NY and ME: Population by CD

Today’s the last day of Census data releases, meaning we have the complete set of all 50 states now. The Census Bureau released some data summarizing the entire nation, including what you’d think was the single most important bit of all, considering the way they hyped the announcement: the new population center of the U.S., still in south-central Missouri, but moving 30 miles to the southwest, now near Plato, MO. Perhaps more interestingly, they summarized the country’s demographic change as a whole: that starts with the nation’s Hispanic population crossing the 50 million mark, now up to almost 17% of the nation’s population. Hispanics and Asians both grew at a 43% rate, and people checking “2 or more” races rose at a 32% rate. The non-Hispanic white share of the population fell from 69% to 64%. They also found a country that’s more urban than ever before, with 84% of the country living in metropolitan areas now.

I know you’re all champing at the bit to find out what happens in Maine, but there’s this other state called “New… Something” that we should probably get through first. New York is one of only two states to lose two seats, from 29 down to 27. (Ohio was the other one.) New York’s new target is 717,707, up from about 654K in 2000. Thanks to a few hundred votes in a couple of state Senate races that tipped that chamber’s balance, the GOP managed to hold on to one leg of the redistricting trifecta, meaning that instead of a shot at a 26-1 Dem map, there’s probably just going to be a shared-pain map instead with a GOP loss upstate and a Dem loss in the NYC metro area. That’s despite the fact that New York City itself actually grew a bit, to 8.175 million, still by far the nation’s largest city. (There are moves afoot toward an independent redistricting commission, but this doesn’t seem likely to happen.)

In general, the heaviest losses were in the western part of Upstate, with the state’s two biggest losers the Dem-held 27th (Buffalo) and 28th (Rochester). On the other hand, losses also popped up rather patchily in parts of the outer boroughs (especially the 11th in the black parts of Brooklyn… without much seniority, Yvette Clarke may wind up with the shortest straw among the NYC delegation) and Long Island (Peter King’s 3rd… which would be a prime target for the 2nd seat to evaporate, if only the Dems controlled the trifecta here). The big gainers were both urban (Jerry Nadler’s 8th, probably fueled not so much by growth in Manhattan as among Orthodox families in Borough Park in Brooklyn) and exurban (Nan Hayworth’s 19th, at the outermost reaches of the NYC metro area).

While none of the districts in New York seem to be undergoing the kind of rapid demographic transformation that threatens the red/blue balance in any place like we’ve seen in Texas or California, a few districts are worth looking at just as an indicator of what an interesting tapestry New York City is. Take the 5th for instance (another possibility for wipeout, given its strange position straddling Nassau County and Queens, and Gary Ackerman’s non-entity-ness): it’s moved from 44% non-Hispanic white, 5% non-Hispanic black, 24% non-Hispanic Asian, and 24% Hispanic, to 36% white, 4% black, 33% Asian, and 26% Hispanic, close to an Asian-plurality, thanks to growth in the Asian community in Flushing. A few districts in New York City are getting whiter, thanks to hipsters and gentrifiers: the 11th moved from 21% white and 58% black to 26% white and 53% black, while the 12th moved from 23% white and 49% Hispanic to 27% white and 45% Hispanic. The Harlem-based 15th went from 16% white, 30% black, and 48% Hispanic, to 21% white, 26% black, and 46% Hispanic, while the remarkably complex, Queens-based 7th went the other direction, from 28% white, 16% black, 13% Asian, and 40% Hispanic to 21% white, 16% black, 16% Asian, and 44% Hispanic.

District Rep. Population Deviation
NY-01 Bishop (D) 705,559 (12,148)
NY-02 Israel (D) 679,893 (37,814)
NY-03 King (R) 645,508 (72,199)
NY-04 McCarthy (D) 663,407 (54,300)
NY-05 Ackerman (D) 670,130 (47,577)
NY-06 Meeks (D) 651,764 (65,943)
NY-07 Crowley (D) 667,632 (50,075)
NY-08 Nadler (D) 713,512 (4,195)
NY-09 Weiner (D) 660,306 (57,401)
NY-10 Towns (D) 677,721 (39,986)
NY-11 Clarke (D) 632,408 (85,299)
NY-12 Velazquez (D) 672,358 (45,349)
NY-13 Grimm (R) 686,525 (31,182)
NY-14 Maloney (D) 652,681 (65,026)
NY-15 Rangel (D) 639,873 (77,834)
NY-16 Serrano (D) 693,819 (23,888)
NY-17 Engel (D) 678,558 (39,149)
NY-18 Lowey (D) 674,825 (42,882)
NY-19 Hayworth (R) 699,959 (17,748)
NY-20 Gibson (R) 683,198 (34,509)
NY-21 Tonko (D) 679,193 (38,514)
NY-22 Hinchey (D) 679,297 (38,410)
NY-23 Owens (D) 664,245 (53,462)
NY-24 Hanna (R) 657,222 (60,485)
NY-25 Buerkle (R) 668,869 (48,838)
NY-26 Vacant 674,804 (42,903)
NY-27 Higgins (D) 629,271 (88,436)
NY-28 Slaughter (D) 611,838 (105,869)
NY-29 Reed (R) 663,727 (53,980)
Total: 19,378,102

Now for the maine event! (Rim shot.) Maine’s a lot like Rhode Island and New Hampshire in that the long-standing boundary between its two districts rarely seems to budge much, and this year won’t be any different. Maine’s target is 664,181, up from 637K in 2000. The disparity of a little more than 4,000 people means things won’t change much; the Republicans control the redistricting process this year but there’s not a lot of fertile material here for them to try to make swingy ME-02 much redder.

District Rep. Population Deviation
ME-01 Pingree (D) 668,515 4,334
ME-02 Michaud (D) 659,846 (4,335)
Total: 1,328,361

68 thoughts on “NY and ME: Population by CD”

  1. Census numbers are saying a -12,000+ change in Astoria in Queens, which almost certainly HAS to be wrong.

  2. It’s amazing how the the media distorts or screws up data.  In the New York Observer today, there was an article by NYPIRG, the New York Public Interest Research Group, that said that downstate New York would lose both of the 2 seats being lost in New York State.  (It considered downstate to be Westchester, New York City, and Long Island.)   It very encouraging to see that you are far superior in your abilities to discern data.  The present New York State map clearly shows that 3 seats, the 17th, 18th, and 19th all straddle the downstate/upstate divide.  There are a lot more people in the portions of the 17th and 18th districts that are upstate, than there are in the portion of the 19th district that is partly in the downstate region.  (The 19th takes in the far northern reaches of Westchester county, the least populated part of the county.  There are presently 10 districts entirely upstate, the 20th -29th.   NYPIRG says that after reapportionment, upstate will have 10.3 seats.  So, based on their numbers, upstate losses a little over one seat, and downstate losses part of a seat.

    A real upstate New Yorker would never consider the lower Hudson valley as being part of upstate.  In the end, downstate and the Hudson valley will be ahead of the upstate region overall, more so than they already are.

  3. Why don’t they have the balls to ask for what Virginia did?  Allow GOP to gerrymander Senate (again), but say they’ll do whatever they want congressionally.

    Ugh, cannot believe Antoine Thompson lost a 70% Obama Senate district…still.

  4. Oh no! The deviations don’t match up!

    Quick, we need one person to move to Michaud’s district from out of state!!! Equality is everything, you know.

  5. Oh, for what could have been.  Would have been real easy to have gerrymandered 1 super-GOP upstate vote sink.  Still, with divided control I wonder just how safe the rest of the upstate GOP delegation can expect to be.  Regardless of how they draw the districts, Obama will win most of them.

  6. but Lee’s seat could be chewed up. You would probably need to have Owen take Syracuse city and have CD25 stretch to take in all of Genesse county. CD22 & CD24 would have to move westward as well.  

    I guess someone has to get the short end in NY upstate.  

  7. so the thin Republican majorities in the legislature will probably disappear before then, as the entire legislature is up next year.

  8. I believe it is the poorest in the country, but it had the highest population growth behind the two districts mentioned in the original post.  That is an odd combination.

  9. Higgins’ NY-27 and Slaughter’s NY-28 (the earmuffs) are the two smallest districts in the state (population wise).  They currently split Buffalo in half.  I see three options:

    1) Give the rest of Buffalo to Slaughter.  This will effectively erase Higgins’ NY-27 as he can’t win without it.

    2) Give the rest of Buffalo to Higgins.  This will make Higgins safe for the forseeable future but make Slaughter’s district more vulnerable, although still with a Dem lean.

    3) Leave Buffalo split and try to absorb NY-29 with NY-27 and NY-28.  This will weaken both Slaughter and Higgins, and Higgins still might not survive in this configuration (Slaughter will).

    Overall, I think the best option for Dems is #2, but Slaughter might not go for it, and what Slaughter wants, Slaughter gets.

  10. and at DailyKos using the county level data to give a quick review of what the loss of 2 congressional districts might mean in New York. As soon as dave’s tool is updated with the new data I’ll draw the maps.

  11. as though it would never be done due to being to politically risky, there could be a super-safe democratic district and a slighly republican one in Maine. Anyone else see it just as a posibility?  

  12. The Democrats should absolutely not take that deal in NY. The key to wiping out Republicans for the foreseeable future is to deny them the opportunity to draw a state senate map.

    This can be accomplished through a veto.

    I only hope Cuomo and Democratic incumbents (perhaps only Dem state senators–who have most to gain) will have the nerve.  

  13. The current senate map is something of a Democratic gerrymander though. An extra 5% swing, and instead of 21-14 you would be looking at 28-7. It just barely held.

  14. is just an “advisory commission,” though. More from the Rose Institute:

    The commission submits a plan to the state legislature, which then has thirty days to consider the plan or enact a plan of its own. The Apportionment Commission serves an advisory function, since the legislature is under no legal obligation to implement the Commission’s plan. The final plan must pass the legislature by a two-thirds majority, and is subject to veto by the governor. This confluence of factors presents a challenge to the legislature to pass a plan by the thirty-day deadline. If this deadline is not met, redistricting authority is passed to the Maine Supreme Court, which is what occurred in the 2001-2002 redistricting cycle.

    With a 2/3rds majority requirement, I guess it’ll end up in the court’s hands.

  15. is to make sure that the Senate Republicans don’t attempt to do otherwise in a (last in time) bill that they get to draft.

  16. Poverty –>high teen pregnancy rates–> more children

    Also, the Bronx has long been a “gateway” for immigrants because of its cheap housing relative the rest of NYC. It looks like it has continued to be a destination for many low-income Hispanic immigrants over the last decade.

  17. besides the immigrants in the South and Western Bronx, the northern part of the district is attracting some of the hipsters…not many, but some.

    Also, there are a lot of people moving over from Upper Manhattan.  

  18. It’s an area that lost a lot of people in the 1960s through the 1980s, but is being rebuilt by immigrants.  

  19. The South Bronx is MUCH safer to now than it was 10 or even 20 yrs ago.

    A lot of those abandon burned down buildings of the 70s and 80s have been rebuilt and reclaimed.

    It actually makes perfect sense.

  20. http://archive.fairvote.org/re

    “The Maine Supreme Judicial Court approved a legislative redistricting plan that removes the nation’s highest elected Green Independent Party member from his political base in Portland. The court also redrew the lines for Maine’s two congressional districts to keep Knox County in the 1st District.”

    Looks like they went for as little change as possible:

    “The court moved seven communities – Waterville, Winslow, Fayette, Oakland, Clinton, Benton and Litchfield – from the 1st District to the 2nd District.

    It moved four towns – Monmouth, China, Albion and Unity Village – from the 2nd District to the 1st District.”

  21. Your plan sounds much better in theory.  All it takes is nerve…something NY Senate Dems sorely lack

  22. We could push a “safe” 25-2 map in 2012 if we just let the courts draw a single round.

    Of course this can’t happen. We need to have a “bipartisan” compromise that locks every Republican that barely won in 2010.  

  23. But I think you are underestimating the vote split in Upstate NY. People vote GOP locally and Dem nationally. That’s how Gillibrand and Schumer won in landslides while NY still elected 6 (and almost 7 or 8) new Republicans. And also why virtually all of upstate and LI has GOP State Senators.

    Your “super GOP vote sink” based on Pres numbers just wouldn’t work.  

  24. You can draw 4 or 5 McCain districts in upstate New York. I did this one after the Chris Lee resignation:

    The red, purple, sky blue, and magenta districts all went for McCain, and the teal one is only 51-48 Obama.

  25. Dear Gerard,

    I grew up in Upstate (in GLOW).  We always drew the Upstate-Downstate line at the northern borders of Westchester and Rockland Counties.  However, I did talk to someone from the Capital Region who couldn’t fathom being in Upstate.

  26. Upstate can be redistricted into a better looking map if Gibson and Hayworth are merged.  I think this would be good because both are freshman with sufficient population in the districts, at least according to 2000 numbers.

  27. This is the most common line of demarcation I’ve heard. Upstate is any place beyond the reach of Metro North commuter rail.

    By this definition, Downstate would include, in addition to NYC and Long Island, all of Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam, most of Dutchess, and parts of Orange.  

  28. Anything north of Orange and Putname is “Upstate” but once you get Upstate you have all sorts of divisions. Capital Region, Southern Tier, Central New York, Fingerlakes, Western New York, Adirondacks, etc.

    “Upstate” is entirely too broad of a term to cover NY outside of the City/Island but that’s what us non-city folk have to deal with )

  29. The area in which I-90 starts in NY (going west)cuts through Columbia county which is very much similar to Dutchess and Putnam County.

    Poughkeepsie is in my opinion the metro area on the Hudson that below it, is clearly downstate. This is in Dutchess county.

    Putnam County is where George Pataki is from, I have read somewhere that one appeal from him was that he was from upstate but had a fair amount of exurban appeal for Long Islanders.

  30. For decades, the South Bronx was losing population – the total number of people out-migrating was larger than the population that was making that their first destination in America.

  31. Apparently there are vast swaths of Queens that the census bureau labeled as vacant housing, which in fact are home to recent immigrants, who probably didn’t feel comfortable taking to someone from the government.

  32. I wonder if Orange and Putnam are border counties…a bit of the NY Metro region and a bit of Upstate.

  33. Give Higgins Buffalo and Slaughter Monroe County.  That is the easiest (and cleanest) approach.  In other words, I choose 2.  This could then give a LaFalce style district (NIOGA) and then a southern tier that mimics what curently exists.

    I eagerly await seeing NY’s data on Dave’s app.  I have a clean map with 6 unnecessary county divisions.  when that data goes up, I know I will need to tweak it.

  34. If that whole area has really lost that much population, you might see NY-26 dismantled after all.

    I can’t tell how much the new numbers have changed things, but drawing one district for Buffalo and one for Rochester based on what was in Dave’s App a few months back results in the former being about a D+10 and the latter (because it has to take in some more hostile territory) about a D+6.

    What you could do instead is keep Slaughter’s district much like it is now but add population from Orleans and Niagara counties and maybe give Higgins a litle more of Buffalo. If you need more people, maybe send a tentacle down to college town Geneseo.  They’re kinda Republican but there’s not a lot of people there and this district is a huge Dem vote sink now anyway.

    As for Higgins, he can get a little more of Buffalo, take some of the 50-50ish Erie County stuff that NY-26 currently has, and maybe go fishing a little bit take the best of whatever is left around. Chatauqua County stays in the district because it’s not that bad for Dems.

    At this point you can probably combine what’s left of NY-26 with NY-29.  

  35. despite the population loses there will still be 4 western New York congressional districts and 2 of them will (most likely) still be Democratic friendly and 2 will (most likely) still be Republican friendly. The districts boundaries will shift eastward into what are now NY-25 and NY-24 but there will still be 2 districts based out of Buffalo and Rochester friendly to Democrats and 2 districts covering all the rural areas in-between and along the southern tier that will be friendly to Republicans… assuming no effort is made to spread the democratic votes of Rochester, Buffalo, Tompkins County and even Syracuse into those rural areas. It is possible to make 4 weakly democratic friendly swing districts but far more likely to make 2 solidly democratic districts and 2 less-solidly republican districts.

    One seat is going to be lost in the city and the other will likely result from the hudson valley area and the parts of those districts that stretch into the north country and central part of the state.

  36. I am pleasantly surprised by this map because you do not give Syracuse to Owens.  

    I don’t like Hinchey’s or Gibson’s districts because I think they do not do communities of interest, but then again I use that as my major criterion for Upstate.

  37. This is a pretty good proposal for the state Senate. Combining Buerkle and Corwin (presumably) makes sense, and I like the Syracuse-Utica idea as well. Hanna is probably the best fit for Syracuse of the upstate Republicans. This is also one of the only maps I’ve seen that saves Chris Gibson.

  38. so there is a good chance that’s what we’ll get!

    Looks like you’ve got Buerkle fighting it out with either Hanna or whoever wins the NY-26 special.

  39. So how come a tenuously held small majority in the state Senate gets Democrats in Virginia so little and an even smaller and even more fragile majority in the state Senate gets Republicans in New York so much?

    I think I want to bang my head against the wall now.  

  40. is that for most politicians, incumbent protection is the #1 priority. The State Senators in Virginia, particularly Majority Leader Saslaw, are only concerned with keeping themselves in office.

    This is why the ambitious gerrymanders that people draw to make, say, Ohio a 13-3 Republican state, are not going to happen, because the incumbents in safe districts don’t want their margins eroded.

  41. Split government will defend the status quo. In NY, that’s a bipartisan incumbent protection map after a good Republican year. In VA, it’s a Republican gerrymander after a good Republican year.  

  42. And this beholder, living in a northern Dutchess farming town, find it remarkable when anyone on the Metro North line tries to say they live “upstate”. This gets a little hazy on the northernmost reaches of the Harlem Valley line, but it mostly works. There are certainly people in Orange and Putnam who call themselves “upstate” to differentiate themselves from the big, bad city…but they’re silly, because their counties would not exist in anything resembling their current form if they weren’t integral parts of the NYC orbit.

    Personally, I don’t draw a strict line, but I tend to think of the NYC suburbs and thus downstate as ending at the northern Hyde Park/LaGrange/Union Vale lines in Dutchess. On the west side of the Hudson, it’s hard not to include Marlborough and Lloyd in Ulster given their proximity to MTA stations, but aside from that I consider Orange downstate and Ulster upstate.

  43. but the Astoria numbers were staggering, there is no way the neighborhood lost around 15,000 people, immigrants or not.

    I live in Queens, there aren’t many “vacant” houses, or abandoned neighborhoods outside of Southeast Queens near JFK which didn’t see a large loss.

    There’s no way you can mistake anyplace in Astoria for “vacant” houses. No way, it’s clear to anyone living here that Astoria is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods, high rents, high home sales, a neighborhood with a growing demand to live in.  

  44. Columbia County bears zero similarity to Putnam County. It does resemble the agricultural areas of northern Dutchess, but has little in common with southern Dutchess. Columbia is decidedly rural with huge tracts of land given over to farming and sharply lower incomes than Dutchess and Putnam. The population is older and shrinking, whereas Dutchess and Putnam are younger and fast-growing.

  45. He lives in Putnam now on one of the few “farms” remaining there, but when he was elected governor he was a Peekskill resident, having been a mayor in that city as well as a state senator from a district including northern Westchester, Putnam and eastern Dutchess.

  46. I wonder how this would change if the lines weren’t as friendly to the Republicans as they are now. It might not be easy to knock them off, but once they were finally defeated, it might be hard to get them back.

  47. I know a 51% Obama district in Upstate NY is still very red on the local level.  But start getting the number up to 55% Obama and it starts to become difficult for Republicans to hold except in a good year for them.  The Pres numbers are a guide, but they have to be adjusted to account for local GOP strength (just like Dem strength in the South, well up until recently, could be adjusted upwards from what the presidential results would indicate).

    I didn’t mean to say that 1 ultra-GOP district in upstate NY would guarantee Dem wins in the rest, just that it would make it a lot easier to win back a lot of those districts that we took in 2006 and 2008, but then lost last year.

    If we had control and wanted to go for a guaranteed gerrymander, the smart thing might be to cede 3 ultra-GOP districts in upstate NY (McCain performances at or above 55%) and make the rest strongly Dem-leaning.  Elsewhere, the Staten Island-centered district could be adjusted to include more Dem leaning territory, and Peter King’s Long Island district could be screwed around with as well, for a combined 24-3 map at the end of the day.

    Instead, we’re probably getting a compromise, incumbent-protection map that settles at 20-7.

  48. that the Republicans’ days in New York are numbered. Their current Senate majority is precariously perched on two members in heavily Democratic districts, Joseph Robach in Rochester and Mark Grisanti in Buffalo. It’s inevitable that they’re going to lose their majority, no matter what they try to do to preserve it.

  49. and somehow manages to cobble together a slim majority every two years. Grisanti just won in 2010 against a scandal-plagued opponent; he’s almost assuredly going to be out in 2012.

  50. I just looked at Robach’s electoral history and he must be really popular, because the only time he’s had a close race is 2008.

  51. Or at least he was last fall, when he defeated Thompson. I’m curious to see how committed he is to the GOP caucus in the long term, especially since there now exists the Indy Dem conference for those with misgivings about Sampson’s leadership.

  52. But difficult now.  Let’s look at it this way.  Obama won the state by 17 points.  Since there are only two districts the math is easy…to draw the maps in such a way that McCain would have narrowly won a district, Obama would have had to win the other district by 34 points.  Even in Portland (Cumberland county), the biggest city and heart of Democratic strength in the state, Obama “only” won by 30 points.  It’s impossible to make a district that Obama won by 34 points short of precinct-level tentacle gerrymandering (generally frowned upon in small states), and thus impossible to make a district that McCain even came close to winning.

    The good news for us is that like other New England states, Dem strength is well distributed, with Democrats improving nicely in the northern half of the state.

    I suppose Republicans could play a bit with the lines to nudge the differences a couple of points but I don’t think that will change the outcome.

  53. If one district has many more votes cast than the other, the state’s margin may be very different from the simple average margin of the 2 districts.


    district 1: McCain 66k-Obama 65k

    district 2: Obama 169k-McCain 100k (about 26 points)

    atdleft’s proposed Nevada map actually had an example of this, where all 4 districts went for Obama. The two deep-blue districts had much lower vote totals than the two competitive districts. That said, Maine probably does not have the big regional disparities in voter participation that Nevada does.  

  54.   But I doubt that an overwhelmingly white state with few immigrants has anything but uniform turnout.

  55. Cattauragus County voted for Rep. Massa when he was elected in 2008.  This might be a reasonable area for Rep. Higgins to gain.

  56. Sounds like you’re suggesting NY-20 will be dismantled.  Good…that district is too wierd-looking.

  57. Who knows what rules will guide the actual map drawing.

    It’s clear that one district will disappear from the city due to the drastic increase (+63k) in the size of districts.

    It is much harder to define where the other district loss comes from because of how current districts are drawn stretching from here to there to everywhere.

    The edges of the 4 western districts will move eastward into the current central districts and some combination of expansion of the size of the central, northern and hudson valley districts will eliminate the second lost district.

    How exactly that happens depends on who does the drawing and who amongst the current Representatives gets protected and who doesn’t.

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