|Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:46 pm
|GOP Maxes Out In Florida
The Republican wins in Florida that grabbed the most headlines last
week were the Senate race -- where Republican rising star Marco Rubio
(R) trounced independent Gov. Charlie Crist -- and the governor's race
-- where Republican businessman Rick Scott (R) defeated Democrat Alex
But a closer look at the results shows that the GOP made its biggest
strides in the House, where it picked up the maximum number of
districts that are remotely hospitable to Republicans. And in so
doing, the Florida GOP elected the most diverse Republican
congressional delegation in the country and set the stage for a highly
Republicans will hold a 19 to six advantage over Democrats in the
Sunshine State's House delegation in the 112th Congress. The six
remaining Democrats represent districts that are a deep shade of blue.
Entering this year, the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index
gave a double-digit Democratic advantage in each district -- the 3rd,
11th, 17th, 19th, 20th, and 23rd.
That means Democrats enter 2012 with little left to lose. Without the
need to play defense, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
will have the advantage of devoting their resources to offense in
Redistricting may provide the main battleground in 2012. Florida is
projected to gain two seats in the House, increasing its Electoral
College total to 29. Though Scott recaptured the governor's mansion
for the GOP, a newly-passed, voter-approved redistricting law may
neutralize any GOP advantages in gerrymandering. That, of course,
assumes the law stands a court challenge filed by Reps. Corrine Brown
(D) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R).
Florida's new Republican congressional delegation will also be its
most diverse in the nation -- though it will still be more homogeneous
than many of the Democrats'.
Florida voters elected seven freshmen GOP House members as well Rubio.
The former state House Speaker gives the GOP a Latino member of the
Senate more than a year after former Sen. Mel Martinez (R), a native
of Cuba, resigned and ceded control to Crist's hand-picked
placeholder, Sen. George LeMieux (R).
Joining Rubio in Florida's 2010 Class will be Rep.-elect David Rivera
(R), who shares Rubio's Cuban heritage. The seat was previously held
by Diaz-Balart, who will now represent the neighboring 21st District
after his brother, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R), retired. Rivera, Diaz-
Balart and veteran Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) will serve as the
GOP's three Hispanic House members in the 112th Congress.
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