Case closed, right? Nope. I hesitate to get too attached to this map, because Democrats have already filed suit against it. Now that's not unusual; the losing party in redistricting almost always files some sort of suit, and it would border on malpractice not to at least try it. But in Florida, they aren't just spitting into the wind; they have an effective cudgel in the form of the Fair Districts initiative that passed in 2010, which prohibits using political considerations (including incumbent protection) and requires compactness in gerrymandering districts. The real question, though, is whether a court will rise to the occasion; the Fair Districts criteria are vague, and gerrymandering has always had a pornography-style "I know it when I see it" sensibility. Another consideration is that time is running out, with election season fast approaching (Florida's filing deadline is in June and the primary is in August), so Republican foot-dragging may have helped them, given that the alternative is Texas-style chaos with an even smaller window to work things out.
At any rate, let's turn to the map. In some ways, it's something of a "least change" map because you can see the skeletal outlines of almost all the previous districts still in place. However, everything still feels scrambled because, a la California, every district got completely renumbered. Florida added two districts (the only state besides Texas to gain more than one); however, it's debatable which of the two districts on the map are the "new" ones (for instance, you could say the new 3rd, centered on Jacksonville's suburbs, is one of them, as it doesn't have an incumbent living in it).
The ones that don't seem to have clearly-defined predecessor districts, though, are the new 9th (a Hispanic-plurality district in the Orlando area) and the new 17th (a district with its population center in Charlotte County on the southwest coast, though much of its area is the sparsely-populated agricultural regions in the state's midsection). With the 9th likely to go to a Democrat (at this point, most likely ex-Rep. Alan Grayson, though if a Puerto Rican candidate opposes him we'll have an interesting primary) and the 17th very likely to go to a Republican (in fact, Tom Rooney, formerly of FL-16 on the Atlantic side of the state, has already laid claim to this safer turf), you can call it a +1 D, +1 R map.
However, this map also made the new 22nd significantly more Democratic... and the joint Rooney/Allen West fleeing of their districts (with Rooney giving his swingy district, now the 18th, to West, and West leaving it to Adam Hasner to try to hold down the open and Dem-leaning 22nd for the GOP) only exacerbates that advantage. So you might make the argument that this is really a +2 D map, likely to move from a 19 R-6 D currently to 19 R-8 D after November. (That Dem number is something of a floor, too; it could go higher with victories over West in his new district, or over troubled Reps. in GOP-leaning districts like David Rivera or Vern Buchanan.)
Let's do a quick district-by-district tour of the state over the flip:
FL-01: This western Panhandle district is the state's most right-wing corner; it stays safe for Republican Jeff Miller.
FL-02: Thanks to Tallahassee's large black population, this culturally conservative area is still on the GOP-leaning side of swingy. GOP freshman Steve Southerland has several credible Dems interested, though an independent run by ex-state Sen. Nancy Argenziano (a former Republican, but who wanted to run here as a Democrat) is a total wild card here.
FL-03: This heavily Republican district centered on Clay County west of Jacksonville doesn't have an incumbent, but Rep. Cliff Stearns (currently of FL-06) has most of his constituents here, and Thursday he announced this is where he'll run. He still faces several homegrown GOP primary opponents: state Sen. Steve Oelrich (who also announced yesterday) and Clay Co. Clerk Jimmy Jett.
FL-04: This solidly Republican district in the white parts of Jacksonville will continue to send GOP Rep. Ander Crenshaw to the House.
FL-05: This is the former FL-03, the VRA district that, worm-like, links the African-American parts of Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Orlando. This should stay safe for Dem Corrine Brown, unless a court decides to blow it up under Fair Districts guidelines later this year.
FL-06: This district in Volusia and St. Johns Counties is mostly Republican Rep. John Mica's current turf (FL-07), but he decided to stay in Winter Park further south where his house is, forcing a member-on-member primary there and creating an open seat here. Republican state Rep. Frank Costello just got in the race yesterday, joining businessman and former Senate candidate Craig Miller and attorney Ron DeSantis.
FL-07: Unexpectedly, this district in Orlando's eastern suburbs turned into a Republican-on-Republican slugfest, with Mica's decision to run here in the former FL-24, where freshman Rep. Sandy Adams also lives. This is a potentially swingy area (49% Obama under the new lines), though we'd need an actual Dem candidate to take an advantage of that.
FL-08: Republican Bill Posey's district (old FL-15) along the Space Coast was already pretty safe for him, and it got safer, with Hispanic parts of the district moving into the new 9th.
FL-09: This is the new Orlando-area Hispanic district, containing more of old FL-08 than anything else, though much of its population is actually south of Orlando in fast-growing Osceola County. It's 60% Obama, so it's likely Dem, though with low turnout it could be a problem in a GOP wave year. Ex-Rep. Alan Grayson is making his comeback here.
FL-10: This district takes a big bite of the former FL-08 as well as the vastly overpopulated former FL-05; by taking Orlando out of the mix and moving more into Orlando's western burbs, it gives GOP freshman Daniel Webster a safer seat (47% Obama). Former Orlando police chief Val Demings was running here for the Dems; I've gotta wonder if she might seek bluer pastures now, maybe the 9th or the 7th.
FL-11: The bulk of old FL-05 and a chunk of old FL-06 wound up here, in a district full of Republican-friendly retirees linking Ocala at the north, The Villages in the middle, and Hernando Co. in the south. GOP freshman Rich Nugent should have an easy go of it here (with Ocala resident Cliff Stearns moving further north), though he did draw a new primary opponent in the form of Don Browning, a former Winter Springs city councilor.
FL-12: Not much drama to see here: Republican Gus Bilirakis keeps a solidly Republican district (formerly the 9th) in Tampa's northern suburbs.
FL-13: Republican Bill Young's St. Petersburg district (previously the 10th) remains swingy (and could turn Dem-leaning if a Fair Districts suit takes the downtown parts of St. Pete away from the 14th and puts them here with the rest of the city). The octogenarian Young can probably hold it for as long as he wants, though. Attorney and Hill aide Jessica Ehrlich is the Dems' candidate here.
FL-14: Democrat Kathy Castor's district (old FL-11) remains the Dem vote sink for the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. The only odd thing about this race just got resolved Thursday: Republican Hillsborough Co. Commissioner Mark Sharpe was running here, despite the district's dark-blue hue (probably hoping it would get turned swingy in redistricting). When it stayed blue, he suspended his run, though he's leaving a loophole in case the map changes.
FL-15: This district's Polk County predecessor is FL-12, represented by GOP freshman Dennis Ross. The Hispanic population in this area is growing rapidly, but it's safe for him for now.
FL-16: This district is the former FL-13, and its boundaries barely even changed. Democratic state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald may have a shot here in this GOP-leaning (48% Obama) district thanks to decent fundraising and Rep. Vern Buchanan's well-publicized ethics problems.
FL-17: This is the other 'new' district, though it occupies a lot of the territory of the former FL-16, and it'll have the same Republican Rep., Tom Rooney. Like the old 16th, it has Charlotte County on the Gulf coast and the state's agricultural middle, though it lacks the Atlantic coast regions north of the Miami metro area that it used to have (which is where Rooney lives, in Tequesta).
FL-18: There's been enough growth along the coast in Martin and St. Lucie Counties for those parts of the 16th to now sustain their own district. Also, it's a swingier district than before, 51% Obama, partly because the mostly-black city of Ft. Pierce is now here instead of in the 23rd (the Ft. Lauderdale-area VRA district). Although the legislature did Allen West the kindness of finally drawing him into the 22nd, which he currently represents, he decided to bail on that Dem-leaning district and come to this relatively-safer turf. Democrat Patrick Murphy followed West here, taking one for the team if nothing else, though I think he's got a legitimate shot at this one (despite West's invocations of the Punic Wars to suggest otherwise).
FL-19: The former FL-14 in the Fort Myers area is an open district, thanks to Rep. Connie Mack's Senate run, but don't look for a Dem pickup here, in the reddest district in the southern part of the state. Chauncey Goss may have the best shot here, as son of ex-Rep. Porter Goss, but a handful of other prominent GOPers are jostling for this safe seat.
FL-20: The former FL-23 is a more compact and smoother-looking district than before, but it still links African-American areas all over Palm Beach and Broward Counties. It will stay safe for Dem Alcee Hastings.
FL-21: The descendant of old FL-19 is the 21st, based around middle-class inland parts of the Gold Coast. It's a safe Dem district for Ted Deutch.
FL-22: This is the ritzier oceanfront parts of the Gold Coast in Palm Beach and Broward Counties (one of the few districts to retain its old number). It used to be controversial GOP freshman Allen West's, but it got bumped up a few bluer notches to 57% Obama, and he's out of here. That doesn't mean it's an automatic Dem pickup (though the Dems have two strong candidates here, ex-West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel and Broward Co. Commissioner Kristin Jacobs); ex-state Rep. Adam Hasner dropped down from his hopeless Senate bid to run here, and Broward Co. Commissioner Chip LaMarca also said Thursday he may also run for the GOP.
FL-23: Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz continues to have a safely Dem district in the suburbs between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale (previously FL-20), although it's a district that's rapidly becoming more Hispanic (though not more Cuban, so look for it to stay blue).
FL-24: The former FL-17 covers the African-American parts of Miami and its suburbs to its north. Frederica Wilson keeps the most Democratic district in the state.
FL-25: This is the descendant of Republican Mario Diaz-Balart's old 21st, with most of its population in Miami's western, mostly-Hispanic suburbs, though it now reaches out into the swampy wastes of Collier County.
FL-26: Republican David Rivera's district (the former 25th) is based in Miami's southern suburbs, though he now has the Florida Keys as well. This is the most tenuous of the three Cuban districts, at 50% Obama. Given Rivera's ethical and fundraising weaknesses, and a strong Dem challenger in state Rep. Luis Garcia, this is a pickup possibility.
FL-27: Finally, Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen continues to represent the bulk of Miami and its closer-in suburbs (in the former FL-18). It's 49% Obama, but Ros-Lehtinen's crossover appeal makes her a much less tempting target than Rivera.
Here are links to a full array of resources for you: the map itself, our district redistribution analysis, and a spreadsheet from the state that gives election data for various '06, '08, and '10 key races by district. Still confused? Don't worry; because of the renumbering meshugas (and because it's convenient to have all that in one place), soon we'll be releasing a Florida cheat sheet, along the same lines as our must-bookmark California cheat sheet.