Since DeSantis’ election, Democrats in Florida have had a poor run. What was once a 50-50 purple state has become brilliant red under his savvy leadership and wildly popular programs.
As if that weren’t bad enough for Democrats in Florida who still retain Congressional seats, DeSantis is pursuing a big redistricting proposal that might utilize the state’s population increase to award Republicans even more seats.
The legislature had crafted and enacted a map that favored the Republicans along party lines. However, DeSantis vetoed the map due to specific flaws, believing it would not survive a 14th Amendment lawsuit.
The redistricting deadline has been moved up to April 19th, at which point the legislature will have to convene and establish a new map that meets both state and federal constitutional requirements.
As redistricting nears completion throughout the country, lawmakers approving a new plan during a mid-April special session, just two months before candidates are scheduled to qualify on the ballot, might provide the GOP with further pick-up possibilities.
Due to population growth, Florida gained one congressional seat in 2022, bringing the total to 28. Republicans already have a 16 to 11 lead, and DeSantis’ first proposal would increase that advantage, bringing Donald Trump’s total number of seats gained in 2020 to 18.
Giving the Republicans two additional seats might amplify the red wave in 2022. Redistricting plans in blue states like New York are giving Democrats seats, so DeSantis is simply following in their footsteps and utilizing government authority to put his party in power.
That is, provided the map he wants enacted survives the fairly probable legal challenges that it will face. DeSantis may give the GOP a significant lift and the Democrats a serious case of heartburn if the legislature gets it right and can clear that obstacle.