, and 13 percent black, although Hispanics have lower turnout, and black voters have higher turnout, making them about equal.
In Florida, democratic registered voters are 48 percent white, 29 percent black and 17 percent Hispanic. Among Republican registered voters, 83 percent are white, 1 percent black and 11 percent Hispanic. It turns out that Democrats are losing votes due to non-Hispanic white voters, while Republicans are not in favor among minority voters, particularly Hispanics (Hispanics in Florida accounted for 4.3 million (8 percent) of the U.S. Hispanic population).
Currently, the parties are about even in Florida, with 37 percent of voters registered as Democrats, 35 percent as Republicans and 28 percent not registered in a party. Florida’s largest media market in terms of registered voters is the Tampa Bay market (24% of all registered voters), followed by the Miami market (21%).
In Miami-Dade, 72 percent of registered Republican voters are Hispanic.
There are 36 races for governor this year. According to the New York Times article, not one of the Republican candidates is black or Hispanic, while Democrats this year have nominated black, Hispanic and Native American candidates in Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland and elsewhere. Andrew Gillum, Florida’s governor candidate from the Democratic party, tweeted on Sept. 20: “Our country’s diversity is our strength, and immigrants are so important in Florida.” In the meantime, several Republican leaders have come forward saying that some prospective minority candidates don’t want to defend President Trump for his offensive language on race or don’t want to be aligned with his party.
MIREMS is following along with Florida’s tight race for governor as is most of the country. We’ll be sharing stories from the country’s Ethnic Media about the race. Stay tuned for more.
Written by Lina Katrin