While Florida certainly has the best GOP governor in the country, that doesn’t appear to be true regarding the Republicans who run the Florida Senate. Today, the subcommittee in charge of redistricting for the 2022 election (and beyond) narrowed things down to two maps. Yet, their choices are leaving Republican voters asking exactly what in the heck is going on.
Instead of taking advantage of the fact that the GOP controls all three branches of government, Republican members appear to be looking to surrender in the face of massive Democrat gerrymanders in places like California, Illinois, Maryland, and New Mexico.
Senate subcommittee narrows it down to two Congressional draft maps
Reporting by @JacobOgleshttps://t.co/MZw50Eq9IM#FlaPol pic.twitter.com/UGfyWs6WAe
— Florida Politics (@Fla_Pol) January 10, 2022
At first glance, those pictures won’t mean much to most people. But what they represent is a 16-12 R to D map. That’s absolutely nuts given you could draw a legal 21-7 R to D map, especially since the Supreme Court in Florida is also right-leaning. Even if the goal was to solidify some GOP districts at the expense of others, admittedly, a tedious balance to find, the worst-case scenario should be an 18-10 R to D map. Keep in mind, right now, before any redistricting takes place, the count is 16-10 R to D with one seat vacant.
A 16-12 map would actually help Democrats, which is an insane thought given how well Republicans have done in Florida the last several years. How does the GOP expect to win anything being this unwilling to play for keeps? Florida gained House seats after the last census and the decision is to give those gains to Democrats? Honestly, I’m flabbergasted.
This mimics the cowardice being shown in Missouri, where Republican leaders are seeking to draw a 5-3 R to D map when they could have a 7-1 R to D map that would remain such even in a terrible year for Republicans like 2018. Again, where’s the killer instinct? Is the country on the brink and worth fighting for or not? If Democrats are going to do what they did in Illinois, nuking two GOP districts and making Chicago look like pieces of spaghetti, then Republicans have to counter. If they don’t, the almost certain victory in 2022 becomes less and less certain.
By the way, the Senate President in Florida is a Republican named Wilton Simpson. He’s running for Agriculture Commissioner and is endorsed by Donald Trump. Perhaps the former president should put a few more stipulations on his endorsement? Because this type of political malpractice should be disqualifying.
The hope now rests on Republicans in the Florida House. Their maps have been more aggressive and worthy of consideration. I’d also hope Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks out about the importance of doing the right thing here. A 16-12 R to D map in the red state of Florida is unacceptable. Full stop.