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Introduction: This report studies the voter registration rates in face of the new Florida Gubernatorial elections in November 2018.

Methods:Using the latest voter registration data by race and party in Florida of July 30, 2018, this report provides an accurate statistical profile of the actual registered electorate. It also utilizes the U.S. Census Bureau’s data on the presidential election of 2016 and the November 2014 mid-term election, to indicate voter participation and voting rates by race and age.

Results: While nearly 64% of eligible non-Hispanic white voters went to the polls and supported the Republican candidate for president in 2016 by 64% to 32%; only 50.5% of Florida’s African Americans voted. They supported the Democratic candidate by a margin of 84% to 8% according to exit polls. Finally, 54% of eligible Florida Latinos went to the polls in November 2016 and voted for the Democratic candidate by 64% to 32%. A critical factor in Florida and elsewhere is registration rates. Nearly 71% of the state’s non-Hispanic whites were registered to vote in 2016 compared to 55% of African-Americans, 62% of Hispanics and only 50.4% of the Asian population.

Discussion: Had the voting rate been higher among Democratic constituencies, the result of the Florida presidential election 2016 would have been different. Mr. Gillum’s strategy is precisely to mobilize these potential Democratic voters while seeking to make history by becoming Florida’s first African-American governor. Moreover, raising the registration rate among large swaths of the African-American and Hispanic populations will in all likelihood translate into higher voting rates among these critical sectors of Democratic support. If this is to occur Mr. Gillum has a realistic possibility of winning the election.


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Citation information: Bergad, Laird W. (2018). The Politics of Race and the Florida Gubernatorial Election of November 2018. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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