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For any who may be reading this series for the first time: this is a thought experiment where I try to see what would happen if the size of the House of Representatives were doubled to 870 members from 435. And yes, I know Republicans have the trifecta in Florida. This entire series is theoretical to begin with, gimme a break.

With the Florida primary rapidly descending upon us, I thought I'd ratchet out my diary where I see what could happen to the Sunshine State if the House was Doubled in size.

In Florida in 2010, Floridians overwhelmingly (63%) passed a constitutional amendment that asks for "Fairness", "as equal in population as feasible" and use "city, county and geographical boundaries" while also obeying the VRA. The problem was, the constitutional amendment kept the line-drawing power in the hands of the legislature instead of giving it to an independent commission. So what do the entrenched Republican legislators do? For the most part, ignore the amendment. At least the "fairness" part.

So I thought I'd try my hand. Except for the population part, I've never been very good at following it.

Previous Doubling Diaries: SC, WI, LA, MS, UT, NV, OK, AK, WY, IN, NJ, VA, OH, HI, ND, SD, NM, VT, DE and ID

Florida gets a whopping 53 districts.

Panhandle


1
VAP: 72.2 White, 17.7 Black
38.4 Obama

Open; Pensacola. Safe R

2
VAP: 83.1 W, 7.3 B
25.8 Obama

Jeff Miller (R-Chumuckla) lives here. Not much to say, there are no major cities, and it drops from 32% Obama to about 26%. Safe R

3
VAP: 76.9 W, 15.8 B
32.4 Obama

Steve Southerland (R-Panama City) lives here. Finishing off the Panhandle. Safe R

4
VAP: 59.2 W, 31.1 B, 5.7 Hispanic
61.2 Obama

Open; Tallahassee, Gadsen and Jackson Counties. There would be an opening for a black Democrat in the primary, maybe former Sen. Al Lawson or Tallahassee Mayor John Marks? Safe D, black opportunity

Jacksonville and environs


5
VAP: 39.6 W, 49.8 B, 6.1 H
68.2 Obama

Plurality black; Corinne Brown (D-Jacksonville) lives here. One of the two Florida congresscritters who filed a lawsuit over the FairDistricts amendment (Mario Diaz-Balart (R) was the other), she would be happy with this district, it's actually 0.5% more black than her current district. Not that she deserves it. Safe D, black hold

6
VAP: 77.9 W, 14.1 B
30.3 Obama

Ander Crenshaw (R-Jacksonville) might live here, but even if he didn't he'd run here, he already represents about 100% of the constituents. He drops 7% of Obama performance. Safe R

7
VAP: 73.2 W, 10.8 B, 8.1 H, 5.7 Asian
39.5 Obama

Open; Jacksonville (part). Safe R, though it may be a demographic time bomb.

8
VAP: 67 W, 18.2 B, 8.6 H
57.4 Obama

Cliff Steans (R-Ocala) lives here, but likely runs in the 12th or 13th instead. Gainesville and Ocala. College towns, baby. Likely D

9
VAP: 79.1 W, 12.1 B, 5.6 H
52.1 Obama

Open; the "Fun Coast". Daytona Beach, Port Orange Palm Coast and Palatka. Swing

11
VAP: 82.4 W, 7.2 B, 5.9 H
32.4 Obama

Open; St. Augustine, the oldest city in America (take that, 4th Grade Geography Bowl). John Mica (R-Winter Park) does not live here, but would probably run here over anywhere else Safe R

12
VAP: 82.8 W, 7.4 B, 7.4 H
37.4 Obama

Open; Cliff Stearns, as I mentioned, would probably rather run here than his home district, the 8th. Marion, Putnam, Clay and Bradford Counties. Safe R

13
VAP: 87.4 W, 6.1 H
42.3 Obama

Open; Republican Rich Nugent's home of Spring Hill is drawn out of the district, but he would run here, he currently represents most of the voters here. Safe R

I-4 Corridor


Orlando

10
VAP: 72.1 W, 10.5 B, 14.3 H
53.1 Obama

Open; Sandy Adams (R-Orlando) represents much of this territory currently. Deltona and New Smyrna Beach, the rest of the "Fun Coast". Former Rep. Suzanna Kosmas could attempt a comeback. Kosmas had the largest margin of victory over an incumbent Republican in 2008. She lost to Adams by the 2nd largest margin in 2010. This district is 3 points better for Obama than the current 24th, but it's still a pretty quintessential Swing district.

14
VAP: 32.6 W, 41.3 B, 19 H
72.6 Obama

Open; black plurality. Orlando. Safe D, likely black pickup

15
VAP: 40.5 W, 8.7 B, 43.2 H, 5.6 A
61.8 Obama

Open; Hispanic plurality. Orlando. This may be the district that former Rep. Alan Grayson tries his hand in under this map. Safe D, possible Hispanic pickup

16
VAP: 70 W, 7.9 B, 16.9 H
52.2 Obama

John Mica and Daniel Webster (R-Orlando) both likely live here. Orlando and southern Seminole County. As I pointed out above, Mica would probably run in the 11th over anywhere else, in order to keep his district Republican. Webster likely runs here, but without a firebrand opponent like Alan Grayson, he may lose. Swing

17
VAP: 48.6 W, 8.1 B, 35.8 H, 5.4 A
56.5 Obama

Open; white plurality. Kissimmee and Southwest Orange County. Opening for a Hispanic in the primary. Likely D, hispanic opportunity

18
VAP: 74.1 W, 7.2 B, 13.2 H
44.1 Obama

Open; Orlando suburbs and the Space Coast. John Mica also may try a run here, as it's a little closer to his home. Safe R

19
VAP: 81 W, 8.6 B, 7.8 H
40.6 Obama

Open; Lake and Sumter Counties. Safe R

20
VAP: 72 W, 10.8 B, 13.6 H
45.7 Obama

Dennis Ross (R-Lakeland) lives here. Safe R

21
VAP: 83 W, 7 B, 6 H
43 Obama

Bill Posey (R-Rockledge), whose grandfather may or may not have been an alligator, lives here. Space Coast. Safe R

Tampa

22
VAP: 88.4 W, 6.8 H
50 Obama (Obama win by 14 votes)

As I said, Rich Nugent (R- Spring Hill) lives here, but he runs in the 13th. Gus Bilirakis (R-Palm Harbor) also lives here, and could win, but may choose not to. The 23rd and 29th, which he represents part of, may be better choices, if he's scared of the increased Obama %age. Northern part of the "Sun Coast". Likely R with Bilirakis, Swing without

23
VAP: 70.4 W, 9 B, 14.4 H
49.4 Obama

Open; Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O'Lakes and Lady Magdalene. Another district Bilirakis could run in, but isn't much better for him than the 22nd. Likely R with Bilirakis, Swing without

24
VAP: 82.5 W, 5.4 B, 8.3 H
50.8 Obama

Open; Clearwater and Sun Coast. Swing

25
VAP: 83.3 W, 6.6 H
52.7 Obama

Bill Young (R-Indian Shores) lives here. St. Petersburg (part). Almost a 2-point swing to Obama, but Young probably has this district until he retires. It would be a golden pickup opportunity after that, though. Likely R

26
VAP: 50.3 W, 11.4 B, 32.8 H
54.5 Obama

Open; NW Hillsborough County. Lean D, Hispanic opportunity

27
VAP: 50.9 W, 24.1 B, 20.5 H
64 Obama

Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) lives here. Tampa. Safe D

28
VAP: 63.5 W, 19.7 B, 13.7 H
58.6 Obama

Open; St. Petersburg, Sun City Center and down into Bradenton. Safe D

29
VAP: 69.5 W, 10.4 B, 16.5 H
42.3 Obama

Open; eastern Hillsborough County and into Winter Haven. As I said, Gus Bilirakis may run here if he doesn't feel confident enough to win in his home district. This would probably be the most attractive of his options. Safe R

South Central


30
VAP: 66.9 W, 11.1 B, 19.6 H
45.2 Obama

Open; Central rurals. Safe R

31
VAP: 72.7 W, 10.5 B, 13.9 H
46.2 Obama

Open; southern Space coast, inner rurals. Tom Rooney (R-Tequesta) may rather run here than in his home district, the 38th. Safe R

32
VAP: 81.8 W, 5.6 B, 9.9 H
48.7 Obama

Vern Buchanan (R-Sarasota) lives here. Almost two points more blue than his current district, Buchanan could be vulnerable. Lean R

33
VAP: 89.9 W
47.3 Obama

Open; ladies and gentlemen, the whitest district in all of Florida. North Port and Port Charlotte. Likely R

34
VAP: 83.1 W, 10.8 H
43.9 Obama

Open; Cape Coral and North Fort Myers and a small part of Fort Myers. Safe R

35
VAP: 73.1 W, 7.7 B, 16.5 H
44.7 Obama

Open; Connie Mack IV is running for Senate. Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers Shores (sensing a theme?) and San Carlos Park. Safe R

37
VAP: 70.6 W, 13.6 B, 13 H
52.7 Obama

Open; St. Lucie County and part of Martin County. The Treasure Coast, gotta love all these coast names. Lean D

Palm Beach and Broward Counties

Here is where the districts on the current congressional map get really fucked up. There's barely any crossover between congressmember's homes and their territory starting here, I'm not even sure I want to try.

38
VAP: 73.2 W, 6.1 B, 18 H
50.2 Obama

Open; Treasure Coast into the Gold Coast. Swing

39
VAP: 35.8 W, 43.3 B, 16.4 H
76 Obama

Open; plurality black. West Palm Beach and Broward Counties, cities of West Palm Beach and Sunrise. Safe D, likely black pickup

40
VAP: 57.1 W, 15.2 B, 23.2 H
62.4 Obama

Open; Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and Boynton Beach. Safe D

41
VAP: 79.6 W, 8.8 B, 8.6 H
62.7 Obama

Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) lives here. Boca Raton and Delray Beach. Probably heavily Jewish. Safe D

42
VAP: 31.2 W, 43.9 B, 20.4 H
81 Obama

Open; plurality black. Broward County, overlap with a lot of cities. Safe D, likely black pickup

43
VAP: 61.8 W, 12.4 B, 19.6 H
63.6 Obama

Open. Coral Springs and Coconut Creek. Another heavily Jewish area. Safe D

44
VAP: 69.1 W, 10 B, 17.5 H
58.8 Obama

Open. Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Oakland Park, etc. Another Jewish district. Safe D

47
VAP: 52.8 W, 9.8 B, 31.3 H
60.1 Obama

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Weston) and Allen West (R-Plantation) both live here; Wasserman Schultz may vacate to a district with more of her Jewish constituency. West is toast here. Maybe an opening for a Hispanic in the Democratic primary? Safe D, Hispanic opportunity if open.

Miami


36
VAP: 66 W, 5.8 B, 26.1 H
39.1 Obama

Open. From Collier County to the Cuban areas of Miami. Safe R

45
VAP: 13.1 W, 53.6 B, 28.8 H
86 Obama

Alcee Hastings (D-Miramar) and Frederica Wilson (D-Miami Gardens) both live here. Hastings probably relocates to the 39th, there's more of his territory there. Black majority. Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, North Miami Beach, etc. Safe D, black hold

46
VAP: 9.3 W, 48.7 B, 38.9 H
84.9 Obama

Open; black plurality. North Miami, Gladeview, Pinewood Park, etc. This takes in the Haitian community and what I believe to be Democratic-leaning Cubans. This district would probably elect the nation's first Haitian-American congressman. Safe D, black/Haitian pickup

48
VAP: 14.1 W, 5.2 B, 77.6 H
48.5 Obama

Open; Hialeah Gardens, Miami Lakes, etc. Of the Cuban-majority districts, probably the best opportunity for a Democrat. Maybe Joe Garcia wants to give it another try? Lean R

49
VAP: 91.9 H
39.5 Obama

Open; Hialeah, Fountainbleu and Westchester. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and David Rivera all claim Miami as their residence, so I have no idea which one would have a claim on this district, but one of them would definitely run here. Probably Diaz-Balart. Safe R

50
VAP: 36.3 W, 56.4 H
60.3 Obama

Open; Hispanic majority. Doing this map, it shocks me that Florida has yet to elect a Democratic Hispanic member to Congress. I think this map fixes that, a Hispanic Democrat is almost certain to win. And since it's based in Miami Beach, maybe we could get someone fabulous? Safe D, Hispanic pickup

51
VAP: 10.5 W, 86.7 H
38.1 Obama

Hispanic (Cuban) majority. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen may live here, and she'd lay claim to this district. David Rivera may get shut out, shoved out of the two safely Republican Cuban districts and unlikely to win in the other (48th) in a year not named "2010". If he ran in the 48th, it may even drive it into Democratic hands. So run, congressman, run! Safe R

52
VAP: 26.5 W, 12.1 B, 57 H
58.4 Obama

Open; Hispanic majority. Miami and into the southern suburbs. Safe D, Hispanic pickup

53
VAP: 29.1 W, 12.3 B, 55.8 H
57.8 Obama

Open; Hispanic majority. Southern Miami suburbs and the Keys. Safe D, Hispanic pickup
.
.
.
.
.
.
So, from a current delegation of 6-19, and at best a 2-3 seat gain from redistricting, to a map that is, by my count, 21-24-8. which would go to 21-23-9 if David Rivera runs in the 48th. This includes 6 black districts, 3 of which are pickups, and Brown, Hastings and Wilson returning. There's also one black opportunity district in Tallahassee. There are also 3 Hispanic majority districts (not counting the 3 Cuban-majority districts), and 4 Hispanic opportunity districts. You see, compactness actually does help us when the numbers are big enough, haha. Especially when you undo the ridiculous gerrymandering in the Miami area. Assuming Rivera runs for the 48th, this brings the House so far to 122-108-28

Please let me know what you think!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Graly, WisJohn, KingofSpades

    23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

    by HoosierD42 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:45:02 AM PST

  •  870 House Members? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thematt523, HoosierD42

    Sounds very, very unwieldy to me.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

    by Kimball Cross on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:52:44 AM PST

  •  Really interesting thought experiment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoosierD42

    but would you want a national legislature that functions like New Hampshire's?

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:13:17 AM PST

    •  It would hardly function like NH (0+ / 0-)

      Each legislator in New Hampshire represents about 3,300 people. Under a Doubled house, Congressmen would still be representing 350,000 people. It would make the House more representative and accountable to its constituents, I think.

      23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

      by HoosierD42 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:36:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  also (0+ / 0-)

      New Hampshire's legislature has a ton of multi-member seats and no salary, thus a lot of random loons get elected because the field of people who could take the job is a bit narrow and freeloaders can get elected by being the 13th place finisher in a 13 member seat where all 13 are with the same party.

      I think there's a strong case to expand Congress to 475ish. Or some number where the electoral college vote total will be an odd number, thus no electoral college ties.

      The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

      by RBH on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 02:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice Job! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoosierD42

    Even where you did gerrymander (Gainsville, Ocala), It doesn't really look like a blatant gerrymander. Looks fairly natural.

    Farm boy who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -7.88, -4.26, One in ONE MILLION that recalled Scott Walker!!!!

    by WisJohn on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:08:12 AM PST

  •  12/19 (0+ / 0-)

    I'd do some interchange between the 12th and 19th so that the 12th doesn't wrap around the 8th like that.

    22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

    by wwmiv on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:59:03 PM PST

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