We’ve already had a lively discussion with regard to California redistricting in this diary below, but now that I have diary rights I want to finally post my own projected map of the new California districts. Needless to mention, redistricting California is a daunting task, particularly in light of the newly approved ‘nonpartisan’ commission. So, a few notes and caveats are in order.
1) My map is only as good as the data provided by Dave’s Redistricting App. Clearly then, to whatever extent that data is invalid, my output will be likewise.
2) In this installment I’ll mainly just outline the process that I followed in placing the districts. I might go over the political results or the VRA ramifications in a subsequent installment if there seems to be enough interest. In short, I welcome any feedback or criticism regarding my decisions. I want to be reasonably confident about the validity of my mapping scheme before I go into much detail about how it affects individual districts.
3) I did not take any account of the current districts when putting together my map. However, I went back and numbered them based on the closest current district merely so as to facilitate discussion. I have added the incumbent that holds that currently numbered district, though I generally have no idea whether they’d still live in said districts. Also, when I doublechecked this afternoon I realized that several of the LA County and OC County districts were not optimally labelled in the map I posted to the other thread. More on that when I get to it.
4) The purpose of this exercise is in part to counter the popular notion that we can’t project some reasonably accurate version of the new California district configuration. My basic premise is that: If the commission simply follows the rule of crossing county and city boundaries only when necessary, then in most cases it’s obvious which way to go, so long as you have a starting point.
5) None of my districts deviate by more than +/- 600 people. The majority deviate by less than +/- 200. Again, this is based on Dave’s app of course. And, speaking of Dave’s app: It’s glitchy at spots. I’ve edited these glitches out of the maps below.
So, without further ado, here we go:
To begin with, here’s my statewide map:
Now I chose San Francisco as a natural starting point. The simple reason for this being that it’s bounded on three sides by water boundaries. It’s also one of the state’s leading cities and a classic tenet of purely geographic districting is to minimize the subdivision of major population centers. Below is my final map of the Bay Area. This is the process by which I arrived at these boundaries:
1) I began with CA-08 in San Francisco County, then simply added voting blocks horizontally until I reach the correct population. Now, there’s been some discussion about the idea of instead dividing the county roughly in half and joining the northern district with Marin County across the Bay. For the record, I tried that just to see what happens. In short, all of these compact districts around the Bay are heavily Democratic districts, and taking CA-08 north into Marin simply rotates them clockwise, still leaving you with a set of heavily Democratic districts. The only meaningful difference is that population centers are harder to keep intact.
CA-08 (Pelosi – D): 85% Obama / 13% McCain
2) I started CA-12 with the remainder of San Francisco County and finished it with San Mateo County except for Redwood City.
CA-12 (Speier – D): 74% Obama / 24% McCain
3) I started CA-14 with Redwood City and added Santa Clara to complete the district. I then put San Jose in its own CA-15 district, and then started CA-16 with the rest of Santa Clara County.
CA-14 (Eshoo – D): 73% Obama / 25% McCain
CA-15 (Honda – D): 70% Obama / 28% McCain
4) I wasn’t sure which way to go with CA-16, so I switched gears to start CA-17 with Santa Cruz County. I then added Monterey County to CA-17. It then became clear enough that I should add San Benito County to CA-16, because if I added it to CA-17 it would not take up the whole county.
5) At this point it became clear enough that I should complete CA-16 with the eastern part of Alameda County.
CA-16 (Lofgren – D): 64% Obama / 34% McCain
6) All of central Alameda County can then become CA-13 (Fremont, Union City, Pleasonton, Hayword) and then Oakland can take up most of CA-09.
CA-13 (Stark – D): 72% Obama / 26% McCain
7) I then finished up CA-09 with the western tip of Contra Costa County, then added CA-10 to take up the central county through Concord and Danville.
CA-09 (Lee – D): 89% Obama / 9% McCain
CA-10 (Garamendi – D): 69% Obama / 30% McCain
8) I wasn’t sure where the rest of Contra Costa belonged, so I started CA-07 with Solano County. I wasn’t sure where to go for the rest of CA-07 so I switched to CA-06 in Marin County, then finished it up with most of Sonoma County.
CA-06 (Woolsey – D): 76% Obama / 22% McCain
OK, so now what? More after the map…
Below I have my maps of Northern California and the Sacramento area.
9) As I pondered CA-07, I realized that I could add all of Napa County and all of Yolo County except for West Sacramento. The alternatives would either create a weirdly shaped district or unnecessarily divide Sacramento.
CA-07 (Miller – D): 65% Obama / 33% McCain
10) I then started CA-01 with Mendocino, Trinity, Humboldt, Del Norte, and Lake counties. It also became clear that the rest of Sonoma belonged in CA-01. The CA-01 district still needed 365,000 people.
11) I went ahead and added CA-05 in West Sacramento (Yolo County) and Sacramento proper. Sacramento should clearly anchor 2 districts, so I placed CA-03 fully in the eastern part of the county.
CA-05 (Matsui – D): 69% Obama / 29% McCain
CA-03 (Lungren – R): 50% Obama / 48% McCain
12) I still had 55,000 people left in the southwestern salient of Sacramento County. It now became clear enough that CA-11 should take those, the remaining half of Contra Costa County, and San Joaquin including half of Stockton.
CA-11 (McNerney – D): 59% Obama / 39% McCain
13) I now added Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, and Siskiyou counties to CA-01. I still needed 23,000 more people. The most efficient way to finish up CA-01 was with Modoc County and part of Lassen County.
CA-01 (Thompson – D): 50% Obama / 47% McCain
14) I could now start CA-02 with the rest of Lassen. I then added Plumas, Butte, Sierra, Yuba, Nevada, and Sutter. This left me needing 170,000 people. The obvious place to get them was Placer County except for the Rocklin/Roseville corner.
CA-02 (Herger – R): 47% Obama / 51% McCain
15) It now made sense to start CA-04 with this corner of Placer, and to add the sparsely populated eastern counties of El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Alpine, Mono, Tuolomne, and Mariposa. But, where to go now? More after the maps…
Below I’ve added my maps of the Central Valley and Southern California. The next set of decisions involving the Central Valley are the ones that I think are most debatable, as I’ve stated previously. In any case, here’s my reasoning
16) It made sense to start CA-18 with the rest of San Joaquin County and then finish it off in Stanislaus County, including the city of Modesto.
CA-18 (Cardoza – D): 54% Obama / 44% McCain
17) I then started CA-19 with the remainder of Stanislaus County and all of Merced County. At this point, the next population center was Fresno, but I had to decide what to do with Madera County that was in the way. I played with several alternatives and realized that my options were to either split Madera County or split the city of Fresno or end up with several weirdly shaped districts. I chose to split Madera County and then finish off CD-19 with western half of Fresno County.
CA-19 (Denham – R): 49% Obama / 49% McCain
18) It then made sense to give Fresno it’s own CA-21 district, and to place the sparsely populated eastern remainder of Madera & Fresno counties in CA-04.
CA-21 (Nunes – R): 51% Obama / 47% McCain
19) At this juncture, it seemed fairly obvious to start CA-20 with Kings and Tulare counties. Once I did that, it was obvious that CA-04 should finally be completed with Inyo and the sparsely populated east of San Bernardino County.
CA-04 (McClintock – R): 42% Obama / 56% McCain
20) I now decided it was time to switch back to the coast. It was clear that I should finish CA-17 with the Cambria corner of San Luis Obispo County. I could then start CA-23 with the rest of San Luis Obispo and add all of Santa Barbera County, which left me needing 67,000 people.
CA-17 (Farr – D): 71% Obama / 27% McCain
21) I then switched back to CA-20, finishing it in Kern County. Then I added CA-22 fully contained in Kern County, which left 12,000 people in one corner. I decided to add these to CA-04, swapping them out for 12,000 in San Bernardino (which didn’t change the partisan breakdown of CA-04).
CA-20 (Costa – D): 43% Obama / 56% McCain
CA-22 (McCarthy – R): 39% Obama / 59% McCain
22) I then added CA-41 in central San Bernardino County, finished CA-23 in northern Ventura County, and placed CA-24 in southern Ventura County. This left me with 34,000 people in Ventura County and I was ready to start on LA – after the maps!
CA-41 (Lewis – R): 44% Obama / 53% McCain
CA-23 (Capps – D): 58% Obama / 40% McCain
CA-24 (Gallegly – R): 55% Obama / 44% McCain
Below is my LA County map. Note that the district numbering has changed from the map that I posted in the other thread, because when I went back over it I realized that the current Dreier district (CA-26) had been dismantled and that the one which I had labeled as CA-26 should’ve been Chu’s CA-32, while the one that I originally labelled as CA-32 should’ve clearly been CA-39 (Linda Sanchez).
23) Anyhow, here is how I proceeded with LA County (with the above amendments):
CA-25: I started with northern LA County, and added the San Fernando Valley.
CA-30: I finished Ventura County, and added the Westside cities.
CA-27: I took the rest of San Fernando, Burbank, and Glendale.
CA-33: I started with Culver City, added Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills.
CA-28: Centered on Hollywood.
CA-29: Centered on Pasadena.
CA-32: I started in Glendora and took in the northern suburbs.
CA-35: Centered on Inglewood.
CA-36: Centered on Rancho Palos Verdes – with Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach.
CA-38: Centered on Pomona and Covina.
CA-31: Centered on downtown LA.
CA-34: Centered on Huntington Park.
CA-37: Centered on Compton.
CA-39: East LA, leaving the southeast waterfront corner of Los Angeles County.
CA-25 (McKeon – R): 53% Obama / 45% McCain
CA-27 (Sherman – D): 71% Obama / 27% McCain
CA-28 (Berman – D): 80% Obama / 18% McCain
CA-29 (Schiff – D): 69% Obama / 29% McCain
CA-30 (Waxman – D): 63% Obama / 35% McCain
CA-31 (Becerra – D): 80% Obama / 17% McCain
CA-32 (Chu – D): 58% Obama / 40% McCain I think Dreier actually lives here.
CA-33 (Bass – D): 77% Obama / 22% McCain
CA-34 (Roybal-Allard – D): 76% Obama / 22% McCain
CA-35 (Waters – D): 88% Obama / 11% McCain
CA-36 (Harman – D): 59% Obama / 39% McCain
CA-37 (Richardson – D): 84% Obama / 15% McCain
CA-38 (Napolitano – D): 64% Obama / 34% McCain
CA-39 (Linda Sanchez – D): 60% Obama / 38% McCain
With LA out of the way, it’s time to wrap up SoCal after the map.
Below I have added my final maps. The first covers Orange County & the Inland Empire; the second covers the San Diego area. Here is how I proceeded to map these districts.
24) I started with Orange County by taking the last bit of LA and joining it with Huntington Beach to make CA-46. I then put CA-47 in Fullerton, Anaheim, and Buena Park and Irvine/Newport Beach in CA-48.
CA-46 (Rohrabacher – R): 48% Obama / 50% McCain
CA-47 (Loretta Sanchez – D): 52% Obama / 46% McCain
CA-48 (Campbell – R): 55% Obama / 43% McCain
25) I then put the city of San Bernardino in CA-43, and finished off San Bernardino County with CA-42, which still needed about 90,000 people. However, I wasn’t sure whether these should come from Orange County or Riverside County.
CA-43 (Baca – D): Obama 61% / McCain 37%
26) I now switched to Riverside County by placing CA-45 in the eastern 2/3 anchored with Palm Springs, and then centered CA-44 on the city of Riverside and Moreno Valley. I think CA-44 might actually be the vacant seat, so maybe I should’ve labeled it CA-26..
CA-45 (Bono Mack – R): 51% Obama / 48% McCain
CA-44 (Calvert – R, or maybe vacant): 58% Obama / 40% McCain
27) I then started CA-51 with Imperial County and added eastern San Diego County basically up to the coastal strip. That still left me needing 440,000 people, and neatest way to add them was to take the South Bay area (Chula Vista & Imperial Beach).
CA-51 (Filner – D): 51% Obama / 47% McCain
28) The city of San Diego can clearly anchor two compact districts, so I just split it down the middle with CA-52 and CA-53. I then added CA-50 along the coast, and started CA-49 in Oceanside.
CA-50 (Bilbray – R): 50% Obama / 48% McCain
CA-52 (Hunter – R): 55% Obama / 44% McCain
CA-53 (Davis – D): 66% Obama / 32% McCain
29) At this point it’s clear that if CA-49 goes into Riverside County, either Riverside or Orange will be subdivided once more than necessary. So, I finish off Orange County with CA-49 and CA-40, leaving 15,000 people in the southeast corner.
CA-40 (Royce – R): 43% Obama / 55% McCain
CA-49 (Issa – R): 46% Obama / 52% McCain
30) This leaves only Riverside County, where I wrap up CA-42 with Norco, and create what is essentially a new Inland Empire seat from Temecula to Corona (along with those 15,000 people from the corner of O.C.) I’ve numbered it CA-26, but it doesn’t actually overlap Dreier’s current district, and I think Calvert lives here in Corona, which would make the CA-44 district the vacant one.
CA-42 (Miller – R): 53% Obama / 45% McCain
CA-26 (Dreier – R; but actually either vacant or maybe Calvert – R): 44% Obama / 55% McCain
Whatever the case, I think that more than covers it! Please let me know what you think of my maps. Am I on track or way off base??