Friday, August 19, 2011

Florida Fair Redistricting Part II: Central Florida

This is the 2nd post out of 3 posts analyzing fair redistricting in Florida. Here is my 1st post:

Tampa Area

Florida's 10th Congressional District Bill Young (R) Deepink
Presidential Data: Obama 188,941 56.4%, McCain 146,119 43.6%
Old Percentage: Obama 51%, McCain 47%
Demographics: 12.3% African American, 8.3% Hispanic, 74.0% White
Demographics 18+: 10.6% African American, 7.1% Hispanic, 77.8% White
Status: Likely Republican if Bill Young runs, Likely Democratic if not

The 10th district becomes more Democratic as it adds Democratic parts of St. Petersburg that were previously in the 11th district. The current 11th district jumped across Tampa Bay to grab Democratic parts of St. Petersburg but the 10th now combines communities of interest by representing all of Pinellas County except for the northern part. As for the district's representative, Bill Young (R) who is 80 years old has represented the area since 1971 and has won reelection easily in the Democratic years of 2006 and 2008. The addition of Democratic areas should not be enough to unseat him but they may prompt him to retire. If he retires, this seat should be competitive but the district's 56% Obama percentage should give the Democrats an advantage.

Florida's 11th Congressional District Kathy Castor (D) Chartreuse
Presidential Data: Obama 169,053 61.2%, McCain 107,391 38.8%
Old Percentage: Obama 66%, McCain 33%
Demographics: 20.5% African American, 28.2% Hispanic, 45.8% White
Demographics 18+: 18.6% African American, 26.6% Hispanic, 49.8% White
Status: Safe Democratic

The 11th district becomes more compact as it loses the string connecting it to Democratic neighborhoods in Bradenton and St. Petersburg. The 11th district now contains Tampa Bay and its close in suburbs. These changes make the 11th district more Republican but Hillsborough County's Democratic trend and Obama's 61% in the district should keep Castor safe from a Republican challenge.

I-4 Corridor

Florida's 12th Congressional District Dennis Ross (R) Cornflower Blue
Presidential Data: Obama 129,100 45.5%, McCain 154,360 54.5%
Old Percentage: Obama 48%, McCain 50%
Demographics: 13.1% African American, 18.3% Hispanic, 65.0% White
Demographics 18+: 12.0% African American, 15.4% Hispanic, 69.5% White
Status: Likely Republican

Ross receives a safer district under this plan. He gains all of Republican leaning Polk County while losing marginal Tampa suburbs including Brandon and Riverview. Although many of the districts on this plan become more favorable to Democrats, this district becomes safer for Republicans. If the Hispanic growth continues in Polk County though, Democrats may have a shot here soon.

Florida's 13th Congressional District Vern Buchanan (R) Darksalmon
Presidential Data: Obama 167,628 48.2%, McCain 179,797 51.8%
Old Percentage: Obama 47%, McCain 52%
Demographics: 6.6% African American, 12.3% Hispanic, 78.1% White
Demographics 18+: 5.5% African American, 9.8% Hispanic, 82.2% White
Status: Safe Republican

Although the 13th district becomes a tad more Democratic with the loss of Republican leaning De Soto and Hardee Counties with the addition of Democratic areas in Bradenton, Buchanan should win here. He is a popular incumbent with a large warchest, winning in the Democratic wave years of 2006 and 2008. He also performed strongly in 2010, winning with 69% of the vote.

Florida's 14th Congressional District  Vacant Olive
Presidential Data: Obama 155,609 58.5%, McCain 110,466 41.5%
Old Percentage: N/A
Demographics: 8.6% African American, 40.0% Hispanic, 43.5% White
Demographics 18+: 8.4% African American, 37.6% Hispanic, 46.5% White
Status: Likely Democratic

Under the current lines, the Orlando area is unfairly represented because there is no district completely within its metropolitan area. Districts such as the 3rd and 8th represent Orlando but also represent other portions of the state such as Jacksonville and Ocala. The 14th district though completely represents the Orlando metropolitan area, containing suburban Osceola County and part of Orange County. The district will probably elect a white representative but a Hispanic candidate could win soon because of the district's fast growing Hispanic population. The district should also elect a Democrat because of the 58.5% Obama percentage.

Florida's 15th Congressional District  Vacant Dark Orange
Presidential Data: Obama 173,124 61.1%, McCain 110,177 38.9%
Old Percentage: N/A
Demographics: 26.6% African American, 21.4% Hispanic, 45.5% White
Demographics 18+: 24.2% African American, 20.0% Hispanic, 49.6% White
Status: Safe Democratic

The orange colored district is located entirely within Orange County, representing all of Orlando and many of its close in suburbs. By representing the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, the district is strongly Democratic and is trending more Democratic as the Hispanic population continues to grow.

Florida's 16th Congressional District Bill Posey (R) Lime
Presidential Data: Obama 163,639 45.0%, McCain 200,245 55.0%
Old Percentage: Obama 48%, McCain 51%
Demographics: 8.2% African American, 10.3% Hispanic, 76.6% White
Demographics 18+: 7.5% African American, 9.1% Hispanic, 79.2% White
Status: Safe Republican

Posey's district becomes safer for him as it loses all of Democratic leaning Osceola and Orange Counties. The district also represents more communities of interest as it combines almost all of Brevard County in one district instead of splitting in half between the 15th and 24th districts. Posey's district also gains part of Republican leaning Seminole County. Posey was safe in a 51% McCain district so he should have no problems winning in a 55% McCain one.

Florida West Coast

Florida's 17th Congressional District Connie Mack IV (R) DarkSlateBlue
Presidential Data: Obama 127,295 40.9%, McCain 183,918 59.1%
Old Percentage: Obama 42%, McCain 57%
Demographics: 6.1% African American, 21.5% Hispanic, 69.7% White
Demographics 18+: 5.0% African American, 17.9% Hispanic, 74.9% White
Status: Safe Republican

Mack's district was already the most Republican district south of the I-4 corridor at 57% McCain but with the district's changes, it becomes even more Republican at 59% McCain. Mack's district loses all of Charlotte County as well as some Democratic neighborhoods in Fort Myers. The 17th district also gains all of heavily Republican and fast growing Collier County. These changes shift Mack's district further south along Florida's west coast because due to population growth, Florida's west coast is gaining a new district.

Florida's 18th Congressional District Vacant (Tom Rooney (R) ?) Yellow
Presidential Data: Obama 131,583 45.8%, McCain 155,823 54.2%
Old Percentage: Obama 47%, McCain 52%
Demographics: 8.7% African American, 18.6% Hispanic, 69.8% White
Demographics 18+: 7.8% African American, 15.6% Hispanic, 74.3% White
Status: Safe Republican

This district is a combination of the current 13th, 14th and 16th districts. The 18th district combines more inland communities along the Florida west coast such as Fort Myers and Port Charlotte while representing some rural counties near Lake Okeechobee. Although Rooney does not live in the district, he may decide to run here because the 18th district contains parts of his old district such as Port Charlotte and the rural counties near Lake Okeechobee. Although the 18th district is less Republican than the neighboring 17th district, McCain's 54% of the vote in the 18th district should be enough to keep it safely Republican.


Ed said...

This analysis is confusing since you make no attempt in maintaining continuity with numbering with the previous districts. Yes, Florida has usually followed the model of starting at one end of the state (Pensacola) and numbering the districts consecutively until they reach the other (Key West), but with the 1991 redistricting they broke with this precedent and created a "24th district" in the central part of the state.

At least you should indicate the predecessor district where possible. As it happens, the population seems to have grown most in the central part of the state and the two new districts will essentially be located there.

Ed said...

The last Florida redistricting was a Republican gerrymander, and a pretty effective one as you pointed out, but from a fair districting standpoint I can defend combining Tampa with St. Petersburg.

Almost exactly three districts fit in to Pinellas County and Tampa County combined, and it makes sense to have one district each entirely in each of the counties, and one district combining territory in both of them. Tampa and St. Petersburg are urban areas connected by a bridge, and though I realize this hurts the Democrats, from a neutral standpoint it makes sense to combine them and create two suburban districts around them.

As it happens, the Tampa Bay area is surrounded by three two county combinations (Henando-Pasco, Polk-Sumpter, Manatee-Sarasota) where the combined populations are in the neighborhood of that needed for a CD.

On the other hand, neutral districting would obviously put all of Orlando into one district and that would help the Democrats. The lines in the central/ eastern part of the state are a mess, though its also the area where the Republicans are most in danger of dummymandering themselves. They are frankly overrepresented in the delegation given their popular vote strength in the state and would be smart to concede at least one of the two new districts to their opponents.

Alibguy said...

Sorry about not maintaining the contunity with some of the districts. The problem is that Florida is gaining two new seats. One of them is in Orlando and the other is the 18th district along the West Coast so I have to renumber the districts that come after them. I also mention which representative I will believe will run in the district.