A Florida court finally set up new district lines for the state after a tumultuous summer, and the map looks like bad news for moderates from both parties. In particular, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-26) looks like he could become collateral damage of the intra-Republican fighting in the Florida state legislature.
— There was little Florida legislators could do to protect fellow Republican David Jolly (FL-13) when the state Supreme Court ordered that his district had to incorporate tens of thousands of Democratic-leaning St. Petersburg voters, and that was reflected in the legislature’s draft map. But the state House and state Senate maps did their best to protect Curbelo, whose Obama district actually got slightly more Republican.
— But the House and Senate couldn’t agree on other issues and never actually passed their maps, meaning a court got to pick instead. And the chosen map turned Curbelo’s district from one Obama won with 53% in 2012 to one that the president carried with over 55% of the vote. (That’s even more than in Jolly’s district, where redistricting pushed him to run for Senate instead of seeking reelection.) Curbelo has proven to be a strong fundraiser and campaigner, but just four House Republicans won districts that Democratic in 2014. And South Florida might be trending Democratic anyway: Obama actually improved on his 2008 performance there as he regressed in most other places in the country. The state Supreme Court still has to sign off on this map, but if they do, things could hardly have gone worse for Curbelo.
— The news is no better, if maybe more expected, for a Democrat in a Romney district: freshman Rep. Gwen Graham (D-02). It’s no surprise because the court mandated a minority-majority district be drawn between Tallahassee and Jacksonville, which would necessarily carve Democratic voters out of Graham’s precarious seat. She kept up a strong fundraising pace amid redistricting uncertainty in Q3, but now she’ll have to figure out what her future should be after winning plaudits for her 2014 victory.
With Graham and Curbelo imperiled and Jolly and Romney-district Dem Patrick Murphy running for Senate and leaving their districts open, it’s possible that none of the battleground district reps elected in the last three years will still be in Congress when 2017 rolls around. There’s nothing like redistricting to shake up a delegation.
— Scott Bland and Jack Fitzpatrick