IN Redistricting: Republicans Release New Maps

Sounds like we’re getting exactly what we expected:

Indiana lawmakers unveiled a new draft of legislative maps Monday morning that would solidify some Republican congressional seats, while making one Democratic congressional seat nearly certain to shift into Republican hands.

The maps proposed in the Senate Elections Committee this morning would make major changes to Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly’s 2nd District, in north-central Indiana.

Lawmakers are proposing to drop Howard County, which includes the Democratic-leaning city of Kokomo, as well as part of Democratic-leaning LaPorte County, and add all of Republican-leaning Elkhart County and much of strongly-GOP Kosciusko County, among other changes.

I’ll wait until the numbers get run, but it sure seems likely that this new map will inspire Donnelly to run for Senate instead. Assuming Hoosier Republicans don’t melt down the way their counterparts have just done in Louisiana, these new plans should pass easily, seeing as the GOP controls the trifecta. Anyhow, the new map is just below, and new state Senate and House maps are below the fold (and no, I don’t know why the House map appears to be suffering from gigantism).

UPDATE: Statement (via email) from Donnelly:

I am disappointed because it appears that politics played into the drawing of the congressional district lines revealed this morning by Republicans in the General Assembly.  By comparison, the Indiana Senate Democrats released a map of congressional districts a few weeks ago that respected “communities of interest,” as called for by Governor Daniels.  For example, in the Senate Democrats’ map, LaPorte County was intact in the 2nd Congressional District and Kosciusko County was intact in the 3rd Congressional District.  In the Republicans’ map, LaPorte County is divided between the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts and Kosciusko County is divided between the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts.

Even though it appears that politics played a role in the drawing of this map, I am confident that a Democrat can win in the new 2ndCongressional District.  Then-Senator Obama performed well in this district in 2008, earning 49% of the vote.  Also, it is not uncommon for a Democratic candidate in Indiana to outperform his or her nominee for president.  I did it in 2008, outperforming then-Senator Obama by 13 points, and I know it can be done again.

As for my future plans, my decision will ultimately be based on how I can best serve the people of this great state.  I will soon be sitting down with my wife and children and expect to make a decision in the coming weeks.

State Senate:

State House:

102 thoughts on “IN Redistricting: Republicans Release New Maps”

  1. That didn’t stop us from winning IN-08 or IN-09. Unless he gets a strong opponent or Obama looks like he’s going to get washed out in Indiana, I think Donnelly would theoretically be taking a smaller risk if he ran for reelection. The problem then would be that in 2014, when he’d be in danger from midterm turnout, he’d have nowhere to go. but he could just retire and then make a comeback in 2016 against the hapless Dan Coats.

  2. whatever number that orange district is (6?) can be a Democratic district with Bloomington in there and the swingy areas along the Ohio River.  

  3. ALMOST what the Hoosier redistricting contingent here has been thinking would happen, but with a few odd twists in which counties got split.  

    CD1’s numbers seem off. When I do this in DRA with 2010 data I can only fit Lake and Porter in their entirety, not Michigan City as well.

    It’s a good way to crack the state overall, though. Only CDs 1 and 7 would stay D, 7 now has ALL of the south side so it might be vulnerable in a 2010-like year with a better R candidate than Marvin Scott. Of the R seats, only CD8 is potentially vulnerable to a Blue Dog. CD9 becomes safe, CD6 remains safe, and CD5 gets a bit bluer but was so red to begin with that it doesn’t make any difference. I grudgingly have to admit that the state GOP did a good job.

    Though it might backfire spectacularly if Donnelly gets into the Senate race and somehow actually wins it.  

    1. I’d say the upper bounds for a conservative Democrat to be favored depend on the region in question.

      In Kentucky, for instance, the upper bounds are higher than, say, Ohio.

      In general, though, I’d say that the upper bounds are about R+4, not R+6.

      1. I tried the same in Dave’s App after I posted that and saw immediately that CD1 was spot on.

        The hardest districts to match for me were CDs 4 and 7, I think – 7 because I’m also not quite sure where the division is and 4 because it took me a while to figure out they’d given it all of Kokomo, and that “foot” in Morgan county didn’t quite correspond to the map in DRA.

        I’d love for them to release a better map of Marion. If I’m right and some of the northern Dem-friendly precincts are shifted to CD5, Carson will have a very difficult decade ahead of him.  

  4. They were a lot less aggressive than I thought they would be, especially with Donnelly. While they’ll still be favored to take him out, they could have made it a much easier race for themselves.  

  5. this map is an unmitigated disaster for Dems.  While the lines seem clean, this map wipes out 3 lean-dem districts.

    This seems, in a Republicans eye, like karmic retribution.

    However, I do agree with the poster above that, in essence, said a senate seat is worth more than a house seat.  By getting rid of Donnelly, you’re literally forcing the best dem candidate onto the field.

    We’ll see what happends!

    1. so but there’s a pretty damn good chance that the senate goes Republican in 2012 and Lugar would become president pro tempore and chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. That’s pretty hard to pass up.

  6. with the inevitable tea-bagging of dick lugar, he may have a chance in a high turnout election against a tea-bagger

  7. Anyone know how this map will affect his ability to win another primary? Any chance he’d be defeated in ’12?

  8. are upset with. The 9th is made securely Republican, but the 2nd isn’t shifted by 4-5 points. Yeah that would have been enough in 2010, but can you say there will be a worse year for Democrats, (particularly in the midwest), than 2010 anytime soon? It isn’t unwinnable, in fact it’s fairly similar to the district that Tim Roemer held easily in the 1990s. What’s more is that the 8th remains swingy as ever, if not slightly more Democratic, and Larry Buschon is the weakest Republican in their delegation. I feel this is easily a 3-5 Map, which is about what Dems can hope for in a state like Indiana, which leans Republican and where the Democratic vote is so heavily concentrated in just a few areas.  

  9. He sounds like he might be leaning toward running for the senate by saying “a Democrat can win this district” rather than “I can win this district”. Personally, I was thinking that the Republicans would have made the 2nd redder than they did at it would be a no brained for Donnelly to run for the Senate. He has a tougher choice now but the statement really makes me think he’s leaning toward the Senate. Thoughts?

  10. Anyone know what the Kerry numbers were in it? Same for IN-8 as well, please?

    From our IN posters, could we get some insight on the state house and state senate maps as well? Does this secure the current margins or increase them for the GOP? Is there a way these could be dummy-manders for the GOP majority in either chamber for the next 10 years where dems could take either chamber?

      1. … was to run up totals in the Democratic NW part of the state, break about even in Marion County, don’t get killed too badly in the suburbs, and win the historically conservative by also Democratic far southern part of the state.

        We can’t count on the southern part of the state anymore.  I think the new way to win it is still winning the NW, still not getting killed in the suburbs, but now winning Marion County (which Obama got well over 60% in, but Bill Clinton never won), and piecing together votes in the meduim-sized cities — Fort Wayne (the city itself has moved in a D direction, but really Allen County as a whole), Anderson, Terre Haute, perhaps Evansville, etc.  It’s still difficult math to put together.

        I know that during the ’08 campaign, there was a state Democratic office opened in Hamilton County for the first time in about 20 years — and I’m sure that played a role in holding the Republican margins down enough for Obama to win the state.  Previous to that, Democratic candidates would only go to Hamilton County for private $1000 a plate dinners in Carmel.  But the area is still so reflexively Republican that any state legislative district there (or Congressional district the suburbs dominate) are going to vote R pretty much no matter what.

  11. Out of the three former swing districts, only the 9th is officially off the radar.  IN-2 and IN-8 are both probably best described as Lean R, probably with PVIs of around R+4 or so.  Conservative to moderate Democrats are perfectly competitive, or even favored in seats up to R+6 or so.  

    I’m putting money on both these seats changing hands at least once during this decade.  

  12. have a chance to win the senate race, especially if Lugar wins the primary? Or would he be kinda like an Alvan Greene?  

  13. into one district and in Bloomington displace Matt Pierce into a rather conservative Morgan county based seat. Peggy Welch, a conservative Democrat, has been given the rather liberal parts of central Bloomington. She will probably face a primary from the left, which she would loose. I’m guessing all of this is designed to get rid of as many Democrats with seniority as possible.  

  14. Most of the districts were really easy to emulate in Dave’s App. Unlike notanothersonofabush above, for example, I had no problem getting IN-01 to work in Dave’s App.

    The one area I had trouble is the IN-05 (north central Indiana) & IN-07 (Indianapolis) split. The map that we have doesn’t seem to correspond well with the shapefile for northern Marion in the DRA. I did my best. The other seven districts should be accurate to within the margin of the population of the various split survey townships (ie, very accurate).

    IN-01: W 67.8, B 18.2, H 11.7, A 1.2, N 0.2, O 0.9

    IN-02: W 85.2, B  6.0, H  6.3, A 1.1, N 0.3, O 1.0

    IN-03: W 87.8, B  5.4, H  4.2, A 1.4, N 0.3, O 0.9

    IN-04: W 89.5, B  2.9, H  4.1, A 2.4, N 0.2, O 0.9

    IN-05: W 84.5, B  8.1, H  3.6, A 2.6, N 0.2, O 1.0

    IN-06: W 93.9, B  2.4, H  1.8, A 0.9, N 0.2, O 0.8

    IN-07: W 62.0, B 26.4, H  8.0, A 2.0, N 0.2, O 1.4

    IN-08: W 91.4, B  3.9, H  1.6, A 0.8, N 0.2, O 0.8

    IN-09: W 92.1, B  2.4, H  2.3, A 1.9, N 0.2, O 1.0

  15. and from what people have been saying, it sounds like it’s less favorable than the current 9th (which already contains Bloomington).

  16. stretches up into the Indy suburbs, which are solid red, and the river counties are mostly solid red Louisville suburbs. This is better for Republicans than the old 9th.

    The best chance for a Dem takeover with this map is probably the 8th, which takes in a couple of Dem-friendly river counties but otherwise stays about the same.  

  17. And the swingy river counties are getting less swingy and more tilt/lean R, in my opinion. Lawrence County being added in doesn’t help, either.  

  18. I looked at CD9 and thought “What are they playing at here? That’s a swing district!” Then I looked more closely and realized that they’d swapped most of SE Indiana for ALL of ultra-red Johnson County, which I assume is where a large part of this district’s population is coming from.  

  19. It should be a top target this cycle, especially if the Obama campaign dedicates significant resources to competing for IN.  

  20. looks like they could have made IN-02 a couple of percentage points more GOP without screwing up the overall map.  Any idea why they passed up this opportunity?  What am I missing?    

  21. but Johnson County is growing just as fast if not faster, and not in a good way. If the Louisville suburbs also get redder as time goes on, this district will always be one step ahead of us.  

  22. I’ve kind of sucked at actually posting my work with DRA over the years. Really need to get on that.  

  23. I really don’t see Richard Mourdock as a ‘Tea Party’ type, though of course he is going to try and get their votes.  He seems like your garden-variety conservative to me.  My guess is that at some point, Lugar decides not to run.

  24. They’ve actually drawn a pretty good COI map for the most part while also protecting all of their incumbents. Splitting Lake County would unnecessarily make people the GOP cares about unhappy, esp. as the GOP has a LOT of state Senators and Reps from the southern parts of Lake County who might have veto power – esp. Sue Landske.

    If you notice, the counties that get split are all fairly rural and don’t have much clout – except, of course, for Marion, which wouldn’t fit in a single CD and which it’s an open secret the state GOP hates anyway.

    Overall, it’s a much tighter map than the last one. I give them credit for that, at least.


  25. As long as the teabaggers keep up their Judean People’s Front / People’s Front of Judea routine going.  Last time he won the GOP primary with 29.6% of the vote against highly fractured opposition.

  26. he’s toast.  Not very many people like him, he really doesn’t have that much influence in the state party any more, the usually Republican Indianapolis Star despises him.  Unfortunatly, it is a testiment to how red his district is (current and proposed) that he’s going to win any general election — but a primary that would force him to get anything over 40% of the vote would probably end his political career.

  27. The swing districts were 2, 8, and 9. Now 2 and 9 are more red, but 8 is a bit more blue. The current IN2 was drawn to help Dems, and the new version could have easily been a lot worse. A Dem can still win the new IN2 in a good year.

  28. IN-06 drops Delaware County, becoming even more red. IN-05 picks up Delaware but contains Hamilton County (aka the Waukesha of Indiana).  

  29. in Johnson county before the recession? I think growth there had slowed down considerably. On the other hand Bloomingtons economy has remained strong and we have seen a huge population increase in the last 5 or 6 years. If I remember correctly Bloomington was loosing population in the beginning of the decade, but now the city is on a big upswing and we are seeing multiple huge condo projects downtown. Were as in Johnson county and the surround suburbs their residential projects have stagnated.

  30. The South Bend district has traditionally taken in Elkhart and Kosciusko counties.  It has also traditionally been a swing district.  A Democratic majority state legislature made the district more Democratic in 2000, removing the section of Elkhart County where Chris Chocola lived.  Chocola fell in the 2006 wave.  

    The proposed lines of districts 2 and 3 follow media market boundaries much better than the current.  The areas that 2 takes in from 3 are part of the South Bend media market.  This allows district 3 to take in areas south of Fort Wayne that were traditionally included in the district and easily fall into the Fort Wayne media market.  Current lines do not even include all of Allen County in district 3.  I don’t know if efficiency of political advertising is our concern here, but at least challengers with limited budgets can get more bang for the buck.

  31. As I said in a different diary, my first reaction to this map is “The ‘burbs will be happy,” as they are going to be a population anchor of four congressional districts now — and the growth in Johnson County (which is more red than Monroe County is blue), is going to dominate this district, and make it very, very difficult for any Democrat.

  32. They could have made IN-02 completly impossible for a Dem to win, instead of the “unlikely-to-very unlikely” they went with.  I have no idea why.  There are even more Democrats they could have packed into IN-01, and plenty of red areas to further move into IN-02 — but it’s bad enough as it is.

  33. I don’t know enough about the old legislative maps, much less the new ones, to have anything worth saying about them. I wish I did.  

  34. there’s a lot of boom into bust in the suburban housing markets, esp. Johnson and Hendricks. Hancock isn’t really suburban so much as exburban so it doesn’t count, and Hamilton will grow no matter what because it’s considered to be the Beverly Hills of Indiana – don’t ask me why. Different demographics, too. Hamilton is middle-income to rich Republicans while Johnson and Hendricks are poorer, less desirable areas. Think Mission Hills, KS vs. Olathe.

    The total pop. of Johnson County and total pop. of Monroe are actually about the same according to Wikipedia. The problem is all of that red in the rest of the district, esp. if New Albany continues to lurch to the right. Even if Bloomington gets bluer, it’ll still be an uphill fight for Dems even 10 years from now.  

  35. CD5 actually drops a bit of PVI, but it was R +19 so it had plenty to spare. It picks up Anderson, Muncie, AND – if I’m not mistaken – most of the purple parts of the near north side of Indy. I’ll calculate the PVI if I can actually find 2010 election data by township – the Marion County Clerk’s website is surprisingly broken and points to a server that doesn’t exist.  

  36. but go all Murkowski during the lame duck just to screw with the teabaggers.

    Then again, for all I know he could run for Governor. And I wish he would. If I MUST have a Republican governor, I’d rather 10 minutes of Lugar than 4 years of Pence. Ugh.  

  37. Greene was a nobody who won the primary accidentally and could very well have been a plant. Donnelly is actually a serious candidate with a serious resume.

    If Lugar wins the primary, he’ll win the general easily. If Lugar goes down and Mourdock somehow implodes (which given Mourdock’s ego is possible) Donnelly might have a shot with good Obama turnout, assuming that his xenophobic ads from 2010 don’t come back to bite him.  

  38. IN-8 was marginally tweaked from a district that went 51% for McCain to 50.5% for McCain.  If anything, it remains as swingy as ever for IN Democrats.

  39. I assumed they would split counties more than they did. There are some Republican areas in southern Lake and Porter County that are being wasted.

    I don’t see why people are saying that this map is unwinnable. Democrats used to view 51% McCain seats as tossups. Donnelly keeps his South Bend/Notre Dame base intact. And it’s not as though Donnelly is some San Francisco liberal who can only survive in a Democrat-leaning district. The guy is fairly conservative.

    If Democrats want to retake the House, they need to hold (or at least seriously contest) seats like IN-02.

  40. I meant that IN-05 picked up Madison, not Delaware.

    However, IN-06 retains Delaware Co/Muncie in this map so I’m not sure where you got that from. And it doesn’t look like IN-05 got that much more of Indy than what it already had. Call me a pessimist but I don’t see how we win a district with all of Hamilton County in it.

  41. Northern Lake County (Gary, Hammond, East Chicago) is poor and minority-heavy. Southern Lake County (Crown Point, Munster, Hobart) is whiter and wealthier.

  42. The reason the county is so Democratic is most of the population is in the minority-heavy cities in the north half of the state. Once you get to Crown Point and south of there it becomes pretty rural.

  43. I’ve gone down there for Thanksgiving and other family functions multiple times during every single year of my life, and each consecutive trip down there, it feels more and more like suburban Chicago.

  44. I’ve seen ones that average to a higher R PVI than the current one, but I want to see yours, too.

  45. basing your claim that these areas are moving to the right on? I don’t mean to sound hostile, but I am trying to learn more about this stuff and about Indiana in general. Is it just the way these districts are constructed? Perhaps the margins look so daunting, in part, because Democrats traditionally ignore these areas and wouldn’t seem so bad if we fought for them vigorously.

  46. … these areas always have been both very conservative and very Republican.  The best Democrats can do is try to manage the damage as best as possible here.  All of the surrouding counties reflexively vote for any Republican running, and have for a long, long time.  The Obama campaign did pay attention to them, and this brought the margins down, but they are always going to be Republican areas.  I doubt any Democrat for anything has won an election in any of the suburban counties.

  47. The racial stats were easy to get from Dave’s App. As I understand it, Indiana election data is hard to come by below the county level. Depending on how significant the various county splits are, there would probably be a large fudge factor to any layperson’s attempts to figure out the PVIs for the new districts.

  48. What does suburban Indianapolis have to do with the Ohio river counties? The current 9th makes much more sense then the new 9th.  

  49. As partisan gerrymanders go, this has some really clean lines and solid, blocky districts, communities of interest or no.

    I’ve spent my whole life in squiggly, egregiously gerrymandered monstrosities, connected to distant communities by tentacles. So has most of the country. So I have little sympathy for Indianans who complain about how rough they have it with this map.  

  50. All Obama focusing on these counties did was reduce them from 70+ R to 60+ R (which was enough for him to win statewide, granted). These places aren’t R-trending Blue Dog areas, they are straight-ticket Republican. That’s how in IN-05, a miserably unpopular R incumbent could cruise over a teabagging Democrat.

  51. The Indy suburbs did show the biggest swings of any area in the state to Obama in 2008. All of the counties surrounding Indy showed 20% or greater swings towards the Democrats in 2008 compared to 2004. Sure, they still voted highly Republican, but there’s a mile of difference between voting 60% Republican and voting 75% Republican.

  52. Or is that just suburban/exurban Indianapolis?

    I also wonder what a focus by the state party on these areas would do. I wouldn’t expect them to become deep blue, necessarily, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see to see it help the party over the long-term. I get why the national party won’t always be there, but are local Democrats doing anything? I’d just like to see the pieces in place to take advantage of a good year, you know?  

  53. just about Marion County, then it looks like the Democratic growth didn’t merely come at the expense of the Republican totals. That’s definitely nice to see. Of course, you say the same thing about neighboring Hamilton County, even if you weren’t referring to it. While it’s not clear that this will hold up, I’d be astonished to see the margin resemble that of Kerry-Bush unless Obama implodes. And isn’t that a sign that party building is a good thing for the future?  

  54. But I am extrapolating that because IN-08 goes from 51% McCain to 50.5% McCain, there is no change to its PVI.

  55. Yeah, IN-06 keeps Muncie, but IN-05 gets Anderson, in so doing making sure that the two blue-collar semi-union areas that went heavily for Bush and narrowly for Obama are in different districts. Very well played on the part of the IN GOP.

    I’m not saying that IN-05 is or ever will be winnable, but they can crack Marion in a way that makes IN-07 harder to hold. I need a better map to see where the division of the county lies, but when I tried to do it in Dave’s App, I’ve generally noted that many of the purple/blue areas in the near north Indy (Broad Ripple, the parts of Meridian-Kessler that aren’t blood red, etc.) shift into CD5 on this map, while CD7 takes in ALL of the south side. This could make IN-07 VERY competitive in a bad year, while only reducing CD5’s PVI a little.  

  56. It’s made harder by the fact that Marion County data from the last election seems to have totally disappeared – the county clerk’s URL points to a server that no longer exists, and I don’t think the Indy Star or any of the other local papers have it, either. It’s a LOT easier to fudge Marion county PVIs by looking at township-level data.

    I’ve fudged the PVI for CD1 so far – I’ll work on the others and post a diary sometime later in the week, if I can.  

  57. and have enough crossover appeal to get tons of votes in small cities all over the state. It’d be difficult to campaign on issues that inspired strong turnout in South Bend, Ft. Wayne, Muncie, Anderson, Richmond, AND Evansville – all cities that were lost handily by Kerry but either won by Obama or broke even in 2008. It’s possible, but like you say the math is hard unless it’s a very Democratic year and the GOP candidate literally eats babies on television, or something.

    I think a lot of the problem comes down to racial cross-appeal. That infrequent black turnout in Lake and Marion is a big part of the reason why Obama won, and if they don’t come out, it gets a lot harder for ANY Dem now that the Appalachian parts of Indiana are pretty much lost for good now (though I wonder how a local boy like Hill or even Ellsworth would do down there in a statewide, non-Federal race.)  

  58. I think it’s one indication we aren’t tapped out in the state. While it looks to be a center-right state no matter what, it doesn’t look to be so reflexively Republican, as a whole, as to usually avoid Democrats. We can cobble together a winning total–not in all years, but in more years than some think.

    As for the longer term, I’m of the mind that once people start voting for someone of a party, they get more used to voting for someone of that party. They might not do it all the time, but the awkwardness goes away. And once they see that this person isn’t awful, they become more open to voting for him. There looks to be a bump simply by being elected in the first place. So if we continue to work hard to winning, we should see success more often than not, as long as we don’t keep getting awful years based on fundamentals. And part of working hard is to build the party even in the really difficult places like Hamilton County.

    By the way, is it equally bad for Democrats in suburbs all over the state, or are some just that much worse for them?  

  59. of all people having that much cross over appeal. Mitch Daniels won in 2008 because he projected an aura of moderation. Pence is a partisan hack if ever seen one. As long as the Democratic nominee has enough appeal I can see she/he winning.  

  60. That doesn’t make his district particularly easy to win, but it probably makes it a lot easier than would be with him running. Is there someone there that would run in his place that takes this off the table? If not, then it’s a prime opportunity to try to take a marginal seat and help firm up Democrats in the process.  

  61. Oops. It*

    When typing I will often interchange it and is simply because the words are similar… and typing is a mindless activity.  

  62. I just can’t imagine that these bots work on blogs like SSP very well.  They are really targeting the wrong audience.

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