Maryland: Effective 8-0 Plan

I have yet once again redone my Maryland map.  I’m using the “original” version of Dave’s Application here as I did the map a while back but just haven’t had the chance to do the write-up.

Bottom line: there’s no reason not to do an 8-0 map, knowing that the GOP will do something similar in a number of states.  Democrats still have the trifecta in Maryland (we actually picked up a few seats in the state Senate here in November, btw !)

I had several goals in mind for this map:

– VRA: Both African-American-majority districts must have black population that is at least 1.5 times the size of the white population in those districts (to ensure representation).  The map does really well in this respect.  The black population in both MD-4 and MD-7 goes down from 57% and 59%, respectively, under the existing 2002 map — to 51% and 57%, respectively, under the proposed map here.  HOWEVER, because of the way the districts are reconfigured (expanding to include a lot more GOP-leaning territory in the northern part of the state) the proportion of African-Americans as a percentage of the Democratic primary vote in both districts goes up from approximately 70% now to approximately 80% under the proposed plan.

– Incumbency: Keep at least 50% of each Democratic incumbent’s current territory (population-wise) in the new district.  The percentages that each district gets to keep are below:

MD-1 – 66%

MD-2 – 70%

MD-3 – 62%

MD-4 – 53%

MD-5 – 74%

MD-6 – 49%

MD-7 – 55%

MD-8 – 78%

As you can see, it looks pretty good.  Other than the two minority-majority districts, each Democratic incumbent would get to keep at least 62% of their constituents.  This is important in any realistic redistricting plan for Maryland.  Although their districts get to keep only 53% and 55% of their existing constituents, Donna Edwards and Elijah Cummings should still be quite happy with their new districts for the reason discussed under “VRA” above.  In the case of MD-7 it should be noted that many areas in the eastern part of Baltimore City which were previously part of the district (prior to 2002) are now “returned” back to the district. So, while Cummings does not currently represent those constituents, the areas would likely be quite receptive to having him as a representative.  (I should also note that Steny Hoyer’s new district also contains territory which he has represented prior to 2002 — accounting for another 6% of the population —  so, in effect, the proposed MD-5 here includes 80% of territory Hoyer is currently representing or has represented in the past).

– Keep different parts/regions of the state “intact”.  This includes keeping the Eastern Shore whole in one district (same goes for Southern Maryland), keeping MD-2, MD-3 and MD-7 in the Baltimore orbit, while keeping MD-4, MD-5 and MD-8 in the Washington, DC orbit.  Likewise, I wanted to keep more communities intact.  Under the map here, the only incorporated cities that are split are Baltimore City (for obvious reasons), Mount Airy (because it is already split between two counties), and Hyattsville (although now it would only be split between two districts and not three like under the existing map).

Also, wanted to minimize county fragments and ensure that each district “corresponds” to a region or county.  Listed below is the largest jurisdiction (percentage of  district’s population) that each district is comprised of (you can look up the whole break-down under each district further down):

MD-1 – 62% Eastern Shore

MD-2 – 62% Baltimore County

MD-3 – 64% Anne Arundel and Howard Counties

MD-4 – 68% Prince George’s County

MD-5 – 76% Southern Maryland and Prince George’s Co.

MD-6 – 55% Montgomery County

MD-7 – 59% Baltimore City

MD-8 – 78% Montgomery County

As you can see, Montgomery Co. (the state’s largest) would form the majority of two Congressional districts under this plan.

– Partisanship (last, but not least !): Each new district must ensure that a Democrat is elected.  The percentages are discussed below the maps:






District 1:

Current District:  Obama 40; McCain 58

Proposed District:  Obama 56; McCain 43

Proposed District Demographics: 68% white; 25% black

Population: Eastern Shore 62%, Prince George’s Co. 20%, Anne Arundel Co. 18%

The 56% Obama percentage here would more than ensure that Frank Kratovil could make a comeback in 2012.

District 2:  

Current District:  Obama 60; McCain 38

Proposed District:  Obama 59; McCain 39

Proposed District Demographics: 66% white; 25% black

Population: Baltimore Co. 62%, Baltimore City 22%, Harford Co. 17%

District 3:  

Current District:  Obama 59; McCain 39

Proposed District:  Obama 59; McCain 39

Proposed District Demographics: 68% white; 19% black

Population: Howard Co. 33%, Anne Arundel Co. 31%, Baltimore Co. 26%, Baltimore City 10%

District 4:

Current District:  Obama 85; McCain 14

Proposed District:  Obama 72; McCain 27

Proposed District Demographics: 51% black; 33% white; 12% Hispanic

Population: Prince George’s Co. 68%, Carroll Co. 24%, Howard Co. 6%, Montgomery Co. 2%

District 5:

Current District:  Obama 65; McCain 33

Proposed District:  Obama 60; McCain 39

Proposed District Demographics: 59% white; 29% black

Population: Southern Maryland 47%, Prince George’s Co. 29%, Anne Arundel Co. 24%

District 6:

Current District:  Obama 40; McCain 58

Proposed District:  Obama 59; McCain 40

Proposed District Demographics: 66% white, 14% black, 10% Hispanic

Population: Montgomery Co. 55%, Frederick Co. 29%, Washington Co. 16%

District 7:  

Current District:  Obama 79; McCain 20

Proposed District:  Obama 69; McCain 30

Proposed District Demographics: 57% black; 38% white

Population: Baltimore City 59%, Baltimore Co. 24%, Harford Co. 17%

District 8:  

Current District:  Obama 74; McCain 25

Proposed District:  Obama 65; McCain 34

Proposed District Demographics: 63% white; 13% hispanic; 11% black; 11% asian

Population: Montgomery Co. 78%, Western Maryland 19%, Frederick Co. 3%

28 thoughts on “Maryland: Effective 8-0 Plan”

  1. thanks for posting.  

    The downside and what makes it unlikely to pass is that the likely result of this map over timeis that you would see all 8 congressman being residents of Baltimore/Baltimore county/Prince George/Montgomery county.

    By population these counties are just over 1/2 of the state and yet they dominate 7/8 districts plus if Howard & AA county fight over that one district the city or county of Baltimore will dominate it too.

    That’s the problem with Maryland those four counties dominate and set the tone for the state-politically but I am not sure the state legislators want all the congressional districts to be Baltimore/DC based.  

  2. I just have two thoughts:

    1) you could (and probably should) keep the 2nd District safer by giving it more of Baltimore. You have some room to ket out a little bit of Democratic strength from the 7th and still keep it VRA complaint.

    2) I worry just a tiny little bit about whether Montgomery County is quite Democratic enough to carry two districts. Roscoe Bartlett is toast in your new 6th, but might another Republican not be able to carry it?  

  3. can be a powerful force in the selection of congressman.  This arrangement per this mapbasically says Montgomery county gets two congressman and W. Maryland gets none.  

  4. When the district included most of Montgomery County, Connie Morella won it easily. If a Connie Morella-type Republican came along, they would have to problem sowing up the panhandle votes and getting just enough Montgomery County votes to win.

  5. not sure how you get all 8 in Baltimore/Baltimore County/Prince George’s/Montgomery ?  

    – MD-1 is drawn where E. Shore forms 62% and AA Co. another 18% (for a total of 80%); PG is only 20%… in fact, under the CURRENT map, MD-1 will be represented by someone from Balto Co. (Harris) but under the proposed map here, it will likely be represented by someone from the Eastern Shore (Kratovil).

    – MD-5 – Hoyer lives in Southern MD and his district changes very little under this map.

    – MD-6 – yes, likelihood that Montg. Co. rep would result under the map (I can see Herman Taylor running here, for ex.) .. but that would just balance out the flip discussed above under MD-1

    MD2, MD-3, MD-4, MD-7, MD-8 — no change from current situation.

    2nd point: even if, theoretically, all 8 were from the 4 jurisdictions you mention, would probably be no biggie w/ the Governor/legislators drawing map as 27 out of 33 state Senate Dems. are themselves from those 4 jurisdictions (and 78 out of 103 state Dem. Delegates) ..

  6. 1. & 2.The two Montgomery county seats clearly dominate by numbers those two districts.

    3. The AA Prince George congresswoman will dominate that district

    4. Hoyer is and will always be a Prince George guy.  The democratic primary numbers there will be tilted towards PG.

    5. Ruppleberg is Balt County

    6. Second AA  (Balt city based) is Baltimore city dominated.

    7. Sarbanes screams out Baltimore city–he may live elsewhere the Sarbanes base will always been Balt county & City.  Those areas will have disportionate primary vote for the D.s.  The decisive vote over timewill be Baltimore.

    8. Finally the essence of the Eastern short/AA district comes down to whether any candidate on the GOP side can overcome  PG vote.  In any democratic primary with two Eastern shore guys running the deciding factor will be “who wins the PG vote”.  It might be 25% in the primary or only 15% in the GE but PG will the decisive factor.  That’s why its there because it moves the district from leaning GOP to leaning Democratic.  It makes the district Urban based and not rural based.  The PG part is so democratic it overcomes the 62% Eastern Shore.  Its like a little bit of food coloring.  It turns all the dough blue.

  7. 1.) good point; MD-7 doesn’t have to be as Afr-Am. as drawn, (but then again, the proposed MD-2 here is only a sliver less Democratic than the existing district)

    2.) I though about someone like Morella running (she’s 81 herself and lives in Bethesda — I think ? — deep in MD-8 so not thinking about her per se) but it would have to be a very moderate GOPer .. not sure if even MD has any like that any more ??  and with Fred Co./Hagerstown area forming a significant portion of district and even more of a GOP primary electorate, even if a moderate GOPer ran, he/she would have hard time winning a primary.  With 59% Obama district, I think under most circumstances GOP would have a hard time winning MD-6 under these lines; this area has a very “active” electorate and the Democrats in the Montg. part of this proposed district would certainly not be complacent (I would be one of them, btw !).

    to add, Fred. Co. itself is getting bluer by the year (one of the state Senate seats Dems. picked up this year was in Frederick Co.) and the proposed MD-6 would likely continue to trend more and more Democratic over time.

  8. but as I responded to andgarden above, not sure if moderate GOPers could be nominated in either MD-6 or MD-8 anymore ??  (or just about any district in the US — thank you tea party !) … and conservative GOPers couldn’t win under these lines.  Ofcourse, in politics anything can happen — but I just think the risk is low enough to warrant drawing the lines this way.

  9. re. W. MD — it’s basically torn apart under this map … however, don’t see any state Dems who will fight for W. MD, but see a LOT of state Dems who will love the idea of Montgomery getting another seat in Congress (it is the largest co., afterall and has a ton of Dems.- many of whom may like the idea that maybe they themselves can one day run for the new seat)

  10. “MD-6 is torn apart” not really W. MD.  Western MD (west of the Blue Ridge) even if all together in one district would only form about 35% of that district (so, in that sense it’s different from the E. Shore) .. Frederick Co. these days is really a world unto itself and has a lot more in common w/ northern Montg. Co. than w/ Cumberland or Garrett Co.

    so I think those arguing for “W. Maryland” having a congressman are really arguing for the GOP having a congressman … but yes, indeed, the map does rip apart a large GOP area in western and northern MD.

  11. And it’s a good map; it’s not pretty, but it’s a plausible 8-0 scenario (7-1 or 6-2 after a really, really bad cycle, maybe) with the biggest problem being that it totally screws Republicans in Western Maryland and along the Pennsylvania and Delaware borders.

  12. thought about it but haven’t run the numbers (lots of work) .. but if I had to make back of napkin guestimates (very rough, and many grains of salt) would look something like this:

    2006 Gov:

    MD-1 – narrow Ehrlich win

    MD-2 – narrow Ehrlich (maybe very, very narrow)

    MD-3 – narrow O’Malley

    MD-4 – solid O’Malley (low 60’s)

    MD-5 – narrow O’Malley

    MD-6 – narrow O’Malley

    MD-7 – solid O’Malley (upper 50’s)

    MD-8 – solid O’Malley (upper 50’s)

    if so, certainly would make your case for making MD-2 a few points more Dem :)

    (I think Kratovil would be fine either way)

  13. I ran the actual numbers just on the proposed MD-2 here, and I was off … it voted 53% O’Malley – 47% Ehrlich in 2006 (not counting minor parties and not counting absentees/ provisionals) … so I erred on the conservative side, politically speaking :) & in favor of the GOP …  perhaps I overestimated Ehrlich’s popularity in Balto Co. and underestimated O’Malley in Balto. City ??

    either way, that’s good news if you’re a Dem. and means (if I erred on the conservative side overall ?) that perhaps every district drawn under this map voted for O’Malley in 2006 ??? — except maybe MD-1 ??

    it’s interesting to note that Ehrlich did slightly better in Harford in 2010 than in 2006, but relatively slightly worse in Balto. Co. and about 7 pts. worse in Balto City, so overall O’Malley’s winning number in the proposed MD-2 in 2010 would probably be at least 54% (if not 55%)

  14. “Its like a little bit of food coloring.  It turns all the dough blue.”

    — but that’s the whole point of this map !  you’re telling me that, in effect, the map is unlikely b/c it “moves districts from leaning GOP to leaning Democratic” (are you kidding me … this is MD we’re talking about) …

    my logic tells me that the Dem-dominated Maryland powers that be (esp. Hoyer and Van Hollen who would have just as much influence over this as O’Malley or Mike Miller) would see the additional Dem. seats as a net plus, not a net minus … what do you think ? :)

    (but the changes doen’t make the whole district “urban-based”)  

    As a Dem. here, I like your colorful description though :)

  15. and, if you want to argue “regionalism” I emphasize that the whole Eastern Shore will now be represented by a guy (Harris) from suburban Baltimore (current map) … but under the proposed map here, the Shore would likely have one of its own  (Kratovil) ..

    re. Montgomery, it’s about time a county of approx. 1 million people (larger than several states) dominates more than just one district …

    I see this as a win-win situation for Dems. either way.

  16. There is no doubt that my point on the Eastern Shore district is the weakest. I think its clear that certainly 6/8 districts are Balt City & County & DC suburbs (PG & Mont) dominated.

    Let me be clear that I know I was also  pushing a point on AA & Howard county seat.  Here’s my point and its not related to democratic or republican but what is the crucial part of the district.

    I used to live in TN7 in the 1980’s and 20% of the district was heavily republican Shelby county.  80% of the district was rural TN that leaned GOP in national elections but democratic in TN elections.  You could say “this district was a rural district in west TN” but that was inaccurate.  The GOP vote in Shelby swamped rural R’s in the primary and rural democrats in the GE. Its a joke to call it “rural”.  Shelby county determines primary and GE winners.

    That’s my point on the two districts listed above.  You can say 62% in Eastern Shore or 80% is in Howard & AA county.  Politicians looking at the Map will say “the deciding votes in one seat is PG” and is in the other it will be “Baltimore city and County”.  Over time in GE’s & Primaries the crucial focus will be the smaller sections of the district.

    This Map-for good or bad and I am not commenting on the politics of it-comes down to neutering the rural and suburban voters of Maryland. Unless you live in Montgomery/Prince Georges/Baltimore or Baltimore County.  In the GE & Primary these four counties (representing 50% of the actual voters) will determine the congressman in all 8 districts.

    Its skillfully drawn and by clever drawing of lines it puts all of the power in four counties.  I might add on the flipside if I was drawing a map for 3 GOP seats (about all that might be done) I would neuter the same four counties by piling all the democrats in 5 urban seats/DC suburban seats.

  17. I missed that dairy entry.  I decided not to think about redistricting until say Thanksgiving.

    The GOP 5-3 is basically the inverse of the 8D-in theory-you put on all the emphasis on rural/outer suburbs instead of the urban and inner suburbs.

    I have to go back to my grade school civics-might be high school high–and remember initiative and referendum. You see commissions and non partisan boards in several states where voters can decide to take the decisions on redistricting out of the hands of state legislators.  Maryland can be drawn nearly or maybe 8D or 3D.  Its crazy.  

  18. While I agree that it would be preferable if both parties would agree to using non-partisan redistricting panels, in the current environment I don’t see how it’s a flaw for a Democratic gerrymander to avoid creating Republican seats. I doubt Republicans in NC, TX, TN, SC, AL, IN, OH, PA, KS, NE, or UT will have any such compunctions.  

  19. Western Maryland isn’t exactly a hotbed of political activity. But give the Panhandle a liberal Democratic representative from Montgomery County and they will throw a shit-fit. I guess I’m worried about what a divisive climate that might create, especially in terms of how it might affect Annapolis.

  20. I have a gut feeling that even w/ the trifecta, Dems. in MD will ultimately cave in (as Dems. seem to be doing elsewhere on a whole host of issues) and make the western/northern part of MD into a GOP district.  The 8-0 plan you like w/ “smooth” lines prob. would not work b/c it messes w/ incumbency issues too much (too much new territory for each incumbent) …

    most realistically they’ll probably do something like the map below (which I’ve never posted b/c it’s just slightly different from one I drew a while back, but each incumbent gets to keep more of their territory — other than Cummings, all reps. keep at least 60% of their constituents (incl. Sarbanes’ district keeping Annapolis) and the numbers for MD-7 here go up to 57% black/37% white …


    The western part of MD-8 can also be changed as below to make MD-8 more Democratic, 69% Obama in this case …


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