FIRST ON FOX: A red wave is brewing in Florida as registered Republican voters now outnumber Democrats by over 100,000 for the first time in the state's history, according to data obtained by Fox News Digital.
At the end of 2021, Florida GOP’s voter registration numbers officially overtook the state Democratic Party, giving Republicans the lead in a state steadily shifting red.
Now, Republicans in Florida outnumber Democrats for the first time by over 100,000 voters, in both new registrants and party switches, according to internal numbers from Gov. Ron DeSantis' re-election campaign exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital.
A spokesperson for DeSantis’ campaign told Fox News Digital that the surge in Republican voters broke 101,000 as of Tuesday morning.
"There’s no beating around the fact this historic gain is because of Governor Ron DeSantis," Florida Republican Party executive director Helen Aguirre Ferré said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "Florida voters are appreciative of the palpable sense of freedom he has created in our state."
"Unemployment is lower than the national average, our schools are open, there are no lockdowns, and there are no masks. Voters recognize the governor is a champion for families and businesses alike," Aguirre Ferré continued. "Our voter registration numbers are impressive, but a 363,000 net change? That is unprecedented."
A senior adviser to DeSantis’ re-election campaign told Fox News Digital that registered Republicans in Florida have increased by 363,000 since 2018, when DeSantis took power in the state.
Additionally, the upswing in registered Republican voters has been going on for nearly two years, with Republicans outperforming Democrats in new voter registrations in 21 of the past 22 months, the adviser said.
The Florida Republican voter registration increase continued throughout President Biden’s first year in office.
By September 2021, Democrats had a lead of only 24,000 voters, and Republicans took over the lead by about 6,000 voters in November 2021.
"When I got elected governor we had 280,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the state of Florida," DeSantis said in November 2021. "Today, and it will probably be fully publicized very soon, for the first time in the history of Florida we have overtaken Democrats. There are more registered Republicans in Florida than Democrats."
According to the internal numbers, Republicans have also gained on Democrats in traditionally blue Miami-Dade County. Currently, Democrats hold the lead in the county with 589,429 registered voters to Republicans' 426,861, which accounts for roughly a 162,500 difference.
Several factors could be playing into the shift, including inflation, COVID-19 protocols, several controversial policies like defunding the police and critical race theory, as well as the state's population increase that came about during the pandemic.
The Florida Democratic Party did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.
Additionally, Florida’s primary elections are closed, meaning that any independent who wants to vote in the primary election has to register with one of the two parties.
Each party has over 5 million voters and Florida's total registered voter count tallies over 14 million individuals. Independents still remain the fastest-growing bloc of Sunshine State voters.