AZ Congressional Elections: Baselines and What to Watch on Tuesday

In light of the fact that Arizona has no less than five(!) competitive congressional races next week, I wanted to put together county-level vote baselines for each of the competitive races. Of course, three of those five congressional districts (AZ-03, AZ-05 and AZ-08) are mostly or entirely within one county so baselines don’t do much good there. I’ll go ahead and provide baselines for AZ-01, AZ-07 and throw in AZ-08. For AZ-03, AZ-05, and again AZ-08, I will be providing information about the State Legislative districts within their boundaries and give you some idea of what to look for based on which LDs report first.

First, though, a few general notes about election night. Polls close at 7pm local time (that’s 10pm on the East Coast and 7pm in California because most of Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time). Nothing will be reported, however, until 8pm, when counties will release most or all of the Early Voters and Vote-by-Mail results. Precinct level results will then start to come in.

AZ-01 (Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff)

Alright, first up is Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, where Flagstaff Democratic Ann Kirkpatrick is in the fight of her life against Flagstaff Republican Paul Gosar. Now, I decided to use 2008-based baselines instead of 2006-based ones. This might strike some people as odd, because of the widely-parroted idea that turnout on the Navajo Nation surges during off-year elections. Unfortunately for Kirkpatrick, I’ve crunched a lot of numbers regarding voting on the Navajo Nation over the last ten years and that simply is an exaggeration. In the 2008 election, the Navajo Nation made up 12.5% of the AZ-01 electorate. In the 2006 election, that percentage was only a little bit higher, 13.5%.  However, other differences between the 2006 and 2008 electorate have a bigger influence on the baselines, most notably the fact that it doesn’t capture continuing growth in Pinal County and that it overestimates likely Democratic performance in Yavapai County (where ’06 Dem nominee Ellen Simon lived) while underestimating Democratic performance in the White Mountains (where Ann Kirkpatrick was born and raised-and where Simon got stomped.) If you want to figure that turnout in Apache, Coconino and Yavapai Counties will be slightly higher and slightly bluer (and thus Gosar will need to do slightly better in places like Yavapai County than the baseline suggests) go ahead. If you’re holding out for a Navajo Nation turnout miracle, however, prepare to be disappointed.

Anyway, here’s the baseline.

Counties Kirkpatrick ’08 Hay Other Percent of CD Kirkpatrick ’10 Gosar Other
Yavapai 47 47 6 34 39 57 4
Coconino 65 29 5 19 57 39 3
Pinal 59 37 5 13 51 47 3
Navajo 57 40 3 12 49 49 2
Apache 74 23 3 9 66 32 2
Gila 52 43 5 8 44 53 3
Graham 43 54 3 4 35 63 2
Greenlee 60 37 3 1 52 46 2
Total 56 39 5 100 48 49 3

I’ve already summed up most of the intricacies of the AZ-01, but I’d throw in that Pinal County will probably be the crucial swing area.

Also, if anyone is curious about the totalities of my findings on the influence of the Navajo Nation on AZ-01, I’ll try to get another diary up before an election. (But here’s the biggest shock: Paul Babbit didn’t get spanked in ’04 because the Navajo Nation didn’t turn out; they turned out at almost the same rate they did in 2002-they just voted for Renzi!).

AZ-03 (OPEN)

Next up is Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, where Phoenix Democrat Jon Hulbred is hoping to pull off a major upset against Dan progeny and Phoenix Republican Ben Quayle. Now a Democrat winning an open seat in a R+9 district in this cycle does seem a bit like science fiction, but polls have indicated that the race might be quite close, and the southern half of the district has been trending Democratic. Add in Quayle’s “broken moral compass” and Hulbred’s ability to self-fund and, well, this district bears watching.

Now, how can we actually watch this district, as it’s entirely in Maricopa County? Well, while I obviously can’t provide any meaningful county baselines, I can give you an idea of what state legislative districts are in the district so you adjust your expectations to the race based on what LDs report first. I’m only providing information on Lds where the majority of the population lives in the CD, as those are the most relevant.

LD Location Reps (Sntr, Rep, Rep) Approx. % of LD in CD Obama (District-Wide) McCain (District-Wide)
LD-06 Northwest PHX, Anthem OPEN, Seele, Reeve 95 39 59
LD-07 Northeast PHX, Carefree OPEN, OPEN, OPEN 85 40 59
LD-10 Sunnyslope, Metrocenter Gray, Weiers, Yee 70 44 54
LD-11 Camelback Mtn, Paradise Valley OPEN, OPEN, Meyer 90 46 53

Alright, so the question that you’ll have to figure out if you want an idea of Hulbred’s chances on Tuesday is what part of AZ-03 is reporting first. If LD-06 and LD-07 report more quickly than the southern end of the district and Hulbred is holding up pretty well, than he may well be on his way to a big upset. If LD-10 and LD-11 appear to be reporting first and Hulbred isn’t up big, than it likely isn’t happening.

For another way of looking at this, you can also consider the results of some of these LD races. If Democrats Justin Johnson and/or Rita Dickinson look like they’re on their ways to winning the State Senate races in LD-10 and LD-11, respectively, then that would be a good sign for Hulburd as both parties are extremely active in both Lds, particularly in the State Senate races.

AZ-05 (Harry Mitchell, D-Tempe)

My bet for the biggest nail-biter in Arizona on Tuesday in Arizona’s 5th Congressional District, where Tempe Democrat Harry Mitchell is in a difficult rematch against Fountain Hills Republican David Schweikert. While Congressman Mitchell performed better than expected against former Maricopa County Treasurer Schweikert in 2008, that was in part because of huge turnout from Arizona State University-something he probably can’t count on this time.

Again, county-level baselines would be pointless in this district because the whole district is in Maricopa County. However, paying close attention to which Legislative Districts turn out first can give you a pretty good idea of what’s going on Tuesday night.

LD Location Reps (Sntr, Rep, Rep) Approx. % of LD in CD Obama (District-Wide) McCain (District-Wide)
LD-08 Scottsdale, Fountain Hills OPEN, OPEN, Kavanagh 100 41 58
LD-17 Tempe, Downtown Scottsdale OPEN, Ableser, OPEN 100 56 42
LD-20 Western Chandler, Ahwatukee OPEN, OPEN, Waters 90 48 50

Since the district is pretty well concentrated into three Lds (with small fragments in several others), and one is heavily Republican, one is relatively Democratic, and one happens to be the most closely divided  in the state. Basically, if LD-08 comes in first and Mitchell’s still holding up ok, than he should be fine. He’ll probably need a big win (and big turnout) in LD-17 to pull this out though, so if LD-17 is leading the pack and Schweikert’s looking pretty strong, this race is probably done.

If you want to consider LD races as well, keep a close eye on LD-17. In the State Senate race, Democratic State Rep. David Schapira is in a close race with Republican Wendy Rogers. If Rogers looks like she’s going to win, it’s hard to imagine how Mitchell holds on. I’d love to tell you what to look for in the LD-20 State Senate race except, umm, for some reason we’re not fielding a candidate there. Only the Arizona Democratic Party wouldn’t put up a challenger in an open seat that gave Obama 48% of the vote against native son Johnny Mac. Ugh. Anyway, I guess people can watch State Rep. Rae Waters in LD-20, though I think she’ll be fine either way.

AZ-07 (Raúl Grijalva, D-Tucson)

Republicans are ecstatic at the prospect of unseating Tucson Democrat Raúl Grijalva with Tucson Republican Ruth McClung. But do they really have a realistic chance of knocking off the Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus with someone running on a Tea Party platform? Both my heart and my gut say that it’s unlikely, but weird things happen in wave elections and the district is only D+6. It seems like some of the furor over immigration has cooled off, but it’s not like the boycott is entirely forgotten. That being said, I’m not sure that the boycott moves enough Hispanics and White liberals for McClung to get over the top.

Counties Grijalva ’08 Sweeney Other Percent of CD Grijalva ’10 McClung Other
Pima 73 24 4 48 58 39 3
Yuma 50 45 5 21 35 62 3
Maricopa 57 39 4 16 42 55 3
Pinal 49 47 4 8 34 63 3
Santa Cruz 79 19 2 5 64 34 2
La Paz 42 54 4 3 27 70 3
Total 63 33 4 101 48 49 3

I think this model illustrates the difficulty McClung will face in getting over the top, but all shows the potential for her to get relatively close. I could easily see her doing about that well in Yuma, La Paz, Maricopa and Pinal Counties-Yuma and La Paz Counties generally lean Republican and probably won’t be in the mood to split their tickets the year, and the portions of Maricopa and Pinal Counties that are in AZ-07 have seen big influxes of exburban Whites along with some middle-class Hispanics, so it’s surprising that Grijalva has held up there as well as he has. The potentially fatal problem for McClung, however, is Pima and Santa Cruz Counties. McClung can barely even pronounce Nogales, she’s not going to get many cross-over voters there. Meanwhile, the portion of Pima County in AZ-07 contains primarily urban Hispanics, several different tribes of American Indians and lots of those mythical “Tucson White liberals” everyone yammers on about when discussing racial politics in Arizona. She might pluck off some voters from the latter group, but her conservative profile makes it difficult for her to make deep in-roads.

Alright, that might have been a little too much spin, but the point is that, on balance, the political geography is rather hazardous for McClung, and, unless it’s clear early in the night that key demographics aren’t showing up, Grijalva should be on his way to a close but comfortable victory.

AZ-08 (Gabrielle Giffords, D-Tucson)

We end this journey of competitive house races in Arizona with the place where I was born and raised, Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, where Tucson Democrat Gabrielle Giffords is locked in a tough race with Marana Republican Jesse Kelly. While Republicans expressed concerns about their chances of winning this district after Kelly won the primary and Giffords has run several of this cycles better political ads, neither party is leaving anything to chance, and this will almost surely be the closest race of Giffords’ congressional career. Also in Giffords’ favor is the fact that she’s built a decent GOTV operation-nothing too flashy but much better than what the Arizona Democratic Party puts forth, which is basically nothing (Do you guys realize that Dems probably would have won the Arizona State House in 2008 if we had the GOTV operation pretty much any other respectable Democratic party has? Imagine: no massive education cuts, no suspension of the corporate property tax, SB 1070 has to be compromised or it’s thrown out entirely… but I digress).

Here’s what we have for a baseline…

Counties Giffords ’08 Bee Other Percent of CD Giffords ’10 Bee Other
Pima 56 42 2 82 50 48 2
Cochise 49 48 3 15 43 54 3
Pinal 45 54 1 2 39 60 1
Santa Cruz 57 41 3 1 51 47 3
Total 55 43 2 100 49 49 2

As you can see, it isn’t actually that useful, because the bulk of the district lives in Pima County. If Kelly doesn’t look like he’s going to win Cochise County, than forget it. If Giffords is struggling in Pima County, than she’s probably struggling district-wide, but I didn’t have to tell you that.

In this case, legislative districts might be more useful than just baselines alone, because so depends on what part of the district reports first.

LD Location Reps (Sntr, Rep, Rep) Approx. % of LD in CD Obama (District-Wide) McCain (District-Wide)
LD-25 Nogales, Douglas, Rural South. AZ Alvarez, Fleming, Stevens 50 47 52
LD-26 Northern Tucson Suburbs Melvin, Williams, Wright 100 45 54
LD-28 Midtown Tucson Aboud, Farley, OPEN 85 62 37
LD-29 Southside Tucson, Davis-Monthan AFB Lopez, Patterson, Heinz 50 59 40
LD-30 Eastern Tucson Suburbs, Sierra Vista Antenori, Gowan, Vogt 100 43 56

I should note that my disclaimer that Obama/McCain numbers come from the LD-at-large and not the fragment within the CD is particularly relevent, because the portions of LD-25 and LD-29 that are in AZ-08 are somewhat more Republican than the presidential numbers suggest. The part of LD-25 in AZ-08 is probably about as Republican as LD-30 and the part of LD-29 in AZ-08 is probably pretty close to 50/50. So, if Giffords is struggling but the only parts of the district in are LD-25 & LD-30, I wouldn’t hit the panic button just yet. But if she’s struggling, LD-28 is all in, and you’re hoping LD-29 is going to save her, it’s probably not happening. In the last two races, Giffords has done very well in LD-26, because its tendency is to elect moderates. If LD-26 is the first out that gate and it looks like it’s turning on her, than it’s going to be a long night.

If you want to peg Giffords’ chances to legislative districts, again, keep a close eye on LD-26. Despite first (barely) winning in a Democratic year, Republican State Sen. Al Melvin is probably in serious trouble in his rematch against Democrat Cheryl Cage; if it looks like she’s going to win then that’s probably a pretty good sign for Giffords. If Democrat Todd Camenisch is upsetting Republican State Sen. Frank Antenori in LD-30, then it’ll probably be a good night for Southern Arizona Dems and Giffords should be fine. Manny Alvarez will likely have a pretty close race in LD-25 against Republican Gail Griffin, but unless he’s losing badly results there are going to say more about turnout in AZ-07 than voters turning against Dems in AZ-08.  

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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Taking on Arizona

I decided to take on Arizona with its unique redistricting rules. Contrary to many states, Arizona focuses less on incumbent protection and even competitiveness, and more on “communities of interest” (though doesn’t really provide a clear definition for what this means). Additionally, as evidence by the 2000 map which sought unsuccessfully to make Arizona a 5R-3D state in line with its partisan leanings, they will very likely address the fact that the current 5D-3R doesn’t look like Arizona either and draw definitely one and likely both of the new districts so that they elect Republicans. On the same token I’d expect them to address the fact that there’s sort of a problem when Obama won 45% of the vote here yet he has the potential to only have won 2 of the 10 districts, so thus I chose to create a 3rd Obama district. As they do kinda take into consideration competitiveness, at least as an afterthought, 5 of the 8 old districts are now closer to 50-50 than they were before. I opted not to create a 3rd Hispanic-majority district, as I really don’t think that a third one will be mandated by the Justice Department. In fact, as best as I can tell, AZ-07 wasn’t required in 2000, either (remember, despite popular opinion whenever someone redistricts Louisiana here, the Justice Department doesn’t actually require that the percent of districts that a state has that are minority-majority must be equal to the percent of it’s population that is Hispanic (otherwise Texas would look much, much better for us)). However, they will likely require that there is a working Hispanic majority in a second district, thus AZ-07 should see a bit of an uptick in its Hispanic population. That being said, it’s still a very legitimate possibility that the redistricting commission opts to create a 3rd Hispanic-majority district anyway, though there probably isn’t a strong a “community of interest” argument for one this time around (as the two largest Hispanic communities, South Phoenix & the border, are already covered and the next largest, the southern part of the West Valley, doesn’t really have a large enough Hispanic community just yet.

I calculated political data based off these maps for the 2004 and 2008 presidential races to provide more depth to this map, as I’ve noticed that a lot of the recent maps rely on at best educated guesses for what the actual political realities are on the ground. While I’m confident enough in my data to post it, it likely isn’t perfect. Arizona doesn’t have townships or anything like that, so sometimes it’s difficult to figure out exactly where precincts belong. Additionally, I’d like to thank Dave and his awesome Redistrict Application, which made this possible.

Finally, I’m perfectly aware that the nature of the rules in Arizona means that someone could come in with the same basic goals that I have and come out with a very different map, so I’d love to here what other people have to think.

AZ-01 (Blue): Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, R+3.4

-Flagstaff, Douglas, Payson

54% White, 23% American Indian, 19% Hispanic

More rural than ever (Flagstaff is the only town larger than 20K), the new AZ-01 drops the urban-suburban regions of Pinal County while maintaining its decidedly rural and Hispanic eastern edge, and pulls out of most of the rapidly urbanizing Prescott area, hanging on to only the more rural edges like Chino. Meanwhile, it picks up the ranching region of Cochise County (which like the rest of the Anglo population of eastern Arizona, has become quite conservative but remains somewhat Dem-friendly at the local level) along with some more liberal border towns; I’d argue that Cochise County outside SV makes a lot more sense in Kirkpatrick’s district than Giffords’ from the communities of interest POV.

The ditching of Evangelical-heavy Prescott does help to make this district somewhat more Democratic, but it also means that it’s trending Republican faster than ever as that corridor of Mormons, ranchers, and miners in Eastern AZ starting South of the Navajo Nation and ending somewhere immediately north of Douglas and Bisbee grow more Republican by the minute (and it won’t have the potentially Dem-trending suburbs of Pinal County to counteract that anymore). This may be a genuine Gore-Bush-McCain district, though, and the possibility is quite good that Obama wins it in 2012 if he carries AZ.

John McCain won 52% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Apache 15390 8551 295 24236 15658 8384 156 24198
Cochise (part) 10534 13661 420 24615 10272 12096 285 22653
Coconino (part) 31248 22126 723 54097 29030 22465 383 51378
Gila 7884 14095 337 22316 8314 12343 186 20843
Graham 3487 8376 144 12007 3185 7467 68 10720
Greenlee 1165 1712 36 2913 1146 1899 22 3067
Maricopa (part) 1091 809 40 1940 1138 696 14 1848
Navajo (part) 14879 19592 455 34926 14035 17116 247 31398
Pinal (part) 4328 4512 116 8956 4420 3909 59 8388
Yavapai (part) 17885 27393 705 45983 16091 23516 329 39936
Total 107891 120827 3271 231989 103289 109891 1749 214929

AZ-02 (Red): Rep. Trent Franks, R+7.5

-Glendale, western Phoenix, Avondale

55% White, 33% Hispanic, 5% Black

While I ended up opting against drawing an Arizona map with a third Hispanic majority district (though there’s a good argument for one and that may be my next project), I did have to address the fact that there’s a relatively large and rapidly growing Hispanic population in Phoenix’s suburb’s southern West Valley that is currently mostly in 7th. I decided that a Phoenix district had to take them on to maximize their voice, and the Glendale-based 2nd district was the obvious choice. Additionally, as I ceded Peoria & the exburbs to the new 9th, this district had to go deeper into western Phoenix, now going clear east to I-17 though northern and much of central Phoenix and has to take in a few precincts in south western Phoenix for population purposes.

Trent Franks would find himself in a bit of pickle. On one hand this district is clearly Dem-trending (I could see it voting Democratic on the presidential level as early as 2012) and the growth of the Hispanic population will eventually drown him. Meanwhile, there’s an invitingly Republican district directly to the West and surely most of the conservative establishment, much of which was represented by Franks for the past 6 years anyway, will bow to this noted douchebag far-right luminary. That being said, Franks has a coveted seat on the Armed Services committee–a seat he may lose if he’s chooses not to represent Luke Air Force Base, which is still in the 2nd along with most of its employee. If Franks were to decide he only supports the troops when they’re in safe districts and bails, Republicans would still have a pretty good chance of holding this district with State Sen. Linda Gray or Glendale mayor Elaine Scruggs being potentially leading candidates, though we’d have a legitimate shot with someone like Avondale mayor Marie Lopez Rogers. Otherwise, look for Franks to be in the race of his life sometime around 2014.

John McCain won 54% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Maricopa (part) 86328 103617 3250 193195 69754 94108 1050 164912

AZ-03 (Purple): Rep. John Shadegg, R+12.0

-Northern Phoenix, northern Scottsdale, New River

83% White, 11% Hispanic

Based around the tract homes and gated communities of McMansions that have popped up in northern Maricopa County here in the last 20 years, this is probably the wealthiest district in Arizona. It sheds much of the more culturely liberal neighborhoods in central Phoenix, now beginning north of Camelback and the North Mountains which gives it a decidedly suburban character despite the fact that the majority of its inhabitants live in the Phoenix city limits. Most people here commute to 4th and the 5th, though there is a substantial central business district in the 3rd’s new portion of Scottsdale–which I decided to include because there’s a division between the more middle-class southern and downtown Scottsdale and the disgustingly wealthy northern Scottsdale. In any event, Shadegg will fit here like a glove, as this district is safely Republican.

John McCain won 59% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Maricopa (part) 115630 174838 4313 294781 95226 151454 1231 247911

AZ-04 (Grey): Rep. Ed Pastor, D+15.4

-Southern Phoenix, Guadalupe

71% Hispanic, 17% White, 8% Black

The southern Phoenix based 4th district doesn’t change that much, just shrinking because of population growth and becoming even more Hispanic. There are some upper class subdivisions in the Laveen area, but by in large this is working-class urban district that will continue to be the most Democratic district in Arizona.

Barack Obama won 68% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Maricopa (part) 62390 27826 1398 91614 43697 24414 482 68593

AZ-05 (Yellow): Rep. Harry Mitchell, D+2.6

-Central Phoenix, Tempe, southern Scottsdale

58% White, 29% Hispanic

As I mentioned above, the fact that there is a big potential for this map to only have two districts out of ten that Obama won when he pulled off a respectable 45% of the vote is kind of a problem. If it took some kind of massive gerrymander to ameliorate that situation then it would be a problem, but I’d argue that this district is just as logical if not more so than the current AZ-05.

Essentially, I tried to create a “creative class” district that is well educated but more culturally liberal than the 3rd on the other side of the mountains. Starting in Tempe (home to ASU and several software companies) it moves up through several middle-class southern Scottsdale neighborhoods and then artsy downtown Scottsdale, then turns West into Phoenix to take in several historic middle-class neighborhoods such as Arcadia and Encanto before turning north again to end at the traditionally working-class but gentrifying Sunnyslope. One thing that occurred to me just as I was writing this up is that ASU’s Downtown Campus is a just a couple miles the south of Encanto area and ASU west is just a couple miles to the northwest of Sunnyslope, so if I were to redraw this map, adding those two campuses into this district would be one of my first priorities.

This would probably be pretty safe for Democrats (though Republicans do definitely have a base here) but the bigger threat to Harry Mitchell might be a primary challenge out of Phoenix and from the left. State Rep. (and de facto future State Sen.) Kyrsten Sinema, who represents much of the Phoenix portion of this district already and is seen as a major rising star in the liberal wing of the state party would probably take a look (incidentally, she’d be the first openly bisexual member of congress).

Barack Obama won 54% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Maricopa (part) 96261 78728 3469 178458 88501 79006 1231 1687382

AZ-06 (Teal): Rep. Jeff Flake, R+13.5

-Mesa, Apache Junction, northern Gilbert

71% White, 22% Hispanic

The current version of this district has swelled to become the largest in Arizona, so it needed to shed quite a bit of territory. It now takes in the entirety of Mesa (picking up the westside that was shed by the 5th) but loses its portion of Chandler, almost of Gilbert, and all of Queen Creek & the San Tan Valley. Mesa, which has sizable Mormon and retired communities, is starting to become more diverse with a growing Hispanic minority, and may eventually be at the center of a swing district. In the short-term, however, it should continue to be one of the Republican strongholds in the interior West.

John McCain won 60% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Maricopa (part) 72159 114697 3793 190649 64189 114338 1038 179565
Pinal (part) 8099 12268 257 20624 7633 11114 92 18839
Total 80258 126965 4050 211273 71822 125452 1130 198404

AZ-07 (Cyan): Rep. Raul Grijalva, D+8.9

-Western Tucson, most of Yuma, Nogales

57% Hispanic, 33% White

While from the best information I can gather, this district was not actually mandated by the Justice Department, thus the fact that it was only 50.6% Hispanic in 2000 and was basically reliant on White liberals in Tucson to ensure the election of a Hispanic. However, with Arizona pushing 30% Hispanic, only one district where Hispanics are decidedly in the drivers seat isn’t going to do it, thus making the 7th a little more Hispanic was a major priority. It pulls out of Maricopa County for population reasons (except for that small part on the Tohono O’odahm Rez) and Pinal County because, despite what DRA says, that region has swelled somewhere north 40K and is decidedly suburban, making the prospect that it is still majority Hispanic highly unlikely. Taking suburban Yuma out of the district goes a long way, and allows this district to become more Hispanic while only making minor alterations to the Tucson area. It should continue to be safely Democratic, especially if Republicans keep nominating that White supremacist.

Barack Obama won 59% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Maricopa (part) 17 12 0 29 40 4 0 44
Pima (part) 73583 42308 1505 117396 70118 38064 721 108903
Pinal (part) 115 34 0 149 174 34 0 208
Santa Cruz (part) 7259 3222 65 10546 5637 3397 50 9084
Yuma (part) 16066 19428 334 35828 13762 18259 173 32194
Total 97040 65004 1904 163948 89731 59758 944 150433

AZ-08 (Pink): Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, R+4.3

-Eastern Tucson, Casas Adobes, Catalina Foothills

74% White, 17% Hispanic

Certainly the district that changes the least as far as presidential performance, though I did try to make it more urban-suburban based and more military-centric by dropping rural Cochise County to the 1st. This should be another district that Obama wins in 2012 if he manages to carry the state.

John McCain won 52% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Cochise (part) 8409 15365 397 24171 7242 14460 128 21830
Pima (part) 132618 141801 3108 277527 122890 132694 1387 256971
Pinal (part) 2660 3953 40 6653 2014 3221 16 5251
Santa Cruz (part) 1424 1296 36 2756 1272 1271 30 2573
Total 145111 162415 3581 311107 133418 151646 1561 286625

AZ-09 (Green): NEW, R+14.3

-Peoria, Surprise, Prescott

77% White, 16% Hispanic

The fact that the Republican performance in several districts decreased should balance out the fact that this district will now be the most Republican in Arizona. If AZ-01 is the rural district, this is the medium-sized town district, encompassing most of the Prescott-Prescott Valley area, Bullhead City, Kingman, Lake Havasu City, and suburban Yuma. However, a little more than half of its population lives in the West Valley of Phoenix, as evidenced by the fact that rapidly growing Peoria and Suprise are the two largest cities. The Sun City area rounds out this heavily conservative district’s tilt and contributes to a large retired population along with Mohave County.

This district is pretty much impregnable for us. As I mentioned, Trent Franks would probably seriously consider running out here. If not, potential new representatives include current SOS and former State Senate President Ken Bennett, current State Senate President Bob Burns (though he’d be 74 on election day 2012, so that might not be realistic), State Sens. Steve Pierce and Jack Harper, though it would probably a five-ring frakus no matter what happens.

John McCain won 62% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Coconino (part) 185 60 2 247 213 61 2 276
La Paz 1929 3509 114 5552 1849 3159 48 5055
Maricopa (part) 67007 109897 2865 179769 47540 77762 525 125827
Mohave 22092 44333 1180 67605 20503 36794 510 57807
Navajo (part) 704 169 5 878 780 161 4 945
Yavapai (part) 19011 33789 756 53556 17036 29952 283 47271
Yuma (part) 2493 5149 120 7762 2270 3925 34 6229
Total 113421 196906 5042 315369 90191 151813 1406 243410

AZ-10 (Indigo): NEW, R+10.1

-Chandler, most of Gilbert, Ahwatukee Foothills

62% White, 25% Hispanic

The second new district pairs the rapid growth in southeastern Maricopa County with the rapid growth in western Pinal County to create a district that had barely more than 100K residents 25 years ago. Their remains some agriculture (mainly in Pinal County) and some Native Americans (the awkward reentry of the district into Maricopa County west of the 4th district is so that it can take in the rest of the Gila River Indian Reservation; Indian Reservations cannot and will not be broken up, btw, so please don’t suggest that in your comments), but it’s identity is first and foremost suburban. The sizable Hispanic community and swing areas like Ahwatukee could help make this district competitive, but any Democratic candidate will have to struggle to not be absolutely demolished in Gilbert and the San Tan Valley.

Politically, it leans pretty strongly Republican and was drawn to elect one, but there is some potential that it could end up in a Democrat’s hands. Potential Republican candidates include State Senate President pro tempore Thayer Verschoor and State House Majority Leader John McCormish. Democratic State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Rebecca Rios, who represents the Pinal County portion of the district and will be term limited in 2012 anyway, may be able to make this a horse race.

John McCain won 57% of the vote here in 2008.

Counties Obama McCain Others Total Kerry Bush Others Total
Maricopa (part) 93790 126879 3301 223970 71363 108729 885 180976
Pinal (part) 29052 38652 795 68499 13011 18728 166 31905
Total 122842 165531 4096 292469 84374 127456 1051 212881

Redistricting Texas, y’all!

Ok, so I decided to take on Texas. My mindset for this map was that Republicans would be controlling it, but they would be exercising rationality, realizing their time of statewide domination may be nearing a close, and that throwing Democrats a few bones now is much better than throwing Democrats the entire map later in the decade. If you don’t think Republicans will wake up and smell the coffee and just gun for a dummymander, get your grain of salt ready now.

Of course, a special thanks goes out to Dave and his amazing Redistricting App for making this all possible.

North Texas:

South Texas:


Dallas-Fort Worth:


San Antonio/Austin:


In detail:

Texas’s 1st Congressional District (Medium Blue)

-Tyler, Longview, Lufkin

67% White, 17% Black, 14% Hispanic

Texas’s 2nd Congressional District (Dark Green)

-Beaumont, Port Arthur, La Porte

64% White, 17% Black, 16% Hispanic

—Picks up Chambers & east Galveston Counties, along with some of the Whiter parts of the old TX-22’s portion of Harris County, while ceding part of the Spring area to the new TX-34

Texas’s 3rd Congressional District (Purple)

-Most of Plano, McKinney, Allen

65% White, 15% Hispanic, 10% Asian

—This area has grown ridiculously and is rapidly Dem-trending. It does shed some of south Collins County to shore up the TX-32, but staves off the coming demographic disaster by dropping the Garland area as well. To help compensate, it picks up some of exburban Collins County from the TX-4.

Texas’s 4th Congressional District (Red)

-Sherman, Texarkana, Paris

75% White, 11% Hispanic, 11% Black

Texas’s 5th Congressional District (School Bus Yellow)

-West Dallas, most of Mesquite, Most of Garland

57% White, 24% Hispanic, 13% Black

—This picks up most of the Garland area, and while that helps boosts the minority population significantly, it should be more than compensated by the uber-conservative rural population (though it drops some of that as well).

Texas’s 6th Congressional District (Teal)

-College Station, Huntsville, Corsicana

66% White, 18% Hispanic, 14% Black

—I ended up pulling this completely out of Tarrant County, making this an entirely exburban/rural district, which makes it more conservative and helps facilitate the creation of a new conservative-leaning district in south Tarrant County.

Texas’s 7th Congressional District (Light Grey)

-West Houston, Bellaire

58% White, 27% Hispanic

—Picks up some of the Katy area while dropping some Hispanic-majority blocks. The long-term prognosis for keeping this district Republican still isn’t fantastic, but it’s that much better than it was.  

Texas’s 8th Congressional District (Steel Blue)

-The Woodlands, Conroe

75% White, 15% Hispanic

Texas’s 9th Congressional District (Cyan)

-Southwest Houston, part of Missouri City

36% Black, 35% Hispanic, 15% White, 12% Asian

—Keeping this plurality African-American was not fun (though admittedly it would have been easier if I weren’t trying to keep Hispanics out of the TX-7). What are the odds this ratio holds out until 2020? Is there precedent for congressional districts transitioning from one protected group until the other?

Texas’s 10th Congressional District (Rose)

-Part of Austin, Pflugerville, Gonzales

64% White, 23% Hispanic

—Pulling out of Harris County doesn’t really help Michael McCaul, but dropping some heavily-Hispanic parts of Austin and picking up several heavily-Republican rural counties and the more conservative parts of the old TX-21’s section of Travis County, so this should be a net-gain. The time is coming when the premise of having a Republican-leaning district taking in a large portion of Austin is ridiculous, but this is probably the best bet for holding on in the meantime.

Texas’s 11th Congressional District (Chartreuse)

-Midland, Odessa, San Angelo

60% White, 35% Hispanic

—With Charlie Stenholm long gone, I went ahead and smoothed out the west Texas districts because none of them are electing a Republican any time remotely soon.

Texas’s 12th Congressional District (Cornflower Blue)

-West Fort Worth, Haltom City

60% White, 29% Hispanic

—Takes in a little more of inner-city Fort Worth, but Granger is (relatively speaking) fairly moderate so it should be a non-issue.

Texas’s 13th Congressional District (Coral Pink)

-Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Pampa

65% White, 26% Hispanic

Texas’s 14th Congressional District (Olive)

-Victoria, Lake Jackson, Seguin

53% White, 36% Hispanic

—Pulls out of Galveston County and picks up more rural counties in Central Texas that the Rio Grande Valley districts have to drop, which does increase the Hispanic population notably. It doesn’t appear to have a major impact on the Republican performance.

Texas’s 15th Congressional District (Orange)

-McAllen, Harlingen, Edinburg

87% Hispanic, 11% White

—This area has grown a ton, so it officially gets to stop being a strip. Neato.

Texas’s 16th Congressional District (Green)

-El Paso, Socorro

81% Hispanic, 14% White

Texas’s 17th Congressional District (Ultramarine)

-Waco, Kileen, Temple

57% White, 22% Hispanic, 17% Black

—The Democratic performance improves significantly here, as the district picks up part of Williamson County and all of Bell County to take the heat off of John Carter and to provide Joe Barton with an entirely non-Metroplex district. I’d guesstimate that McCain still won this district with about 59%-60%, so it hardly leans Democratic (if anything, Chet Edwards might be in more danger from a Republican who can outperform in Bell and Williamson Counties) but it’s not like the Republicans would be interested in helping Edwards out anyway. Realistic? What are your thoughts?

Texas’s 18th Congressional District (Yellow)

-Central Houston

41% Black, 38% Hispanic, 15% White

—Has to shed several Hispanic areas to the TX-29 District to keep African-Americans in the driver’s seat.

Texas’s 19th Congressional District (June Bud)

-Lubbock, Abilene, Big Spring

62% White, 30% Hispanic

—Again, Charlie Stenholm will be but a memory by 2012, so smoothing out these lines and making this district vaguely more Democratic shouldn’t be an issue.

Texas’s 20th Congressional District (Pink)

-Central San Antonio

72% Hispanic, 20% White

Texas’s 21st Congressional District (Maroon)

-North San Antonio, New Braunfels, Universal City

62% White, 28% Hispanic

—Becomes more San Antonio-based than ever taking in most of Bexar County’s predominately White areas. It drops the Austin area and some of its rural Counties.

Texas’s 22nd Congressional District (Chocolate)

-Sugarland, most of League City, part of Missouri City

56% White, 22% Hispanic, 11% Asian

—This drops its portions of Pasadena, La Porte and most of Pearland while picking up more of Galveston County.  Should be a bit more Republican overall.

Texas’s 23rd Congressional District (Aqua)

-South San Antonio, Del Rio, Pecos

70% Hispanic, 21% White

—The Hispanic population goes up because it now takes in a greater share of South San Antonio along with a few more Hispanic neighborhoods on the east side. Probably still not totally out of reach for Republicans, but it’ll be a little harder than it was. They could make this district more conservative but they’d probably be kinda hesitant given its legal history.

Texas’s 24th Congressional District (Royal Purple)

-Most of Carrollton, Euless, Grapevine,

62% White, 17% Hispanic, 12% Black

—Dropping the Grand Prairie area is a big help to Kenny Marchant, though this district does have to pick up some kinda-competitive areas in north Arlington and central Fort Worth. Still should be conservative enough to hold up through 2020.

Texas’s 25th Congressional District (Salmon Pink)

-Part of Austin, San Marcos

43% White, 42% Hispanic

—Shrinks considerable, mostly to help Michael McCaul. It might actually be plurality Hispanic by 2010, though it would likely still be dominated by liberal Whites, so I don’t know if it would qualify as a protected district.

Texas’s 26th Congressional District (Gray)

-Denton, Frisco, Lewisville

72% White, 16% Hispanic

—Drops central Fort Worth which, along with the new exburban Collins County portion, which makes it much more conservative. Maybe too much so? Should these lines be altered to somehow take the heat off of Pete Sessions? Is that even possible?

Texas’s 27th Congressional District (Spring Green)

-Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Kingsville

71% Hispanic, 25% White

Texas’s 28th Congressional District (Mauve)

-Laredo, Mission, Eagle Pass

91% Hispanic

—Would a 91% Hispanic district even be legal? This really isn’t that gerrymandered; it moves out of its awkward chunk of Bexar County and consolidates the voices in the Central Rio Grande Valley. But still, as one of (the?) least White districts in the nation, would this count as packing even if it makes geographical sense?

Texas’s 29th Congressional District (Tea Green)

-East & North Houston, Galena Park

63% Hispanic, 21% White, 13% Black

—The percentage of the population which is Hispanic actually drops somewhat in part because of the new TX-33 to the immediate South which takes the old TX-29’s portions of north Pasadena and east Houston, but Hispanics are still the decisive majority.

Texas’s 30th Congressional District (Carnation Pink)

-South Dallas, DeSoto

44% Black, 37% Hispanic, 17% White

—This district had actually slipped to plurality Hispanic as of 2007, so give that I was creating a new Hispanic-protected district next door, the goal here was to make this district plurality African-American again.

Texas’s 31st Congressional District (Cream)

-Round Rock, Copperas Cove, Cleburne

72% White, 18% Hispanic

— The Austin suburbs are looking fairly purple, and it looks pretty plausible that Williamson County will follow the tradition of other suburban areas of “creative class” cities like Clackamas and Washington Counties outside Portland and eastern King County outside Seattle and turn a nice shade of blue as the young, well-educated city dwellers begin to “grow up” and move to suburbs, yet still maintain a lot of their liberal values. The current TX-31 is holding up better than some other Texas districts right now, but I think, if left in the same basic iteration, it would probably be the 2nd or 3rd district to slip out of Republican hands in the next decade after the current TX-32 and maybe the current TX-10. So, in short, this picked up several rural counties from the old TX-11 and TX-17.

Texas’s 32nd Congressional District (Tangerine)

-North Dallas, part of Irving, Richardson

53% White, 29% Hispanic

—More than any other district, the TX-32 was looking at imminent catastrophe. Demographically speaking, as of 2007, Whites were only about 1% more of the population than Hispanics, and Obama made an impressive 46% showing here. The creation of the new TX-33 District allowed the TX-32 to cede several Hispanic areas in west Dallas, south Irving and Farmer’s Branch, and instead picks up some conservative areas of south Collins County (it was needed to shrink in population somewhat anyway).  This district will probably still be competitive by the end of the next decade, but that’s better than leaning Democratic, which is would be with the current format.

Whew, anyone still with me? Ok. Let’s look at my ideas for the 4 new districts

Texas’s 33rd Congressional District (Persian Blue)

-Southeast Houston, part of Pasadena, most of Pearland

52% Hispanic, 28% White, 15% Black

—The idea behind this district is take the pressure off of Houston area Republican congressmembers, pretty much all of whom would be in various states of vulnerability in the next several years unless the Hispanic population in their districts stay static or are reduced. It gets kinda meandering at some points, especially as it goes down to take in its Galveston County portion, which actually for the most part is more African-American than Hispanic, but that helps TX-22.

Texas’s 34th Congressional District (Bright Green)

-Katy, Tomball, Brenham

64% White, 22% Hispanic

—Western Harris County is notorious for its sprawl, and this district should lean pretty strongly Republican, especially with its added rural counties. It should be Republican enough that taking in the Hispanic areas that it does from the 9th shouldn’t be a huge deal.

Texas’s 35th Congressional District (Lavender)

-Part of Dallas, part of Grand Prairie, part of Arlington

58% Hispanic, 22% White, 15% Black

—Even if Republicans aren’t as rational as the previous districts would suggest, they’d have to be stunningly foolish and short sided to not put up a Hispanic-majority district in the Dallas area. I’d be surprised if the Justice Department doesn’t order at least one new Hispanic-majority district anyway, and this would be the best place to put it. Anyway, this district vaguely resembles Martin Frost’s old district, taking in part of Arlington and Fort Worth, crossing over into Grand Prairie, west Dallas, south Irving, and then up to Farmer’s Branch and a shameful sliver of north Dallas. Frankly, this district is a little gross, but it takes Pete Sessions, Kenny Marchant, and Eddie Bernice Johnson (or, as far as what Republicans will actually care about, their asses if they don’t protect the African-America community of south and downtown Dallas) out of hot water, so there you go.

Texas’s 36th Congressional District (Gold)

-Part of Fort Worth, part of Arlington, Mansfield

58% White, 23% Hispanic, 13% Black

—Takes in south Fort Worth, south Arlington, a sorta awkward part of southwestern Dallas County, and in to most of rapidly growing Johnson and Ellis Counties. Should lean pretty strongly Republican, though maybe not as strongly as I’d like.

So there you go. Comments? Remember, this map, while certainly favorable to Republicans, assumes some rationality, and that they recognize that throwing us a few bones now will present  a world of hurt later, but do you think they’ll be dumb enough to shoot for a dummymander? Assume that Pete Sessions has his finger on the pulse of the Hispanic voice and that when Democrats in Austin move to the suburbs they’ll instantly become flat-out neo-con Texas-secessionists? And what might a compromise map look like if we do manage to pick up the Texas House or Texas Governor?

Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee: What Races Could (S)he Create?

With Obama’s announcement of his nominee to replace David Souter on the US Supreme Court next term coming very soon, it seems important to look at what, if any, political effects this decision may have. While Republicans are hoping to rev-back-up the culture wars, Obama’s appointment could also either directly or indirectly lead to a new governor or an exciting (in relative, SSP terms) special election. So let’s get right into the speculation game!

Jennifer Granholm: Governor of Michigan

Granholm’s nomination to the Supreme Court, if successful, would leave Lt. Gov. and 2010 hopeful John Cherry as Michigan’s new governor. This could both help his 2010 campaign and hurt it. It’ll help in the sense that it will allow him to introduce himself to more voters through the tons of free media being a governor grants you and allows him to create his own identity independent of the often polarizing Granholm (something he has struggled to do so far). However, given Michigan’s terrible economy and the difficult decisions he will now have to make about it (as opposed to being able to let voters place some of the blame for them on Granholm), it could completely sink him. While two years of experience should probably be a leg-up on his opponents, I guess it really depends on what the economy (and the Big Three) does.

Janet Napolitano : Homeland Security Secretary

While no longer holding elected office, Napolitano’s ascent to the court will leave a need for a new Homeland Security Secretary. Former 9/11 Commissioner & designated Indian Ambassador Tim Roemer and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly could be her replacements, as could House Homeland Security Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who could give Obama cover as far as not appointing a Hispanic to the bench. A low turnout Special Election in CA-47 could be a headache, but would probably still lean fairly Democratic. Potential Democratic candidates could include State Senator Luis Correa, Santa Ana mayor Miguel Pulido, and State Assembly Member Jose Solorio. Potential Republican challengers include State Rep. Van Tran and Orange County Commissioner Janet Nguyen.

Elena Kagan: Solicitor General

While she also doesn’t hold a political office, Kagen (who by my count is most often referred to as the top front-runner with Sotomayor) will have to be replaced. While Stanford Law Professor Kathleen Sullivan may be the favorite for SG if the position were to open up, Kagan could also be replaced by any of a number of Congress Critters-Artur Davis, Brad Sherman, & Hank Johnson being among the most attractive candidates that happen to come to mind (though there are probably at least a dozen very reasonable ones to suggest). Any other ideas?

Merrick Garland, Carlos Moreno, Sonia Sotomayor, Diana Wood,: DC Circuit Court Judge, California Supreme Court Associate Justice, 2nd Circuit Court Judge, 7th Circuit Court Judge

I didn’t want to skip the other names that generally show up on Obama’s shortlist, though they probably won’t have any effect on the political playing field (at least from the horserace politics POV).

I don’t find it wise to stick solely to the rumored shortlist (though those 7 are probably the most likely nominees). Here are a few of the more likely dark horses (or at least the ones that would be interesting for these purposes).

Ken Salazar: Interior Secretary

If Salazar’s long-shot chance at the bench proves true, he will likely be succeeded at his post in the Department of Interior by a Western politician (the Interior Secretary has been a Western politician since 1989).  Reps. Raúl Grijalva, Jay Inslee, & Mike Thompson would probably be among the top contenders. Possible Democratic successors to Grijalva include State Senate Minority Leader Jorge Luis Garcia, Pima County Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Elías, and State Rep Matt Heinz. Potential successors to Inslee include Democratic State Sens. Eric Oemig & Darlene Fairley. Thompson could be succeeded by former Assemblywoman Patty Berg (who said she would run if Thompson were appointed), current Assembly-people Wes Chesbro & Mariko Yamada and Napa mayor Jill Techel(also all Democrats). In fact, the only one of these districts that could theoretically elect a Republican is AZ-07, but that’s only if the Democratic primary is divisive, overall turnout is low (especially at the University of Arizona), and Republicans nominate a strong candidate like Yuma County BOS Chair Greg Ferguson (as opposed to the White supremacist they’ve nominated in 2 of the last 3 elections).

Deval Patrick: Governor of Massachusetts

His star has really faded as far as Supreme Court speculation goes, but, as a noted FOB and with some angry that Obama’s short-list doesn’t include any African-Americans, he probably can’t be completely ruled out. If Patrick joins the court, he will be succeeded as governor by Tim Murray. Given that Patrick’s popularity is in the gutter and Republicans tend to strongly overperform their generic base in MA’s gubernatorial elections, this would give us a chance to go into the 2010 elections with a relatively fresh face. His Worcester base and strong labor support would be additional asset. However, he’d be inheriting a terrible economy; won’t all the blame just transfer to him?

So what does everybody think? Any major potential appointees or candidates that I’m missing? Any relevant dark horses I shouldn’t be ignoring?

PA-SEN, MN-SEN: Uhhh, what?

Dear Arlen, STFU

In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, the newly minted Democrat said he thinks Republican Norm Coleman should win his Senate recount court battle against Al Franken in Minnesota.

“There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner,” Specter said, when asked how he felt about the lack of Jewish Republicans in the Senate.

Well, I might be working a few dollars out of my budget for Joe Sestak.

I guess I can see how Specter is disheartened to see the Republican Senate caucus devoid of a Jewish voice, but suggesting that there would be anything just about seating Norm Coleman? Now he’s just being an ass.

The fact is that even a lot of Republicans will admit that Franken is likely the rightful Senator from Minnesota and the sooner we seat him, the sooner everyone can just get on with their lives. It takes a real low-life to buck the Democratic party-line on this issue.

If you’re still doubting that Specter is looking out for anything but himself or his buddies (which I was, I mean he can’t just do a 180 on half of his policy positions overnight), here’s all the proof you should need.

*Tenative* CDs That Changed the Most from 2004-2008

Ok, based off the suggestion by fitchfan28 and the classic diary by Cristitunity, I have put together a list of the district of the districts that moved the most from Kerry to Obama and of the ones that moved the most from Bush to McCain based off of the official 2004 results and SSP’s 2008 Crowdsurfing results.

I say tentative because I still need post-2005-redistricting #s for Georgia and post-2006 ruling on League of Latin American Voters v. Perry redistricting #s for Texas. Also, if anyone sees any problems with these numbers, please point them out.

So, without further ado:

Ranking District Representative Obama Vote Kerry Vote Difference
1 HI-01 Neal Abercrombie 70.43% 52.72% 17.71%
2 HI-02 Mazie Hirono 73.14% 55.98% 17.16%
3 IN-04 Steve Buyer 43.01% 30.11% 12.90%
4 IN-07 Andre Carson 70.89% 58.35% 12.54%
5 IN-05 Dan Burton 40.24% 28.15% 12.09%
6 NE-02 Lee Terry 49.97% 38.46% 11.51%
7 CA-47 Loretta Sanchez 60.14% 48.66% 11.48%
8 IL-08 Melissa Bean 55.74% 44.27% 11.47%
9 IN-03 Mark Souder 42.84% 31.45% 11.39%
10 IL-14 Bill Foster 54.83% 43.87% 10.96%
11 IN-06 Mike Pence 46.18% 35.29% 10.89%
12 IN-02 Joe Donnelly 54.10% 43.23% 10.87%
13 GA-13 David Scott 70.85% 60% 10.85%
14 TX-15 Ruben Hinojosa 59.82% 49% 10.82%
15 TX-28 Henry Cueller 55.93% 46% 9.93%
16 CA-18 Dennis Cardoza 59.24% 49.36% 9.88%
17 CA-43 Joe Baca 67.96% 58.19% 9.77%
18 CA-51 Bob Filner 63.11% 53.35% 9.76%
19 PA-16 Joe Pitts 47.74% 38.05% 9.69%
20 IN-08 Brad Ellsworth 47.42% 37.76% 9.66%
21 CA-44 Ken Calvert 49.51% 39.92% 9.59%
22 CA-25 Buck McKeon 49.45% 39.90% 9.55%
23 TX-24 Kenny Marchant 44.37% 34.90% 9.47%
24 IL-13 Judy Biggert 54.21% 44.76% 9.45%
25 IL-06 Peter Roskam 55.91% 46.60% 9.31%
25 TX-16 Silvestre Reyes 65.81% 56.50% 9.31%
27 DE-AL Mike Castle 62.63% 53.35% 9.28%
27 VA-03 Bobby Scott 75.52% 66.24% 9.28%
27 GA-07 John Linder 39.28% 30% 9.28%
30 ND-AL Earl Pomeroy 44.62% 35.50% 9.12%

Lots of big movement here. A few of the biggest trends seem to be

1. Indiana & Hawaii. ’nuff said.

2. A lot of Hispanic-heavy districts that Bush won or did fairly well in bounced back as McCain’s support collapsed among this once swing demographic.

3. Not as many Illinois districts are here as I would have expected, though the movement in suburban and exburban Chicago is impressive.

4. Biggest WTF: PA-18. Seriously, what’s happening here?

You’ll notice that like I said, the numbers for GA-07, GA-13, TX-15, & TX-28 are tentative. GA-07 and TX-15 appear to be on the list no matter what, but if one or both of the others end up falling off, #31 is WI-08 with a 8.99% shift and #32 is NM-01 with a 8.98% shift.

Moving on to districts where McCain built on Bush:

Ranking District Representative McCain Vote Bush ’04 Vote Difference
1 AR-01 Marion Berry 58.69% 51.66% 7.03%
2 AR-04 Mike Ross 58.14% 51.36% 6.78%
3 KY-05 Hal Rogers 67.01% 60.52% 6.49%
4 OK-02 Dan Boren 65.59% 59.38% 6.21%
5 TN-04 Lincoln Davis 64.06% 58.02% 6.04%
6 AL-04 Robert Aderholt 76.32% 71.25% 5.07%
7 LA-07 Charles Boustany 63.14% 59.72%
8 LA-03 Charlie Melancon 60.99% 57.72% 3.27%
9 TN-08 John Tanner 56.01% 52.76% 3.25%
10 MA-09 Stephen Lynch 38.50% 35.75% 2.75%
11 AR-02 Vic Snyder 53.98% 51.44% 2.54%
12 WV-03 Nick Rahall 55.76% 53.21% 2.55%
13 LA-01 Steve Scalise 72.72% 70.52% 2.20%
14 TN-06 Bart Gordon 61.87% 59.71% 2.16%
15 AR-03 John Boozman 64.16% 62.27% 1.89%
16 TN-01 Phil Roe 69.77% 67.91% +1.86%
17 TX-08 Kevin Brady 73.76% 72.47% 1.29%
18 MA-04 Barney Frank 34.67% 33.48% 1.19%
19 AL-05 Parker Griffith 60.91% 59.74% 1.17%
20 OK-03 Frank Lucas 72.82% 71.71% 1.11%

…it’s all a little sad, isn’t it?

The trends here seem pretty obvious, that that infamous stretch of land from West Virginia down to Louisiana and Alabama and over into Oklahoma and rural west Texas where Obama collapsed made up almost all of McCain’s gains. A few minor corrections from the native son effect of John Kerry in MA round out the rest of McCain’s gains.

Just in case you were wondering, district #21? None other than the only Kerry-McCain district in the country, PA-12.

KS-SEN, KS-GOV, Sebelius for HHS Secretary?

This suddenly makes Phil Bredesen not sound so bad

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was very near the top of President Barack Obama’s list of candidates to head the Health and Human Services Department, a senior administration official said Saturday.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private administration deliberations, said no decision was imminent. But the official added the former Kansas insurance commissioner was rising as Obama considers prospective candidates.

Now, Sebelius would certainly be qualified for the job, but this raises two important questions:

1. I thought the whole point of picking Daschle was to get someone who knew their way around the halls of congress. Unless Obama plans to enact his healthcare legislation by executive fiat a la Blago (and look at how well that turned out for him), it’s going to be essential that things with those blowhards in congress go as smoothly as possible.

2. Uh, hello, whose going to run for Sam Brownback’s senate seat? She’s probably not seriously interested in being a Senator if she takes this job, but it’s not as if she wouldn’t be able to be convinced as long as she’s not just starting a new job.

UPDATED – Cook Makes Changes to 15 House Races

This is gonna be short because I have to get to class (and I’m in Beijing, PRC, so class starts at 5pm PDT).

Cook made the follow changes; 6 are pro-Dem and 9 are pro-Rep.  Mostly, the changes seem to be clean-up work on races for which time is running out.

AL-03 Likely Rep->Solid Rep

CA-46 Likely Rep->Solid Rep

CA-50 Likely Rep->Solid Rep

FL-18 Likely Rep->Solid Rep

ID-01 Likely Rep->Lean Rep

IL-18 Likely Rep->Solid Rep

MD-01 Likely Rep->Lean Rep

NE-02 Likely Rep->Lean Rep

NV-02 Likely Rep->Lean Rep

NY-20 Lean Dem->Likely Dem

OR-05 Lean Dem->Likely Dem

PA-18 Likely Rep->Solid Rep

TN-04 Solid Dem->Likely Dem

VA-10 Likely Rep->Solid Rep

WV-02 Lean Rep->Likely Rep

My pick for the biggest surprise move is probably Tennessee’s 4th.  I mean, seriously?  I don’t know much about this race, but it seems kinda late for that race to just now be getting competitive if he thinks the challenger can pull and upset, especially in such a pro-Dem year.

Your thoughts?  Also, can someone please tell me what the hell Cook thinks is going on TN?

Update 9:50 PM PDT,

I did some research, and TN-04’s challenger Monty Lankford seems like quite the joke.  He’s lagging significantly in COH ($99872 to Davis’ $413849) and apparently lives in the 7th district.  Either Davis’ vote to reelect internals are absolutely awful and Cook has gotten a hold of them, or Cook thinks that Davis’ declarations that he’s likely to run for governor in 2010 could hurt him.  Either of those seem possible, but I’m still not sure how Lankford manages to hit 50%.

What are the odds that Rothenberg writes another  column slamming Cook for this quixotic choice?  

ME-SEN: Have Dems been too optimistic?

Just in case you’re not a Kossack:

“Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/15-17. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

If the 2008 election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you to reelect Susan Collins, would you consider voting for another candidate, or would you vote to replace Collins?

Reelect 55
Consider 20
Replace 21

If 2008 election for U.S. Senate were held today, for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Tom Allen, the Democrat, and Susan Collins, the Republican?

Collins (R) 56
Allen (D) 33″

Source: http://www.dailykos….

Ouch.  For comparison sake, even Noriega seems to be doing better, and apparently has more room to grow to boot.
So what does this mean for ME-SEN?  Are our dreams of a Sen. Allen about as likely to happen as Alabama electing Sen. Davis-Figures, or does Allen have room to close the gap?  If nothing else, it’s certainly a wake-up call.