I had three main goals in mind when thinking about redistricting California:
1.) Make the new map less gerrymandered than the current one, keeping more communities together in the same district.
2.) Increase the number of Hispanic-majority districts in the state, while preserving all the current Hispanic-represented seats.
3.) Increase Democratic representation in the state delegation.
All three goals above are met by the proposed map. Incumbent protection was a lesser goal. Nevertheless, at least for Democratic Representatives, this goal was also met by this proposal.
Under the proposed plan, 44 districts are made to be Democratic, 7 to be Republican, and 2 to be swing districts (one of which, CA-4, would have certainly gone Democratic in the 2006 and 2008 Congressional elections if the proposed plan was in place, and the other, CA-48, could quite conceivably go Democratic in the near future).
Bottom line: if these lines had been in effect during the 2008 elections, Democrats would have likely won 45 of the 53 districts
This diary is broken into three parts. First, the maps. Second, a discussion of my main goals. Third, a discussion of individual districts.
DISCUSSION OF GOALS:
1.) Make the new map less gerrymandered than the current one, keeping more communities together in the same district. The map does just that. (Btw, this plan assumes that the number of districts in the state will remain at 53. The plan also accounts for different rates of growth within the state between 2000 and 2010 — coastal areas have generally grown 10% or less, while many inland areas have grown 20-30% since 2000.)
Under the current (2002) plan, 30 incorporated cities in California are split between two or more districts. Under the proposed map, only 10 incorporated cities are split; they are:
Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose – must be necessarily split because they are too big for one district. District boundaries in San Francisco change slightly. Areas of San Jose constitute parts of three different districts under the new plan (as in the current plan, except one of the districts is not the same).
San Diego is currently split among five districts, while under the proposed plan it is split among only four, as the CA-50 and CA-52 parts of the city of San Diego are combined into one district, CA-50 (with the new plan, the bulk of San Diego’s population is actually split among only three districts, CA-50, CA-51 and CA-53; the Rancho Bernardo community in the extreme northern area of the city becomes part of another district but that area contains only about 1% of the city’s population).
Under the current plan, parts of Los Angeles belong to 14 different districts; under the proposed plan, areas of LA are part of only 11 districts (and two of the 11 contain only very small portions of the city).
It should be noted that, in cities which are split among districts, I also tried to redraw the lines, where possible, so that distinct neighborhoods or city areas are not split between districts. For example, the Van Nuys section of LA is currently split between CA-27 and CA-28; under the proposed plan all of it falls under CA-28.
Anaheim, Garden Grove, Bakersfield, Fresno – are split in order to preserve majority Hispanic districts in Orange County and the Central Valley.
Fremont – this is the only area not split under the current plan, but divided under the proposed map. Population shifts in Alameda County and Fremont’s relatively large size in land area made it hard for me not to divide the city. (Area-wise, Fremont is bigger than either San Francisco or Oakland; the city was originally five smaller towns which merged in 1956.)
Long Beach – under the new plan, it’s almost all in one district ! (97% is in the new CA-37, with the remaining narrow coastal sliver — which exists under the current plan as well — connecting two parts of CA-46).
Additionally, when looking at unincorporated communities in California, under the current plan, 29 are split among one or more districts, while under the proposed plan only seven are split. Furthermore, many areas which remain split are “less” split under the proposed map. For example, currently East LA is split among three different districts, while under the proposed plan, it is split only between two districts.
2.) The next goal was to increase the number of Hispanic-majority districts in the state, while preserving all the current Hispanic-represented seats. The Hispanic population in the state has grown rapidly, and the new map reflects this reality. All the Hispanic-represented seats remain intact, while four new Hispanic-majority seats are created – Districts 19, 26, 40 and 44.
CA-35 also becomes Hispanic-majority. Even according to the 2000 Census numbers, the current CA-35 was already 47.4% Hispanic, and only 34% African-American (even though among registered voters, the numbers may have been roughly reversed); the new district’s boundaries change slightly to encompass South Gate to the east of the current district, and, combined with Hispanic population growth within the area, the new district should be approximately 66% Hispanic. Bottom line: once Maxine Waters retires, CA-35 is quite likely to elect a Hispanic representative.
3.) The third goal was to increase Democratic representation in the state delegation. Under the proposed plan, 44 districts are made to be Democratic, 7 to be Republican, and 2 to be swing districts (one of which, CA-4, would have certainly gone Democratic in the 2006 and 2008 Congressional elections if the proposed plan was in place, and the other, CA-48, could quite conceivably go Democratic in the near future).
What’s great here is that 44 Democratic seats can be created while making the map less gerrymandered than it is now (I can think of no reason for the way the 2002 map looks other than that it was intentionally gerrymandered — by Democrats no less — to intentionally help certain Republicans to survive, even as it attained the same goal for a number of Democrats; even a purely politically-neutral map would have resulted in more Democrats today).
Under the proposed plan, Obama wins the following 26 districts by at least a 24.0 point margin:
Districts # 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 44, 46, 51, 53
Needless to say, all of the above districts voted for John Kerry in 2004 (all but two were won by at least 8 points, while Kerry was losing the national vote by 2.5 points). The Democratic margin here is something akin to “safe” Democratic when classifying districts.
Obama wins the following 16 districts by a 17.0 to 23.9 point margin:
Districts # 2, 3, 6, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 27, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 47, 50
All of the above districts also voted for John Kerry in 2004, except Districts 19, 40, 43, 47 and 50 which Bush won barely with percentages ranging from 49.6 to 50.9% of the vote. The Democratic margin (and voting history in the case of many of these districts) suggests something akin to “likely” Democratic when classifying these.
Obama wins the following two districts by a margin of approximately 14 to 15 points:
Districts # 11 and 18.
In 2004, Bush received approximately 52-53% of the vote in both districts above. The voting history here (discussed in detail later in this diary) though, suggests that these seats will stay in Democratic hands. Conventional wisdom would classify these two as “lean” Democratic, though recent voting history in both suggests they could be on the cusp of “likely.”
The following two districts should be considered “toss-up” based on Democratic margin and voting history (again, the diary will discuss the reasoning):
CA-4 which Obama lost by 3.4 points.
CA-48, which Obama won by a 6.5 point margin.
Obama loses the following seven districts by a margin of 9.4 to 25.2 points:
Districts # 21, 22, 41, 42, 45, 49, 52
All of the above also voted for Bush over Kerry in 2004 by at least a 63/36 margin. These are all destined to stay “safe” GOP (unless there’s a major, major scandal !). Note the absence of any “likely” GOP or “lean” GOP districts under this proposal …. there are just way too many of those under the map currently in effect !
The point here is that you can indeed create this many Democratic seats — and add between 10 to 12 Democrats to California’s delegation — while keeping community lines intact. One can imagine what you could do if the lines were tweaked just a bit more, and some district boundaries crossed irregularly across city/community lines. An Obama +18 district could easily be turned into an Obama +20 district (it wouldn’t take much actually, and the districts would still look pretty compact; for an example re. how a district can be made more Democratic, see the entry under “District 48” in the body of the post). However, my goal was to see if you could create both a more Democratic map, and a less gerrymandered one at the same time, and the answer clearly is yes. Others certainly could take the template of this map and refine the lines further, whereby the Democratic seats became even more Democratic.
Note that not mentioned as one of the three goals above is incumbent protection. I tried to match incumbents with their current districts, and, at least for Democratic members, was mostly successful. The goal here was more long-term, looking down the whole decade, and the other considerations took precedence.
One last thing to remember here: if this plan were adopted, it would first come into effect in 2012 – coinciding with the next Presidential election. Having President Obama on the ballot (in 2012, when candidates would first run for these new seats), thus, had an effect in my design of the districts here, including political considerations like coattails… the point is that if these lines had been in effect during the 2008 elections, Democrats would have likely won 45 of the 53 districts (the 26 “safe” ones above; 16 “likely” ones; 2 “lean” ones; and CA-4 with Charlie Brown as our nominee). If there’s some sort of future GOP wave election, even some of the “likely” Democratic seats may not hold; but all things being (relatively) even, this plan should result in a considerable increase in the number of Democrats in the state’s delegation for the next decade.
Now (finally !) to the discussion of individual districts:
Incumbent: Mike Thompson (St. Helena)
Current District: Obama 65.6%; McCain 31.7% (Obama + 33.9)
Proposed District: Obama 63.1%; McCain 35.1% (Obama + 28.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 56.6%; Bush 42.2%
This district combines parts of the current CA-1 (Napa and Yolo Counties) with San Francisco suburbs in Marin and Sonoma Counties and Sacramento suburbs in Sacramento and Placer Counties. Yolo is no longer split between districts, but Marin now is. Placer is also split, but the western suburban part of the county is quite different from the central and eastern Sierra Nevada area. Overall, it’s a pretty suburban to exurban district, with rural areas here and there. The Democratic percentage goes down a bit, but it’s still a solidly Democratic district.
Current District: Obama 42.6%; McCain 55.0% (McCain + 12.4)
Proposed District: Obama 60.0%; McCain 37.4% (Obama + 22.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 54.8%; Bush 43.4%
The new CA-2 includes only a small part of the current CA-2 – Siskiyou and Trinity Counties and part of Shasta Co. around Redding. Most of the territory comes from the current CA-1, with parts from CA-4 and CA-6. The new district becomes a true “north coast” district (unlike the old CA-1 which included only the coast north of Gualala), following the entire coast and redwood belt from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border (OK … I must admit this is my favorite part of California). Overall, it’s a rural/small town district, with some suburban pockets in the far south. Politically, it’s quite Democratic, and overall, leans towards the progressive side (against Prop. 8, anti-war, etc.). This plan puts Lynn Woolsey in the new CA-6, but perhaps she would be more comfortable running here (?). Her home is in Petaluma, just over the border, and the lines could be easily tweaked (substituting Petaluma for Rohnert Park for instance) without changing the overall political makeup of either CA-6 or CA-2.
Incumbent: Tom McClintock (Elk Grove – ultimate carpetbagger McClintock doesn’t even live in his current district, CA-4, after having just recently moved from southern California to Elk Grove in the current CA-3 !; CA-3 incumbent Congressman Dan Lungren – another former carpetbagger – is drawn out of his district under this plan).
Current District: Obama 49.3%; McCain 48.8% (Obama + 0.5)
Proposed District: Obama 58.1%; McCain 40.1% (Obama + 18.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 49.3%; Bush 49.9%
The proposed CA-3 is made up of most of Sacramento County outside the city of Sacramento. It also includes Pittsburg in Contra Costa Co., just across from the southern tip of Sacramento Co. The district is more compact than the current CA-3, being mostly confined to just one county. Additionally, many communities in Sacramento Co. are no longer split between districts – these include incorporated places like Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova as well as unincorporated areas like Arden-Arcade, Foothill Farms and North Highlands. A Democrat should do well running here. In 2008 Lungren only won the current district (Obama +0.5) by a 49.4 to 44.0 margin. One can only imagine just how well a Democrat would do in an Obama +18 district !
Incumbents: Wally Herger (Chico); Dan Lungren (Gold River); also see entry under “District 3” above.
Current District: Obama 43.8%; McCain 54.0% (McCain + 10.2)
Proposed District: Obama 47.2%; McCain 50.6% (McCain + 3.4)
Proposed District: Kerry 40.8%; Bush 57.7%
The new CA-4 follows the entire crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Lassen National Park in the north to Mt. Whitney in the south. At its southern end it also includes Death Valley. The plan splits Placer and El Dorado Counties but puts parts of Butte Co., previously in two districts, back into one. The proposed district is somewhat more Democratic than the current one – enough so that Charlie Brown would have very likely won under the current lines – both in 2006 and 2008 (Brown lost by a 3.4 point margin in 2006 and by 0.4 points last year; the new district becomes 6.8 points more Democratic — as measured by the Obama margin — which would have enabled Brown to win if he ran under the proposed lines, all other things being even). Tom McClintock doesn’t live in the district as redrawn — but then again, he doesn’t live in the existing one either !
Incumbent: Doris Matsui (Sacramento)
Current District: Obama 69.6%; McCain 28.4% (Obama + 41.2)
Proposed District: Obama 61.4%; McCain 36.6% (Obama + 24.8)
Proposed District: Kerry 52.9%; Bush 46.1%
CA-5 combines all of the city of Sacramento with GOP-leaning suburbs in Sacramento and Placer Counties (Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Rocklin, Granite Bay). Almost exactly two-thirds of the population is in Sacramento, which sets the political tone of the district.
Incumbent: Lynn Woolsey (Petaluma)
Current District: Obama 76.0%; McCain 22.0% (Obama + 54.0)
Proposed District: Obama 58.7%; McCain 39.1% (Obama + 19.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 52.5%; Bush 46.0%
The new District 6 combines much of exurban — though very progressive — Sonoma County (approximately 45% of the new district’s population) with Lake County, part of the Sacramento River Valley and Lassen County, in the northeastern part of the state. As mentioned under “District 2” above, perhaps Woolsey would be more comfortable running in the new CA-2; however, the new CA-6 contains much of her territory, population-wise, and is only slightly less Democratic than CA-2.
Incumbent: George Miller (Martinez)
Current District: Obama 71.4%; McCain 26.4% (Obama + 45.0)
Proposed District: Obama 65.1%; McCain 33.1% (Obama + 32.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 59.8%; Bush 39.1%
The new CA-7 combines all of Solano County (no longer split among three different districts) with areas of north-central Contra Costa County — Martinez, Concord (no longer split between two districts), Clayton, Pleasant Hill, etc. The district remains solidly Democratic.
Incumbent: Nancy Pelosi (San Francisco)
Current District: Obama 85.2%; McCain 12.4% (Obama + 72.8)
Proposed District: Obama 85.5%; McCain 12.4% (Obama + 73.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 84.6%; Bush 14.1%
The size of new district expands slightly as the southern end of City Supervisor District # 8 becomes part of CA-8 (all of that district is in CA-8 under the new lines); part of City Supervisor District # 7 (around Golden Gate Heights and Forest Hill) is also added.
Incumbent: Barbara Lee (Oakland)
Current District: Obama 88.1%; McCain 9.9% (Obama + 78.2)
Proposed District: Obama 82.6%; McCain 15.5% (Obama + 67.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 79.5%; Bush 19.0%
Combines ultra-progressive areas in Oakland, Berkeley and adjoining smaller towns with (relatively) more conservative areas in Contra Costa County (Moraga, Orinda, Danville, Brentwood, etc.).
Incumbent: None currently (Ellen Tauscher has vacated seat)
Current District: Obama 64.7%; McCain 33.1% (Obama + 31.6)
Proposed District: Obama 64.2%; McCain 34.0% (Obama + 30.2)
Proposed District: Kerry 58.4%; Bush 40.5%
Combines a central swath of Contra Costa Co. (from Richmond in the west to Bethel Island in the east) with parts of more inland California (northern San Joaquin Co.; Amador Co. and southern El Dorado Co.).
Incumbent: Jerry McNerney (Pleasanton)
Current District: Obama 53.8%; McCain 44.5% (Obama + 9.3)
Proposed District: Obama 56.3%; McCain 42.0% (Obama + 14.3)
Proposed District: Kerry 47.2%; Bush 51.9%
Combines suburban parts of Alameda Co. (Pleasanton, Dublin, etc.) with part of San Joaquin County (Stockton – no longer split between two districts; Tracy) and rural/small town areas in Stanislaus Co. The new district becomes approximately 5 points more Democratic — at least as measured by the Obama margin — which should be a boost to McNerney’s future election chances. (In 2006 McNerney won by 6.2 points, while last year he won by 10.6 points; all other things being even, if the Congressman ran under these lines his winning margin would have likely topped 11 points in 2006 and might have been 15 to 16 points in 2008).
Incumbent: Jackie Speier (Hillsborough)
Current District: Obama 74.3%; McCain 23.9% (Obama + 50.4)
Proposed District: Obama 73.9%; McCain 24.4% (Obama + 49.5)
Proposed District: Kerry 70.6%; Bush 28.4%
Very similar to the current “Peninsula” district. Boundaries in San Francisco shift a bit, while in San Mateo Co., Half Moon Bay is added from CA-14 as well as part of Redwood City (which is no longer split between two districts).
Incumbent: Pete Stark (Fremont)
Current District: Obama 74.4%; McCain 23.8% (Obama + 50.6)
Proposed District: Obama 70.9%; McCain 27.2% (Obama + 43.7)
Proposed District: Kerry 66.5%; Bush 32.2%
New district is focused mainly on Alameda County (Alameda, Hayward, San Leandro, Union City, Livermore, etc.), with a small part of Contra Costa attached (San Ramon). Stark’s home in Fremont remains, though approximately 65% of the city becomes part of CA-15.
Incumbent: Anna Eshoo (Atherton)
Current District: Obama 73.1%; McCain 24.9% (Obama + 48.2)
Proposed District: Obama 72.8%; McCain 25.2% (Obama + 47.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 68.2%; Bush 30.5%
CA-14 becomes even more so the “Silicon Valley” district as the city of Santa Clara is added; other than that and the changes discussed under “District 12”, the boundaries stay quite similar.
Incumbent: Mike Honda (San Jose)
Current District: Obama 68.4%; McCain 29.7% (Obama + 38.7)
Proposed District: Obama 70.1%; McCain 28.3% (Obama + 41.8)
Proposed District: Kerry 64.8%; Bush 34.3%
New district is still centered on San Jose; though the boundaries change in some places around the city. The cities of Santa Clara and Gilroy are detached, while Newark and most of Fremont is attached, as the district shifts in a northern geographic direction.
Incumbent: Zoe Lofgren (San Jose)
Current District: Obama 69.6%; McCain 28.8% (Obama + 40.8)
Proposed District: Obama 66.4%; McCain 31.8% (Obama + 34.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 60.2%; Bush 38.5%
The new CA-16 is centered on San Jose, as the current district. Gilroy and Morgan Hill are added, while parts of northern San Jose are detached to form portions of the new CA-15 and CA-18.
Incumbents: Sam Farr (Carmel); George Radanovich (Mariposa)
Current District: Obama 72.1%; McCain 25.8% (Obama + 46.3)
Proposed District: Obama 61.0%; McCain 36.9% (Obama + 24.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 54.6%; Bush 43.9%
The new district encompasses virtually the whole Monterey Bay littoral (from Santa Cruz to Carmel), then turns inland to include much of Merced Co. (except for the cities of Merced and Atwater), most of Madera Co. (except the city of Madera) and all of Mariposa, Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties. Politically, the new boundaries preserve Sam Farr’s district while creating a new Hispanic-majority seat in the area at the same time (the new CA-19). About 45% of the population of the new CA-17 is currently in Farr’s district; while approximately 29% is in Radanovich’s (the rest comes mostly out of the current CA-18). Additionally, Farr’s old territory is relatively more partisan (77% for Obama in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area) than Radanovich’s base area (only 56% for McCain in that part). End result: a pretty solidly Democratic district.
Incumbent: Dennis Cardoza (Atwater)
Current District: Obama 59.2%; McCain 39.0% (Obama + 20.2)
Proposed District: Obama 56.0%; McCain 42.1% (Obama + 13.9)
Proposed District: Kerry 46.4%; Bush 52.9%
CA-18 remains similar to the current district in many respects. The district is expanded in Stanislaus Co. (Modesto is no longer split between districts, but is now wholly within CA-18); parts of Merced Co. (including the cities of Merced and Atwater) and San Joaquin Co. also remain. The part of Stockton currently in CA-18 is detached, and Hispanic-majority areas in San Jose are substituted. The district remains plurality Hispanic (around 46%). Perhaps the only concern with the new district is that it’s a bit less Democratic than the current one. When Cardoza first ran here in 2002 he faced Republican Dick Monteith. Blue Dog Cardoza won that race by 9 points (he has won subsequent elections by much higher margins). Even if Cardoza had ran his initial race in the new, less Democratic (by approximately 6 points) district, he would still have won. If these concerns are not allayed, the district can pretty easily be made more Democratic by tweaking the lines, especially around San Jose.
Current District: Obama 46.0%; McCain 52.1% (McCain + 6.1)
Proposed District: Obama 57.7%; McCain 40.7% (Obama + 17.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 49.5%; Bush 49.6%
CA-19 is a new Hispanic-majority district (at approximately 52% of the population) encompassing much of Monterey County (including Salinas), all of San Benito Co. — both previously part of CA-17 — and areas of Madera and Fresno Counties previously part of CA-19 and CA-18. Bush won here by a hair in 2004, but in 2008 the area swung strongly for Obama.
Incumbent: Jim Costa (Fresno)
Current District: Obama 59.6%; McCain 38.7% (Obama + 20.9)
Proposed District: Obama 60.8%; McCain 37.5% (Obama + 23.3)
Proposed District: Kerry 51.8%; Bush 47.3%
The district remains very, very similar to the current one, with a few areas removed in Fresno and Kings Counties to account for population growth. The district continues to include parts of the cities of Fresno and Bakersfield, and stays Hispanic-majority.
Incumbent: Devin Nunes (Tulare)
Current District: Obama 42.1%; McCain 56.3% (McCain + 14.2)
Proposed District: Obama 42.0%; McCain 56.4% (McCain + 14.4)
Proposed District: Kerry 33.6%; Bush 65.6%
The new district remains similar to the current one, encompassing parts of Fresno and Tulare Counties. It should be noted that the area contained in the current lines has a Hispanic population of close to 50%; however, in this part of California the Hispanic population forms a relatively small part of the electorate, and the district remains a GOP bastion.
Incumbent: Kevin McCarthy (Bakersfield)
Current District: Obama 38.3%; McCain 59.7% (McCain + 21.4)
Proposed District: Obama 36.5%; McCain 61.7% (McCain + 25.2)
Proposed District: Kerry 29.4%; Bush 69.7%
CA-22 remains politically similar to the current district (though geographically, perhaps appears more similar to the 1992-2002 version of this district, with the addition of a part of Tulare Co.). The San Luis Obispo Co. interior areas are detached, while interior Santa Barbara County is added. Surprisingly, interior Santa Barbara is more conservative than interior areas of SLO (probably due to the relatively high military presence around Vandenberg AFB), even though the coastal area of Santa Barbara is considerably more progressive than coastal areas of SLO. The new CA-22 is politically the most conservative in California, and it’s super conservative on social issues; almost three-fourth of the voters here went for Prop. 8.
Incumbent: Lois Capps (Santa Barbara)
Current District: Obama 65.3%; McCain 32.3% (Obama + 33.0)
Proposed District: Obama 59.2%; McCain 38.7% (Obama + 20.5)
Proposed District: Kerry 52.4%; Bush 46.1%
The new district encompasses all of San Luis Obispo County (no longer divided among two districts), the coastal area of Santa Barbara Co. (with Lompoc added, and a few precincts on the outskirts of Santa Maria detached) and all of the city of Ventura (no longer split between districts) in Ventura Co. Oxnard is no longer in the district. The Democratic percentage is reduced, but Capps or another Democrat in the future should have no trouble here.
Current District: Obama 50.5%; McCain 47.7% (Obama + 2.8)
Proposed District: Obama 61.0%; McCain 37.3% (Obama + 23.7)
Proposed District: Kerry 54.0%; Bush 44.8%
The new district combines much of Ventura Co. (except Simi Valley and the city of Ventura) with parts of Los Angeles Co. (Malibu, Santa Monica, and a tiny portion of the city of Los Angeles). Bottom line here in four steps: (1) Elton Gallegly almost retired from Congress during the 2006 election cycle. (2) He lives in Simi Valley (made part of CA-30 under this plan). (3) The Democratic margin goes up by over 20 points. (4) The redrawing of this district will assure Gallegly’s retirement.
Incumbent: Adam Schiff (Burbank – see entry under “District 29” below).
Current District: Obama 49.5%; McCain 48.3% (Obama + 1.2)
Proposed District: Obama 59.7%; McCain 38.2% (Obama + 21.5)
Proposed District: Kerry 51.2%; Bush 47.5%
The new CA-25 is no longer the crazy version of the current CA-25 which runs from the city of Los Angeles almost to Reno, Nevada ! The new 25th is confined entirely to Los Angeles County, combining the northern part of the county (Palmdale, Lancaster – which is no longer split between two districts) with areas further south – Burbank (no longer split between districts), West Hollywood and parts of the city of Los Angeles (Hollywood, Beverly Crest, Griffith Park, Sunland, Tujunga, etc.). Perhaps combining Lancaster and Palmdale with West Hollywood may seem crazy as well, but the new district appears quite compact, and who says northern Los Angeles Co. and West Hollywood should not be combined ? The Obama margin jumps from a 1.2 advantage to a 21.5 point advantage. Technically, Adam Schiff is the only incumbent residing in the district though he would likely seek reelection in the new CA-29 if this plan were adopted. Howard McKeon resides in the new CA-27 under this plan, and he should think twice about running here (he won his last election by 15.6 points, in a district that has a 20.3 points less Democratic margin than the proposed one).
Current District: Obama 51.0%; McCain 47.0% (Obama + 4.0)
Proposed District: Obama 61.5%; McCain 36.7% (Obama + 24.8)
Proposed District: Kerry 54.5%; Bush 44.4%
This new district has relatively little in common with the current CA-26. Both the old and new CA-26 contain Claremont and LaVerne, but the bulk of the territory in the new district comes out of the current CA-32 (El Monte, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Covina, etc.), with parts of CA-38 (Pomona) and CA-42 (Chino, Chino Hills) also attached. CA-32 itself is preserved as a separate district. The new CA-26 is a new Hispanic-majority district (approximately 62% Hispanic).
Incumbents: Brad Sherman (Los Angeles); Howard McKeon (Santa Clarita)
Current District: Obama 66.1%; McCain 31.7% (Obama + 34.4)
Proposed District: Obama 60.6%; McCain 37.2% (Obama + 23.4)
Proposed District: Kerry 53.6%; Bush 45.0%
The bulk of this district is made up of San Fernando Valley communities within the city of Los Angeles (Reseda, Northridge, Granada Hills, etc.) and within the current CA-27. Also attached is Santa Clarita to the north.
Incumbent: Howard Berman (Los Angeles)
Current District: Obama 76.2%; McCain 22.0% (Obama + 54.2)
Proposed District: Obama 75.6%; McCain 22.6% (Obama + 53.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 70.4%; Bush 28.5%
This new district is quite similar to the current one, consisting of San Fernando Valley communities. Borders are changed a little, partly in order to keep neighborhoods together within the same district. The district remains majority Hispanic.
Incumbent: David Dreier (San Dimas)
Current District: Obama 67.6%; McCain 30.4% (Obama + 37.2)
Proposed District: Obama 61.1%; McCain 36.8% (Obama + 24.3)
Proposed District: Kerry 53.4%; Bush 45.2%
Even though Adam Schiff lives in Burbank (part of the new CA-25), most of his current district is transferred to the new CA-29. In fact, 56% of the new CA-29 is territory currently represented by Schiff (including Glendale and Pasadena), while only 34% is territory currently represented by Dreier. I tried to avoid splitting communities between districts in drawing this plan, but the lines can be nevertheless easily tweaked here to include a part of Burbank in CA-29; under the current plan, eastern Burbank is in CA-29.
Incumbent: Henry Waxman (Los Angeles); Elton Gallegly (Simi Valley)
Current District: Obama 70.4%; McCain 27.9% (Obama + 42.5)
Proposed District: Obama 64.0%; McCain 34.4% (Obama + 29.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 59.3%; Bush 39.7%
This westside LA district includes communities currently in CA-30 (like Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Woodland Hills, Calabasas and Agoura Hills) as well as newly attached areas (Culver City, Chatsworth – which was previously spilt between CA-30 and another district, etc.). Santa Monica and Malibu are taken out and attached to the neighboring CA-24. The district remains a Democratic bastion, and a very progressive one at that (almost 2/3 of the vote went against Prop 8).
Incumbent: Xavier Beccera (Los Angeles)
Current District: Obama 79.9%; McCain 18.3% (Obama + 61.6)
Proposed District: Obama 78.9%; McCain 18.7% (Obama + 60.2)
Proposed District: Kerry 75.6%; Bush 22.9%
This district consists of the entire current CA-31 territory plus, in order to reflect population shifts in the area, South Pasadena is added. The district is majority-Hispanic.
Incumbent: Judy Chu (Monterey Park); Gary Miller (Diamond Bar)
Current District: Obama 68.2%; McCain 29.8% (Obama + 38.4)
Proposed District: Obama 61.4%; McCain 36.6% (Obama + 24.8)
Proposed District: Kerry 55.9%; Bush 43.1%
The new CA-32 runs from a part of East Los Angeles through Monterey Park (now all in one district), Rosemead, San Gabriel, Temple City, San Marino, South El Monte, West Covina, La Puente, Walnut, Diamond Bar, Brea and other communities interspersed in between. The new district remains majority Hispanic (barely) but also has a very high percentage of Asian-Americans (almost 40%). Indeed, in some communities, the Hispanic and Asian population combined equals almost 100% of the total population. Many Hispanic-majority areas of the current CA-32 are detached in order to create the new Hispanic-majority CA-26 just to the north and east of the new CA-32.
Incumbent: Diane Watson (Los Angeles)
Current District: Obama 86.8%; McCain 11.7% (Obama + 75.1)
Proposed District: Obama 84.2%; McCain 14.2% (Obama + 70.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 80.0%; Bush 18.7%
The new CA-33 includes most of the current district (except Culver City and part of Griffith Park) as well as areas previously part of other districts (El Segundo and the Westchester area around LAX).
Incumbent: Lucille Roybal-Allard (Los Angeles)
Current District: Obama 74.7%; McCain 23.2% (Obama + 51.5)
Proposed District: Obama 75.2%; McCain 22.7% (Obama + 52.5)
Proposed District: Kerry 68.8%; Bush 30.0%
The new district is very similar to the current one, including downtown LA, Downey, and everything in between, as well as new territory (El Sereno part of LA, Alhambra). Some areas have been taken out (part of East LA, Bellflower) and attached to other districts. The district is majority-Hispanic
Incumbent: Maxine Waters (Los Angeles)
Current District: Obama 84.4%; McCain 14.1% (Obama + 70.3)
Proposed District: Obama 86.5%; McCain 12.0% (Obama + 74.5)
Proposed District: Kerry 81.2%; Bush 17.7%
Most of the district is the same as before – the south-central area of Los Angeles. Areas around LAX in the west are detached, while South Gate is added in the east. A little history in a nutshell to summarize the political evolution in a part of this area: back in the 50’s and 60’s South Gate was almost all white while areas immediately to the west, like Watts, were almost all black, and a large degree of segregation existed. Today Watts is over 70% Hispanic, while South Gate is over 90% Hispanic. Overall, the district is about 66% Hispanic. There’s a strong possibility that once Maxine Waters retires, this district will elect a Hispanic representative.
Incumbent: Jane Harman (Los Angeles)
Current District: Obama 64.4%; McCain 33.5% (Obama + 30.9)
Proposed District: Obama 62.0%; McCain 35.9% (Obama + 26.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 57.0%; Bush 41.6%
The new CA-36 is similar to the current district hugging Santa Monica Bay. Some areas are detached (El Segundo) while others are attached (Palos Verdes Peninsula). The Palos Verdes area was part of the district prior to 2002, contributing to the election of Republican Steve Kuykendall here in 1998 with a bare winning margin of 49% of the vote. At first glance, the new district appears kind of similar to that old one – but in reality is significantly more Democratic. One major difference is that high-population progressive areas of LA just east of Santa Monica (Mar Vista, etc.) are currently in the district — and remain in the new district — but were not a part of CA-36 when Kuykendall was elected.
Incumbent: Laura Richardson (Long Beach)
Current District: Obama 79.6%; McCain 18.7% (Obama + 60.9)
Proposed District: Obama 60.7%; McCain 37.3% (Obama + 23.4)
Proposed District: Kerry 53.1%; Bush 45.5%
The new district puts the parts of Long Beach previously in CA-37 and CA-46 into one district (except for a narrow coastal sliver connecting two parts of CA-46). Approximately 97% of Long Beach’s population is now in CA-37. The district also includes more conservative areas in Orange County to the immediate east (Los Alamitos, part of Garden Grove, Stanton, Fountain Valley and Westminster – the latter, no longer split between two districts).
Incumbent: Grace Napolitano (Norwalk); Ed Royce (Fullerton)
Current District: Obama 71.3%; McCain 26.6% (Obama + 44.7)
Proposed District: Obama 58.5%; McCain 39.4% (Obama + 19.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 51.0%; Bush 47.7%
This remains a majority-Hispanic district (approximately 63%) encompassing areas like Norwalk, Pico Rivera, part of East LA, Hacienda Heights and Montebello in Los Angeles County as well as La Habra, Fullerton and Placentia (the latter two no longer divided between two districts) in Orange County.
Incumbent: Linda Sánchez (Lakewood)
Current District: Obama 65.5%; McCain 32.4% (Obama + 33.1)
Proposed District: Obama 57.6%; McCain 40.4% (Obama + 17.2)
Proposed District: Kerry 50.4%; Bush 48.5%
This districts maintains many of the same parts of Los Angeles County currently included in CA-39, but does a better job at keeping communities intact (Whittier is no longer divided between districts) and also adds communities in Orange County (Cypress, La Palma, Buena Park, etc.) The district remains majority Hispanic. The new CA-39 now borders the new CA-47, the district of Linda’s sister Loretta Sanchez.
Current District: Obama 46.6%; McCain 51.1% (McCain + 4.5)
Proposed District: Obama 59.7%; McCain 38.6% (Obama + 21.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 49.3%; Bush 49.8%
California’s “Inland Empire” has had some of the state’s highest growth rate of the last decade, fueled largely by an increase in the Hispanic population. The new CA-40 reflects that growth through the creation of a new Hispanic-majority district here (new district is approximately 57% Hispanic). The new district includes the unincorporated extreme northwestern part of Riverside County as well as areas — mostly incorporated — in San Bernardino Co. (Ontario, Montclair, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana).
Current District: Obama 43.7%; McCain 54.2% (McCain + 10.5)
Proposed District: Obama 41.4%; McCain 56.4% (McCain + 15.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 34.9%; Bush 63.9%
This district includes most of San Bernardino Co. outside the southwestern population core, as well as parts of Riverside Co. (Banning, Beaumont, Calimesa, etc.) The current CA-41 incumbent Jerry Lewis lives in Redland, part of CA-43 under the new lines, but most of Lewis’ base is in the new CA-41 and it would make sense for him to run here.
Current District: Obama 44.9%; McCain 53.2% (McCain + 8.3)
Proposed District: Obama 43.3%; McCain 54.9% (McCain + 11.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 35.1%; Bush 63.9%
This is perhaps the stereotypical Orange County district – “conservative Nixon/Reagan country”. The district runs from Yorba Linda (the birthplace of Richard Nixon) to the hills just above San Clemente (the site of Nixon’s “summer White House”). San Juan Capistrano, in the district’s southern reaches, is no longer split between two different districts. In its new form, CA-42 is a Republican stronghold, though this is no longer the most conservative area in California. Furthermore, compared to other GOP districts in the rest of the country, the new CA-42 is (relatively) not that extremely conservative. Current CA-42 incumbent Gary Miller lives in Diamond Bar, a part of CA-32 under the new lines. However, politically, it would make much sense for Miller to run here.
Incumbent: Joe Baca (Rialto); Jerry Lewis (Redlands; see entry under “District 41” above).
Current District: Obama 68.0%; McCain 30.1% (Obama + 37.9)
Proposed District: Obama 58.0%; McCain 39.9% (Obama + 18.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 48.7%; Bush 50.1%
The new CA-43 consists of urban to exurban areas of San Bernardino Co., including all of the city of San Bernardino (which as previously split between CA-43 and CA-41), Colton (which was also split), Rialto, Loma Linda, Highland, Redlands, Adelanto, Victorville and other areas. The new district remains majority-Hispanic.
Incumbent: Mary Bono (Palm Springs)
Current District: Obama 49.5%; McCain 48.6% (Obama + 0.9)
Proposed District: Obama 61.6%; McCain 36.6% (Obama + 25.0)
Proposed District: Kerry 51.3%; Bush 47.6%
The new CA-44 is completely confined to Riverside County, and includes communities like Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris, Cathedral City and Palm Springs. Current CA-44 incumbent Ken Calvert doesn’t even live in the new CA-44, and even if he ran here, wouldn’t have a prayer under the new lines. Mary Bono would have a hard time winning here also (the last two times she won by approximately 18 points in a district with about a 20 point less Democratic margin than the new CA-44), and it would make sense for her to run in the new CA-45. The district is a new Hispanic-majority district (approximately 53%).
Current District: Obama 51.5%; McCain 46.9% (Obama + 4.6)
Proposed District: Obama 44.5%; McCain 53.9% (McCain + 9.4)
Proposed District: Kerry 35.8%; Bush 63.3%
The new lines here maintain the district wholly within Riverside County. Much of Riverside Co. outside the (relatively) more suburban northwestern area is included here, including Menifee, which is now contained entirely within one district. Mary Bono lives in Palm Springs (in the new CA-44), but most of Bono’s base is in the new CA-45, and the only logical thing for her to do would be to run here.
Incumbent: Dana Rohrabacher (Huntington Beach)
Current District: Obama 47.9%; McCain 49.8% (McCain + 1.9)
Proposed District: Obama 61.7%; McCain 36.5% (Obama + 25.2)
Proposed District: Kerry 53.7%; Bush 45.0%
The new CA-46 combines parts of Los Angeles and Orange Counties — as does the district in its current form. The OC part is somewhat similar to what’s contained in the current CA-46, with Huntington Beach and Seal Beach included but with Newport Beach substituted for Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and Westminster. The LA part is a bit different, with areas like Carson, Lynwood and Compton substituting for parts of Long Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula communities. The new district is almost entirely suburban, with only a sliver of Los Angeles proper included. Under these lines, Rohrabacher may finally experience “wipeout” conditions in his electoral prospects.
Addendum: it’s interesting to note that the OC part of the new CA-46 voted for Prop. 8 by approximately 53%, while the LA part voted for Prop. 8 by a significantly higher 65%.
Incumbent: Loretta Sanchez (Anaheim)
Current District: Obama 60.1%; McCain 37.8% (Obama + 22.3)
Proposed District: Obama 58.6%; McCain 39.5% (Obama + 19.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 47.9%; Bush 50.9%
The new CA-47 is very similar to the current district. Parts of Santa Ana which were previously in CA-46 and CA-48 are added to the bulk of the city that is already in the district, so that all of Santa Ana is now in CA-47. Likewise, a small part of Fullerton is detached in the north so that it too can be all in one district. However, Anaheim and Garden Grove remain split between this and other districts; this is necessary to maintain the viability of Hispanic representation in CA-47.
Incumbent: John Campbell (Irvine)
Current District: Obama 49.3%; McCain 48.6% (Obama + 0.7)
Proposed District: Obama 52.3%; McCain 45.8% (Obama + 6.5)
Proposed District: Kerry 43.1%; Bush 55.8%
The new CA-48 runs along the coast of Orange and San Diego Counties, including all of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente, Camp Pendleton and Oceanside. Obama won the new district by 6.5 points. This is an improvement on the current district which basically split 49/49 in the last election. While this may initially appear not enough to flip the district to the Democratic side, I believe that with a good campaign, a Democrat can win here. It bears watching how Beth Krom, the mayor of Irvine, does in the current CA-48 in 2010 if she is our nominee. If she hits around 45% or more of the vote, it would appear that a Democrat would be well positioned under the new lines. It should be noted that the area contained within the proposed CA-48 is progressive enough to have actually voted against Proposition 8 ! (by 51% to 49%). It would not appear that such a district would elect someone like “birther” John Campbell forever.
Addendum: this proposed district can easily be made even more Democratic by tweaking the lines. Communities, of course would have to be broken up, but the subsequent district would still be compact enough to pass muster. Please see the map below re. how CA-48 could go from the proposed +6.5 point Obama margin with communities completely intact to a +10.0 Obama margin district with some communities split among districts. The top map here shows CA-48 as designed for this diary, with the nine constituent communities intact. The bottom map shows that by adding all or parts of seven additional communities, while detaching parts of the first nine, you can come up with a district that voted 54.1 Obama – 44.1 McCain. (Btw, if you’re wondering why the large Camp Pendleton area is left alone, the reason is that the number of active voters there is relatively very small compared to other parts of the district, and so trying to gerrymander the lines in that area would have a minimal effect on the overall political composition of this district.)
Incumbent: Darrell Issa (Vista); Ken Calvert (Corona).
Current District: Obama 45.1%; McCain 53.0% (McCain + 7.9)
Proposed District: Obama 41.2%; McCain 56.3% (McCain + 15.1)
Proposed District: Kerry 32.0%; Bush 67.1%
The new CA-49 includes much of Darrell Issa’s current territory in San Diego and Riverside Counties and also parts of Ken Calvert’s territory in Riverside and Orange Counties (as well as Rancho Santa Margarita, currently part of CA-42). The new district becomes an even bigger GOP bastion.
Current District: Obama 51.3%; McCain 47.1% (Obama + 4.2)
Proposed District: Obama 57.9%; McCain 40.3% (Obama + 17.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 48.0%; Bush 50.7%
This district combines the San Diego city parts of the current CA-50 and CA-52 into one district. The boundaries are then tweaked a bit so that parts of the city of San Diego currently in CA-53 (Hillcrest, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, the area around UC-San Diego, etc.) become part of this district, while other areas now part of CA-50 (interior portion of La Jolla) become part of the new CA-53. Also included in the new CA-50 are coastal communities just north of the city (Del Mar, Encinitas, Solana Beach); other than these communities, the new district consists entirely of the city of San Diego. Brian Bilbray’s new home in Carlsbad is not included in the district. Bilbray beat Nick Leibham here last year by exactly 5 points, while in the 2006 special election, Bilbray beat Francine Busby by 4.5 points. The new CA-50 has a Democratic margin that’s 13.4 points higher than the old CA-50; you can do the rest of the math here re. Bilbray’s future electoral prospects under the new lines !
Incumbent: Bob Filner (San Diego)
Current District: Obama 63.1%; McCain 35.5% (Obama + 27.6)
Proposed District: Obama 63.1%; McCain 35.5% (Obama + 27.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 55.1%; Bush 43.3%
The new district remains very, very similar to the current one. The only changes are that a small part of San Diego as well as unincorporated communities to the north of Chula Vista are detached in order to meet population parameters of the new district. The district remains majority Hispanic.
Incumbent: Duncan Hunter (Lakeside); Brian Bilbray (Carlsbad)
Current District: Obama 45.0%; McCain 53.4% (McCain + 8.4)
Proposed District: Obama 43.6%; McCain 55.4% (McCain + 11.8)
Proposed District: Kerry 35.7%; Bush 63.3%
This district combines the non-San Diego parts of the current CA-50 and CA-52 into one district — 51% of the territory in the new district comes out of CA-50, while 46% comes out of CA-52 (also included is the Rancho Bernardo part of San Diego, currently in CA-49). The primary here between Bilbray and Hunter (if that was the result of these lines being adopted) would be quite interesting to watch.
Incumbent: Susan Davis (San Diego)
Current District: Obama 68.2%; McCain 29.9% (Obama + 38.3)
Proposed District: Obama 63.0%; McCain 35.4% (Obama + 27.6)
Proposed District: Kerry 55.0%; Bush 44.0%
The new CA-53 is anchored by the city of San Diego, with smaller communities like Imperial Beach, Coronado, Lemon Grove, La Mesa and El Cajon also included. The new district is a bit less Democratic than the current one, but Davis would have no trouble winning in a new “Obama +27.6 points” district.