Geography Influences Redistricting In Florida

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News Release: Associated Press News

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Even though Florida is a politically divided state, Republicans hold an advantage in the state's congressional delegation and the makeup of the Florida Legislature.

Some Democrats argue that the discrepancies are caused by "gerrymandering." They say that happens when the Republican-controlled Legislature draws districts to give the GOP an unfair advantage, which would be illegal under Florida law.

But two political science professors say the discrepancies aren't so simple or nefarious.

Jowei Chen of the University of Michigan and Jonathan Rodden of Stanford have used the Sunshine State to popularize their argument that large concentrations of Democrats living in cities has given Republicans a redistricting advantage not just in Florida but nationwide.

They say no amount of reforms to eliminate gerrymandering is going to change an inherent bias based on where people live.

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