Cultural Regions of Maryland

This diary is meant to be a little fun given all the heavy redistricting diaries we have on here. The one thing that’s always struck me about my home state is how it’s so diverse and interesting in spite of being so small. This diary will try to explain how the various cultural groups fit together by using Dave’s mapping program, along with accompanying demographic and political data.

Region 1 – Eastern Shore (blue)

292,037 people (5.1% of the state)

70.6% white, 21.5% black, 4.4% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian

44.0% Obama

46.1% Average Dem

This region is already well known to anyone familiar with MD politics, and is probably the easiest to define geographically – basically the entire Eastern shore, minus the wealthy Baltimore influence areas of Kent Island, St. Michaels, and Ocean City/Ocean Pines, as well as the college town of Chestertown and northern Cecil County.

This region is the most “Southern” part of Maryland, and would be more at home in tidewater Virginia than in the I-95 Corridor. However, given that this is not the Deep South, and that there is a fairly large black population as a holdover from slavery, Dem margins aren’t as bad here as one would think. Most of the counties still have Dem registration advantages, and as you can see, local Dems do slightly better than Obama did.

Region 2 – Prince George’s County (green)

901,776 people (15.6% of the state)

15.9% white, 67.5% black, 9.5% Hispanic, 4.2% Asian

87.5% Obama

86.1% local Dem

Geographically, this region includes all of central and southern Prince George’s County, as well as parts of northern Charles County, western Anne Arundel County, North Laurel in southern Howard County, and Calverton in Montgomery County.

Home to a large and renown middle-class African-American population, this region of Maryland is probably the closest thing in the rest of the nation to the Atlanta suburbs. It’s interesting that this region exists at all given that Prince George’s County was only 10% black in 1970. What happened to cause this shift was a court decision in the 1970s that demanded the complete racial balancing of all schools in the county. Whites fled, either out of racial fear or out of anger over having to attend a far-away school. Blacks from DC (and later from around the nation) came in to replace them, and the region has continued to grow ever sense. The most recent trend has seen the black middle class expanding outward into other counties. Just think how different Maryland politics would be if that court decision never happened.

Region 3 – Southern Maryland (purple)

297,796 people (5.2% of the state)

79.4% white, 12.7% black, 3.3% Hispanic, 1.8% Asian

43.5% Obama

50.3% Average Dem

This region spans all of St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties, along with southern Anne Arundel County and rural Charles County. This region is a lot like the Eastern Shore, but has held onto its Democratic roots a little more (as noted by the avg Dem performance). This once tobacco-producing part of the state once spanned all of Charles County and southern Prince George’s County as well. With time, the expansion of the DC suburbs will probably kill this region and make it into one big suburb with no southern tendencies to speak of.

Region 4 – Creative Class (brown)

1,712,227 people (29.7% of the state)

59.7% white, 15.6% black, 10.1% Hispanic, 11.5% Asian

65.5% Obama

66.9% Average Dem

When you meet someone who says they’re from Maryland, this is probably where they’re from. Including most of Montgomery County (MoCo), most of Howard County (HoCo), College Park and Bowie in Prince George’s County, northwestern Baltimore County, the wealthier part of Baltimore City, southern Frederick County, Chestertown in Kent County, and Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, this region is full of wealthy young professionals trying to climb the ladder of advancement. It’s hard to say when this region first took off, but I’m sure it has something to do with the GI Bill and federal government expansion in the 1940s.

This area has one of the highest income levels in the country, as well as one of the highest levels of educational attainment. It is staunchly liberal, one of the most liberal areas in the entire nation. It is the largest of Maryland’s cultural groups, and keeps growing larger each day. Who knows how much of Maryland will fall into this category in the future?

Region 5 – Baltimore exurbia (yellow)

776,454 people (13.4% of the state)

88.8% white, 3.9% black, 2.8% Hispanic, 2.8% Asian

35.8% Obama

38.6% Average Dem

This region includes northern Baltimore County, northern Harford County, western Cecil County, eastern Carroll County, northern Howard County, eastern Frederick County, and central Anne Arundel County, along with Damascus in Montgomery County, Linthicum in Anne Arundel County, Arbutus in Baltimore County, Kent Island in Queen Anne’s County, St. Michaels in Talbot County, and Ocean City/Ocean Pines in Worcester County.

This region is the nemesis of the Creative Class region. It is staunchly conservative and proud of it. A lot of people mistakenly think that the Eastern Shore is the center of Maryland conservatism, but no, this is. Andy Harris actually personifies this region – upper class, well-educated, but wanting nothing to do with society at large, and constantly scared that everything one has will be taken away. Look for this region to shrink as white flight from Maryland accelerates.

Region 6 – Western Maryland (teal)

333,931 people (5.8% of the state)

87.9% white, 6.6% black, 2.5% Hispanic, 1.1% Asian

38.1% Obama

38.6% average Dem

This region includes all of Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties, along with northern Frederick County and northwestern Carroll County. Staunchly conservative, this is the one region of Maryland that is historically Republican. This region was a major hotbed of abolitionism during the Civil War, and like eastern Tennessee hasn’t given up on Republicans since. The major issue here is shrinkage – Garrett and Allegany finally stopped losing population, but the eastern side continues to be devoured by the outward expansion of DC and Baltimore.

Region 7 – Delaware (grey)

42,144 people (0.7% of the state)

81.1% white, 9.8% black, 4.7% Hispanic, 1.7% Asian

49.3% Obama

51.1% Avg Dem

Encompassing northeastern Cecil County, this is the smallest of Maryland’s cultural regions, and exists as an outward expansion of Wilmington’s suburbs. It’s worth mentioning because its Dem performance is much higher than what its racial stats would suggest.

Region 8 – Baltimore, Hon!

610,137 people (10.6% of the state)

69.6% white, 17.0% black, 6.6% Hispanic, 3.7% Asian

48.9% Obama

56.6% Avg Dem

This region covers southern Harford County, southeastern Baltimore County, southern Baltimore City, southwestern Baltimore County, and parts of northern Anne Arundel County. This region is low in income and low in educational attainment (aka blue collar). Most of the people here actually came from the South and from West Virginia years ago to work in Baltimore’s then thriving factories. Now that the factories are gone, the region is best known for John Waters, drag racing, Natty Bo, and 98 Rock.

A lot has been made of this region’s racism, given how much worse Obama did compared to the average Dem. That difference is actually obscured somewhat by the numbers I’ve provided given that I included some racially-diverse (but still blue collar) neighborhoods that brought Obama’s numbers up. Given the lack of opportunity here, the region is constantly shrinking.

Region 9 – Hispanic Maryland (sky blue)

199,903 people (3.5% of the state)

14.6% white, 26.1% black, 49.8% Hispanic, 7.2% Asian

81.8% Obama

82.1% Avg Dem

Encompassing northern Prince George’s County and central Montgomery County, this region is a newcomer on the Maryland scene. It started in the 1980s when refugees from Central America began to settle in Prince George’s County. Since then, it has expanded greatly, and look for more expansion in the future. Issues here include poverty and low levels of educational attainment, but those issues might be less prevalent as citizenship becomes less of an issue.

Region 10 – African-American Baltimore (pink)

607,157 people (10.5% of the state)

12.7% white, 80.2% black, 3.0% Hispanic, 1.9% Asian

92.4% Obama

89.7% avg Dem

Encompassing most of Baltimore City, western Baltimore County, and a few scattered communities in eastern Baltimore County, this region is sadly known for extreme segregation and poverty. The region has its roots in the 1800s when runaway slaves wanted somewhere to live and work (Maryland was actually not a relatively bad place for a runaway slave to live in spite of the fact that the state had slavery). It expanded greatly during the Great Migration through the 1970s, when African-Americans from the South came north to look for factory jobs. You know the story from there – 1970s – jobs gone, 1980s and 1990s – crack epidemic, 2000s and 2010s – recovery.

One thing that should be mentioned is that the part of western Baltimore County in this region is actually very middle class, which has only worsened conditions in the inner city (as middle class African-Americans fled the city for the county). However, given that the two areas have a common history, I included them as one region. Baltimore City is actually losing blacks faster than it is losing whites now, and while some will head for the County, some will probably head South as well. Look for this region to shrink in the City but expand in the surrounding counties.

So that’s it; questions? comments?

Maryland Population Shifts by State Senate District

So yeah, lately in my few spare moments I’ve been working on the perfect Maryland legislative redistricting map. Before I release that though, I want to talk a little about the thought process that goes into such a map. Today’s diary will show how the population in Maryland has shifted over the past decade, and what this will mean for redistricting in my beloved home state.

To start, I made a map using Census 2010 colors, that shows how the state’s districts have grown over the past decade.

From this map we can make several conclusions:

– Given that the state growth rate was around 9%, it makes sense that most districts would be in the 5-15% range.

– Growth in traditionally high-growth exurbs of Baltimore (Carroll, Harford, northern Baltimore County) slowed to the state average this decade.

– Many of Baltimore’s inner suburbs stagnated (although this is an improvement for Essex/Dundalk, which had been losing population for decades)

– 5 of Baltimore City’s 6 districts lost significant population, guaranteeing the loss of a State Senate district. The one that actually did post a modest gain, District 46, is the one most likely to be abolished given that it’s the only non-majority black district in Baltimore City.

– The only district to lose population outside of Baltimore City was majority-black District 24 in Prince George’s County. Every district in MD that lost population over the past decade was majority-black.

This might be worth exploring in a later diary, but the correlation coefficient between %black and %growth was -.54, while for whites it was .42, Asians .39, and Hispanics .05

– The highest growth area of the state by far is the I-270 corridor in Frederick/Montgomery Counties. District 15 gained an amazing 28%, while District 3 gained 25%.

– Other areas growing significantly faster than the state average include:

     – the western Baltimore suburbs (9 and 11)

     – Gaithersburg/Rockville (17)

     – Southern Maryland (27, 28, and 29)

     – Outer Prince George’s County (21 and 23)

     – the Upper Eastern Shore (36) – mostly from high growth around Elkton and Kent Island

– Although growth stagnated in the inner DC suburbs, the balance of power in the state continues to shift towards DC.

Redistricting Implications

Growth isn’t everything. Another important consideration is the extent to which current districts are over or under population. Under the law, districts must be within 5% deviation of the mean population. The following map shows what districts are over, under, or acceptable.

From this map, one can see that inner Baltimore and DC suburbs districts will need to expand, while the outer suburban and rural districts will need to contract.

Side Note about Deviation

It’s important to note that a lot of the underpopulated districts started out with fewer people in 2000. Here’s a map showing which districts were drawn to be over and under the median (but within 5%) in 2000.

As you can see, the Democratic Party has used acceptable deviation as way to slightly maximize the influence of its most loyal counties – Prince George’s, Montgomery, and Baltimore City. Expect to see deviation put to good use in my map, as well as in the map that eventually gets drawn.


So yeah, that’s it. I hope this gets a few people talking and/or thinking. Before I release my perfect legislative map, I’m thinking about writing a diary on the history of Maryland legislative redistricting, so be on the lookout for that as well.

Trends in Maryland Pt. 1

So yeah, everyone on here likes to talk about how the West Coast and New England formed our firewall last week, but I don’t see too much mention of Maryland – we do exist, and we do kick some major ass. Therefore, I’ve decided that I’m going to write a few diaries about political trends in Maryland, past and present. There isn’t really a plan to this, I just want to provide some good info that maybe fellow SSPers can use.

The topic today is trends in the Maryland State Legislature, 1974-2010. Maryland’s current system involves 47 legislative district, each of which elects 1 Senator and 3 Delegates. The 3 delegates can be elected together, or can be elected in 1 or 2 member subdistricts. There are really no guidelines for the creation of subdistricts, so they really just represent another opportunity to gerrymander.

The current system came about in the early 1970s when Maryland’s old way of apportioning delegates was thrown out in court. Maryland has had 4 legislative maps and 10 elections under this plan.

In the first election (1974), the Democrats won close to 90% in both chambers. This made me wonder whether Maryland had ever been controlled by Republicans, so I checked the Maryland Manual. In fact, it had – back in the late 1800s the Republicans briefly held a supermajority in the legislature, as crazy as that sounds. Back then, Western Maryland was very Republican, Central Maryland (including Baltimore City) was a swing region, and the Eastern Shore and Southern MD were mostly Democratic.

I’d wager that the current era of Dem dominance came about as a result of the New Deal (and has only faced minor changes over the decades). Interestingly, back in the 70s when the Republicans had 10% of the legislature, some of that 10% came from Montgomery County, while the Dems held almost the entire Eastern Shore and even held seats in Carroll County, north Baltimore County, and north Harford County.

Here are the figures.

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From these graphs, one can see that the Maryland Democratic Party really skated by until the 1990s, when their share of the seats dropped from 90% to 70%. This is still enough to coast by on, but it is somewhat less impressive. The two major loss years for the MD Democratic party were 1990 and 1994; 1994 in particular was a disaster, since we almost lost the governorship.

Compared to 1994’s loss of 16 seats in the GA, or even 1990’s loss of 8 seats, this year’s loss of 6 seats, 4 of which were open seats, really does not look bad at all.

In the State Senate we actually picked up 2 seats, which not only makes Maryland one of the few states where we picked up state legislative seats, but also bring the MD Dem Party to its largest # of seats in the State Senate since 1990. Indeed, Maryland is a very unique state politically, where even conservative Dems can still survive.

Oh, one more thing: Baltimore City started with 11 seats back in the 70s and now only has 6 (soon to be 5.5), but this doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect on the toplines – as many of these seats have gone to MoCo and PG.

So yeah, I think I’ll write my next diary as an analysis of Dem losses in MD in 2010 and an appraisal of Dem strength as it stands. Let me know what you think of this diary and if there’s anything Maryland-related in particular that you’d like to see in the future.

DE-Sen: A little background

People here on SSP seem a little shocked that Christine O’Donnell could possibly be leading Mike Castle in the latest PPP poll of that race.

Here’s the diary just for convenience sake:


The conventional wisdom is that everyone loves Mike Castle, but having spent a considerable amount of time in Sussex County, DE myself, I never once doubted O’Donnell’s chances. I’d like to reprint a comment I wrote a week or so ago in response to a different DE-Sen diary:

My grandmother lives in Delaware

I think she likes Castle because he’s been around for so long. Plus she’s voting Republican this year for the first time because she’s mad about all the Hispanics being in Southern Delaware (she’s old, okay lol).

Only problem for Castle though is that she’s still a registered Democrat. I’m sure a good deal of his support comes from moderate Democrats like her (who are probably less racist but still like her). This is the Republican primary, so people like her won’t get to vote; this hurts Castle a lot.

According to the state of Delaware BOE, as of last month the breakdown statewide looked like this:

47% Dem

29% Rep

24% Indie/Other

In New Castle County, which has 62% of the voters in the state, the numbers were:

50% Dem

26% Rep

24% Indie

Only 55% of registered Republicans in Delaware live in New Castle County, compared to 62% of all voters and 66% of all Democratic voters. Therefore, the Dems are much more likely to select someone who’s acceptable and mainstream in New Castle County. Though a majority of Republican voters still live in New Castle County, a certain percentage of those voters are really conservative despite living in such a liberal county. Combined with the really conservative voters in South Delaware (Sussex County), who a few years ago actually ran a girl out of town (literally) for being liberal and Jewish and suing the school district for handing out Bibles in school, and you might be able to get a majority, especially with emotions running high on the far right this year.

The real trick for the O’Donnell campaign is to convince these conservative voters that she’s the real deal. If she can do that, then she does have a chance.

I ran the most recent registration numbers in Excel before I wrote that comment just to make sure that I was right in suggesting that the Republican base is South Delaware-based enough to throw the election to O’Donnell. Although the majority of Delaware GOP voters are in New Castle County, an extremely energized South Delaware electorate could overtake New Castle County’s GOP electorate.

Now, some of you may be wondering why South Delaware would be so conservative when Delaware is known for its moderates. The answer is simple: South Delaware is very rural, and the areas that aren’t rural are full of elderly retirees like my grandmother. Sussex County, Delaware is sort of the Florida of Baltimore/Philly/DC. New York retirees go to Palm Beach County, FL, while Mid-Atlantic retirees go to Sussex County, DE. Visit South Delaware, and you’ll see miles of pre-fab homes primarily inhabited by elderly retirees.

Now, Sussex County did almost vote for Obama, but this is likely because of 3 factors: 1) Sizable black and Hispanic populations. 2) Large gay/lesbian population in Rehoboth Beach, and 3) Sizable number of federal workers (mostly attorneys) who have come because of all the multinational corporations that get brought to trial in the Sussex County court system. Obviously none of these groups will be voting in the closed Republican primary on Tuesday.

Instead, what you’ll see is the onslaught of South Delaware’s well-hidden conservative masses. In my comment I talked about a girl in Southern Delaware who was run out of town for being Jewish a few years ago. You can read that story here:… . Here are a few choice quotes:

After the graduation, Mrs. Dobrich asked the Indian River district school board to consider prayers that were more generic and, she said, less exclusionary. As news of her request spread, many local Christians saw it as an effort to limit their free exercise of religion, residents said. Anger spilled on to talk radio, in letters to the editor and at school board meetings attended by hundreds of people carrying signs praising Jesus.

After receiving several threats, Mrs. Dobrich took her son, Alex, to Wilmington in the fall of 2004, planning to stay until the controversy blew over. It never has.

The Dobriches eventually sued the Indian River School District, challenging what they asserted was the pervasiveness of religion in the schools and seeking financial damages. They have been joined by “the Does,” a family still in the school district who have remained anonymous because of the response against the Dobriches.

Meanwhile, a Muslim family in another school district here in Sussex County has filed suit, alleging proselytizing in the schools and the harassment of their daughters.

A homemaker active in her children’s schools, Mrs. Dobrich said she had asked the board to develop policies that would leave no one feeling excluded because of faith. People booed and rattled signs that read “Jesus Saves,” she recalled. Her son had written a short statement, but he felt so intimidated that his sister read it for him. In his statement, Alex, who was 11 then, said: “I feel bad when kids in my class call me ‘Jew boy.’ I do not want to move away from the house I have lived in forever.”

Christine O’Donnell on socialism

Watch that video and tell me who you think connects more with these voters – the shrill McCarthyistic O’Donnell, or the moderate, respectable (read “liberal elitist”) Castle. Come Tuesday, the most important things to look for will be the relative turnout – South DE vs. North DE, and the margins from all 3 counties. I think O’Donnell easily takes Sussex and Kent Counties, while Castle easily takes New Castle County. The only question remaining is by what margin they take these counties.

Redistricting the Maryland General Assembly (Dem Gerrymander)

So yeah, I’ve been working on a map of the state legislature for a while. I had one ready months ago, but there were a few things I hated about it, so I didn’t post it. I finally came up with something that satisfies me about 80-90%.

My goals were as follows:

– As many Democrats as possible, with a focus on protecting incumbent Democrats.

-Make the Dem districts as liberal as possible to aid in getting some real liberal legislation through.

– As few county-crossings as possible, to avoid a potential court challenge. I also tried to be mindful of municipal and cultural boundaries, although in Maryland it’s really the counties that people focus on.

– The same or more majority-black districts.

So, without further ado, here we go.

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District 1: Western Maryland: Garrett, Allegany, and Washington (part) Counties

New district: 93% white, 33% Obama (current 32% Obama)

1A – all of Garrett, part of Allegany: 98% white, 28% Obama (current 27% Obama)

1B – part of allegany: 89% white, 41% Obama (current 34% Obama)

1C – part of Allegany, part of Washington: 93% white, 34% Obama (current 36% Obama)

Current 1C was drawn to help former speaker Casper R. Taylor, but now that he’s gone we should put all of our effort into helping Kevin Kelly by tying Cumberland and Frostburg together.

District 2: Washington County

New district: 83% white, 44% Obama (current 44% Obama)

2A – Hagerstown periphery: 84% white, 42% Obama (current 39% Obama)

2B – Southern and Eastern Washington County: 84% white, 38% Obama (current 40% Obama)

2C – Hagerstown: 79% white, 57% Obama (current 55% Obama)

2A and 2C get more Democratic, maybe someday the Senate district and 2A could be within reach.

District 3: Frederick County (including city of Frederick)

New district: 70% white, 56% Obama (current 54% Obama)

I got rid of the subdistricts in order to consolidate Democratic support within the district. A Republican or 2 could possibly slip by for the time being, but by 2020 this should be firm Dem territory.

District 4: Frederick, Carroll, and Washington Counties (only a small part of Washington County)

New district: 92% white, 36% Obama (current 37% Obama)

4A – Frederick County (small part of Washington County) – 2 delegates – 92% white, 38% Obama (current 39% Obama)

4B – Carroll County (small part of Frederick County) – 1 delegate – 93% white, 32% Obama (current 33% Obama)

District 5: Carroll County

New district: 91% white, 33% Obama (current 33% Obama)

I moved the district completely into Carroll County (to make it more compact and to give Carroll County a whole district to call its own). Got rid of subdistricts, since Carroll County is pretty uniform, so they’d be pointless.

District 6: Baltimore County (southeastern)

New district: 79% white, 43%-46% Obama (somewhere in that range) (current 45% Obama)

This one I struggled with a lot. I ultimately decided to just keep it somewhat as is for a number of reasons. First, this district is blue-collar, and even making it 60% Obama would still give people that impression, so the reps are not likely to be liberals no matter what (and it’s thus better to shore up some surrounding districts). Second, the Republican bench is weak as hell here, and the district votes as much as 70-80% for local Democrats, so I still like our chances here. Third, this was where Glendenning’s plan was shot down in 2002, so I don’t want to mess with this district much. Fourth, adding a large part of the city could potentially mean the Dem nominee (or nominees) would be African-American, which could potentially lead to a loss in this district even if you make it 55-60% Obama-supporting. Thus, it’s better to just leave sort of as-is and just write it off if necessary.

District 7 – Baltimore and Carroll Counties

New district: 90% white, 35% Obama (current 39%)

Basically a combination of the old 7 and the old 5B.

District 8 – Baltimore County and Baltimore City

New district: 59% white, 71% Obama (current 48% Obama)

Finally, a real Baltimore liberal district. Todd Schuler currently represents the 8th (which voted for McCain), and he’s the only delegate in the Baltimore area who openly supports gay marriage. He’s not running for reelection, but he could def have his old seat back if he wants it.

District 9 – Howard County (eastern)

New district: 64% white, 61% Obama (current 43% Obama)

Completely moved from one side of Howard to another. Should add 3 new Dem delegates and one new Dem senator to the caucus, and even if not right away, Republicans will always be on defense here.

District 10 – West Baltimore County

New District: 53% black, 74% Obama (current 87% Obama)

I don’t like how the current district packs black votes (this may be a remnant of an earlier time when this was necessary), so I made a district that the current representatives would be very happy with, as it does not endanger them in any way and it gives black voters more of a voice in surrounding districts.

District 11: West and North Baltimore County

New District: 62% white, 64% Obama (current 66% Obama)

Similar to before, but covering a larger territory to make District 42 more Democratic

District 12: Southwest Baltimore County

New district: 58% white, 61% Obama (current 58% Obama)

No more swingy subdistricts, no more awkward gerrymandering for no reason. District is now more Democratic and completely within one county.

District 13: Howard and Montgomery Counties

New District: 64% white, 60% Obama (current 65% Obama)

Dem support here is growing, and all the incumbents can run here again, so no fears about the drop in performance.

District 14: Montgomery County (east)

New District: 58% white, 65% Obama (current 65% Obama)

District 15: Montgomery County (west)

New District: 68% white, 65% Obama (current 65% Obama)

District 16: Montgomery County (south central)

New district: 43% white, 74% Obama (current 76% Obama)

District 17: Montgomery County (Gaithersburg-Rockville)

New District: 48% white, 71% Obama (current 71% Obama)

District 18: Montgomery County (Bethesda)

New District: 78% white, 74% Obama (current 76% Obama)

District 19: Montgomery County (Olney)

New district: 52% white, 68% Obama (current 68% Obama)

District 20: Montgomery County (Silver Spring)

New district: 32% white, 85% Obama (current 85% Obama)

District 21: Prince George’s County (Laurel-College Park)

New district: 34% black, 78% Obama (current 75% Obama)

No longer stretches into Anne Arundel County. I wanted to make it majority-black, but it’s actually somewhat difficult to get all majority-black districts out of north PG without making the lines too crazy. However, since the district is not currently majority-black, I didn’t worry about it.

District 22 Prince George’s County (Greenbelt-Hyattsville)

New District: 53% black, 88% Obama (current 85% Obama)

District becomes majority-black, as it is not currently.

District 23 Prince George’s County (Bowie)

New district: 58% black, 83% Obama (current 81% Obama)

District is only barely majority-black now, so I made it moreso. Got rid of subdistricts because I don’t know what the point of them was.

District 24 Prince George’s County (Greater Upper Marlboro) and Anne Arundel County (southern rural parts)

New district: 55% black, 72% Obama (current 98% Obama)

I wanted to break up Southern PG County some because it was just insanely packed with black voters. In exchange for making this district less black, 22 is now majority black, and 47 and 23 are more black, so I don’t see how anyone could sue.

District 25 Prince George’s County (Capitol Heights, District Heights)

New District: 83% black, 96% Obama (current 96% Obama)

Did not want to pack this much, but had to.

District 26 Prince George’s County (National Harbor)

New District: 79% black, 93% Obama (current 94% Obama)

District 27 Prince Georges County (Upper Marlboro) and Calvert County

New district: 66% white, 62% Obama (current 71% Obama)

Got rid of sub-districts, took in all of Calvert county instead of just part.

District 28 Charles County (most)

New District: 53% white, 63% Obama (current 63% Obama)

District 29 St. Mary’s County and Charles County (part)

New district: 73% white, 47% Obama (current 44% Obama)

29A – Central and Northern St. Mary’s – 85% white, 39% Obama (current 39% Obama)

29B – Southern St. Mary’s County – 67% white, 48% Obama (current 47% Obama)

29C – West St. Mary’s and part of Charles – 68% white, 53% Obama (current 45% Obama)

No more Calvert County; both current Dem districts get some shoring up.

District 30: Anne Arundel County (Annapolis)

New district: 73% white, 55% Obama (current 52% Obama)

A little more Dem, but stays similar in shape.

District 31: Anne Arundel County (Glen Burnie)

New District: 60% white, 60% Obama (current 40% Obama)

Time for a bonafide liberal district out of AA County.

District 32 Anne Arundel County (Ft. Meade) and Howard County (North Laurel)

New district: 59% white, 62% Obama (current 54% Obama)

Yet another AA County liberal district, with help from Howard of course. Between 31 and 32 there’s more than enough love to go around between incumbent Dems.

District 33 Anne Arundel County (Severna Park)

New District: 87% white, 37% Obama (current 43% Obama)

Loses Dem areas and just becomes one big Rep vote sponge in north AA County. No more subdistricts.

District 34 Cecil and Harford Counties

New district: 88% white, 40% Obama (currently 48% Obama)

34A 1 delegate – Harford County – 86% white, 38% Obama (current 55% Obama)

34B 2 delegates – Cecil County – 89% white, 41% Obama (current 37% Obama)

I wanted liberal districts, so I had to throw this one to the wolves to make 46 more than just a swing district. It was bound to happen anyway though, as conservative Harford and Cecil Counties have had high growth and deserve an extra Rep district, plus the senator is already a Republican, so no big deal. I realigned the subdistricts so that Cecil gets 2 delegates and Harford gets 1 (due to population growth in Cecil). I decided not to divide Cecil further because Del. David Rudolph lives in Rising Sun, which is extremely conservative, so if anything keeping Elkton and Rising Sun together will only help him out (in fact, I moved his district 4 points more Democratic while the district moved 8 points more Republican – amazing).

District 35 Harford County (Bel Air)

New district: 92% white, 30% Obama (current 31%)

Damn, now thaaat’s conservative. Only subdistrict 1A is more conservative. No more subdistricts – they’re unnecessary.

District 36 Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Caroline Counties.

New district: 89% white, 39% Obama (currently 41%)

36A – Cecil and Kent Counties – 86% white, 46% Obama

36B – Caroline and Queen Anne’s Counties – 81% white, 36% Obama

36C – Queen Anne’s County – 88% white, 35% Obama

Split into subdistricts because having one huge district doesn’t serve anybody. Plus, that Kent district could elect a Democrat possibly.

District 37: Talbot, Dorchester, part of Somerset, and part of Wicomico (Salisbury) Counties.

New district: 63% white, 49% Obama (currently 46% Obama)

37A – one delegate – Somerset and Wicomico – 50% black, 64% Obama (currently 65% Obama)

37B – two delegates – Somerset, Wicomico, Dorchester, and Talbot – 73% white, 45% Obama (currently 39%)

Yes it does split an extra county, Somerset, but this should be allowed, as it makes creating a majority-black district much easier, splitting fewer towns in the process. Also worth noting is that the subdistrict and senate district as a whole are now potentially winnable.

District 38: Somerset (part), Wicomico (part), and Worcester Counties

New district: 81% white, 40% Obama (currently 41% Obama)

38A – 1 delegate – Somerset and Wicomico – 82% white, 36% Obama (currently 45% Obama)

38B – 2 delegates – Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester – 80% white, 43% Obama (currently 41% Obama)

This Senate district is sacrificed forever, but the 2 Dems in 38B get a district that’s 2 points safer. 38A becomes a wasteland.

District 39: Montgomery and Frederick Counties (Germantown-Urbana)

New district: 64% white, 63% Obama (currently 71% Obama)

Becomes less Democratic, and goes into Frederick County to pick up some high-growth areas (so as to not waste Dem votes). Remains safe Dem.

District 40: Baltimore City (Northwest)

New district: 64% black, 87% Obama (currently 93% Obama)

District 41: Baltimore City (Western)

New district: 65% black, 90% Obama (currently 87% Obama)

District 42: Baltimore County (Towson-Pikesville)

New District: 68% white, 60% Obama (currently 53% Obama)

Made the district more liberal by grabbing territory to the West. This district sorta hugs the inner beltway.

District 43: Baltimore City (central and Inner Harbor)

New district: 64% black, 86% Obama (currently 91% Obama)

District 44: Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County

New district: 55% black, 70% Obama (currently 92% Obama)

Yeah I have 2 districts that cross the city line, but both are justifiable due to population shifts. At 55% black (and with most Anne Arundel residents registered Republican) the district should be fine for the incumbents.

District 45: Baltimore City (Southeast)

New district: 59% black, 85% Obama (currently 90% Obama)

District 46: Harford County (Edgewood-Aberdeen) and Baltimore County (Middle River-Rossville)

New district: 65% white, 56% Obama (currently 72% Obama in Baltimore City)

This district of course had to be completely moved out of Baltimore City (this may be the last time the city loses a district, as growth is rebounding). Since Harford County has seen so much growth, I dare anyone to show me where it would make more sense for this district to go. Since District 8 has a good margin now, I decided to have the district head towards Rossville to pick up some liberal areas there that would be in 8. That brings the total up to 56% Obama, which should be safe for the 2 incumbents in 34A, plus a new Dem Delegate and a new Dem Senator. As an aside, I do not believe the district was majority black when in the city (as the Obama % is so low and it takes in many majority-white areas), so I don’t think there will be any trouble with VRA.

District 47 Prince George’s County (Cheverly-Glenarden)

New district: 61% black, 93% Obama (currently 92% Obama)

Was only like, 51% black, but the black percentage is shored up to prevent any ruckus over lowered (but still safe) black percentages elsewhere. Was going to create a plurality-hispanic district, but there would have been no point, as there are not enough registered Hispanic voters to make a difference.

So yeah, that’s it, the final breakdown is:

Obama over 60%:  94 Delegates 31 Senators

Obama 55-60%:     10 Delegates  3 Senators

Obama 50-55%:      1 Delegates  0 Senators

Obama 45-50%:      4 Delegates  2 Senators

Obama 40-45%:      9 Delegates  4 Senators

Obama under 40%: 23 Delegates  7 Senators

Obama won in 74% of the delegate seats (66% with over 60%) and 72% of Senate seats (65% with over 60%)

Let me know what you all think.

MD-01, An Analysis of Kratovil’s chances

I’ve been thinking a lot about Kratovil’s chances lately, since I have been represented by Andy Harris in the State Senate for the past 8 years and really cringe at the idea of him becoming a congressman and embarrassing the hell out of my home state, so I decided to do a little bit of analysis concerning Kratovil’s 2008 win to see if the conventional wisdom held true.

The conventional wisdom of the race is that Harris lost because, while running up big margins in his home in the Baltimore suburbs on the Western Shore, he could not overcome Kratovil’s margins on the Eastern Shore. Indeed, Kratovil did run a region-specific campaign against Harris, and did win all of the Eastern Shore counties while losing all of the Western Shore counties, but I’ve found that this obscures a few key facts.

First of all, Kratovil improved on Obama’s margins in EVERY part of the district; some more than others, yes, but overall Harris was such a bad candidate that he even underperformed McCain in the parts of Baltimore and Harford counties that he has represented for the past 8 years.

Second of all, the shifts on the shore were not all even. Kratovil overperformed Obama more in some counties than others. I decided to do a regression in Excel to see to what extent the variance of Kratovil’s numbers coincided with the variance in Obama’s numbers.

Here is a graph that plots the percentages with a regression line and equation:

Here is the data chart, with Kratovil’s percentage as predicted by the model from the regression line, and the difference between the predicted and actual results (highlighted in yellow are the counties where Kratovil overperformed his across-the-board shift):

As you can see from the r-squared value, the line fits the data about 75% of the time (which I’ve been told by professors is considered high for political research). Additionally, I found the correlation to be 85%, meaning that 85% of the time, the relative variance of Kratovil’s numbers can be explained by the relative variance of Obama’s numbers. This is very high, and although the same might be true of almost any politician (including people like Chet Edwards), the fact that it is so high shows that what we saw was more of an across-the-board rejection of Harris and less of a region-specific phenomenon (which would show less correlation due to a lot of overperformance in one area and underperformance in another). In fact, if you look closely at the toplines, you can see that many of the counties that Kratovil did win actually had less distance to go in voting Democratic than did the counties that he lost. Overall, the Western Shore counties are just a great deal more Republican than the Eastern Shore counties.

In most counties, Kratovil actually underperformed his across-the-board 10% shift, but the one region where he really overperformed his shift was in the upper Eastern Shore (Queen Anne’s County, Kent County, and Caroline County). This make sense, as Kratovil is from this region.

Additionally, he underperformed his across-the-board 10% shift somewhat on the Western Shore (as to be expected), but not nearly as much as one would expect. (I am including Cecil County as Western Shore just to clarify)

On the lower eastern shore, Kratovil performed at about his overall shift for the whole district. So to recap, Kratovil improved over Obama everywhere, improving the most in the Upper Shore, the least on the Western Shore, and at about his average improvement in the Lower Shore.

All of this underscores how delicate Kratovil’s position really is. If the number of voters willing to vote for Obama drops below 39%, then Kratovil is toast unless he overperforms by more than he did last time. He additionally cannot get too comfortable with the idea that he won based on an Eastern Shore-based coalition, since he actually picked up a lot of votes on the Western Shore as well.

To win, Kratovil needs to:

-Not allow Harris to gain any ground on the Western Shore over what he got last time. Basically, he needs to hold the same margins, since he is unlikely to go up any further here (although winning Anne Arundel is a possibility)

-Keep his unusually high margins on the Upper Shore that are unlikely to go up much more.

-Overperform his last election numbers on the Lower Eastern Shore for some insurance. I feel that he could do this if he gets voters in this area to really think of him as their own even more than they already have (more like the voters in the Upper Shore have).

As a bonus, I’ve included a map showing the percentage of voters who live in each part of the district.

Let me know what you think.

Maryland population and demographic changes, 1990-2010

About a week ago, I was talking with someone about how the governor’s legislative redistricting plan was rejected in 2002. I began to wonder how different that plan was from that of the 1990s and before, so I did a search. I could not find legislative districts from before the 1990s, but I did find this:… which shows what the 1990s era districts looked like. The idea then dawned upon me to try to recreate that map using Dave’s redistricting app and then examine how the state has changed since then. First, the map:

Then, here’s the data, which shows whether the 1990 configuration of the district is overpopulated or underpopulated, the %Obama received, the %white in 1990 and 2010, and the %black in 1990 and 2010. Dark blue districts had the white percentage decrease by over 20% or more, while light blue had the white percentage decrease by 10-20%.…

Conclusions: The past 20 years has brought some sizable population changes to Maryland. Montgomery, Frederick, Charles, St. Marys, Howard, Harford, and Cecil Counties, have all increased relatively in population. Almost all of that has come from the demise of Baltimore City, which has seen uniform decline. Other areas which have seen declines are the Essex/Dundalk area of Eastern Baltimore County, Western Maryland west of Hagerstown, and inner Prince George’s County.

With the notable exception of the lower Eastern Shore, the vast majority of Maryland has been getting more diverse. Large swaths of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, PG County, and Charles County have all seen their white percentage decrease by over 20% in 20 years. The area with the greatest change may have been the Bowie-centered 23rd district, which was majority-white in 1990, but has since seen its white percentage cut in half.

In the traditional white-flight paradigm, areas that became more diverse also decreased in population. This is still visible in Maryland in parts of Baltimore City and PG County. However, recent trends show many areas with strong minority growth also growing rapidly. Areas like this in Maryland include most of Montgomery County, southern Frederick County, Howard County, outer PG County, Charles County, and the Owings Mills area of Baltimore County. While heavily-white and Republican St. Mary’s County and Bel Air (Harford County) did post some of the largest gains statewide, these changes are really offset by the gains elsewhere, and will not likely have much of an effect on Maryland politics.

These changes matter greatly when you consider how much more Republican Maryland was in 1990. Though hard to believe, Maryland did vote for Bush in 1988, with areas like Montgomery County only barely voting for Dukakis. In addition, Prince George’s County was only about 50% black in 1990, versus the 66% that it is now, so Dukakis surely did much worse than Obama did there. Bush even got 57% in Baltimore County, where areas like Randallstown were only about 55% black versus the upwards of 90% that they are now (look at the old 10 stats on that Maryland General Assembly website). Under the old demographics, it would’ve been impossible to draw District 1 so that it voted for Obama, something demonstrated multiple times here on Swing State Project.

Thus, while the Democratic Party’s fortunes nationwide may ebb and sway, there’s very little room for the Republican Party to grow in Maryland. Demographic changes have put Maryland out of reach for the Republicans in the past 20 years, and will likely continue to do so.

Redistricting Maryland (the avalanche begins)

Hey everyone,

So yeah, I’ve made a few maps in my spare time since yesterday (more than I probably should have). The first is a PERFECT 8-0 map of Maryland that takes into account a number of good things I’ve seen in other Maryland maps on this site.

District 1 – blue – basically silver spring’s construction of MD-01, the best one I’ve seen. 57-40 Obama

District 2 – green – Similar to the current 2, but better. More democratic and a little less crazy-looking (in my opinion) 62-35 Obama

District 3 – purple – the only district that I’ve moved substantially. Sorry Sarbanes, but taking 3 through Baltimore just makes everything else too crazy. Though originally a Baltimore City district, the real base for this district today should be Howard County, which is already 60-40 Obama and should not be split. Eventually population loss will move this one out of Baltimore anyway, so Sarbanes can move. 60-37 Obama.

District 4 – red – did not want to move it into Baltimore County, but if I didn’t it would’ve been overpacked with Dems more than it already is. 50% black. 69-28 Obama

District 5 – yellow – more Anne Arundel-based, but also less gerrymandered-looking. 60-38 Obama.

District 6 – bluish-purple – Maryland redistricting fans know the drill here. Split MontCo, 60-37 Obama.

District 7 – grey – takes in more Republican territory. 50% black. 64-34 Obama (this is some really Republican territory we’re talking about here for a majority-black district in MD to only vote 64% for Obama)

District 8 – teal – CVH should be fine. 60-37 Obama.

Here are some other ones I made. First a 4-4 Rep gerrymander:

All 4 Rep districts are about R+4 or R+5, so they should hold.

Next, a “fair” 7-1 Dem map. I define a fair map as only splitting the counties that need to be split (unless necessary), making each county that needs to be split have at least one exclusive congressional district, and making the districts that go into multiple counties have at least one large unified geographical base (like a large county or accepted cultural region).

The teal, purple, yellow, and green distrits are all around D+1 to D+3.

Here’s a “fair” 6-2 map.

Every district is at least 58% Obama (D+5). How crazy is that?

Here’s an attempt at a “fair” rep map.

The green and yellow districts actually voted for Obama (D+0 to D+1). The teal and blue districts voted for McCain slightly (R+3)

Well, that’s it; let me know what you think.

Redistricting Virginia (7-4 Republican Gerrymander)

Hey everyone, there haven’t been as many redistricting diaries lately, so I thought I’d make one for Virginia, since it’s a state that’s very close to home for me and has seen some big changes recently.

The first thing I did was I assigned all of the precincts in the state 4 colors (Blue for Obama over 56%, Green for Obama under 36%, Purple for McCain under 56%, and Red for McCain over 56%. I figure this would give a good visual representation of VA’s electorate and make things easier for me or anyone else.

This allowed me to do some stats on the entirety of all strong-Obama, weak-Obama, Strong McCain, and weak-McCain precincts in the entire state. Here’s what I came up with:

39.95% of all Virginians (or 3,104,205 people) live in precincts that went strongly for Obama.

13.73% of all Virginians (or 1,066,544 people) live in precincts that went weakly for Obama.

12.26% of all Virginians (or 952,461 people) live in precincts that went weakly for McCain.

34.06% of all Virginians (or 2,645,879 people) live in precincts that went strongly for McCain.

Aggregating votes using winner-take-all precincts gives Obama a win of 53.68%.

For strong Obama precincts, the racial stats were: 48% white, 31% black, 7% Asian, and 10% hispanic.

For weak Obama precincts, the racial stats were: 68% white, 15% black, 7% Asian, and 7% hispanic.

For weak McCain precincts, the racial stats were: 75% white, 14% black, 3% Asian, 4% hispanic.

For strong McCain precincts, the racial stats were: 85% white, 8% black, 1% Asian, 2% hispanic.

Now, since congressional districts are assigned based on precincts, I decided that the strong precincts represent the base number that a party should have. Thus, the Democrats should have 39% of the Congressional seats, and the Republicans 34%. The weak precincts in between represent the areas where manipulation through gerrymandering are most effective. Thus, if the Democrats controlled redistricting, a “safe” map for them to draw would consist of 7 Democratic seats and 4 Republican seats ((1-.3406)(11 districts))=7.25. The same goes for the Republicans, who are more likely to control redistricting ((1-.3995)(11 districts))=6.60. One could gerrymander beyond this, but not without introducing some serious partisan territory into their districts that could make them vulnerable down the road (as what happened to Republicans when they tried to pack all the Dems into 2 districts).

Therefore, I decided to draw a “safe” map that the Republicans would be smart to draw if safety is their greatest concern. I chose the Republicans because I’m not sure if the Dems will have a hand in this in VA come 2012. The outcome gives Republicans an additional 2 seats and would ensure that NO seats would change hands after the 2012 elections.

Here’s what I got:

District 1 – Blue – Rob Wittman (R)

Changes very little. Needs to expand more into NoVA due to population growth, but less than 10% of the district lives there. The NOVA part voted for Obama, but the rest of the district is fairly conservative. In fact, just to make sure, I traded some majority-black precincts and counties out for some of ultra-conservative Hanover County and other deep-red areas around Richmond. McCain probably got about 55% here. (71% white, 17% black, 2% asian, 6% hispanic)

District 2 – Green – Glenn Nye (D)

Changes greatly. Goes from being Virginia Beach and Eastern Shore based to being a liberal Hampton Roads district. I know some of you think that this district is unnecessary, but without it the Republicans would need to do some serious cracking, because there are still many majority-black precincts left over after packing VA-03 so much that it becomes 64% black (this is why Obama won Forbes’ district and almost won Nye’s). Obama probably got 65-75% here, as the district ONLY consists of strong Obama precincts. Nye would probably be challenged from the left by a black democrat in this district (39% white, 49% black, 3% Asian, 4% hispanic)

District 3 – Purple – Robert Scott (D)

Expands out into the countryside, into areas that helped Obama win Forbes’ district. I could’ve made it more black, but I wanted to keep the lines clean so that the courts couldn’t say anything. Still crosses the river, but not as obnoxiously as before. Obama probably got 65-75% here. (41% white, 50% black, 1% Asian, 5% hispanic)

District 4 – Red – Randy Forbes (R)

District becomes completely bleached and safe for anyone who succeeds Forbes in any political environment. Added the lean-Dem Eastern shore in so that the district isn’t too packed. McCain probably got 60% here. (72% white, 17% black, 3% Asian, 4% hispanic)

District 5 – yellow – No incumbent

Getting rid of Periello’s district was easy. I decided to break open Goodlatte’s and Boucher’s districts because they are overpacked with Republicans. This district takes in liberal areas in Roanoke, VA Tech, and Harrisonburg just to make VA-06 more conservative, but the district is still safe for any Republican who runs. McCain probably got 60% here. (82% white, 11% black, 1% Asian, 2% hispanic)

District 6 – teal – Bob Goodlatte (R) vs. Rick Boucher (D)

I know they worked out some kind of deal back in 2002, but if Republicans really want this seat, they really have no reason to care what Goodlatte thinks. This is mostly Goodlatte’s territory, but it takes in Boucher’s home. Goodlatte should win easily since nearly every precinct is strong-McCain. McCain probably got above 65% here. Republicans can unpack this after 2022 if they want. (91% white, 4% black, 1% hispanic)

District 7 – gray – Eric Cantor (R) vs. Tom Periello (D)

This district is anchored by the strongly-Republican Richmond suburbs. I took out some majority-black areas in Richmond, but I added some liberal areas in Charlottesville and majority-black areas from VA-01 to compensate. McCain’s performance is probably unchanged at 53%, but Cantor should be fine. I did not want to expand this district into NoVA, but I had to since I wanted to keep Wolf’s district partially in the Shenandoah Valley. Part of it was already in the DC media markey anyway. (77% white, 12% black, 4% Asian, 4% hispanic).

District 8 – purplish blue – Jim Moran (D)

Unpacked some to expand into heavily Obama areas in NoVa. Almost every precinct in this district was strong-Obama (he probably got 65% here). (59% white, 7% black, 14% Asian, 16% hispanic.

District 9 – light blue – No incumbent

Made this district too conservative for Boucher to win if he moved into it (he’d have to air ads in the Richmond suburbs where fire-breathing Republicans would hate him anyway). Really doesn’t include any liberal areas except maybe Danville. McCain probably got 60% here. (75% white, 19% black, 1% Asian, 3% hispanic)

District 10 – pink – Frank Wolf (R)

Wanted to keep one Republican district in NoVa. Basically trades Dem areas for Rep areas, while trying not to take in any strong-Obama precincts. Obama got 55% in Wolf’s current district, but I’d wager that drawn this way, the district would’ve went for McCain by about 52-53%. This is the only district that might change hands if the Dems haven’t peaked in NoVA, but given some recent elections there, I think they have. (76% white,

76% white, 6% black, 8% Asian, 7% hispanic).

District 11 – light green – Gerry Connolly (D)

Loses Republican areas, gains Democratic areas. It was hard for me to believe, but some of the Prince William County precincts went over 75% for Obama, and this was a district that was drawn for a Republican; well, there’s no way this one is going back to them anytime soon; thus, this is their second concession. (49% white, 17% black, 12% Asian, 18% hispanic), and yes, Virginia gets 3 minority-majority districts under this plan.

Whew, well, let me know what you all think of all this.

Redistricting Maryland (7-1 split)

I was so excited when I got online today and saw Dave had uploaded a map for Maryland (I was also pleasantly surprised to see he used voting districts instead of census tracts, since I think Maryland lawmakers use those when making maps). I just had to take the time to redistrict my home state today; I’ve always wanted to since I hate the current map with a passion – it’s gerrymandered beyond what’s necessary and it wastes a lot of Democratic voters in Montgomery County, Howard County, and Western Maryland.

My goal in this was to create a 7-1 split. I know people have drawn maps that are 8-0, but I really didn’t want this to be too gerrymandered (and I didn’t want to endanger any incumbents in the event of a “wave” year. Plus, I know this probably doesn’t matter to anyone else, but I like being able to look at a congressional map from a distance and easily see what is where, which is something you can’t do at all with current districts 2 and 3. So without further ado here’s what I came up with:

District 1 – Frank Kratovil (D) (blue)

This district keeps the Eastern Shore (minus part of Cecil County, which isn’t really on the Eastern Shore). The district also loses Bel Air and all the crazy conservative parts of Anne Arundel County. In their place, the district gets the most Democratic parts of Harford County from District 2, Annapolis and it’s suburbs from District 3, and parts of Prince George’s County from District 5. Only 55% of the district is actually on the shore, the other 45% is heavily-Democratic central MD, so should be safe for Kratovil (Obama probably won 53-47 here). District is 69% White, 23% black, 3% hispanic.

District 2 – John Sarbanes (I guess) (D) (green)

One of my goals was to untangle 2 and 3, since they were just too crazy. I knew someone would end up not living in their district, and it ended up being Sarbanes. This district uses Howard County as a base, and takes in the most Democratic parts of West and North Anne Arundel County along with parts of Montgomery County. This district probably will have an identity crisis since it is located kinda equidistant from Baltimore and DC. Obama probably got 65%-70% here, so it should be safe for any Democrat. Stats: Only 56% white!, 20% black, 11% Asian, 9% Hispanic.

District 3 – Elijah Cummings (D) (purple)

Baltimore gets a nice, compact district (yay!). I took out Howard County and gave Cummings Republican areas in North Anne Arundel and East Baltimore County (Idk if I’d call the Baltimore County parts Republican, they’re mostly just blue-collar racists, but regardless, nobody has to deal with them now). Obama probably got about 65-75% here. Stats: 43% white, 50% black, 2% hispanic, 2% Asian.

District 4 – Donna Edwards (D) (red)

Straightens up it’s Prince George’s County portion, and adds heavily Republican areas of Anne Arundel County so that nobody has to deal with them. Obama probably got 65-75% here. 31% white, 50% black, 4% Asian, 12% hispanic.

District 5 – Steny Hoyer (D) (yellow)

Keeps all of Southern Maryland and South Anne Arundel, changes course through PG to take in part of Montgomery so that Kratovil can have part of PG. Hoyer might not live in here, but we can redraw the lines if he has a fit. Obama probably got 65-75% here. Stats: only 47% white!, 36% black, 4% Asian, 9% hispanic.

District 6 – Roscoe Bartlett (R) (teal)

Takes away Democratic parts of Frederick and Hagerstown, adds Bel Air and north Cecil County. McCain probably got about 75% here (I wouldn’t be surprised). Stats: 91% white, 3% black, 1% Asian, 1% hispanic.

District 7 – Dutch Ruppersberger (D) (gray)

This district is kinda cool because it sorta follows the Beltway around Baltimore while taking in the Northwest part of the City. Much less gerrymandered than before. Obama got 57% in Baltimore county, and this district excludes the most Republican parts while taking in part of the City, so Obama probably got 65% here. Stats: 56% white, 34% black, 4% Asian, 3% Hispanic.

District 8 – Chris Van Hollen (D) (purplish-blue)

Most of Montgomery County, with the most Democratic parts of Frederick and Washington Counties, not much needs to be said. Obama probably got 75% here. Stats: 66% white, 10% black, 11% Asian, 9% Hispanic.

So there you have it. I’m thinking I’ll do a state legislature map for Maryland next. Let me know what you all think.