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THE 2012 REDISTRICTING IN FLORIDA: THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…
 

THE 2012 REDISTRICTING IN FLORIDA: THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…

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Seth C. McKee

Seth C. McKee
University of South Florida

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    THE 2012 REDISTRICTING IN FLORIDA: THE MORE THINGS CHANGE… THE 2012 REDISTRICTING IN FLORIDA: THE MORE THINGS CHANGE… Presentation Transcript

    • THE 2012 REDISTRICTING IN FLORIDA:THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…Seth C. McKeeUniversity of South Florida
    • Redistricting Reform in 2010• In 2010, Florida voters passed Amendments 5and 6 (≈ 63% voted in favor of each)• These amendments to the Florida Constitutionprovided a set of restrictions on line drawers• Amendment 5 applies to state legislativedistricts• Amendment 6 applies to U.S. House districts
    • Amendments 5 and 6 Language• …plans may not be drawn to favor or disfavor anincumbent or political party. Districts shall not bedrawn to deny racial or language minorities theequal opportunity to participate in the politicalprocess and elect representatives of their choice.Districts must be contiguous. Unless otherwiserequired, districts must be compact, as equal inpopulation as feasible, and where feasible mustmake use of existing city, county andgeographical boundaries.
    • Brief History of Reform• As early as 2005 there were efforts to placeredistricting initiatives before the voters• A simple oversight denied them a place on theballot (exceeded 75-word limit)• Reform effort moved away from initiative foran independent commission and insteadmoved in favor of restricting line drawers’options
    • Truly a Valence Issue• The passage of Amendments 5 and 6 is interesting because1. Republican leaders controlling the legislaturevehemently opposed reform, framing it as a Democraticscheme2. Fair Districts Florida, the leading group pushing reformwas primarily a Democratic group backed by Democraticallies3. Nonetheless, the fight was successfully framed as avalence issue: “gerrymandering is BAD, let’s stop this.”4. The Florida media presented the fight as a valence issue;REFORM IS GOOD. Print media showed bipartisansupport.5. Eagleton and Smith (2013) – Hardly any evidence of anidentifiable opposition within the mass public
    • Adherence to 5 and 6 in 2012?• 1) To the naked eye it is difficult to determineif districts look any prettier than they did priorto passage of 5 and 6• 2) It is easy to interpret 5 and 6 as instituting“Voting Rights Act” language covering theentire state for state legislative and U.S. Housecontests (5 counties are under the VRA)• 3) Clearly districts are still drawn to favor anincumbent or political party (neutrality hasn’tbeen established)
    • Minority RepresentationOffice Category After 2010 After 2012Democrat Republican Total Democrat Republican TotalU.S. HouseBlacks 3 1 4 3 0 3Hispanics 0 3 3 1 2 3State SenateBlacks 6 0 6 6 0 6Hispanics 0 3 3 1 3 4State HouseBlacks 18 0 18 21 0 21Hispanics 3 9 12 4 9 13Total 30 16 46 36 14 50
    • Brief Review of Redistricting: Beforeand After Amendments 5 and 6• U.S. House 2000/2002 and 2010/2012Before• 2000: 8 D, 15 R• 2002: 7 D, 18 R (1 D incumbent defeated)After• 2010: 6 D, 19 R• 2012: 10 D, 17 R (2 R incumbents defeated)
    • Brief Review of Redistricting: Beforeand After Amendments 5 and 6• State Senate 2000/2002 and 2010/2012Before• 2000: 15 D, 25 R• 2002: 14 D, 26 R (1 D incumbent defeated)After• 2010: 12 D, 28 R• 2012: 14 D, 26 R (1 R incumbent defeated)
    • Brief Review of Redistricting: Beforeand After Amendments 5 and 6• State House 2000/2002 and 2010/2012Before• 2000: 43 D, 77 R• 2002: 39 D, 81 R (2 D incumbents defeated)After• 2010: 39 D, 81 R• 2012: 46 D, 74 R (4 R incumbents defeated)
    • U.S. House Redrawn Constituents2002, 2012Redrawn VAP Median Mean Std Dev Min Max2002 RedistrictingAll Incumbents 33% 29 15 1 54Democrats (7) 34% 31 15 11 53Republicans (14) 31% 29 16 1 542012 RedistrictingAll Incumbents 30% 32 19 4 77Democrats (6) 22% 24 7 15 35Republicans (16) 37% 35 22 4 77
    • State Senate Redrawn Constituents2002, 2012Redrawn VAP Median Mean Std Dev Min Max2002 RedistrictingAll Incumbents 24% 26 16 2 63Democrats (9) 25% 26 15 2 44Republicans (18) 19% 25 16 7 632012 RedistrictingAll Incumbents 34% 40 20 11 88Democrats (8) 36% 36 13 19 54Republicans (16) 34% 42 23 11 88
    • State House Redrawn Constituents2002, 2012Redrawn VAP Median Mean Std Dev Min Max2002 RedistrictingAll Incumbents 31% 33 18 2 83Democrats (35) 39% 41 18 12 83Republicans (57) 25% 28 16 2 742012 RedistrictingAll Incumbents 42% 44 21 0 100Democrats (20) 42% 45 20 14 85Republicans (60) 42% 44 22 0 100
    • Redrawn VAP for Defeated Incumbents 2002, 2012Incumbent and Party Office Redrawn VAP2002 RedistrictingKaren Thurman (D) U.S. House 53%Richard Mitchell (D) State Senate 42%Perry C. McGriff, Jr. (D) State House 60%Sara Romeo (D) State House 39%2012 RedistrictingDavid Rivera (R) U.S. House 33%Allen B. West (R) U.S. House 77%Ellyn Bogdanoff (R) State Senate 51% (Dueling Incumbent)Chris Dorworth (R) State House 61%Shawn Harrison (R) State House 38%Peter Nehr (R) State House 42%
    • Concluding Thoughts• Amendments 5 and 6 seem to have increasedcompetition by weakening the incumbency advantage• Increasing the percent redrawn voting age populationredounded to the benefit of Democrats• Legislators have moved in the direction of compliancebut clearly still take incumbency and party into accountwhen drawing lines• Demography is catching up with Republicans and thisprobably helps explain the Democratic gains inconjunction with Amendments 5 and 6• Perhaps passing 5 and 6 helps explain why in July, 2011Republicans enacted HB 1355 into law (a veryrestrictive voting bill)