Florida Redistricting: Tallying the Hassle in Tallahassee

  • Written by Inside Elections
  • Published in Politics
By Bradley Wascher

Control of the House majority could very well hinge on somewhere like Florida, given its status as one of the most populated and electorally consequential states. And it was one of the last states to finalize a new congressional map this redistricting cycle. But now that we know what its new district lines will look like, the Sunshine State gets to add another near-superlative distinction: one of the most extreme gerrymanders in the country.

Florida has gained at least one congressional seat in every redistricting cycle since 1930, and the most recent round of census reapportionment was no different. To account for population increases, the state will add another representative to its congressional delegation, bringing the total to 28.

image

Both chambers of the Republican-controlled Legislature passed separate plans dividing the state. The state House’s map was slightly more biased toward the GOP than the proposal from the state Senate. But for Democrats, either would have been preferable to the map offered by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Rather than signing one of the Legislature’s proposals, DeSantis vetoed both and proposed his own. The governor specifically took issue with the placement of the 5th District, which is currently a heavily Black seat in North Florida, believing it to be designed unfairly based on race. In response, the DeSantis map effectively eliminates the seat, while also dividing Black voters in the Orlando area between the 10th and 11th districts.

The result is a map that is deeply biased in favor of Republicans. 

In the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump would have carried 20 of the state’s new congressional districts, while President Joe Biden would have won the remaining eight — despite Trump only...

Read more from our friends at Inside Elections