Florida's recent round of court-ordered redistricting has scrambled the state's congressional map, and almost every seat has been altered in some way. To help keep things straight, Stephen Wolf has created an interactive Google Map of the new districts, and we’ve also put together a table showing what portions of Florida’s 2012-2014 congressional districts make up each new seat. This spreadsheet can be a little tricky to interpret, but here’s how you read it:
1) The first thing to note is that there are two separate charts, but they convey the same information. The chart on top uses raw population numbers and the chart on bottom uses percentages. We’ll use the bottom chart in this guide.
2) Along the left-hand side, you’ll see a column containing district numbers for the new districts. Across the top, you’ll see a row listing district numbers for the old districts. Scroll down the left-hand column to pick a district you’re interested in. We’ll take the revised FL-10 as our example.
3) Then scan horizontally until you see boxes with percentages in them, like so (we’ve selected FL-10’s row here):
The first figure you hit is “40.07%.” In that box, if you scan upwards, you’ll see that this corresponds to the old FL-05. What this means is that 40.07 percent of the new FL-10 is drawn from the old FL-05. If you keep moving horizontally, you’ll see that another 6.46 percent comes from the old FL-07, 14.02 percent from the old FL-09, and finally 39.46 percent from the old FL-10—the new district's nominal predecessor. And if you scroll all the way to the right of the spreadsheet (not shown in the excerpt above), you'll see that these numbers add up to 100 percent. (Note: Bolded percentages indicate pluralities when read horizontally.)
You can also read the sheet from top to bottom, though the numbers don’t total 100 percent that way. But you can still learn useful information that way. For instance, if you look at the old FL-10 and scan your eyes downward, you’ll see that small chunks of it have wound up in the new FL-06, FL-07, FL-09, and FL-11, with the largest portion ending up in the new FL-10.
Now that you know how to read this chart, you can see that there are a lot of interesting observations to be made. There’s a reason we focused on FL-10 in this example, because Republican Rep. Dan Webster is truly a man without a district. As noted just above, his old seat has been scattered to the winds, with pieces of it ending up in five separate districts. The section that remains in the new FL-10 is part of what is now a solidly blue seat that he could never hope to win. As a result, Webster has floated the idea of seeking re-election in either FL-06 or FL-11, both of which are open, but he currently represents just 8 percent of the former and 18 percent of the latter. That’s not much of a leg up when it comes to name recognition or political power.
Democrat Corrine Brown’s seat also has been dramatically transformed. Brown is considering running in the new 5th, which is home to her Jacksonville base. However, Brown only represents 38 percent of the new seat, while 32 percent comes from Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham’s 2nd District, and 24 comes from Republican Rep. Ander Crenshaw’s 4th. Brown is also mulling a run in the 10th, which is based around Orlando. Brown represents a plurality of the seat, but only 40 percent of the district’s residents are currently her constituents.
This is just a smapling, though. In total, 24 of Florida’s 27 districts have seen alterations, ranging from small to severe. Check out our full chart for the complete picture.