Following up on my initial post from Wednesday night, the map proposed by Governor DeSantis is flowing with hypocrisy, if compact, race-neutral districts was really his goal. Here are some quick points:
- We discussed CD-14 last night. It’s a clear attempt to pack Democrats in a single district and dilute the voting strength of two major Florida cities – Tampa and St Petersburg. This district alone shows DeSantis is duplicitous in his claims that he’s trying to draw compact and race-neutral districts. Crossing Tampa Bay to pack minority voters in a single district to allow the two adjoining districts to elect GOPers is evidence enough. The rest of the map isn’t even necessary to look at, when we consider the sinister motive behind the drawing of this district, held by Democrat Kathy Castor currently.
- The split in Duval County has been strategically drawn to prevent the district on the west side of the county (CD-4) from electing a Democrat in the next decade.
- The new CD-18 has been drawn as a sprawling district presumably to take in as many GOP voters as possible, when previous versions of the map clearly showed a more compact Polk-based district could be drawn.
- CD-20 has been clearly drawn with all sorts of rough edges and appendages to take in as many African-American or Caribbean-American voters as possible. The net result is CD-14 becomes safer for Republican Brian Mast and CD-23 becomes more likely to elect Democrat Jared Moskowitz, a one-time DeSantis ally who is seeking that seat. CD-20’s two appendages which look as unnatural on a map as they are in terms of communities serve the purpose of impacting the two adjoining districts I named.
- All of Miami Beach has been cut out of CD-27. Now this could be justified based on compactness, but if you look at the partisan breakdowns in Miami-Dade County, it’s pretty clear this would benefit the GOP. Though in fairness to the Governor, this seat remains a “toss-up,” unlike some other maps where the GOP tried to make this seat safer. It’s a Gillum-Trump district, so in the right circumstances, it could flip back to the Dems.
- I am going to reiterate that the State Capital, Tallahassee is completely weakened in terms of voting power in this new map, which I believe is not only partisan, but probably punitive as well since Tallahassee is among the state’s leading progressive centers. However, that’s a personal belief and not something that would hold up in court, without more evidence.