Thursday May 4th 2017: 'Trump Talk Live' producer Vic Baker was preparing for our REC's weekly 7pm radio show. As always he checked the homepage of Volusia County Department of Elections http://www.volusiaelections.org/
What he saw was history: For the first time since the 1870's (maybe ever) Volusia had more registered Republicans than Democrats.
Upon hearing of the county’s shift from Democrat to Republican, Kit Martin, a longtime Daytona Beach resident who was involved in organizing local GOP clubs as early as the 1964 election, had a two-word reaction. “Happy day,” she said.
She recalled the day when she, newly arrived from West Virginia, went to register to vote. She told the elections supervisor’s clerk her party choice. “Are you sure you want to register Republican?” came the response.
“I said, ‘What is your name? I think it is illegal to try to influence my registration,’” Martin responded.
Tony Ledbetter, the Volusia County Republican chairman, said the party remained almost 3,000 voters behind Democrats on Jan. 1. He attributes the closed gap to a backlash to negative mainstream media coverage of Trump.
Ledbetter views Volusia as a harbinger of Florida, which still tilted Democratic by about 330,000 voters out of a total of 13 million, as of Dec. 31, 2016. “We have a campaign push all over Florida, all 67 counties,” he said. “We’re working to make Florida red.”