Redistricting always seems to rear its head mid-decade, long after most states have put their maps away. Texas has redrawn its initial congressional maps at least once every decade since the 1970s — often under court order. With yesterday’s judicial ruling that two districts in Florida were unconstitutional, that state has joined the party this decade.
— A circuit court judge in Florida said Thursday that FL-05 and FL-10 were drawn with partisan intent and will have to be remapped. FL-05 is Rep. Corrine Brown‘s (D) meandering, majority-black district stretching from Jacksonville to Orlando, while FL-10 is Rep. Dan Webster‘s (R) neighboring seat, a R+6 district where Webster nevertheless had a difficult race in 2012.
— Don’t expect anything to change this year; with appeals in the works and Florida’s primaries looming, 2016 is a more likely — and potentially more interesting — time to expect changes to the map, should the decision survive appeal. Consider, especially, that Republicans might not have unified control of a legislative remapping process, should Charlie Crist (D) win the governor’s race.
— Webster’s 2016 race could get very interesting in that scenario. Any changes to the boundaries of his district would seem likely to bring in more of Central Florida’s booming Puerto Rican population, which has helped make the region more Democratic recently — but is largely missing from Webster’s carefully drawn district. Webster ran behind Mitt Romney in 2012, and Democrats would love to have former sheriff and 2012 candidate Val Demings (D) take another shot at some point.
As Florida sorts out its maps and legal challenges, Texas continues to move forward with its own court saga this month. The middle years of this decade have plenty to offer redistricting junkies.
— Scott Bland
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Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given up her last remaining duty at this week's convention. Now, she's told her hometown newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that she will not gavel in the convention today. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will do the honors instead. "I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz said.
Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."
A group of delegates loyal to Bernie Sanders is actively exploring how to challenge Tim Kaine's nomination for the vice presidency. A lead of the group "said he hoped the Democratic National Committee releases information within hours on how to submit a challenger to Kaine, which he said would require the signatures of 300 delegates. He said they have until Wednesday morning to file a challenge to Kaine and stressed that while his group would take any requests from the Sanders campaign under consideration, the delegate group is an independent organization."
Here are some more numbers out of Utah that should frighten Donald Trump—and give hope to Gary Johnson. "An internal poll conducted for Rep. Mia Love two weeks ago found Trump at 29 percent, Clinton at 27 percent" and Libertarian candidate Johnson at 26 percent. "That was, however, before Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence." Utah party chairman James Evans said that move ought to clinch the state for Trump. "Utahns are going to come through because the level of distaste for Hillary is so deep," he said.