As Joe Biden’s lead continues to inch even higher and Donald Trump continues to run out of time, the media wants to make sure you stay tuned in all the way to the finish line. To that end, various TV networks and pundits are now throwing around whatever scare tactics they can, in order to scare you into remaining glued to the screen.
One of those scare tactics this week has centered around the large spike in new registered Republicans in Florida. If you look at these numbers out of context or in passing, they might be enough to scare you into believing that Trump and the GOP have some big secret plan underway to steal Florida, despite Biden’s lead in the state.
But as is so often the case with these kinds of ratings-driven scare tactics, the numbers aren’t what they seem. Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has done a hero’s job of digging in to the numbers. He’s figured out that nearly all of the “new” registered Republicans in Florida are actually people who voted for Trump last time without being registered Republicans, and are now merely formalizing it by changing their registration.
Moreover, this trend is playing out almost entirely in a group of Florida counties that make up just six percent of the state’s population. When you remove those counties, the other 94% of Florida shows now real change in party voter registration. In other words, this is a non-story in terms of how it’ll impact the outcome of the 2020 election. We’ll still have to fight hard to win Florida, but there’s no secret evil genius Republican plan at work here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report