Issue #35: Another DeSantis Map
The Governor has a MAGA map for his MAGA fanboys
Well, just two days ago I released my Substack Issue #34, where I argued Florida redistricting was heading for an impasse. The house and senate have different views on what seats are protected and Governor DeSantis has vowed to veto any map with an intact east-west 5th district. Now, the governor has released a NEW plan of his own.
The latest plan from the Governor’s office is similar to his first plan - aka an extreme Republican gerrymander. Like his first plan, the seat takes the number of African-American performing districts from 4 to 2. It also produces a lopsided GOP advantage.
The first plan from the Governor can be seen below.
Partisan-wise, the biggest difference here is that there are two fewer Biden districts in the latest plan. The new DeSantis plan gets rid of the narrow Biden seat in Tampa, and turns the 27th from a Biden seat to a Trump seat. However, both plans have narrow districts that could flip based on the cycle. That said, the map still would give Republicans a guaranteed lead in the delegation. Democrats would have a guaranteed 8 seats, but at best could get to 11 if all went great.
This map also continues the trend of past DeSantis maps having just… bizarre lines! Last time, it was splitting up Sumter County three ways. This time, its the 16th district crossing Lake Okeechobee to grab the town of South Bay.
I am fascinated by this. Is the idea to make South Bay part of a farming community of interest with Clewiston? Was it just to get populations balanced? Why? Why Ron? I must know! It looks so weird!
And this Governor has the audacity to complain about the 5th district.
Ron Backs Down on Hispanic Districts
One of the talking points from DeSantis with his first map was that he claimed he’d increased the number of Hispanic seats. DeSantis’ first plan had five districts that were 50%+ Hispanic; compared with 4 in both legislative plans. However, I argued in Issue #30 that the census data was misleading. Read that post for the math, but basically since Hispanics have a larger non-citizen share and weaker turnout, Hispanic control of a seat really requires at least 60% census numbers. I pointed out that one of the seats - CD26, was 50% Hispanic, but was 2/3 white in its GOP primary. Since this was a seat Trump would have won by 20%+, that primary was all that mattered.
The point of my post was to highlight that stretching the Hispanic population too far could weaken Representation. You could draw 3 steadfast Hispanic seats in Miami-Dade. However, DeSantis’ effort to create 4 seats meant two were steadfast while 2 were Hispanic-in-Name-Only (50% Hispanic but white in voting).
Clearly DeSantis got the message. His latest plan abandons this to stretch the Hispanic community. His latest plan is similar to the legislative drafts - which have three solidly Hispanic seats in south Florida.
The 9th, based in Orlando, really cannot get much more Hispanic than 50-52%. However, as that population continues to grow, the % will rise.
I wonder… did does Ron read my newsletter!? Or did Hialeah Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart give the Governor a call……
The DeSantis CD-5 Obsession
DeSantis has pledged to veto any map with the east-west 5th. I doubt this position will change. As I said in my last post, this is about the Governor looking like a conservative warrior. In this effort, the Governor and his allies are making nonsense arguments about the 5th. I broke all this down in my mega-article on the history of the 5th Congressional District.
Ron and Co. treat the current 5th like its some bizarre spider-web of a district, like the old 3rd from the 1992 maps.
Nate Monroe @NateMonroeTUThe discussion about whether CD5 is the most compact it absolutely could be is entirely manufactured by a governor who just wants to reduce the number of minority-access districts. The court expressly said preserving those districts was more important than compactness.
Compactness is in the eye of the beholder. It’s an inherently subjective standard. The efforts to use math to measure compactness is a noble endeavor, but its also very much a “know it when you see it” situation. Sometimes a little less compactness is needed to meet other criteria. Certainly the modern 5th is better than the 1992 district. I’ve argued about the character of the 5th and why its east-west configuration is valuable.
My firm, absolute, position is that the rural black voters deserve a voice. I will not back down from that. If people don’t agree, so be it. However, lets not exaggerate or lie about the reality on the ground. This district is not some snake-like district going down a highway. It is made up of whole rural counties and connects a unique community across the Northern region of the state.
And, as I pointed out in my Florida 5th Article, the district is no longer in drive-time than several of DeSantis’ proposed districts.
I just image every time DeSantis looks at the 5th - this goes through his head.
The House subcommittee on redistricting meets Wednesday (as of this writing). That should be….. interesting.