TAMPA, Fla. — As we close in on the midterm elections, it looks like more women are registering to vote.
Political watchers think it might be a consequence of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The abortion issue has sparked demonstrations, but perhaps of greater consequence, it has more women registering to vote.
In just the first month after that June 24 ruling, records show Florida added 87,000 people to its voter rolls — that’s a 22% increase over the same period last year.
Of those, 49.6% are women and 46% are men. The rest didn’t specify.
It’s a complete reversal from what had been the trend since the 2020 election, with men out-registering women right up to the day before the high court ruling. And no surprise then that it’s become one of the top issues on the campaign trail.
“Without a doubt, we are seeing an awakening of women across America in response to the Dobbs decision,” said State Representative Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando.
Eskamani says abortion has become a galvanizing issue, but it shouldn’t be the only one Democrats are talking about.
“Right now, there are many issues that are top of mind for our constituents. There’s the economy and the challenge of affordable housing. There’s gun safety issues and concerns about educational systems and there is reproductive rights,” Eskamani said. “And so I really do encourage Democrats to champion multiple issues.”
Republicans also point out that following the Dobbs decision, nearly 13,000 people switched their party affiliation in Florida, and the majority of them were women.
A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee says in about 72% of those cases, those women switched from Democrat to Republican.
A few percentage points might not seem like a big deal, but in a state like Florida — where President Donald Trump beat then-candidate Joe Biden by less than 4% in 2020 and Gov. Ron DeSantis narrowly defeated Andrew Gillum by just .4% — it could be a deciding factor.