Issue #18: First Redistricting Maps Out!!!
Congressional and Senate drafts are live
(Author Note: This is being written late at night as energy drinks fuel my mind)
We have maps!!!! The Florida Senate Redistricting Committee has posted State Senate and Congressional map drafts. Lets talk about them.
If you are new, be sure to check out
My series of articles on the history of redistricting in Florida
My series of articles looking at possible redistricting maps
They Don’t Want to be Sued
For months - MONTHS - someone on twitter had said that the FL GOP have little interest in the lawsuits and depositions that plagued the 2012 redistricting maps. The possibility of a “fair” set of maps - aimed to avoid lawsuits - was a possibility. Seats like the 5th and 10th Congressional were “locked in” and wouldn’t go away.
Hmmmm…. now who was the one saying that……
Well guess what - that is what’s happening. The staff maps presented are not what we would consider extreme gerrymanders.
Backstory: How the Current Map voted in 2020
The Senate committee released four Congressional maps. You can see all of them here, but below is their 8002 Plan - interactive version here.
The four plans are largely in agreement on most of the state, only offering different versions of districts in specific areas.
Most differences are small. The largest debate is over Palm and Broward, where their seems to be a resumed debate over having districts 21 and 22 stacked on top of each-other or side-by-side. In 2015, the Supreme Court struck down the side-by-side and advocated a top-down layout.
This isn’t a huge partisan issue (only effects things on margins - taking 22 from 56% Biden to 54.5%) - so I will be interested to hear staff reasoning on this issue.
The overall partisan nature of all plans is the same - Trump takes 16 districts to Biden’s 12.
What changed? Well the new 28th is GOP. The 27th is now a Trump seat (but narrowly) - while the 15th is now a Biden seat. This is overall up one Trump seat - far from an aggressive gerrymander. All plans breakdown as seen below.
This map has multiple narrow seats. CD13 is a pure swing seat. CD26 and 27 are as well (both are Gillum/Nelson in 2018 but Trump in 2020). The 7th, likely the biggest GOP target (or at least one they could try and weaken without triggering a VRA complaint) remains a solid Democratic seat. The new CD15 is a good democratic opportunity.
By all accounts, Democrats should be happy with this plan - considering they had no power to effect it.
—-A quick note on some districts—-
Clearly many suspected the 13th would be reverted to its pre-2016 makeup, but this was always less likely than many predicted. The new 13th keeps all of southern Pinellas and moves up to near the Pasco border.
It also loses some precincts to the 14th, which is being pushed further west. Those lost precincts narrowly voted for Biden, but not by a large rate. The 13th remains a swing seat.
Since the 28th district is being drawn for Polk County, which Republican Scott Franklin in sure to run in, this means a new 15th district is opened up. No incumbent has a base here. The seat backed Gillum by 10% and Biden by 8%. It effectively represents a growing diverse region of the I-4.
This could easily be a seat Democrats take in 2022 - but national environment matters.
The 7th, long viewed as doomed via the GOP, is largely the same! It takes in some Volusia and different plans do different things with Orange, but the dem-leaning nature of the seat remains.
Stephanie Murphy is no doubt breathing a sigh of relief tonight.
The 9th district is also seeing big changes. It it is shedding Polk and taking more of Orange. As predicted, the seat is now majority Hispanic!
The district is also going from a Biden +7 seat to a Biden +19 seat! So bye-bye GOP goals of flipping the seat.
Perhaps the most notable GOP benefit is in the 27th - where Maria Salazar’s seat is being converted from Biden +3.0 to Trump +0.3. This is being done by taking out Miami-Beach (which is going to Wilson’s district) - while trading in an area that overall leans Trump.
Of course, even at narrow Trump, the seat could swing back. Miami-Dade’s massive swings can be hard to predict through the future.
The new 28th is all of Polk County and southern portions of Lake and Sumter. It is a victory for Polk County - which has long been a “donor county” for other districts. Congressman Scott Franklin will have no trouble in this seat.
The I-4 is a big winner in the Congressional map. The 15th and 28th layouts show respect for the massive growth along that region.
State Senate Maps
Similar story with the state senate. Four draft maps largely in agreement. Interactive version here. Differences don’t move the partisan needle so much.
The most consequential differences are in Broward - where exact choices could effect primary ethnic makeup.
The partisan lean of the maps is the same across plans. 23 Trump seats vs 17 Biden seats. The current map is 22 Trump, 18 Biden.
So two seats flip from Biden to Trump, but one flips from Trump to Biden.
Full breakdown of this plan below for multiple races.
Here is the difference across the four plans for President.
This is a plan that doesn’t decimate the current 16-member Democratic caucus. It gives the GOP a steady advantage but not an overwhelming one. Population issues hurt Democrats here. SD3 and SD9 gets redder because it needed to expand - and the only place to go were GOP zones.
The maps could also cause a headache for several Senators and we may see some musical chairs. But that is talk I am too tired to coherently discuss right now.
Keep on eye on on my website ON FRIDAY for an article discussing the State Senate Map for the Tampa Bay!
Going to bed.