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Florida is a state where Democrats are fairly naturally packed, and where Republicans currently hold 17 seats in Congress to Democrat's 10. Because if this, I decided to try to draw a fairly aggressive Democratic Gerrymander. I feel that I did about as good a job as you can do without looking like something drawn by North Carolina Republicans or sawolf, and that this is something a Democratic Trifecta might actually pass. The result should be 15 Democratic seats, 9 Republican seats, and 3 swing seats. It probably isn't FDF compliant, however, I will assert that it is VRA compliant.

Details below the fold. All racial numbers refer to voting age population rather than total population, and the presidential numbers are the 2008 two party vote.

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District 1:
32.3% Obama, 67.7% McCain
77.6% White, 12.5% Black, 4.5% Hispanic, 2.7% Asian, 0.8% Native American, 2.0% Other

Safe R Pensacola area district from Jeff Miller.

District 2:
33.9% Obama, 66.1% McCain
83.3% White, 9.4% Black, 4.6% Hispanic, 1.1% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 1.1% Other

Steve Southernland lives here and this district is safe R. However, he picks up a bunch of Ted Yoho's turf, and there's a pretty good chance Yoho would run against him in the primary, since his other options are far more Democratic. It'd be a fun primary to watch..

District 3:
57.3% Obama, 42.7% McCain
63.8% White, 24.6% Black, 6.5% Hispanic, 3.3% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.4% Other

This Tallahassee to Gainesville district should easily elect Al Lawson, or pretty much any other Democrat if he doesn't want it.


District 4:
29.7% Obama, 70.3% McCain
82.5% White, 8.3% Black, 5.2% Hispanic, 2.5% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.3% Other

This safe R district around Jacksonville for Ander Crenshaw is the most Republican District in the state. Ron DeSantis lives here and could run a primary here if he didn't like the new 7th, however, it'd be an uphill battle.

District 5:
56.2% Obama, 43.8% McCain
63.5% White, 33.1% Black, 7.1% Hispanic, 4.3% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Other

I count this Jacksonville to Gainesville district as safe D, even though Corrine Brown might be able to lose. However, if she did, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown or another mainstream Democrat would win it back fairly easily and hold it. These voters are too polarized for a Republican to hold the seat for very long. I had originally drawn this as a cleaner (and probably more FDF compliant) 53.5% Obama tilt D district that was entirely within Duval County and left Alachua County (Gainesville) unified in the Lawson district, but where's the fun in that?

North Central:

District 6:
43.1% Obama, 56.9% McCain
78.3% White, 12.3% Black, 10.0% Hispanic, 2.0% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Other

There isn't really a great analog for this new district north of Orlando, which takes in parts of several old districts, hover McCain won it by 14 points, so it should be fairly safely Republican. Daniel Webster would probably run here, since his old district takes in inner city Orlando and becomes safely Democratic. However, He might not have the Primary to himself. John Micah might think about running here, since this contains parts of his district. Ron DeSantis could also run here if he didn't like the new 7th.

District 7:
54.1% Obama, 45.9% McCain
74.5% White, 24.6% Black, 6.5% Hispanic, 1.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.2% Other

This Daytona Beach based district sheds a lot of red turf and goes into some bluish Orlando suburbs to become a swing district that leans mildly Democratic. Ron DeSantis is the closest thing this district has to an incumbent, however he might choose to run in a different district if he thought this one was too blue. John Micah Represented as somewhat similar (if redder) district last decade, and if he ran here, he'd probably be no worse than 50/50 if he made it to the general, since he has a somewhat moderate image. Sandy Adams could also attempt a comeback bid. Ex-Rep Suzanne Kosmas lives here and would probably be the strongest candidate for the Democrats, followed by incoming Daytona Beach mayor Derrick Henry. If Outgoing mayor Glenn Ritchey could be persuaded to run as a Democrat, he might be stronger, however, he's 72 and has a mixed donation history (having donated to both the Republican Party and Kosmas). This district can be brought up to 57% Obama without pushing FL-10 Below that by drawing a tendril way into central Orange County, but that looks incredibly ugly and I was trying to at least pretend to be quasi-FDF compliant when drawing this one.


District 8:
44.9% Obama, 55.1% McCain
79.5% White, 8.0% Black, 8.3% Hispanic, 2.4% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.4% Other

Safish R space coast district. Bill Posey probably represents most of if, but Sandy Adams could make a comeback bid here.

District 9:
60.0% Obama, 40.0% McCain
45.8% White, 8.8% Black, 38.6% Hispanic, 4.7% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.4% Other

Safe D district for Alan Grayson. He'd have to really shoot his mouth off to lose here.

District 10:
59.9% Obama, 40.1% McCain
53.0% White, 23.8% Black, 18.8% Hispanic, 4.8% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.2% Other

This district becomes an Orange County core district that would be safe for Val Demmings or any other Dem. Dan Webster still lives here, but would be a fool to run here.

Tampa Bay:

District 11:
44.2% Obama, 55.8% McCain
78.1% White, 6.7% Black, 11.7% Hispanic, 2.0% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.2% Other

Rich Nugent probably has the upper hand in the primary this district, however, Gus Bilirakis probably has a decent base to primary him from if he's allergic to being a team player. Safe R.

District 12:
48.1% Obama, 51.9% McCain
86.3% White, 2.5% Black, 7.8% Hispanic, 1.1% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.1% Other

This district takes in most of the stuff in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties I didn't want in the 13th, including most of the small R-leaning communities on the gulf coast. However, beyond that, I tried to make it plausibly winnable by putting in most of the Democratic parts of Pasco and Hernado Counties to the north. Ultimately, though, Gus Bilirakis would probably be fine here. The best metaphor for this district is probably the real Vern Buchanan district: relatively well off and probably somewhere around R+5, we could win it, but it would probably take a wave, and while our candidate would be a top target the next time around, they wouldn't be DOA. I could have make this district more competitive at the expense of the 13th or 14th, however, I wanted to make sure to get rid of Bill Young.

District 13:
59.5% Obama, 40.5% McCain
69.4% White, 11.8% Black, 13.8% Hispanic, 3.4% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.4% Other

This Pinellas County district probably would have spelled the end of Bill Young. if you simply ad the improvement in Obama's vote share to what Jessica Ehrlich got this year, she still would have one by a point, however, that probably undersells what would have happened since Ehrlich would have gotten actual national support in this district. I actually unified most of St. Pete and Clearwater under this district, however, I through a few red precincts in St Pete in the 15th on the opposite site of the Bay, and most of the R-leaning suburbs along the gulf coast wound up in the 12th. Also, I went over to Hillsborough County to pick up the heavily Democratic Town 'n Country and Egypt Lake. It would be safe for Jessica Ehrlich going forward.

District 14:
60.0% Obama, 40.0% McCain
53.1% White, 19.5% Black, 21.8% Hispanic, 3.7% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Other

This Hillsborough County district gets slightly less blue by losing downtown St. Pete and some of the bluer suburbs and Hillsborough County to the 13th, however, it is still safe D for Kathy Castor.

South Central:

District 15:
42.2% Obama, 57.8% McCain
74.7% White, 7.2% Black, 15.1% Hispanic, 1.9% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Other

This district is probably where Dennis Ross would run, although his old District is somewhat fragmented. It's more or less a Republican vote sink designed to take in some of the more Republican parts of Vern Buchanan's old district. Buchanan could also run here if he didn't like his new district.

District 16:
52.8% Obama, 47.2% McCain
75.4% White, 9.1% Black, 13.0% Hispanic, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Other

This Saratosa based district is about as Democratic a district as you can draw in southwest Florida, but it's still only R+1 or 0. However, it does get a good 4 points more Democratic than the old iteration and would have sent Keith Fitzgerald to Congress this year and given Vern Buchanan more time to spend with his defense attorneys. It drops a lot of red suburbs and takes in Port Chrarlotte and Fort Myers. Christine Jennings would also be a strong candidate.

District 17:
40.8% Obama, 59.2% McCain
85.6% White, 2.0% Black, 10.3% Hispanic, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Other

This Cape Coral and Naples based district gets even more Republican by losing Fort Myers, and would be safe R for Trey Radel.

District 18:
45.7% Obama, 54.3% McCain
71.5% White, 11.8% Black, 14.0% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.0% Other

This mostly Polk County based district is pretty much Tom Rooney's only place to run, however, Dennis Ross could run here as well. Bill Nelson probably came close in this district this year, however, something very weird would have to happen for a Democrat to win here.

Palm Beach:

District 19:
59.0% Obama, 41.0% McCain
61.2% White, 18.6% Black, 16.8% Hispanic, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Other

Patrick Murphy is rewarded for beating Allen West with a safe district that stretches down the coast from Port St. Lucie to West Palm Beach, dropping most of it's red turf. Interestingly, if this map had been in place this year, Lois Frankel might have run here instead, since it contains all of West Palm Beach.

District 20:
60.7% Obama, 39.3% McCain
67.0% White, 12.5% Black, 17.0% Hispanic, 2.0% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.3% Other

This is Basically Lois Frankel's district, and would be more or less safe for her or any other Democrat, as it picks up a lot of bluer turf.

District 21:
60.3% Obama, 39.7% McCain
61.9% White, 13.7% Black, 19.9% Hispanic, 2.7% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.6% Other

This is Ted Deutch's district. While it brings in some rural counties around Lake Okeechobee, most of the population is in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Broward County:

District 22:
68.4% Obama, 31.6% McCain
50.5% White, 30.6% Black, 14.9% Hispanic, 2.1% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.8% Other

I do not believe that this district is required to be majority black by VRA. The courts could have forced much cleaner VRA districts than what this needs to be to be 50% black in Alabama, Lousiana, and South Carolina, where voting is much more racially polarized, but they didn't. I did maintain this as a strong black opportunity district, at 30.6% VAP, and Alcee Hastings should be fine, but instead of creating a Democratic vote sink by heading up to Palm beach, I took in some R leaning areas I didn't want in other districts, like Boca Raton.

District 23:
59.2% Obama, 40.8% McCain
50.8% White, 10.0% Black, 33.5% Hispanic, 3.9% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.5% Other

Population wise, this is almost completely a Broward County district for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, however, it does cross Florida to take in some stuff by Naples because it didn't really fit anywhere else. While she might complain some, especially sense I used some of the blue turf she used to have in Maimi-Dade County to make life harder for her friend Ileana, she should be safe. This district is also barely white majority and a Hispanic opportunity district when DWS retires.

District 24:
85.4% Obama, 12.3% McCain
12.0% White, 50.3% Black, 34.2% Hispanic, 1.7% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 1.7% Other

Black VRA district for Fredrica Wilson.

Maimi-Dade County:

District 25:
38.0% Obama, 62.0% McCain
9.9% White, 2.0% Black, 86.8% Hispanic, 1.0% Asian, 0.0% Native American, 0.3% Other

This Cuban VRA district is a Republican vote sink, however, Obama probably got something in the low to mid 40s here this year. If Cubans keep trending Democratic, this district may be competitive by early next decade.

District 26:
57.7% Obama, 42.3% McCain
28.6% White, 7.4% Black, 61.0% Hispanic, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 1.0% Other

I counted this a a Democratic District, however, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is reasonably well entrenched and might hold on for a few cycles. However, Obama probably got upwards of 60% in this district in 2012, so it's hard to see her days as anything but numbered. The district more or less unifies Miami except for some black areas that needed to stay in the 24th to keep it VRA compliant, and takes in the Democratic coastal areas in northern Miami-Dade County. Former Miami mayor Manny Diaz would probably be the strongest candidate for Democrats.

District 27:
54.4% Obama, 45.6% McCain
21.1% White, 10.8% Black, 65.1% Hispanic, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 1.0% Other

The final Cuban VRA district. This district is over 4 points more Democratic than the old one and is probably close to safe for Joe Gacia, especially if Cubans keep trending Democratic, since it probably went for Obama by a bit under 60% this time around.

Well, that's a wrap. As you can see, while Democrats are somewhat naturally packed in Florida, an aggressive Democratic Gerrymander can give them a majority of seats. This is my first time drawing Florida and my local knowledge isn't that great, so I'd love input from anyone who's more knowledgeable about Florida politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice map (3+ / 0-)

    Florida is trending Democratic and if Republicans keep alienating Hispanic voters, it'll only speed up the trend.

    •  I think you are seeing only the data (0+ / 0-)

      you want to see. We just elected Rick Scott, the most conservative governor in the entire country, in 2010. And this is after decades of electing Democrats and more moderate Republicans to the statehouse. Now we Dems are excited about the possibility of getting a Democrat elected governor - a "Democrat" who is a former GOP governor who just changed Parties.  So I think it is far from clear that FL is trending Dem.

      •  Perhaps this is more confirmation bias: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, GoUBears

        But, Rick Scott was elected with a very slim majority in a very good Republican year. Cuban Americans, who have been historically supportive of Republicans, came out for Obama in 2012. While it may be a while before Florida can be considered a "blue state," I'd say they're definitely on the right track.

        As for Crist, he'll have to earn the Dem nomination just like everyone else!

    •  I don't know if I would describe it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, gabjoh, ramesh

      as trending Democratic.  Parts of the state are indeed trending rapidly and strongly towards us (Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville).  But the counties in the north around Tallahassee are going the opposite way, as are most of the counties on the eastern coast of Florida between Miami and Jacksonville.  It kind of balances actually.  This coincides with us doing better among minorities (and minorities being more numerous), but worse among whites.  It's a pattern going on in many states with large minority populations.

  •  Here's the Alternate FL-7 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, Englishlefty

    under this map, FL-10 drops to 57.5% O and FL-9 to 59.6% O, but FL-7 is 56.9% O.

  •  So if FL had Dem majorities in (0+ / 0-)

    the House and Senate, and a Democratic governor, this is how it might be gerrymandered? In other words, in a world that will never exist, this is something that might exist?

  •  great map (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeloitDem, KingofSpades, GoUBears, geoneb

    I really like the light blue SW Florida district.  Amazing you got it to around even.

    19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
    Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
    UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

    by jncca on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 12:48:37 PM PST

  •  In my Florida maps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, BeloitDem, Englishlefty

    I've actually played around with getting four Hispanic majority districts in the Miami area.  86% seems like packing to me, and if you distributed that one across the others all three would be over 70%.  Should be possible to get a fourth Hispanic seat, while still preserving Dem goals.  I've played around with drawing that and it doesn't quite look FDL compliant, but they're all between 60 and 70% Hispanic and three of them are around 57% Obama (the last one is 34%).

    •  I don't doubt a 4th Hispanic district (0+ / 0-)

      is possible by VAP, since DWS's is already over a third Hispanic VAP. However, I don't think it's required, at least by our current court's lax interpretation of Gingles (although I'm admittedly not a lawyer or a VRA expert), and I'm not sure who would sue to force it if it was. Furthermore, I was trying to draw a map that could plausibly pass a Democratic trifecta, so I was trying to minimize the extent to which I messed with Parochial interests. Corrine Brown would almost certainly still be upset (even though she'd probably be okay) And Alcee Hastings might not be completely happy either, although he'd probably make less of a fuss. DWS is already probably somewhat upset about losing the coast liberals in northern Miami- I'm not sure the map could afford to upset her more by radically reconfiguring her district.

      While I admit that 86% is a bit high, I think the the current district is about 80%, and 61% and 65% VAP should be plenty to satisfy VRA, especially since CVAP is probably higher among Cubans than most Hispanics, since most of that immigration came in the early 60s after Castro came to power and most of the people living here today are second or third generation immigrants.

      •  Four is definitely not required (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I just think it would be good to make a fourth seat (in the bizarre situation where Florida Democrats have the trifecta), and give Hispanics more opportunities for office.  It doesn't even hurt DWS that much.  Most of her district can still be maintained, the fourth district mostly comes from pieces of the current three, plus other areas in South Florida that are sucked in to make population.  Basically, of the 2 new districts Florida won in reappropriation, just put one in Miami.

        •  Would you mind drawing an example? (0+ / 0-)

          Florida may have gotten another district, but there are only so many people in Miami. I genuinely don't see how you can draw 4 Hispanic districts in south Florida while maintaining the 24th as a black VRA district and DWS's district as as a plurality white district, especially since the threshold for Hispanic VRA districts is closer to 60% VAP due to CVAP issues.

  •  Tallahassee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which is a blue island in a sea of red finally would get the representation it deserves under this map!!!  So I would be very happy with its new district.  

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:08:23 PM PST

  •  Very nice work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeloitDem, Englishlefty, bumiputera

    The Tallahassee to Gainsville district is very nice.

    Corrine Brown, however, would be majorly pissed! She'd sue too. She probably needs a district that is at least 40% black for her to be able to win. In the district you have her in now she'd probably be primaried and if she were to survive it, a moderate republican with a lot money (Jennifer Caroll??), I think, could easily knock her off.

    I think Hastings would be fine in a primary. I believe he's even argued that his district does not need to be so African American. I wish Lacy Clay and Danny Davis would hold similar views when it came to their districts.

    •  Corrine Brown might sue (0+ / 0-)

      but she'd have no ground to stand on in court. There's no way the Jacksonville to Orlando monstrosity of a district she currently represents meets Gingles. I'm more worried about her ability to block the map via allies in the legislature, although I suppose that would depend on how big our legislative majorities were.

      Also, while she could probably lose the district, I don't think it would be a done deal, and I think if she did, a mainstream Democrat like Alvin Brown would win it back and hold it fairly easily. There just aren't a ton of swing voters in this area, they're mostly hard Democrats and hard Republicans.

  •  Nice map overall, mine is very similar except (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeloitDem, Englishlefty

    I don't think your 25th district is VRA compliant at all.  It looks like you packed one monstrously Cuban district while the other districts have a much larger share of their Hispanic population from non-cubans and they're both lower in overall Hispanic share.

    Here's what my map does while making both the Dem seats stronger and more hispanic:

    The 18th/27th (Yellow-Ros-Lehtinen) is at 60.1% Obama 2008 and would have been like D+10 at the very least this year.  It's 70.1% VAP Hispanic.
    The 21st/26th (Maroon-Garcia) is 54% Obama and would have been something like D+7 or D+8 this year.  It's 72.4% Hispanic.
    The 25th (PaleVioletRed-Either Rivera or Diaz-Balart) is the vote sink at 38.6% Obama but just 73.4% Hispanic.

    Other than that major difference, mine is essentially the same except I got Murphy's seat 2.5% more Dem and made John Mica's seat more Dem by weakening Demings and Grayson who don't need the help.  All in all drawing a 16-11 map is very doable.

    NC-06/NC-04; -9.00, -8.41; progress through pragmatism

    by sawolf on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 03:41:18 PM PST

    •  What are your thoughts on the Tampa Bay area? (0+ / 0-)

      Is trying to move the 12th closer to the tossup range a good idea, or playing with fire?

      •  I don't think it's playing with fire, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        there's just no way to make it really a winnable district.  I drew one version where I got it up to 52.8% Obama or so, which is R+1 by 2008, but it's a district where he overperforms generic local D and Bilirakis is a very strong incumbent for that district and I highly doubt he retires this decade.  It also prevents you from really putting the hammer down on Young, but I think he'd have lost anything over D+5 this year so it's really just a matter of preference.

        NC-06/NC-04; -9.00, -8.41; progress through pragmatism

        by sawolf on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:04:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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