About 2.4 million Latinos are registered to vote in Florida for the 2020 presidential election, making up a record 17% of the state’s total. This is up from 2016, when about 2 million Latinos were registered to vote, accounting for 16% of Florida’s registered voters, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Florida state government data.
More than 350,000 additional Hispanics are registered to vote in Florida in 2020 compared with 2016, accounting for 34% of the state’s overall growth in registered voters during that span. The number of Hispanic registered voters in Florida grew by 364,000 between 2012 and 2016 and by 305,000 between 2008 and 2012 – the last time an incumbent president was up for reelection. (These figures are as of July 20, and it’s possible that the growth in Hispanic registered voters in Florida over the past four years could eclipse the growth during the previous four-year period. Floridians had until Oct. 6 to register to vote, so the number of registered voters for this cycle is likely to have increased further.)
Once again, Florida is a battleground state in a presidential election. The state has the largest Latino electorate among all battleground states and the third-largest Latino electorate overall (3.1 million eligible voters), trailing only California (7.9 million) and Texas (5.6 million).
The Latino share of Florida’s electorate rose by 9 percentage points between 2000 and 2018, from 11% of eligible voters to 20%. Nationally, a record 32 million Latinos are eligible to vote in 2020. (It’s important to keep in mind that eligible voters are not the same as registered voters. Eligible voters are adult U.S. citizens, but not all eligible voters are registered to vote. The most recent available detailed data on the number of eligible voters in Florida is for 2018.)
Democrats widen advantage over Republicans among Hispanic registered voters
Democrats outnumber Republicans among Hispanic registered voters in Florida, and this gap has widened since 2016. This year, about 920,000 Hispanic voters are registered as Democrats (amounting to about 39% of the Hispanic total in Florida), while roughly 588,000 are registered as Republicans (25% of the total). An additional 843,000 Hispanic Floridians are registered with no party affiliation (35% of the total).
This year’s Democratic advantage of around 333,000 Hispanic registered voters is up from an advantage of 284,000 four years ago. In 2016, 798,000 Hispanics in Florida were registered Democrats while 514,000 were registered Republicans.
Since 2016, the number of Hispanic Florida voters who are registered as Democrats has risen by 122,000, compared with an increase of 73,000 among Republicans. But the biggest increase during this period has been among those who are registered with no party (+163,000).
The recent trend in party registration among Hispanic Floridians stands in contrast to the pattern among all Floridians. More Florida residents have registered to vote as Republicans than Democrats since 2016.
It is uncertain how these patterns will affect the upcoming presidential election. Florida has seen competitive elections in recent years, including those for president and state offices.