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Leading Off:

FL Redistricting: Even though Gov. Rick Scott hasn't even signed the new state's new maps into law yet, the Florida Democratic Party has already filed suit against them under the new Fair Districts amendments to the state's constitution—which forbid legislators from taking partisan factors such as incumbency into account when drawing maps—and other groups are promising to do the same. (The Miami Herald has copies of a couple complaints at the link, include the FDP's.) Without much in the way of legal precedent, it's almost impossible to predict how the courts will rule; I'd say anything from allowing the maps to stand to a radical re-draw is possible.

Meanwhile, there have been a whole number of moves brought about by the new congressional lines, which are summarized in our House section below. We also have a number of Florida-related items you'll want to check out:

• Our Google Maps overlay of the new district lines;

• David Jarman's comprehensive, district-by-district analysis of all the changes the new map has wrought, and what it means for Democratic and Republican election hopes;

• Another awesome post from David: our Florida cheat-sheet, a one-stop shopping source for information on who's running where (and which seats are likely to be competitive) for the entire state;

• Our classic redistribution analysis, showing you how the old districts get carved up into new ones under the new map;

• A set of election results according to the new congressional districts, for every statewide race in Florida from 2006 to 2010;

• And finally, a spreadsheet showing which old district, geographically speaking, can best be considered the predecessor of each new district—crucial because the legislature just renumbered the entire map.

Senate:

NE-Sen: Democrats have finally landed a candidate in the Nebraska Senate race: University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook. One more potential entrant, state Sen. Steve Lathrop, will announce his plans on Monday.

OH-Sen: Last cycle, it was all you could do to avoid getting squished on the head by another Rasmussen poll every few hours. This time... almost bupkes. But a rare Rasmussen Reports non-presidential poll has indeed surfaced, of the Ohio Senate race (their very first). Of course, it shows much more exciting results for Republicans than any survey seen heretofore, with Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown leading GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel by a mere 44-40 margin. Of course, virtually every poll taken by Quinnipiac and PPP over the last year has given Brown double-digit leads, with the tightest being PPP's eight-point margin back in October. So who you gonna believe?

Gubernatorial:

NC-Gov, NC-07: Scratch another name off the list: Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre says he won't run for governor and will continue with his plans to seek re-election.

House:

FL-03: Resolving one question, GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns, who currently represents the old 6th, announced he'd seek re-election in the new 3rd. (There had been some question about where Stearns would go, given how many options he had.) He won't have a free shot here, though, as state Sen. Steve Oelrich and Clay County Clerk of Court Jimmy Jett are already running here (and Oelrich's not hesitating to lay down some early fire in Stearns' direction).

FL-06: There's a new Republican entrant in the 6th CD (which is now open because Reps. John Mica and Sandy Adams are fighting it out in the 7th): state Rep. Fred Costello. He joins former steakhouse CEO (and Senate race drop-out) Craig Miller, as well as former prosecutor and Iraq war vet Ron DeSantis in the primary.

FL-14: Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe's desire to take on Dem Rep. Kathy Castor never made a whole lot of sense to me: Castor's district was a deliberate Democratic vote sink that was never going to be made materially more competitive in redistricting, and lo and behold, it was not. (The old 11th was a 66% Obama seat; the new 14th is... 65% Obama.) So now Sharpe has finally acknowledged the obvious and is suspending his campaign, though he's holding out hope that the courts will revamp the lines sufficiently so that he'll have a reason to get back in.

FL-22: Adam Hasner may not have the Republican primary to himself here, in the district Rep. Allen West abandoned for FL-18, one seat to the north. Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca (who is also a former Broward GOP chair) says he's thinking about entering the race. Now's your chance!

GA-03: Former Lamar County Commission chair Kent Kingsley, who is also a retired military officer, says he'll run in the GOP primary against Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.

MA-04: Oh man. You know the editors at the Boston Herald were pissed when they got back these poll results from their partners at UMass-Lowell. The Herald, sort of a Beantown version of the New York Post with a real hatred of the Kennedy clan, was nevertheless forced to give a favorable front page to Joseph P. Kennedy III because their new survey shows him absolutely crushing Republican Sean Bielat, 60-28. (For some reason the poll didn't test a head-to-head with the other main GOP candidate, Elizabeth Childs—though they did ask about her favorables—but I can't imagine it would have made much of a difference.) It's gonna be fun watching the Herald suffer like this.

NM-01, CA-02: Two new full-fledged endorsements from EMILY's List: businesswoman Stacey Lawson in the safely Dem CA-02 and Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham in the swingy NM-01. As I said when they added Lujan Grisham to their preliminary "On the List" tier in December, I'm worried that this will make it harder for progressives, many of whom are backing state Sen. Eric Griego, to unite and stop conservaDem Marty Chavez from walking away with the nomination.

NY-12: So New York City Councilman Erik Dilan, who is from Brooklyn, finally confirmed in his own words that he's thinking about taking on Rep. Nydia Velazquez in the Democratic primary. (A recent invitation for a Dilan fundraiser directed donors to give to a federal account.) But I remain pretty skeptical as to whether he'll ever pull the trigger.

Grab Bag:

CO-St. House: So much for that: Republican state Rep. Laura Bradford, who threatened to bolt the GOP and throw control of the House up for grabs because she'd be targeted by what she alleged was a bogus ethics investigation, is staying put. Why? Her colleagues voted to drop the inquiry. Oh well.

Virginia: Virginia's House unanimously adopted a bill to change the state's primary date from June 12 to August 7, but only if the Department of Justice fails to grant the new congressional map preclearance by March 20. Presumably the Senate will follow suit.

Redistricting Roundup:

CA Redistricting: No surprise: The California GOP's federal lawsuit against the state's new congressional map, led by Rep. George Radanovich, just got bounced. A big reason why, ruled the court: because the California Supreme Court already smacked down the same suit. Republicans can appeal, but it would just be a further waste of money.

KY Redistricting: After many false starts—and a point just days ago at which the entire process seemed headed to court—Democrats and Republicans in Kentucky suddenly reached a compromise on congressional redistricting. A new plan sailed through both the Senate and then the House on Friday and was signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear that very same day. Here's what it looks like:

Kentucky new congressional map
(click for larger)
Though the map passed with wide bipartisan support, a number of Republicans freaked out in opposition to the deal, with one senator calling it "the Ben Chandler lifetime employment act." That's a reference to Dem Rep. Ben Chandler of KY-06, whom Joe Sonka guesstimates would have won by 6,000 votes in 2010 under the new lines, rather than the 647 he actually squeaked by with. As Joe suggests, the new lines might not exactly guarantee Chandler a seat for life, but this is nonetheless good news for Democrats, since shoring him up was their main (and really only) objective. Otherwise, the rest of the map is your standard incumbent-protection plan, which locks in a 4 R, 2 D delegation. For Kentucky, especially with a split legislature, that's about as good as we're going to get.

NM Redistricting: On Friday, the New Mexico Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling that adopted a specific redistricting plan for the state House (known as "Executive Alternative Plan 3") and sent the case back to the district judge with orders to draw a new map. The high court felt that the map split too many communities, but interestingly—and this is something we haven't really seen happen anywhere else this cycle—they also felt the map exhibited unfair partisan bias, saying that the plan added too many Republican seats. A redrawn map should, presumably, hew more closely to the baseline numbers of the map from a decade ago, but we'll see what the trial court does on remand.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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