Judge Approves New State Senate Districts That Will Shake Up Miami-Dade's Representation
It's no secret that Republicans control Florida's legislature thanks to big help from gerrymandering, but after the current state Senate districts were invalidated earlier this year, the Senate scrambled to draw new districts. Well, in a major ruling today, a state judge threw out the Senate's new map and instead approved a separate map suggested by a coalition of voting rights groups.
How big of a deal is this for current state senators in Miami-Dade? Well, here's what the state Senate districts currently look like:
And here's what they'll look like now:
Six districts currently cover different parts of Miami-Dade, and that won't change. The seats are currently held by three Republicans and three Democrats each — and that might change.
In fact, Florida's senate is currently made up of 14 Democrats and 26 Republicans. According to an analysis by Democratic consultant Matthew Isbell, 21 of the new districts were won by Barack Obama in 2012. That doesn't guarantee Democrats will take back the Florida Senate, but it does even the playing field a bit.
In Miami-Dade, all of the new districts voted for Obama in 2012. That's not a surprise considering Obama won the county with more than 61 percent of the vote. That's doesn't guarantee that the current Miami-Dade Republicans in the Senate will be out of a job, but it may set up some primary battles between them as they figure out which new district to run in.
In any event, the map will have to be officially approved by Florida's Supreme Court before it's enacted.