Louisiana Redistricting: New Pres Numbers by CD

With the Louisiana redistricting map one of the first to emerge intact from the sausage-making process, it’s time to crunch the numbers and see just what kind of districts we wound up with. (Notice that I’m not saying the map is a done deal… the Obama DOJ might still weigh in and shake things up, as they could conceivably push for a second African-American plurality district under the VRA.) Our resident data guru, jeffmd, has sliced and diced the shapefiles on the state House’s website, overlaid that onto the VTDs available from the Census Bureau, matched the VTDs to 2008 and 2010 election results available from the Louisiana SoS website, and voila:

District Obama # McCain # Obama % McCain % Fayard % Dardenne % Melancon % Vitter %
LA-01 81,515 233,789 25.34 72.68 25.30 74.70 24.89 69.79
LA-02 235,554 81,703 73.36 25.44 73.01 26.99 70.38 24.72
LA-03 111,831 210,951 34.06 64.25 39.36 60.64 31.40 62.55
LA-04 126,899 187,020 39.94 58.86 45.78 54.22 36.29 57.54
LA-05 124,119 209,705 36.69 61.98 40.04 59.96 32.98 60.31
LA-06 103,071 225,094 30.90 67.49 33.04 66.96 32.45 62.02

The full precinct-by-precinct dataset, courtesy of Google Docs, is available here.

If you aren’t familiar with the contours of the new map, you can take a look here. In a nutshell, the 1st remains the New Orleans suburbs, the 2nd remains New Orleans proper (although now it reaches into Baton Rouge’s African-American neighborhoods as well), the 4th is still centered on Shreveport, the 5th is still Monroe and Alexandria, and the 6th is still centered on Baton Rouge (even if its core is now missing). The big difference is the 3rd, which now mostly occupies what used to be the 7th, across Lake Charles and Lafayette; the old 3rd, in Cajun country south of New Orleans, has been parceled out to the 1st, new 3rd/former 7th, and also the 6th and 2nd.

As you can see, the redistricting result is very, very likely to result in a 5-1 map. The friendliest district for Dems, after the 2nd, is now the Shreveport-based 4th, but even it didn’t even see Barack Obama hit 40%. That’s not much different from the current setup (where he did hit 40%); the old 6th was the friendliest for Dems, but barely more so (with 41% for Obama).

Greg Giroux has some other interesting tidbits available on how the 3rd district (which is now poised to become a battleground between incumbent GOPers Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry) got neatly dismantled: Boustany represents 575K of the 3rd’s residents, while Landry represents only 180K of them, a nearly 3:1 advantage for Boustany. Of the old 3rd, 29% of it wound up in LA-01, 28% in new LA-03, 24% in LA-06, and 18% in LA-02. (The Daily Kingfish has picked up on this, and speculates that Landry might be better off challenging Steve Scalise in the 1st instead.)  

38 thoughts on “Louisiana Redistricting: New Pres Numbers by CD”

  1. What will the DOJ do? Democrats last controlled the DOJ during redistricting in 1960. It looks like the only way to turn this 5-1 map into a 4-2 map will be if the DOJ pushes for a second minority district.

  2. The only option that seems to be on the table is a court challenge. Does Louisiana have the population needed for a 2nd VRA district? What are the demographic numbers for each district?

  3. It’s nothing but a racial gerrymander. I know they can argue they were trying to avoid retrogression, but really retrogression was unavoidable because of Hurricane Katrina related population loss. Regardless of partisan repercussions, I do think black voters should be packed like this map packs them.

    1. Rather or not black legislators would have voted for it had it not been in this shape does not change the fact that it is a racial gerrymander.

  4. The yellow district is black majority VAP.

    The green district is minority majority VAP.

    Every district is a coherent community of interest (except maybe the teal, which is leftovers). Unlike the proposed Republican map.

    The DOJ should fight for something like this.

    Republicans can’t complain. It’s 4R-2D. Only 3 years ago LA was 4R-3D with only 1 VRA district.

    Here the VRA creates an R+28 district in between 2 D+3’s. In a northern state the VRA is more likely to create a D+28 district in between 2 R+3’s.

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