At the center of this trio is the 26th district, which is likely the only Obama / Clinton / Trump district in the country. This seat that includes southwest Miami and the Florida Keys, saw Clinton build Barack Obama’s 55-44 win and 57-41 win, but that trend was dramatically reversed last year when Trump carried him 53-47.
That 22-point sweep to the right from 2016 was not only the biggest shift in Florida, but also the biggest we’ve seen in either direction for any of the 320 Congressional districts we’ve calculated the President’s scores for so far. Unsurprisingly, this transformation has had detrimental effects on Democrats like Republican Carlos Gimenez as well non-seated freshman Democratic MP Debbie Mucarsel-Powell 52-48.
A similarly brutal blow hit Team Blue in the neighboring 27th district, where Republican Maria Elvira Salazar also refused to give Democratic MP Donna Shalala a second term. That seat, which is made up of southern Miami and Coral Gables, was also moved left from 53-46 Obama to 59-39 Clinton between 2012 and 2016, but Biden’s lead was lowered to 51-48. This big drop doomed Shalala who ran behind the ticket and lost their rematch against Salazar 51-49;; two years earlier it was Shalala who won 52-46.
Trump also built up his fortune at another nearby seat where he struggled in 2016. The 25th district, which spans the Everglades and spans parts of the state’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, had gone from 54-45 for Mitt Romney to just 50 -48 for Trump, but this time it backed the top of the ticket with one huge lead of 61-38. The experienced Republican MP Mario Diaz-Balart, who easily prevailed in 2018 despite the blue wave, won re-election this time without a candidate.
Trump’s surge wasn’t limited to these three districts, however. The 24th district of Democratic MP Frederica Wilson in north Miami, the includes a large African American and Caribbean American populationSure remained blue turf, but it dropped from 83-15 Clinton to 75-24 Biden. Democratic MP Debbie Wasserman-Shultz’s 23rd district in Broward County, a diverse seat that also exists Home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the country, also slipped from 62-36 Clinton to 58-41 Biden. One of those new Trump voters was Donald Trump, the registered to vote at his Mar-a-Lago hideout in the district for 2020.
Veteran Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings’s 20th district in the West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale areas also fell from 80-18 Clinton to 77-22 Biden. Eventually, Trump also won in the North 9th District, a suburb of Orlando with a large Puerto Rican population. The shift wasn’t as big as it was in South Florida, but the constituency held by Democratic MP Darren Soto still switched from 55-42 Clinton to a narrower 53-46 for Biden.
Neither of these incumbents had trouble winning, but the Sunshine State Democrats will work hard to figure out how to reverse these trends in 2022 to prevent further erosion in the house and maintain their hopes of a nationwide victory.
Elsewhere, the Democrats had hoped for a Biden wave to kickstart them, but didn’t see much of one. St. Petersburg 13th district had slipped from 55-44 Obama to 50-46 Clinton, and Biden carried it by a similar margin of 51-47. Democratic MP Charlie Crist ended up winning 53-47 in a competition that did not attract serious external spending. Biden also made little gains compared to Clinton in several of the GOP-held seats that Team Blue targeted as a downballot, but still remained red, as in the 15th, 16th and 18th districts.
Some areas showed movement to the left. Republican Rep. John Rutherford’s 4th Ward in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas stayed solid red, but Trump’s margin shrank from 62-34 to 60-39, the largest such shift in the state. It is no coincidence that Biden was the first Democrat to promote Duval County (whose government is consolidated with the city of Jacksonville) since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
The second largest move to the left was, perhaps surprisingly, in the 1st district of Trump sycophant Matt Gaetz in the panhandle, which Trump won in 2016 with 68-28, but this time with a smaller 66-32. Biden also made further gains in the 7th District, a suburb of Orlando that was volatile earlier in the decade. The seat moved from an extremely narrow win for Obama in 2012 to 51-44 Clinton, and Biden took it as Democratic MP Stephanie Murphy last year 55-44 55-43 win.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, the next Congress card is likely to be worse than the current one. Florida voters two amendments adopted on the state constitution in 2010 which attempted to ban partisan gerrymandering, and the state’s Supreme Court took advantage of these measures to the Gerrymander of Congress and Senate of the GOP in 2015 and redraw the boundaries. The court did, however since then moved sharply to the rightThis makes these changes unlikely to be aggressively enforced again to prevent Republicans from introducing a new Gerrymander.