Are You Ready for a Redistricting Rumble?

Categories: Politicks
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When Rep. Ron Klein isn't twiddling his thumbs wondering if he should enter the Senate race, he's already looking toward the likely redistricting ruckus set to take place after the 2010 census. 

"Mario Diaz-Balart has already told me he and Lincoln will be all over the state legislature to make sure their districts are strengthened,'' Klein told the St. Pete Post.

We'd rather hear the Diaz-Balarts speak fro themselves, but after last November's close call, especially for Mario, it's no surprise the Diaz-Balart brothers would be hoping to redraw their respective district lines. The question is, How?

Geographically, most of Miami-Dade is represented by three Republicans in Congress: the Diaz-Balart brothers and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. But in a county where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about 150,000, how do you draw those districts to ensure easy wins for the Republicans? Especially considering the Democratic registration rate is outpacing Republicans in all three. The answer for the Diaz-Balarts: Go west, young men. 

One of the early plans for Mario's district included most of Collier County, a solidly Republican area, including old-rich-people-saturated Naples. Democrats, but more so the Collier press and Collier Republicans, threw a fit back then, and District 25 cut into only a small portion of Collier's overall population. The problem of course for Mario, if he does extend farther into Collier County, is that Miami-Dade Republicans and Collier Republicans are two different animals -- i.e., Naples folk don't care about Cuba.

Florida is likely to get one new district after the next census, but expect that one to be carved out of the Orlando area.

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