I think I’m now comfortable describing Ron DeSantis as a political genius. His ability to navigate other issues has been remarkable, despite the fact that many people thought he was going to lose. But the way he’s handled redistricting in Florida is truly his greatest work yet.
For months, the state’s legislature, run by Republicans, has tried to surrender on redistricting. After originally proposing a 16-12 map, a ridiculous giveaway of Florida’s GOP gains, they settled on an 18-10 map. That map did not remove a racial gerrymander from FL-5 which protected a Democrat. DeSantis promised to veto the bill in spite of opposition from his party. He followed through.
DeSantis won a game of chicken. A map was requested by the legislature to be submitted for vote. Here’s what it looks like.
— Florida Data Geek 🇺🇦 (@MappingFL) April 13, 2022
You’ll notice the distinct lack of a 200-mile-long Democrat district in northern Florida, spanning Jacksonville to Tallahassee. That’s because DeSantis had the guts to stand his ground on getting rid of that ridiculous gerrymander. His own party members in the Florida legislature tried to undercut him, but he refused to let them lose — no matter how badly they wanted to.
It will now be up for a vote. If the Republican legislature still chooses to shoot it down after specifically requesting the governor’s office submit the map, they deserve the wrath they will get from voters. But, I don’t think they would choose that course. It will be a good map.
We now get to the second part, the fury coming from DeSantis’ leftwing completely outflanking everyone.
Because it means any governor could reshape the redistricting process according to their own political preferences, this would make it insane.
— JHN (@JHNTruthTeller) April 13, 2022
It is the duty of the FL Supreme Court to intervene
— A Random Dem🇺🇦🇺🇲 (@ARandomDem1) April 13, 2022
The left can feel their consternation as Dave Wasserman (supposedly an apolitical electoral analyst) pleads for the court to save them. That’s highly unlikely to happen, though. After DeSantis made it a constitutional conservatives’ sandbox, the Florida Supreme Court has a 7-0 GOP vote. There is no legal reason to strike down the map, and there’s certainly no reason to expect the court to do so on political grounds, as some other state Supreme Courts have.
This all amounts to pain and hate for Democrats who felt they could outmaneuver Republicans during redistricting. Analysts boasted that Democrats have won 4-6 seats by redistricting, just weeks before. However, once the DeSantis maps goes into effect, these gains will disappear. This is the end of the work that Alabama Republicans began when they won court battles for their redistricting maps.
Really, my hat’s off to DeSantis. This was a masterwork of political strategy, and it didn’t just happen by chance. This was a strategy that required a lot of planning. That’s what makes DeSantis unique. It’s not just that he triggers the libs. It’s that he wins on the issues while triggering the libs. The phrase “4D chess” has been thrown around a lot over the years, but in this case, it absolutely applies.