Voters across Florida are increasingly snubbing the Democratic and Republican parties, and the trend has made earning support for candidates more complex and the races often more partisan, consultants say.
As more voters opt for something other than the major parties, campaigns can become more divisive, especially during primaries when mainstream candidates have a narrower base to motivate to get out to the polls.
“That just drives the almost fringe partisanship that you see,” said Steve Schale, who helped run Democrats‘ Florida House campaign efforts in 2006 and Barack Obama‘s 2008 run in Florida. “That’s just the nature of these things when you’re talking to just a few voters.”
During the general election, most voters who register as “no party affiliation” end up siding with the proverbial “lesser of two evils,” meaning campaigns can’t immediately know their political leanings.