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Republican voter numbers going down in Orange County

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The most populous county in Central Florida is becoming less conservative.

According to the Orlando Sentinel on April 7, the Democratic Party of Florida is touting the latest voter registration numbers that shows Democrat voters out-numbering Republican voters in Orange County.

In the latest poll numbers released by the Orange County Elections office, the county has 298,050 Democrats, which makes up over 42 percent of the electorate. Republicans now make up over 28 percent, 203,548, of the electorate, which is down from 2012, in which Republicans made up 29 percent of the electorate.

The big winners in Orange County were Independents, which now number 203,632 voters in the county, which is 48 more than the Republicans.

The biggest reason for the change is that Orange County is becoming more Hispanic. According to the 2010 Census, Hispanics make up nearly 27 percent of the overall population in Orange County. Hispanics traditionally vote Independent or Democrat, and the numbers could mean trouble for Republicans in one of the biggest battleground counties in the nation.

In an email sent to the Sentinel's "Political Pulse" section, Orange County Democratic chairman Carlos Smith wrote:

"It's no surprise that in Orange County, where Latino voters make up 1/4 of the electorate that Rick Scott's Republican Party has become about as popular as a root canal. Rick Scott and his Republican allies have barely lifted a finger to improve the lives of Central Florida's Latino population and you see that is having an impact on the GOP's dismal registration numbers."

Orange County is expected to become a battleground in the 2014 governor's race.

"For more updates on what's going on in Central Florida and other political news and commentary from this author, click Subscribe or follow Kareem on Twitter, like him on Facebook, or email him your comments or questions."

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