Florida Primary is one week away as early voting continues, gubernatorial candidates campaign

Seven days from now, the Florida Primary will be here. 

It’s been over a week now since early voting began, and Floridians are weighing in. As of Monday morning, more than 156,000 have shown up to the polls over the past 8 days, and another 1.1 million have cast their vote by mail. Democratic voters are leading the way with mail-in ballots, while GOP voters have cast the majority of in-person votes by about 20,000. 

As of Monday morning, 156,192 people had voted at the sites, including 80,404 registered Republicans and 63,923 registered Democrats, according to the state Division of Elections website.

Democrats, meanwhile, were outpacing Republicans in voting by mail, by a margin of 528,808 ballots to 429,245. 

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More than 14.3 million Floridians are eligible to vote in the primary elections, with Republicans holding a registration edge over Democrats of nearly 229,000 voters.

Photo: Compilation of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist

READ: Crist, Fried hitting the road ahead of Aug. 23 Florida Primary

As early voting continues, several key races are heating up, including the governor's race. The candidates vying to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in November are now crisscrossing the state, trying to drum up support. 

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Gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Representative Charlie Christ is currently leading the polls to become the Democratic nominee. Crist is making the most of these final days, touring around Florida, hosting numerous rallies. He said his goal is to make DeSantis a one-term governor. He’s set to be in Pensacola for a round table discussion Tuesday.

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Agricultural commissioner Nikki Fried may be trailing behind Crist in the polls, but she isn’t too far behind. Fried is using the remaining days of her campaign to give an all-out effort to reach as many voters as possible. 

The Democratic candidate will be on the road for most of the next week on her "Get Out The Vote" bus tour as she plans to hit as many Florida cities as possible including Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and the Bay Area. Meanwhile, fried is set to give her closing speech this evening in Tallahassee.

READ: One-on-one with Nikki Fried: Her views from marijuana to home insurance crisis

And to Governor Desantis, whose attention recently has been on a more national scale as he is traveling around the U.S. to build support for candidates endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump. 

But, despite rumors of a possible presidential run himself, he said his sights are still set on remaining in the governor's mansion for another term. He plans to tour part of Florida to help promote school board candidates he had endorsed for school board races

Early voting sites will be open through this Saturday, with some counties also planning to open sites on Sunday. The primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, August. 23.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report