Florida: Blue Inroads
Senate: 17 Democrats, 23 Republicans | To Flip Blue: 4 Seats
House: 47 Democrats, 73 Republicans | To Flip Blue: 14 Seats
Florida’s state legislature is poised for Democratic gains. In 2018, Democrat Andrew Gillum narrowly lost the Governor’s race to Republican Ron DeSantis by less than half a point, and Democrats flipped two Congressional and 7 State Senate seats.
GOP state legislators drew the state’s Congressional and state legislative district lines in their favor after the last round of redistricting in 2010. Following successful legal challenges, the Florida Senate district lines were redrawn in 2015 to be less gerrymandered, but the House remains badly gerrymandered in favor of Republicans.
Nonetheless, there are some great opportunities for Democrats in both chambers, particularly after 2018’s successful citizen-initiated ballot initiative (Amendment 4), whose passage means that more than a million formerly incarcerated people can now register to vote in Florida, offering an opportunity for Democrats to expand the electorate.
These are ‘last chance’ races: whoever is elected to the state legislature in 2020 will draw the next round of district lines. It is our last chance to build power in FL’s legislature ahead of redistricting, which has implications for the next entire decade.