Last Call for 9.16.21 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Lawmakers will be drawing new maps for state legislative and congressional districts this Session, and voters say they want the new seats to be fair.

A new poll by RepresentUS, a national group that includes independents, progressives, and conservatives, found 80% of Florida voters are against drawing district maps that favor a particular party or politician.

The opposition is strong across party lines. Democrats are against gerrymandering 88%-12%, followed by independents at 80%-20%. Republican voters were more likely to abide by gerrymandering but only slightly at 75%-25%.

Further, 87% of voters said districts “should be drawn in a fair way that does not benefit their preferred political party.” The total includes 94% of self-identified liberals and moderates as well as 85% of conservatives.

But voters don’t expect lawmakers to follow through — a 43% plurality said they expect the final maps to be stacked in one party’s favor while just one in seven said they think the new lines will be impartially drawn.

There is precedent for their low expectations. The courts tossed out the state Senate and congressional maps drawn in the last regularly scheduled redistricting Session ahead of the 2016 elections.

If the maps are tilted, 71% of Democrats and 56% of independents said it would be a “major problem.” Just under half the Republicans (49%) concurred.

“Results of our recent survey in Florida show that Republicans, Democrats and Independent voters agree that gerrymandering is a major problem that undermines the integrity of our elections,” said Joe Kabourek, Senior Campaign Director for RepresentUS. “State legislators have an opportunity to improve trust in our elections by adopting fair voting maps and improving transparency in the process.

“It’s clear that voters see gerrymandering as a major problem because it’s a conflict of interest that benefits politicians and undermines our elections. There is no doubt that Florida legislators would serve the public well by having a reapportionment process that is more transparent and builds on the 2016 approved maps.”

The survey was conducted in Florida through an online panel administered by YouGov. The survey was completed between June 30-July 8, 2021, with a sample size of 428 respondents with a margin of error of 5.42%.

Evening Reads

Will the bus driver ever come? Or the substitute teacher or cafeteria worker?” via Giulia Heyward of The Wall Street Journal

The pandemic has created a nation of insomniacs” via Anna North of Vox

The stolen-election myth has become an albatross for the GOP” via Rich Lowry for POLITICO Magazine

Our best tool for predicting midterm elections doesn’t show a Republican wave — but history is on the GOP’s side” via Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight

COVID-19-recovered is not the same as vaccinated” via Katherine J. Wu of The Atlantic

’Imagine If the ‘Mona Lisa’ was digital and then auctioned on the internet’: The only NFT explainer you really need, from a true believer” via Nick Bilton of Vanity Fair

660,000 white flags and climbing: This artist shows what America’s COVID-19 death toll looks like” via Chris Cioffi of Roll Call

How ‘13 Reasons Why’ sparked years of suicide-contagion research” via Jennifer Ouelette of Ars Technica

Mystery group behind ads in key Senate race may have been led by Republican strategist’s son” via Jason Garcia and Annie Martin of the Orlando Sentinel

Pulte Homes destroys 22 Florida tortoise burrows, pays a paltry penalty” via Craig Pittman of the Florida Phoenix

Schools facing critical race theory battles are diversifying rapidly, analysis finds” via Tyler Kingkade and Nigel Chiwaya of NBC News

Talking about climate across the political divide” via Eliza Griswold of The New Yorker

Inside the studios’ (And Apple’s) frenzy to get Christopher Nolan’s next film” via Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter

Quote of the Day

“I think offering incentives, providing information, encouraging, I think is well within their rights and, you know, I think that would be totally appropriate. What’s not appropriate under Florida law is to fire somebody based on this issue. We’ve got to protect people’s jobs. We’ve got to protect people’s livelihoods.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on President Joe Biden‘s proposed vaccine mandates that could force people out of a job, including first responders.

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