A Herald/Times analysis of the new congressional map submitted Monday in Leon County Circuit Court shows that the proposed districts would create 13 Republican-leaning districts, 11 Democrat-leaning districts and 3 swing districts. That compares to the map created by the Legislature that creates 16 GOP-leaning districts and 9 Democrat-leading districts with only two swing districts.
More significantly, the map shifts the sprawling congressional district now held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown into a much more compact district, creates more minority districts than the Legislature's map and does it without reducting the minority population in Brown's map -- leaving it at 48.9 percent black voting age population.
Republicans have argued that the new Fair Districts amendments prevent the state from diminishing the opportunity for a black in Brown's sprawling district to elect a black, regardless of how many other minority seats are created in the rest of the state. How Circuit Judge Terry Lewis rules on this point could be pivotal.
The map was submitted as part of the Florida Democratic Party's lawsuit challenging the congressional plan. The Herald/Times analysis is based on voting data and elections results from the 2008 presidential race and the 2010 governor's race. A look at the proposed population data shows that the Democrat's proposal creates 7 minority majority districts including the following: