Yes, I did say I would have this up yesterday….I lied. So here we go.
15th Congressional District – This is Dennis Ross’ district. While the boundaries are different, the voter composition is pretty much the same. Taken out are the southern rural parts of Hillsborough. It is replaced by the northern rural parts of Hillsborough. Therefore, expect no real changes here. Verdict: Somewhat Republican.
16th Congressional District – This is Vern Buchanan’s district. Again, just like the previous district, it is essentially the same but with a few tweeks. The rural eastern part of the county is taken out, which includes Arcadia. Instead, all of Bradenton has now been added to the district. This is a trending seat, but as of right now, the Republicans will hold it. It all matters on if the Democrats can run a strong candidates against Buchanan. If they can, they can capture this seat. Verdict: Slightly Republican.
17th Congressional District (NEW) – This is what I would classify as the other “new” seat drawn up by the Legislature. This includes part of the old 16th Congressional District, but now is only located in south central and the west coast of Florida. In the past, the 16th, which has seen three different Members of Congress since 2006, used to go from the east to the west coast, making it more of a moderate Republican district with a conservative middle. Now with the east coast cut out of the district, this district will become more conservative and a slam dunk for Republicans.
The only question regarding this district is which geographical area will be in control. There is a clear split that could, possibly, bring two different types of ideologies. The first area would be the US-27 corridor, which will be more rural and conservative. Also added to those conservative voters will be part of Winter Haven and the town of Arcadia. In the other part of the district, there is Charlotte County and the towns along I-75.
With Rooney saying that he will be running for this district, will he be looked at as an outsider? Could this lead to a “local” candidate to run against Rooney? We will see.Verdict: Strongly Republican
18th Congressional District – The eastern part of the old 16th Congressional District has now been chopped off and made into its own district. This district is now the I-95 corridor between Ft. Pierce and Palm Beach Gardens. With the exception of a few changes on the edges, the only major change is in the southern part of the district, where areas of Palm Beach Gardens, which used to be in 22nd Congressional District, currently held by Allen West, are now in Rooney’s district. But Rooney is running in the 17th District. Therefore, will West be able to capture the same voters as Rooney did in the past? Verdict: Slightly Republican.
19th Congressional District – This is the old 14th Congressional District held by Connie Mack IV. The only difference between this district and the old one is that the Charlotte County part of it has been taken out and put in the new 17th District. Therefore, the Republicans should be able to easily hold onto this seat. Verdict: Strongly Republican.
20th Congressional District – Starting with the 19th Congressional District, this is when most of the Congressional seats become “boring”. Most of these aren’t much different from their old seats. Yes, there might be some tweeking of the borders, but the voting patterns should be the same. And the 20th Congressional District isn’t any different. This is the old 23rd held by Alcee Hastings. Verdict: Strongly Democratic
21st Congressional District – This is the old 19th Congressional District held by Ted Deutch. The only real changes are that all of Coral Springs has been added to the district and that it has been pushed in a tad more inland, but hardly noticeable to the naked eye. Don’t expect anything different here either. Verdict: Strongly Democratic
22nd Congressional District – This is the old 22nd as well, currently held by Allen West. As was mentioned above, the Palm Beach Gardens area of the district was taken out. Instead, includes more parts of Broward County. The areas of Davie and Coral Springs were taken out and Plantation was added. This shouldn’t really change the balance of the district that much. Still, it had been trending Democratic and expect it to do so this time. This seat, along with the 26th, is the best chance for a pick up for the Democrats, as the match up is looking more and more like Lois Frankel vs. Adam Hasner. Verdict: Toss Up.
23rd Congressional District – The current 20th Congressional District held by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. With the exception of some south Broward precincts being taken out, it is also pretty much the same as the other district. Again, nothing really to report here. Verdict: Strongly Democratic
24th Congressional District – This is the old 17th Congressional District currently held by Frederica Wilson. And, much like the 23rd, not much of a change. Verdict: Strongly Democratic
25th Congressional District – Now is when the Congressional districts start to become interesting. In the past, the old 25th Congressional District, currently held by David Rivera, was a large district, taking up much of The Everglades and finding its way into Hialeah and other western Miami-Dade cities to make it a strong Cuban district. The old 21st, which is held by Mario Diaz-Balart, was just a tiny sliver of a district going from Pembroke Pines down through the Cuban population centers through the central part of Miami-Dade County. These district, though trending Democratic, still had a Republican edge.
But with the new redistricting, Hialeah has been put in one Congressional district, the 25th, and isn’t split to benefit both Cuban candidates. Mario Diaz-Balart will be running in the 25th District. While this new district does help him consolidate his base of support, that base is still trending Democratic. Therefore, while Diaz-Balart should still be able to win this district, it can start closing toward the end of the decade. This is a district that, over time, should be watched. Verditc: Slightly Republican.
26th Congressional District – This would be the southern part of the split that was mentioned above. While still highly Cuban, it is also a little more Democratic, giving areas like Key West and the Anglo neighborhoods of southwest Miami-Dade County, which tend to vote more Democratic, more of a say. This district is were the Democrats have the best chance of picking up a seat throughout the state.
David Rivera has had a number of problems since becoming a Member of Congress. With that being said, Democrats are flocking to try to capture this seat. State Representative Luis Garcia has entered this race. There is talk that Joe Garcia might jump in. As of yesterday, former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas hinted that me might enter the race as well. This has caused Luis Garcia to criticize both the DNC and its chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. But even with this infighting, Democrats have a strong chance of winning this seat. Verdict: Toss Up.
27th Congressional District – Like some of the other districts, this one is also pretty much the same as before. While the borders are the same, the trends are going the same way as other Cuban-majority districts, which is toward the Democratic side. If this seat ever opens up, it could be a target. Still, for now it is still one the Republicans can count on. Verdict: Slightly Republican.