LAKE MARY, Fla. - Seminole County has been a red county for almost 80 years until now, but it shifted blue for Joe Biden Tuesday night. It was a historic night, but whether the impacts are lasting remain to be seen.
Seminole County Democrats saw Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump by 7,000 votes.
“Once you go blue in a presidential election, you’re really seen more as that, so we’re blue now,” said Seminole County Democrats Chair Brittany Nethers.
“It was not a complete change. I would not say Seminole is now a blue county by any means,” said University of Central Florida Political Science Professor Aubrey Jewett.
Aside from Biden's victory in the county and Tuesday night's re-election of Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, the rest of the Seminole County’s local winners stayed red.
“Our message has been if you love living in Seminole County, and you want to keep this great quality of life, keep Seminole red and vote Republican, and that message worked for those eight local races,” said Seminole County Republican Party Chair Linda Trocine.
The blue wave in Seminole County has been gaining momentum for years. According to Jewett, Republicans outnumbered Democrats by about 15,000 in 2016. By this year, Democrats closed that gap to just about a thousand, in part because of the rapid growth of the county.
“You’re beginning to see a more diverse population in Seminole County, a younger population, more people of color both Hispanic and African American.”
Some of those young voters can be attributed to UCF, which has a lot of off-campus housing in Seminole County.
“Then many residents are choosing to make it their home after they graduate from UCF and one of the reasons is the cost of living,” said Nethers.It’s always possible this year was an anomaly. “What I think happened is a number of voters in Seminole County didn’t like President Trump,” said Jewett.But only future elections will be able to tell us for sure.Both Seminole County Democrats and Republicans say they’re already looking ahead to the midterm elections in 2022.