Friday, January 19, 2018
Politics

Dissecting Florida's redrawn congressional districts

In a three-day special session, Florida legislators last week approved changes to the state's congressional map to address the concerns of Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis, who ruled two districts unconstitutional. A hearing on the changes is scheduled for Wednesday.

But on the surface, according to a Tampa Bay Times analysis, very little has changed. While lawmakers ended up redrawing the physical boundaries of seven of the state's 27 congressional districts and moving 368,040 people, the changes could hardly be seen as significant.

"There was a lot of furniture that got moved around," said Michael McDonald, an elections expert who will begin teaching at the University of Florida this fall. "But if you replace a blue chair with another blue chair, that room doesn't look a lot different."

For this analysis, we'll focus on the two districts ruled invalid by Judge Lewis — District 5, held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and District 10, held by U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden — and examine what the proposed new districts look like.

What has changed with the new congressional map?

District 5 District 10
Politics 68.4% voted for Barack Obama in 2008 compared to 70.5% in the old district. 48.0% voted for Barack Obama in 2008 compared to 47.2% in the old district.
Voting age population Grew by 0.2% overall.
6.66% of potential voters previously in the district were moved, with most redrawn into District 7 to the east.
Grew by 1.1% percent overall.
18.69% of potential voters previously in the district were moved, with most redrawn into District 9 to the east.
Minorities (percent of voting age population) 48.1% African-American, reduced by 2%
10.3% Hispanic, reduced by 0.8%
12.2% African-American, increased 1.1%
16.9% Hispanic, increased 2.7%
Geography 3,500 feet at its narrowest point in eastern Clay County, growing to 48 miles wide between Alachua and Putnam counties.
140 miles long.
19.1 miles at its narrowest point in Lake County, growing to 39 miles wide between Lake and Orange counties.
66 miles long.
Area Grew by 495 square miles, now 2,031 square miles overall. Grew by 184 square miles, now 1,584 square miles overall.

Sources: Times research, Florida Senate analysis

Comments
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then Iím a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then Iím a Hollywood stud

The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They arenít just up for ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON ó A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER ó Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER ó By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows heís now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Hereís what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Hereís what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Published: 01/18/18
Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

REDINGTON SHORES ó There will be no election this year, but the changeout of commission members that began last year will continue. When the new commission is sworn in this March, four of five members, including the mayor, will have changed within th...
Published: 01/18/18
Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

ST. PETERSBURG ó Rick Baker is opening a new chapter in his life. So far, the future remains an open book.The former two-term mayor announced Sunday that heís resigning his position as president of the Edwards Group effective Jan. 31.Baker has worked...
Published: 01/18/18
Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

By Sheila Mullane EstradaTimes CorrespondentMADEIRA BEACH ó Voters here can either end or continue the cityís divisive politics on March 13. They will also decide how the city grows.The two commission seats that now represent pro-growth and pro-devel...
Published: 01/18/18
Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

TRENTON, N.J. ó Republican Chris Christie left the New Jersey governorís office with his popularity in tatters, but at least he didnít break a leg. Christie is the first elected New Jersey governor in more than two decades not to suffer a broken leg ...
Published: 01/17/18
Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Desmond Meade says everywhere he goes in Florida, he hears the stories.From whites and blacks, conservatives and liberals, blue collar laborers and white collar wage earners. People from all walks have walked up to him with a common request.Theyíre c...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18