The recent Florida population statistics show the state has just recently passed New York state, according to the U.S. census data. Could the 2016 election be largely determined by the Sunshine State?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, earlier this year Democrats in the Miami area voted to have South Florida secede from the rest of the state due to disagreements over global warming. If the South Florida secession were to happen, the result would be that the Democratic party would be certain to win the 2016 presidential election based upon how electoral votes are split between states.
The U.S. census data released Tuesday shows that Florida’s population is now in third place for the entire United States, with 19.9 million people. New York’s population is now at 19.7 million people, dropping the state to fourth place. The state of California still has a healthy lead with 38.8 million people, followed by Texas with 26.9 million people.
Could the changes to the U.S. population determine future presidential elections? The six states with the most electors are California (55), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20) and Pennsylvania (20), making Florida’s winner takes all votes quite the prize for any potential contender for President of the United States. The rapid rise of Florida’s population has also played a role in changing the political landscape.
For example, Florida gained two congressional seats and two additional electoral votes as a result of 2010 census data. The Sunshine State jumped up to 29 electoral votes in the 2012 presidential election, up from 27 electoral votes in 2008. Florida has been gaining at least one electoral vote in every U.S. Census since 1930. In comparison, New York lost two congressional seats in 2010.
Of course, the next U.S. census will not take place until 2020, so although Florida’s population currently outnumbers New York state, it will not change the dynamics of the 2016 election based upon the number of electoral votes. That’s not the end of the story according to William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, who notes that much of Florida’s population growth is due to minorities, who have a tendency to lean Democratic.
“It used to be, up until very recently, that Republicans had a lock on the fastest growing states in the country,” he said.
David Wasserman, a political analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, believes Florida plays a larger role in determining the 2016 elections.
“Florida has long been the largest swing state prize in presidential elections, and I don’t see a way for Republicans to win the White House in 2016 without winning it,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It’s possible that demographic shifts in the Sunshine State could allow Democrats to win key elections within the state, not just on a presidential level.