Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Florida Fair Redistricting Part III: South Florida

This is the final of 3 posts analyzing my fair Florida redistricting proposal. My first post is here: http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/2011/08/florida-fair-redistricting-part-i-north.html and my 2nd post is here: http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/2011/08/florida-fair-redistricting-part-ii.html

South Florida

Florida's 19th Congressional District:  Frederica Wilson (D) Yellowgreen
Presidential Data: Obama 219,280 84.3%, McCain 40,719 15.7%
Old Percentage: Obama 87%, McCain 12%
Demographics: 52.9% African American, 31.3% Hispanic, 12.2% White
Demographics 18+: 50.5% African American, 32.4% Hispanic, 13.6% White
Status: Safe Democratic

The former 17th district retains most of its current territory, representing communities of interest by representing heavily African American communities in northern Miami Dade and southern Broward Counties. This district also stays west of Route 1. Although the district becomes a few points more Republican due to gaining a few heavily Cuban precincts, the 19th district is heavily Democratic and with the 84.3% Obama percentage, it is by far the most Democratic district in Florida.

Miami Area

Florida's 20th Congressional District: Illeana Ros Lehtinen (R) Pink
Presidential Data: Obama 131,823 58.0%, McCain 95,439 42.0%
Old Percentage: Obama 51%, McCain 49%
Demographics: 13.4% African American, 62.0% Hispanic, 22.0% White
Demographics 18+: 12.0% African American, 62.5% Hispanic, 23.0% White
Status: Lean Democratic if Lehtinen runs, Likely Democratic if not

This district at first appears Democratic because its 58% Obama percentage is not far from the 61% Obama in the 11th district which I listed as Safe Democratic. Although the 20th district is certainly trending Democratic as Cubans become less staunchly Republican and non Cuban Hispanics whom lean Democratic move into the Miami area, the 20th district may stay in Republican hands because Ros Lehinten is a popular and moderate incumbent. A strong Democratic candidate still should though as I increased the Obama percentage in the district from 51% to 58%. I removed the Republican leaning areas around Coral Gables while adding some heavily Democratic areas around Cutler Bay and Homestead. Ros Lehtinen is unfamiliar to the voters in those areas and although she is entrenched in parts of her current district, the new district with its 58% Obama percentage should be enough to unseat her or encourage her to primary a weak incumbent such as David Riveria (R) in the 27th district. As for communities of interest, the 20th district represents similar communities by representing all of Miami Dade's coastal areas south of Miami Beach.

Broward County

Florida's 21st Congressional District: Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) vs. Allen West (R) Maroon
Presidential Data: Obama 198,837 67.3%, McCain 96,556 32.7%
Old Percentage: N/A
Demographics: 24.8% African American, 23.8% Hispanic, 45.4% White
Demographics 18+: 22.7% African American, 22.8% Hispanic, 48.9% White
Status: Safe Democratic

The new 21st district is a combination of the current 19th, 20th and 23rd districts. Schultz lives here but most of her current district is in the new 25th so she may move and run there. The 21st district contains most of inland Broward County with Sunrise and Coral Springs but also contains Pompono Beach. Allen West's home of Plantation is in the 21st district but West is a far right teabagger who would not fare well in a 67% Obama district like this one.

Palm Beach County

Florida's 22nd Congressional District: Tom Rooney (R) Sienna
Presidential Data: Obama 170,214 60.6%, McCain 110,618 39.4%
Old Percentage: N/A
Demographics: 18.8% African American, 24.1% Hispanic, 52.8% White
Demographics 18+: 16.7% African American, 22.1% Hispanic, 57.4% White
Status: Safe Democratic

Tom Rooney (R) who represents the current 16th district which spans from Port Charlotte to a few Palm Beach suburbs lives in Tequesta which is in the district. Besides Teqeusta and Wellington, the new 22nd and current 16th districts share no areas so Rooney will probably not run in the 22nd district and run in the new 26th instead which contains large portions of his current district. Also, the 61% Obama percentage in the 22nd district will fend off any strong Republican challengers. As for Democrats, West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel (D) who is currently challenging Allen West (R) in the current 22nd district may decide  to run here.

Florida's 23rd Congressional District (formerly the 21st Congressional District:) Mario Diaz-Balart (R) Aquamarine
Presidential Data: Obama 120,623, 51.7%, McCain 112,877 48.3%
Old Percentage: Obama 49%, McCain 51%
Demographics: 7.6% African American, 73.4% Hispanic, 15.2% White
Demographics 18+: 7.1% African American, 75.1% Hispanic, 14.3% White
Status: Toss Up

Diaz-Balart's district becomes a point more Democratic as it loses some heavily Cuban areas near Westchester and gains a larger portion of Democratic leaning Pembroke Pines. Although Obama won the district by 3 points, the district is more Republican than the numbers suggest because young Cubans swung heavily toward Obama in 2008. Diaz-Balart may be vulnerable here though because he was elected here in 2010 so voters are not familiar to him. Also, if Hialeah mayor Raul Martinez (D) runs, he will have a strong chance to win because he can keep Republican margins low in Hialeah so a Democratic lead in Broward County will offset the Republican precincts in Miami Dade County.

Florida's 24th Congressional District: (formerly the 19th district) Ted Deutch (D) Indigo
Presidential Data: Obama 207,531 61.9%, McCain 127,567 38.1%
Old Percentage: Obama 65%, McCain 34%
Demographics: 13.2% African American, 13.0% Hispanic, 69.3% White
Demographics 18+: 11.4% African American, 11.7% Hispanic, 73.0% White
Status: Safe Democratic

The 24th district (formerly the 19th district)  becomes more compact as it represents southern Palm Beach County and northern Broward County. These changes make the 24th district a few points more Republican as it loses all of West Palm Beach and gains some affluent and Republican leaning precincts in Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton. Those Republican areas were formerly in the 22nd District but I eliminated the district because it did not combine communities of interest. It represents communities from Jupiter in northern Palm Beach County to Davie in southern Broward County. Instead, my map has districts that represent a certain area such as having the 24th district represent southern Palm Beach and northern Broward Counties. Anyway, the changes in this district should not endanger Deutch because Obama won 62% here.

Florida's 25th Congressional District: (formerly the 20th district) Vacant (Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) ?)
Presidential Data: Obama 190,438 66.8%, McCain 94,592 33.2%
Old Percentage: Obama 63%, McCain 36%
Demographics: 20.9% African American, 27.2% Hispanic, 48.0% White
Demographics 18+: 18.5% African American, 27.1% Hispanic, 50.7% White
Status: Safe Democratic

Although the 20th district's representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) does not live in this district, she may run here because the 25th district contains most of her current district. The only changes are that the 25th district goes less inland by losing Sunrise and Plantation while gaining all of Fort Lauderdale, including some heavily Democratic and African American precincts there. These changes boost the Democratic performance to 67% in this already safely Democratic district.

Florida's 26th Congressional District
Florida's 26th Congressional District Vacant (Tom Rooney (R) ?) Gray
Presidential Data: Obama 159,098 50.1%, McCain 158,771 49.9%
Old Percentage: N/A
Demographics: 15.1% African American, 14.9% Hispanic, 66.7% White
Demographics 18+: 13.5% African American, 12.6% Hispanic, 71.2% White
Status: Lean Republican

This district represents the Florida coast between Melbourne and Palm Beach,  representing Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin Counties. It also contains portions of Brevard and Palm Beach Counties. Tom Rooney may run here although I moved his home, Tequesta in Palm Beach County out of the district. Also,  added Democratic neighborhoods in St. Lucie County and heavily Democratic Belle Glades in Palm Beach County. Although these changes make the district more Democratic, the district still has a slight Republican lean. In a strong Democratic year though, this district should be Democratic enough to flip Democratic like the current Florida 8th and 24th congressional districts did in 2008. They voted 51% and 48% for Obama respectively, close to the 50% Obama in the new 26th district.

Florida's 27th Congressional District David Riveria (R) Springgreen
Presidential Data: Obama 118,202 43.6%, McCain 152,818 56.4%
Old Percentage: Obama 49%, McCain 50%
Demographics: (formerly the 25th) 77.8% Hispanic, 16.3% White
Demographics 18+: 78.4% Hispanic, 15.6% White
Status: Safe Republican

The former 25th congressional district becomes more Republican despite losing all of heavily Republican Collier County. The reason is that in order to keep communities together, the 27th district stays on the west side of Highway 1 which has more Republican precincts than Highway 1's eastern side. Also, the 27th district loses all of Democratic Homestead while gaining some heavily Republican precincts in western Miami. These changes push the Republican percentage to 56% McCain, making this district the most Republican district in Miami County and the Gold Coast.

Overall, my Florida map undid many of the gerrymandered districts the current Florida map has. I created two districts centered around Orlando instead of having a district share Orlando and Jacksonville while I created a Jacksonville centered district. Also, the map dismantled the 23rd Congressional District which combined Palm Beach neighborhoods with Miramar on the Miami Dade County border. Although the 23rd district was a VRA district, I had to dismantle it and combine it into the 21st, 22nd, 24th and 25th districts because the 23rd district violated communities of interest and I could not create a majority African American district stretching from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach. As for the partisanship of the new districts, there are 7 Safe Democratic seats, 3 Likely Democratic seats, 1 Lean Democratic seat, 2 Toss Up seats, 3 Lean Republican seats, 1 Likely Republican and 10 Safe Republican seats. Although Republicans still have an edge with 14 Republican seats compared to 11 Democratic ones and 2 Toss Ups, Florida's Democratic areas are in a few heavily Democratic areas while Florida's Republican areas are more spread out so it is easier to draw Republican districts. Also, 3 of Florida's Republican districts are lean Republican so in a Democratic year, Democrats could control as many as 16 of Florida's congressional districts while in 2008, the Democrats controlled only ten out of Florida's 25 districts. Anyway, Florida's Republican legislature may try to combine communities of interest while not creating new opportunities for Democrats but this map creates a real fair map for Florida where both parties are at a roughly equal position and will fairly represent Florida's constituents.

1 comment:

Ed said...

I was attempting to draw a genuinely neutral map instead of a Democratic friendly map, but came to the same confusion. Democrats in Florida are so geographically concentrated, mostly on the coast between Miami and Palm Beach, that a neutral map will result in Republicans winning a good majority of the districts in a "normal" year, though only two or three would be really safe.

And South Florida, with its boulibase of meandering local boundaries and well defined and incompatible ethnic groups, is a mess in terms of district line drawing, though any alternative scheme will result in less ugly lines than the current gerrymander.