Well, I saw the Florida Congressional map released in the State Senate committee. At first blush, it was horrendous as it bends over backwards to keep all three Hispanic-majority seats as Republican as possible, makes Corinne Brown's district worse, still uses extensions from FL-11 to help Bill Young and Vern Buchanan, and keeps FL-22 a mess. It also runs afoul of a few of the key tenets of the recently-passed Amendment 6 in many places. On second blush, I saw that it actually does some good for Dems. It gives Dems the new FL-27 (59% Obama), which is based in Osceola County, and it relaxes the Shawmander in FL-22 (which was drawn for E. Clay Shaw in 2002 to protect him from the rapid influx of New Yorker retirees), moving that district from 52% Obama to 55% Obama. It also makes FL-16 and FL-25 a few points more Dem, but it would be hard for Dems to reap benefits there unless David Rivera is again the nominee in FL-25 and Dems find something to bog down Tom Rooney in FL-16. Finally, this committee map undoes the anti-Boyd gerrymander in FL-2, moving it 4 points more Dem. FtLaudyDem has a great diary up on who is running and how good Dem odds are in winning this back should FL-2 be unchanged between now and the final map.
Despite this mixed bag, I decided to draw a fair map of Florida's 27 Congressional ditricts for the next decade, approximating what a court would do. It has a few flaws, but I like it overall.
More below the fold.
Note: The partisan data in Dave's Redistricting App is the 2008 two-party Presidential election vote and excludes third-party votes. This is why for all the partisan numbers, the Obama and McCain numbers add up to exactly 100%. Also, all deviations from ideal population are less than the absolute value of +/- 1000.
Let's start with the panhandle, arguably the only place where State Senate Republicans obeyed the Fair Districts Amendments to a "t".
FL-1 (blue): Rep. Jeff Miller (R)
Until 1994, this region of Florida elected very conservative, but strongly pro-MIC Dixiecrats. Now, the only remaining Democratic part of this district is Pensacola. The last Democrat representing this district was Earl Hutto, who retired in 1994. It was then represented by Joe Scarborough himself, which is odd considering that Joe was generally anti-pork and this district relies heavily on military pork. Joe Scarborough resigned in 1999 for family reasons and is now on MSNBC.
FL-2 (green): Rep. Steve Southerland (R)
This district was represented by Allen Boyd until last year, who grievously under-perfomed in the primary and in the general. The district that appeared in the State Senate committee did basically what I did (except I cut up Taylor County and united Madison County) by reuniting all of Leon and Jefferson County into FL-2 and cutting off the finger into conservative Walton and Okaloosa County. Last November, Alex Sink won the majority of the vote of this district as she lost statewide to our favorite medicare thief, Rick Scott. Who can run here? FtLaudyDem highly recommended State Rep. Leonard Bembry (D-Madison), who is already running. In order to win this district, it is important that Democrats nominate a relatively conservative, anti-gun control blue dog in order to hold counties like Wakulla where Democrats still are very strong but never vote for a Democrat who supports gun control. Bembry fits the bill. Boyd isn't coming back and that's probably for the best.
Now, let's move to the non-panhandle part of northern Florida.
FL-3 (dark magenta): Rep. Corinne Brown (D)
52.6%O/47.4%M (VAP: 30.7% Black)
One look at this and you see why Corinne Brown is suing against the Fair Districts Amendments. She'll have to lift a finger to run here. Now, this district may be a little risque as her current district is plurality black, but I don't think that's covered by the VRA under current jurisprudence. Also, this region of Florida is not covered by Section 5 of the VRA either, so it's much easier to get away with retrogression. FL-3 is now an urban Jacksonville district. Jacksonville, once a bastion for Dixiecrats, has been quite Republican since Mayor Ed Austin switched to the GOP in 1995. However, Jacksonville has drifted towards the Democrats for years. It then made history earlier this year by electing Democrat Alvin Brown as its mayor. This district, while difficult, should be a reliable hold for Democrats in neutral years or better, just not for Corinne Brown unless she is a good Congressman.
FL-4 (red): Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R)
This district is now the most conservative in the state.
FL-5 (gold): Rep. Rich Nugent (R)
This district changes very little. The Villages is here.
FL-6 (teal): Rep. Cliff Stearns (R)
Cliff Stearns will now have to work to get re-elected here as Gainesville, Ocala, and Platka are whole again.
FL-7 (dark grey): Rep. John Mica (R)
Mica doesn't live here, but he represents most of it. This district moves a few points more Democratic, but will be hard to win unless boogeyman John Thrasher beats Mica in the primary.
LIKELY R with Mica, LEAN R otherwise
FL-26 (black): OPEN
This district contains Sanford and Mica's home of Winter Springs. He could run here, I suppose.
FL-8 (slate blue): Rep. Dan Webster (R)
This district compacts greatly and is now entirely in Orange County. It is also only plurality white now. The perfect place for Val Demmings or Alan Grayson (though he should forever put behind him the "Taliban Dan" thing).
LIKELY D for Grayson, SAFE D for anyone else
Now for the Tampa region.
FL-9 (cyan): Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R)
This district changes little, but gets neater.
LEAN R/LIKELY R
FL-10 (deep pink): Rep. Bill Young (R)
Bill Young will most likely be forced into retirement because of this. St. Petersburg is finally made whole again.
FL-11 (chartreuse): Rep. Kathy Castor (D)
This Tampa-based district becomes much, much cleaner. It's less D, but still safe for Castor.
FL-12 (cornflower blue): Rep. Dennis Ross (R)
This district becomes more Republican.
Let's move to a larger view of central Florida.
FL-24 (indigo): Rep. Sandy Adams (R)
The space coast district stays pretty much the same, but is now better drawn. Adams is a weak incumbent, but it's still an uphill battle.
FL-27 (spring green): OPEN
This is the other new district and takes in all of Osceola County and a bunch of Orlando suburbs. Could Webster run here if not in FL-8?
FL-15 (dark orange): Rep. Bill Posey (R)
Bill Posey will have to lift a finger to keep this seat, but it should be okay for him in most years.
FL-16 (lime): Rep. Tom Rooney (R)
Tom Rooney lives in Palm Beach County, which is no longer in this district whatsoever. I guess he wouldn't run here.
Now for the south and southwest coast of Florida.
FL-13 (salmon): Rep. Vern Buchanan (R)
This district has to crawl southward some, but stays the same in its leanings.
LEAN R if open/LIKELY R for now
FL-14 (olive): Rep. Connie Mack (R)
This district now takes in the Keys and part of the Everglades.
Now for the Miami-Dade region.
FL-25 (pale violet red): Rep. David Rivera (R)
55.9%O/44.1%M (VAP: 66.4% Hispanic)
The massively corrupt David Rivera is doomed either way, but now it's to a Democrat as this district picks up a lot of non-Cuban Hispanics.
LEAN D/LIKELY D with Rivera
FL-18 (yellow): Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R)
44.7%O/55.3%M (VAP: 78.5% Hispanic)
This district contains a lot of Miami's Cuban-American population.
LIKELY R if open
FL-21 (maroon): Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R)
51.1%O/48.9%M (VAP: 73.8% Hispanic)
This district has the rest of the Cuban-American community, but also some non-Cubans as well. It goes from a district Obama narrowly lost to one he narrowly won.
FL-17 (dark slate blue): Rep. Frederica Wilson (D)
87.2%O/12.8%M (VAP: 52.6% black)
This district is about the same as it is now. No real changes for the district of the hat fanatic of North Miami.
FL-20 (pink): Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D)
This district is now t-shaped and has more of Ft. Lauderdale in it. Slightly less Dem now, but should be no problem.
Finally, we go to the Broward and Palm Beach region.
FL-23 (aquamarine): Rep. Alcee Hastings (D)
81.2%O/18.8%M (VAP: 46.4% black; Total Pop.: 50.1% black)
This was very difficult to do. I made the district less ugly and manufactured it into earmuffs. However, it is no longer black-majority of the voting age population. I think it could have legal standing, but it may get a lawsuit over it.
FL-19 (yellow-green): Rep. Ted Deutch (D)
This district becomes far less ugly and is now a compact stretch of land ranging from Royal Palm Beach to Coral Springs.
FL-22 (sienna): Rep. Allen West (R)
The disgraced ex-officer in Congress now has a clean district that he still does not live in. It is a coastal district that runs smoothly from Deerfield Beach to Jupiter.
That's all for now. In a nutshell, fair redistricting would grant Democrats some seats, but nothing substantial. It does make a lot of competitive seats, that's for sure.