This November, Floridians will cast their ballots for various offices from governor to local representative. Resonate took a deeper look at the issues that matter most to voters across the Sunshine State, as well as in its 5th congressional district specifically.
According to the Florida Division of Elections, 39% of Floridians are registered Democrats, 35% Republican, 3% minor parties, and 23% declined to register with a party. However, Resonate’s survey data finds that, when asked how they actually vote, only 34% report consistently voting for Democratic candidates, 32% vote Republican and 26% report swing voting behaviors.
While it’s not surprising to see that Democratic and Republican voters prioritize a candidate’s platform differently, the increase in swing voting patterns highlights the need to understand why voters cast their ballots.
Statewide, most Democratic voters evaluate healthcare policy, with 60% citing it as a top platform consideration. They also look at a candidate’s stance on job creation (48%) and education (42%) when making their decision. Republicans look at government spending (59%), balanced budget (55%) and defense/military (50%). Healthcare is also important for swing voters with 46% agreeing it’s a top issue, with job creation (45%) and government spending (43%) rounding out the top three policy areas.
Democratic and Republican voters remain deeply divided on social issues, though less so than in states like Arizona. For example, Democratic voters in Florida are 3.4 times more likely to be involved with gender/race equality policies and 2.8 times more likely to be involved in gay/lesbian rights than their Republican counterparts. Conversely, Republican voters are 3.6 times more likely than Democratic voters to be concerned with traditional marriage policies. They’re also 3.2 times more likely to be involved in 2nd amendment rights and 2.2 times more likely to be involved in pro-life issues than Democrats.
There are minor, but significant, shifts in key issues for swing voters in Florida’s 5th congressional district. Only 35% of swing voters within the district rank healthcare as a major platform consideration. Instead, more voters prioritize job creation (51%), government spending (43%), education (38%) and balanced budget policies (37%) over healthcare.