Florida was once a pivotal swing state, as Democrats and Republicans jostled for independent voters.

After wins by President Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, the 2000 presidential election saw Republican President George W. Bush narrowly defeat Al Gore. Bush followed it up with a more convincing victory over John Kerry, but President Barack Obama took the state in 2008 and 2012.

From 1992 to 2016, Democrats and Republicans saw one party take the senate, while the other seized the governor's mansion. Former Democrat Sens. Bob Graham and Bill Nelson often cruised to victory, while Republican Gov. Jeb Bush held off Democrat challenges.

Then came Donald Trump.

Since Trump won the presidential campaign in 2016, Republicans have had little trouble holding onto the governor's seat and both Senate seats. Democrats have lagged in polls in stark contrast to the red wave that's surged throughout Florida since Trump took office in 2017.

A red wave appears likely in Florida next week. Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio, both Republicans, have strong leads a week before Election Day.

Registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by nearly 700,000 in 2008 when Obama won Florida. This was their largest advantage since 1990, but the opposite occurred after the 2020 election. Currently, there are 5.3 million registered Republicans and a little under 5 million registered Democrats. There's been a loss of 331,000 voters overall for Florida since Republicans have grown in 52 of Florida's 67 counties.

While the amount of registered Republicans has grown, so has the category of voters who have registered themselves as having "no party affiliation." There are 240,000 more Florida residents who have chosen neither party in comparison to 2020.

Another factor behind Florida's red wave is that many Hispanic and Latino voters have turned to the Republican Party, including in the typically Democratic Miami-Dade County. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton in the county by 30 points in 2016 but closed that gap in 2020 when he lost to Joe Biden by just 7 points.

Republicans have seen 58,000 new Hispanic and Latino voters compared to Democrats who have lost both support and voters. More than 46,000 Hispanic and Latino voters have left the Democratic Party. There was also an increase in Black registered voters while Democrats lost over 18,000 alone from Miami-Dade County. This might be the first time Republicans will win Miami-Dade County in a sweep since Jeb Bush was governor in 2002.

"We don't make everything about identity politics. Hispanics buy groceries too," tweeted Christina Pushaw of the DeSantis campaign. "Less so these days, like everyone else, because of Bidenflation."

Aside from the hemorrhage of Democratic voters, DeSantis has raised a record-shattering $200 million for his re-election campaign. Democrats, on the other hand, have struggled to build a comparable haul.

Democrats have regretted not using past donations, including the $100 million donation in 2020 from Michael Bloomberg to invest deeply in Florida and build a stronger party in the state. Especially as Florida's population has continued to grow and could gain an additional congressional seat.

"The other side of the coin, with Donald Trump on the ballot, how do you not throw everything at it to stop him? The stakes were so high that if there is a dollar left in your bank account, you didn't try hard enough," said an anonymous Florida party operative to CNN. "But moving forward, we spend too much money on TV and direct mail. It just doesn't get you that much. We don't do year-round, deep canvassing. We parachute in two months before the election. We advertise instead of doing the hard work."

Trump's courting of Cuban Americans appears to have done wonders for Florida Republicans. In November 2020, he announced the reversal of Obama's policy of engagement with Cuba in front of a huge crowd in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

Indeed, Trump's presence looms large in the state and he knows it. He recently pushed back against DeSantis, a threat to his 2024 presidential hopes, and has supported Rubio, who he once mocked as "Little Marco."