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Sunday, July 08, 2007

2008 Florida House Targets

One of the things I've been updating is data from the 2006 Florida House elections, to begin to look at where opportunities may exist in 2008 to improve upon the gains made last November.

In looking at Republican incumbents, there were 3 factors that I considered to be important. 1) Districts with a term-liminted incumbent, resulting in an open election in 2008. 2) Districts with a Freshman Republican. 3) The Democratic performance of the district, defined as the ratio of registered Democrats to registered Republicans.

As a first pass, I sorted the Republican districts by the Democratic performance and then looked at the other 2 categories and assigned each district to a tier: 1) Top prority 2) High priority 3) Some possibilities 4) Safe Republican district. (Democratic districts were also assigned to a tier from 6) most endangered Democrats to 9) Safe Democrats.

While this was just a first pass to try and organize some of this information, if you accept my assignment of top priority districts, you have 16 Republican districts that could be challenged and 5 Democratic districts (51, 52, 69, 107 and 120) that will have to be aggressively defended. At least a 16/5 ratio is encouraging. From the special elections this year, it's clear that the Republican party has a virtually unlimited funding source, which makes challenging them, especially in the northern half of the state, very difficult. But if we can gain 6 seats (as we did in 2006) in each election, we would have control of the Florida House in time for the 2012 reapportionment - an almost must if we are to keep from being the minority party for another decate.

Trying to accumulate data on 120 house districts can be daunting - especially in parts of the state where you have no familiarity and don't notice obvious errors. So any feedback or corrections will be most appreciated.


kansasr said...

Just a quick note - clicking on the map will show a very enlarged version.

Eddie Schwieterman said...

Nice map!

Don't we have to gain control by the 2010 elections, since by 2012 the apportionment will be complete (right?)?

Also, we really won 7 seats in '06, some dumbass Democratic House member switched party affiliation at the beginning of the legislative session.

Michael Calderin said...


Basing your democratic performance on registration is going to give you results you don't want. Instead, look at actual results for Democratic races in the district.

There are some other factors you may want to take into consideration as well. Let's discuss those; send me an email.

And Eddie's right -- we need to pick up 19 seats by 2010.

Ray Seaman said...

This was written by kansasr, not me. I'll let him answer that for you.

kansasr said...

Reapportionment is done by the 2012 legislature. They have to wait for the results of the 2010 census to be published. (The last one was done by the 2002 legislature.)

kansasr said...

There's no question that party registration can be deceiving, especially in northern Florida and especially in presidential elections.

But I contend there are also opportunities there. You have a target group of voters that self identify as Democrats. If we do nothing, they will continue to drift away from the Democratic party.

However, if we aggressively court registered Democrats in these areas, we may begin to have some significant impact upon election results at all levels.

Ray Seaman said...

By the way, I should add I'm a maps freak. Kansasr has made my day!

gatordem said...

Democratic Performance is already a well defined term, and registrations isn't it. check out the NCEC site for more info.

Eddie Schwieterman said...


Correct me if I'm wrong but the "2012" legislature is elected in 2010, right? Or does reapportionment happen in 2013?

kansasr said...

My apologies, Eddie, you are right. (It gets confusing, elected in 2000, seated in 2001, things referred to as 2002 districts.)

The last reapportionment was approved in March and July of 2002, so it would have been the legislature elected in 2000 that had this responsibility.

So have have to lop 2 years off my schedule. We need to take control of one of the houses by the 2010 general election to have any hope of preventing another 10 years of gerrymandering.

kansasr said...


Glad to see I'm not the only one who appreciates maps.

I find it a very effective way to communicate sometimes very complex information (and besides, it's a lot of fun creating them.)

tally said...

Marti Coley would be hard to beat. She's very popular and is actually a very nice person.

Will Kendrick is the guy who switched parties. His district is definitely the one to target. What I want to know is if Loranne Ausley who is term limited also in HD-9 can run for his seat? I would bet that she or someone in her family owns a beach house in HD-10.

Clay Ford is the guy who won the special election for HD-3 that we were all involved in with Liz Campbell, a weak candidate. That district was won by Bill Nelson, but Alex Sink narrowly lost it. That means that it would take a very popular local candidate to win it. I don't know if Dee Dee Ritchie will be willing to do it. The local guy from Rick's Blog suggested running a black candidate with crossover appeal and suggested several.

Don Brown in HD-5 is one of the two censured by Marco Rubio over not voting for the property insurance bill. The area is full of Dixiecrats and the growth in the area is all retired military from the air base. A lot of this area wasn't even won by Nelson. However, I did write a piece about what to say to residents to try to take it back.

Personally, I don't think the Democrats are going to take back the House any time soon. It would probably be easier to pass a referendum controlling how reapportionment is done. Assuming it can get by the court.