The horrific, deadly events that took place at our Capitol on January 6, 2021 when a large group of insurrectionists temporarily took control of the building, may be the reason for some leaving the Republican Party.
According to data from Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott’s office, 940 Republicans have left the party since the riot that resulted in the murder of a Capitol Police officer and the death of 4 others.
On January 4th, there were a total of 195,133 registered Republicans in Brevard County; today there are 194,193. In contrast, when this data was collected on January 11th, there was no change in voter registration number for Brevard County Democrats in the same time frame. However, since the 11th, a total of 138 registered Brevard Democrats have also left the party.
Those who have left have mostly changed their registration to No Party Affiliated (NPA) or have registered as Independents. NPA’s have increased from 114,493 of January 4 to 115,248, a net gain of 755. There are a total of 7,466 Independents countywide. (There’s an unusual feature in Florida. What most people think of as an independent voter is actually “no party affiliation.” The “Independent Party” is technically a minor political party. Many people who choose it actually want the status that comes with NPA.)
This trend is not exclusive to Brevard County, as we are seeing the same pattern across the entire state.
In Miami-Dade, the state’s most populous county, more than seven times as many Republicans as Democrats changed their party registrations in the aftermath of the violence in Washington, D.C. The ratio of Republican to Democratic switches was almost as high in Palm Beach County, the third most populous. Brevard is the 10th largest county of 67 in Florida.
Just 2 days after the riots, figures from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department showed 708 Republicans changed their party registrations on Thursday and on Friday morning. By comparison, 96 Democrats switched.
Reporting from the Sun Sentinel shows of the 497 Palm Beach County switches through mid-afternoon Friday following the riot, 367 were made by Republicans and 58 by Democrats.
Among the Republicans who changed, 312 went the independent route (232 became NPA and 80 registered in the independent party). Another 44 Republicans became Democrats.
Among the Democrats who changed, 42 became NPA or independent. There were 15 Democrats who changed their registration to Republican.
The numbers for Brevard County are small compared to the 458,753 total registered voters, but is noteworthy. Although Republicans make up only 42% of the registered voters in Brevard, they make up 100% of all partisan elected positions.
There appears to be division within the Republican party as those who still support the former President Donald Trump, and those who want nothing to do with his brand. According to his staff, Trump is considering whether of starting a new “MAGA Patriot Party” to possibly go after Republicans who were not loyal to him in his final days, or who support his impeachment trial in the Senate.