The final days of voter registration in Florida often brings out more people who register as Democrats or who, though they register as no-party-affiliation voters, fit the profile of a Democratic voter.
In 2012, for instance, more than 86,000 people registered to vote in the last eight days before the deadline — only 21 percent were Republican and 40 percent were Democrats; 38 percent were independents but many were young and/or minority, according to Daniel A. Smith, a University of Florida political science professor, who studies the state’s voter-registration rolls and trends.
President Barack Obama in 2012 won the state by just 74,309 votes, or less than a single percentage point.
“I think there’s a connection between what Rick Scott is doing and the numbers we see,” Smith said. “I don’t expect him to extend the voter-registration period because the tailed end of voter-registration drive tends to pick up those who are less politically engaged, who are younger and minority voters and that doesn’t bode well for the Republican Party.”