Exit polls in 2016 and 2018 showed the Republican top-of-the-ticket candidates earning disproportionately high support from white voters, who comprise 63 percent of Florida’s voter rolls but cast more than 67 percent of the ballots, the new data show.
And more registered Florida Republicans turned out overall than Democrats — by 1.5 percentage points — even though Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 2 percentage points on the voter rolls.
Ryan Tyson, a top Florida Republican political consultant and data analyst, said the last election exposed a Catch 22 for Democrats. If they move too far left and dwell on race too much, they risk pushing more white voters toward Republicans.
“The lesson for the Democrats is that, in going for the heart and soul of the progressive base, it can antagonize the other side. So what you gain in one place, you lose in another,” Tyson said. “We’ve seen the coalescing of the white vote and unless something happens to break this lock on white voters — and especially white independent males over 50 — I don’t expect Trump to lose in 2020.”