Archives for December 2011
by Nick Stone of Drawnlines Politics:
The Florida Senate recently released redistricting proposals for the next decade. Reviewing the congressional proposal, several items caught my eye. Partisan voter data doesn’t appear to be available yet but a careful review of the map is highly telling. Here is a quick rundown of political leanings by Congressional District as I see them:
|North Florida Proposal|
|Central Florida Proposal|
|South Florida Proposal|
Current FL Delegation: 19(R)/6(D) [25 Total]
Proposal: 18(R)/7(D) 2(toss-up) [27 Total]
Partisan leanings by Congressional District:
CD 1 – Safe Republican
CD 2 – Safe Republican
CD 3 – Safe Democrat (Majority Black)
CD 4 – Safe Republican
CD 5 – Safe Republican
CD 6 – Lean/Safe Republican
CD 7 – Lean Republican
*CD 8 – Toss-up/Slight Republican
CD 9 – Safe Republican
CD 10 – Safe Republican
CD 11 – Safe Democrat
CD 12 – Safe Republican
CD 13 – Safe Republican
CD 14 – Safe Republican
CD 15 – Safe Republican
CD 16 – Lean/Safe Republican
CD 17 – Safe Democrat (Majority Black)
CD 18 – Lean Republican (Majority Hispanic)
CD 19 – Safe Democrat
CD 20 – Safe Democrat
CD 21 – Safe Republican (Majority Hispanic)
*CD 22 – Toss-up/Slight Democrat
CD 23 – Safe Democrat (Majority Black)
CD 24 – Safe Republican
CD 25 – Safe Republican (Majority Hispanic)
CD 26 – Safe Republican
CD 27 – Lean/Safe Democrat (Majority Minority)
If the goal of redistricting was to create more competitive districts, the project was a miserable failure. I could only find two districts which have a truly competitive landscape (CD 8 and CD 22). All other districts have a clear partisan bias toward one Party or the other.
If the goal of redistricting was to create more compact districts, the project was largely a success. The new map is significantly more contiguous and intelligible than current districts, and follows county lines as a general guide for map making. The Tampa area was very well divided between districts, though the Orlando metro was sliced apart with a Ginsu knife. Districts 8 and 27 intertwine like two mating snakes, which appears more partisan than practical in its effect.
If the goal was to toss incumbents under the political bus, the project had mixed success. John Mica, Dan Webster and Allen West all got hosed by either having their districts blue-washed or having themselves mapped out of their districts entirely. Many other incumbents (Corrine Brown, Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz) still have dream districts.
The new map is a step in the right direction. It obeys the Voting Rights Act while attempting faithfulness to the principles of the “Fair Districts” Amendments from 2010. From a partisan standpoint, the results are mixed. Democrats could complain that conservative Democrats in North Florida will become extinct, while Republicans could counter that Broward and Palm Beach Republicans will go from endangered to near extinction. The two newly created districts are split evenly between a predominately white, right-leaning district northwest of Orlando and a majority-minority, left-leaning district southeast of Orlando.
On balance, not half bad for government work.