Redistricting New Jersey by Commission

This is my first attempt at my home state. I grew up in the existing NJ-12 (Rush Holt’s district), and currently live in the existing NJ-3 (Jon Runyan’s to be district).

New Jersey’s current map is unfortunately a fractured mess.

I tried to do the following:

1. Maintain 1 Hispanic and 1 Black district.

2. Pair 1 incumbent from each side (in this case, Holt against Lance)

3. Maintain county boundaries better than the current map. I also attempted to maintain township borders.

The problem is Frank Pallone. He lives rather deep in Monmouth County (long branch, to be precise), and Monmouth is slowly treading Republican I believe. Chris Christie won 62% of the vote here last year. He also carries a lot of clout, so he’s not  getting tossed into the ring.

The second problem is Jon Runyan. I didn’t see any easy way to throw him into a tossup even if he should get it.

I think in an ideal world, I’d throw Bergen county into its own district. But that would likely cause more havoc than its worth.

I don’t think either side can complain too much with this map, but thoughts are appreciated.

So, let’s get to it.

CD-1: Rob Andrews (Haddon Heights)

Extends into Cherry Hill a bit. Not much else to say. Now contains almost all of Camden County. Democrat favored.

CD-2: Frank Lobiondo (Ventnor)

Extends into south Burlington County. Republican favored, though not by much. I think a Democrat can win this open seat.

CD-3: Jon Runyan (Mount Laurel)

Our former Philadelphia Eagle has to move to his vacation home. One of the Republican heads of the redistricting commission is from Ocean County. He gets an Ocean County based district with a bit of Monmouth County left. Republican favored.

CD-4: Chris Smith (Hamilton)

A bit ugly, but no moreso than his current district. Some new terrority that fits him reasonably well. Republican favored.

CD-5: Frank Pallone (Long Branch)

Gets a nice, safe district with Edison, Trenton, some other heavy Asian Mercer County towns, and his old areas where he lives. Democrat favored.

CD-6: Rush Holt (Hopewell) vs. Leonard Lance (Clifton)

Showdown. Contains all the Brunswicks and the homes of both incumbents. I really cannot tell you who wins this.

CD-7: Albio Sires (West New York)

52% Hispanic. Democrat favored.

CD-8: Rodney Frelinghuysen (Morristown)

Fully contains Morris County, and half of Somerset County. Republican favored.

CD-9: Donald Payne (Newark)

56% black. Democrat favored.

CD-10: Bill Pascrell (Paterson)

Passaic, Essex, Union counties. Democrat favored.

CD-11: Steve Rothman (Fair Lawn)

Passaic, Essex, Hudson counties. Democrat favored.

CD-12: Scott Garrett (Wantage)

Leftovers. Holds several full counties. Picks up needed population in Hunterdon county, otherwise the same. Republican favored.

38 thoughts on “Redistricting New Jersey by Commission”

  1. They could also try to combine Garrett’s district with Rodney’s (no way I attempt to spell his last name) and add some of Garrett’s to Lance’s to shore up Lance, but that would be more controversial than the plan you have up there.  (Keep in mind I don’t do maps yet so this is in my head.)

    And yes, Monmouth County is trending Republican.  Likely due to demographic shifts (probably the population there getting older).  The College Dems and I briefly studied this the first meeting after the election.

    You did a good job, you made a map that the commission would likely scheme up and managed to supress any temptation to do something outrageous (which is hard, I imagine).

    And yes, if we draft the right person in the right year, we could win LeBiondo’s seat should he retire.

  2. There’s no avoiding putting one Republican seat at risk, and the other 5 GOPers in the delegation all have districts that fit them pretty well. Runyan in particular gets a safer seat. LoBiondo’s seat will be a tossup when it’s open but he’s had no trouble holding it in its current form.

    Democrats are really hampered by the need for two VRA districts. You did a good job of saving Pallone from his increasingly unfriendly home area.

    I have no idea who would win the Holt/Lance battle. I would say Holt because it’s a presidential year in a blue state, but Lance won his current district for the first time as Obama carried it in 2008. Maybe Lance will run against Menendez and hand the seat to Holt.

  3. Am currently currently working on my second map for Jersey and I must say our maps look extremely different. Here’s my input

    1st: This district is wayyy too Democratic and can afford to give up towns like Cherry Hill in order to make the 3rd a democratic seat.

    2nd: I think this is a really well drawn district and given a good year and the great candidate (Van Drew) it is defiantly winable.

    3rd: This seat can easily be made into a reliable Dem stronghold. By either moving the district into Camden or Trenton and making it entirely in Burlington county and out of Ocean this seat can most certaintly become a Dem seat.

    4th: This district can be moved entirely out of mercer/burlington and be left to cover all of Ocean and lower montmouth to make it a strong GOP district.

    5th: This is a pretty well drawn district for Pallone and can easily elect a Dem.

    6th: I would’nt combine this district with Lance’s as it can easily elect a moderate  GOPer like Lance over a progressive like Holt.

    7th: This is a really good district

    8th: I’m glad to decided to keep Morris together as it currently is but I would move the district into upper Passaic and Sussex instead (since my goal would be to eliminate Garrett instead).

    9th: This district is really too gerrymandered for my taste and goes into too many counties.

    10th: Since this district is my home district I know it real well. I think this district is truley horrible!! The district is not only too gerrymandered but it excludes towns like Passaic and Clifton that most certaintly should be included in this district. I would move the district north instead of south.

    11: As with the 10th I think it should be moved North instead of trying to go into Passaic and take away towns from Pascrell.

    12th: Its a fair district but my goal would be to eliminate this district and get rid of Garrett (whom I truley can’t stand)M

  4. Rodney vs Pascrell.

    About half in Morris county, half in Passaic county.

    The things I like here:

    1. Rush Holt’s purple district. As drawn, its 53% white, I could hit majority minority really easily with some tweaks.

    2. Chris Smith’s red district. Based on Monmouth county. It suits him well.

    3. Leonard Lance’s grey district. Hunterdon/Somerset/half of Morris county. He’ll do well here.

    The thing I don’t like:

    1. Frank Pallone’s district. Somebody has to grab that section of Essex county, and it can’t be the showdown district. Getting Pallone across the map like this is an ugly mess.

    Also, simply wiping out Garrett is going to be more challenging than some are thinking, I believe. Going to try that next.

  5. I gave it a shot.

    3 problems.

    1. I’m not sure whether Pascrell can win the district I’ve drawn him in a low turnout year.

    2. The purple and yellow districts just barely hit majority black/hispanic status. In reality these might need to go south a bit.

    3. Frank Pallone is kind of stranded. I don’t know where to take him from here.

  6. It’s about the best we could hope for from a bipartisan. incumbent protection plan.

    – Holt will definitely beat Lance in that district. Take away Monmouth County from Holt and take away most of Somerset and Union from Lance and Holt definitely wins, even in 2010.

    – The Smith district looks about 54% Obama. It will probably go Democratic when Smith retires (unlike the current NJ-04).

    – It packs as many Republicans as possible into the 3rd, weakening the 2nd and 4th. Unfortunately that means the Republicans in the commission probably won’t accept it.

  7. This only gets through the commission if Republicans are overconfident about Chris Smith’s election winning ability. (I originally drew it for Adler.)

    Pallone’s district is 56% Obama. Rothman’s is 57% Obama. Both would have been reelected in 2010. Sires’ district is not majority Hispanic but he will continue to win it easily. All districts are within 8000 people of the ideal population.

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