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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The New Map

The Bay Buzz got me thinking about the Congressional redistricting coming up.

The new seat will almost certainly along the I-4 corridor, but I question whether it will be at the St. Pete end of it.

No doubt the GOP legislature will try to keep it competitive, but with demographic changes, it will be hard for a new seat to be anything other than swing or Dem-leaning - otherwise, they'll risk losing seat somewhere else.

However, there are a couple of caveats.

Mainly, the first priority will be for them to protect existing GOP incumbents. But let's not assume that the list of incumbents won't change.

Right in Tampa Bay, Young is facing his stiffest challenge yet. If Justice wins, how will the legislature react? Will they make that seat more Democratic - making it safer for Justice and moving the lines around to create a new, GOP leaning seat near Tampa Bay? Will they decide that Young's "will he/won't he?" retirement guessing game can't go on forever and just prepare for life with a Democratic 10th and siphon Republican voters into other districts?

What about Kosmas and Grayson? Grayson looks to have gotten a pass, but Kosmas might have a tough race. If she loses, do they need to put more Republicans into that district to protect their new incumbent, thereby making other districts (including Grayson's) more safely Democratic?

If Fair Districts passes, all bets are off (and I hope it it does). If it doesn't, I suspect that legislature protects the state quo, adding a swing, but Dem leaning district with a significant Latino population in central Florida.

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