3 VAP African-American Districts in Louisiana!

It seemed way too easy to make 2 VAP (Voting Age Population) black districts in Louisiana. I feel like even if there wasn’t 3 VAP districts, there could easily be two with another heavily leaning Dem district, making the new delegation a 3-3 split with LA losing one seat this year.

As I gerrymandered through New Orleans, Baton Rouge and LaFayette, I realized I didn’t even have to really go to Shreveport to Monroe for 2 districts, and it seemed there were quite a few black precincts left so I decided to try to make 3 VAP districts. It took a lot of maneuvering and one area of water contiguity over the lake, but I did it! It’s the most horrible map, though, and would never obviously be drawn.

My other goals were to not use touch-point contiguity, which I did not, and also not use water contiguity, which I failed to do, but oh well.

All racial numbers are VAP, if it was simply out of all population, the black percentage numbers are a few points higher in all districts. Also, the biggest deviation from target population is the blue district, which has 5,691 more than the target.


LA-01: The Green district here is the first VAP black district. It is centered on New Orleans, of course, and carefully zigzags around to avoid highly white voting districts and also to pick up extra black precincts outside of New Orleans. I have a feeling this district would have been much easier to create 7 years ago.

38.8% White, 50.1% Black, 6.5% Hispanic, 2.8% Asian

LA-02: The Blue district is where I used water contiguity. It takes in very, very white areas in Eastern Louisiana outside of Baton Rouge, and every white area imaginable inside New Orleans. Look at the big map I first posted for larger look of where the arms extend outside of the city.

79.0% White, 10.0% Black, 7.9% Hispanic, 2.3% Asian

LA-03: The purple district is the second VAP district, and this one is nasty. This district takes in virtually every black precinct imaginable without breaking contiguity, taking in parts of LaFayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, New Iberia and Opelousas. I avoided every area I could that was extremely white (I would take places that were, say, 65% or 70% instead of 80% or 90%. This makes a HUGE difference.)

44.4% White, 50.1% Black, 2.8% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian

LA-04: The red district takes up everything in Southern Louisiana that isn’t black along the coast, and also LaFayette white areas. It also reaches some into Eastern Louisiana, but most of the district is along the coastal parishes. This is the whitest district.

81.9% White, 9.3% Black, 3.4% Hispanic, 1.4$ Asian

LA-05: The yellow district is almost as white as LA-04. It takes in everything that is white in Western and Central Louisiana. It was really annoying to make this contiguous with the last district, but I finally managed to do it without making the final VAP district go under 50.1%.

81.0% White, 12.8% Black, 3.0% Hispanic, 1.0% Asian

LA-06: Dark Green district. This was soooo hard to make VAP for awhile. I kept swapping territory to shed whiter areas to even just a few percentage points lower white areas, and also swapped territory with the purple district and I finally got it. It takes in black areas of Shreveport and Monroe, and also black areas further south in and around Alexandria in the central part of the state. This may be the ugliest district, along with LA-05.

45.7% White, 50.2% Black, 2.0% Hispanic, 0.7% Asian

22 thoughts on “3 VAP African-American Districts in Louisiana!”

  1. They wouldn’t really be minority enough to reliably elect an African-American, but still, it can be done. LA needs to seriously have at least two African-American districts.

  2. At best the two non-New Orleans districts would be Lean D in a Presidential year and tossups in off years. But This does demonstrate the need for a second AA majority district though. If I can do three they can certainly do 2 :)

  3. convincing (for them) reasons to do so. Even Democrats. Even less – Republicans, who are in majority. No real chances in 2012 (not a single plan with chances of being implemented does it). May be in 2022…

  4. I dont see it happening ever unless the DOJ really pushes the issue. SC, VA and even AL may come before LA i feel.

  5. Why white Democrats would do it? Especially – in Louisiana, where majority of white Democrats are rather (in some cases – very) conservative? In addition 50=51% black districts are not guaranteed to elect black candidates, Francis Thompson is an example of the opposite… So, by my estimates – 2 is posiible (but unlikely) in 2022, 3 – well, i will not live that long…

  6. It would start a new epoch of litigation that could threaten VRA.

    2 relatively compact seats are easily done, although it requires some retrogression.

  7. and so easy to define but so is “gerrymander”

    If you want compact “minority majority” seats I recommend that you email or call the DOJ to sue in NJ to overturn the legislative map he approached.  There could have been compact minority majority seats drawn for the hispanic community but the Professor declined to draw them.  I might add that Pofessor R. is just about the leading expert on redistricting in the USA. He knows that VRA2 applies to NJ even if the state is not a VRA5 state.

    I might add that if you are interested in drawing Compact minority majority seats please also contact the senate democrats in VA.  Their map does not maximize minority majority seats.

    Its all fine and good to holler for minority majority seats in LA where it clearly would come out of the GOP count. Yet  in VA senate & NJ legislative maps where it would hurt the democrats then we hear “crickets” on that idea.  That’s been my point all along on VRA2 being used to create minority majority seats.  You can’t use it as a club to create D seats at the expense of the GOP  in one but not use it to create seats in another seat that hurt the democrats.

    That’s why I have been consistent all along that the courts will & DOJ will force the drawing of gerrymandered racially divided seats.  Yes I have seen some fairly compact seats in LA, SC and AL drawn for second AA seats but they all required racially dividing through gerrymanders multiple towns & counties.  

  8. And VA may be required to draw a second VRA seat this cycle.  That’s why Dems there accepted an incumbent protection map for all current incumbents.  They’re banking on the DOJ.

  9. So far i didn’t noticed big activity of Obama’s DoJ on this (and similar) subject and suppose it will be content with preservation of New Orlean – Baton Rouge black-majority district, and will not require more. But, again – we shall see

  10. as opposed to VRA2. If you take the attitude that because you can create a fairly compact second AA majority seat in say LA or SC or LA being in a section 5 pre-clearance state does not change section 2. Section 2 applies in all 50 states.  The GOP made an unsuccessful arguement for Section II issues in NJ in 2001.  You could see another lawsuit in 2011, in federal court in NJ, on this same claim but I think it has little chance of success.

    I might also add that I mentioned the senate map in VA and NJ.  Section II & Section V of VRA applies just as much to legislative maps as congressional ones.  The senate map, in VA, if approved must certainly be pre-cleared. The very issue I raised on creating compact seats, with racial gerrymandering, applies in VA senate map just as it does in LA congressional map.  

  11.  – nowhere. Not in South Carolina, where percentagewise black population even decreased slightly (before i got such info i thought that 2nd black-majority district is possible there) , not in Georgia or Mississippi. I expect most of DoJ activity be centered on hispanics districts in Texas, especially if Republicans will be “greedy” and will try to implement 4-0 or even 3-1 plans..

  12. It’s possible, but percentage of Blacks in this state is lower then in South Carolina or Georgia, so it requires some ingenuity. IMHO – only if Republicans will want to absolutely secure Roby and Rogers districts, but Roby’s district is safe against anyone, but Bobby Bright, already and  Rogers, while not overwhelmingly popular, isn’t in big jeopardy either..

  13. Obviously he’ll wait until the final map is laid out, but is a re-run in the cards?

  14. in his decision – the district (as shown by 208 and 2010 elections) is extremely tough even for him. If his base in district (Montgomery) will be mostly removed – of course, no..  

  15. Still, obviously, Republican majority of Alabama’s legislature will not pass such or similar plan. DoJ?? Really don’t know – so far, as i understand, they prefer “noninterference”…

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