Another Attempt at Arizona Redistricting

I decided to attempt redistricting Arizona, with its requirements for districts based around communities of interest. Arizona will pick up a 9th Congressional seat in 2012, though it’s tough to say which is the ‘new’ seat in my map as I moved a lot of things around in the Phoenix metro area. Changes elsewhere were less radical.

Caveats: While the district populations are all roughly equal in DRA, they have the potential to be out of whack in reality, particularly in Pinal County, I’m told. Also, I have little first hand knowledge of Arizona and am going mostly off of what I’ve read in other diaries, so cue Nico picking this apart in 3…2…1

So, here goes:


Phoenix Metro

Tucson Metro

Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

Demos: 59% White, 1% Black, 20% Native American, 18% Hispanic, 1% Asian, 1% Otther

Description: Similar to the current 1st, though it sheds most of the non-rural Pinal stuff and picks up rural parts of Cochise and the rural portions of Maricopa instead. The district, as drawn is designed to keep as many rural interests in the state together as possible. The swaps have made this a more Republican district than the current 1st, but I’m guessing that it’s definitely winnable for the right kind of Democrat.

Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District

Demos: 74% White, 3% Black, 2% Native American, 2% Asian, 17% Hispanic, 1% Other

The 2nd stays similar to its current configuration. It does pick up all of La Paz County from the current 8th, but the western Phoenix suburbs, including most of Glendale, dominate here. So, what you have are two communities of interest: the smaller cities on the Western half of the state and the bulk of the West Valley of Phoenix. Should send a GOPer to Congress.

Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District

Demos: 79% White, 2% Black, 1% Native American, 3% Asian, 13% Hispanic, 1% Other

The 3rd remains a North Phoenix dominated district. However, it sheds Central Phoenix to the new 6th and picks up North Scottsdale and Paradise Valley from the old 5th. What I’m aiming for here is to combine the wealthier suburbs into a single district. I’m guessing that even Ben Quayle is probably safe here, and any other GOPer would have a job for life.

Arizona’s 4th Congressional District

Demos: 72% White, 3% Black, 1% Native American, 2% Asian, 20% Hispanic, 1% Other

The new 4th contains the whiter, farther out 2nd ring suburbs of Phoenix (East Mesa and Gilbert) along with the bulk of Pinal County. I’m not going to lie-this configuration is largely because aside from the Indian reservations and the rural parts, I wasn’t quite sure how to carve up Pinal, so I figured that keeping it mostly together (minus the Indian Reservations in the 8th and the rural east in the 1st) as a community of interest wasn’t the worst idea in the world. I’m guessing this is a GOP slam dunk.

Arizona’s 5th Congressional District

Demos: 22% White, 9% Black, 2% Native American, 2% Asian, 65% Hispanic, 1% Other

This is basically the current 4th CD, except that it loses the whiter portions of Central Phoenix to the new 6th and gains a little more population in the West Valley. Best Dem district in the state from a PVI perspective.

Arizona’s 6th Congressional District

Demos: 50% White, 5% Black, 3% Native American, 4% Asian, 37% Hispanic, 2% Other

Tempe plus Central Phoenix in a district that, to me anyways, makes a huge amount of sense as it brings together two ASU campuses plus the seat of government. I think of this as the Texas 25th of Arizona, a white, liberalish seat; say hello to some sort of Democrat here.

Arizona’s 7th Congressional District

Demos: 65% White, 3% Black, 4% Native American, 2% Asian, 24% Hispanic, 2% Other

The aim here was to bring together a bunch of first and second tier suburbs located to the east of downtown Phoenix together in a district. The district is comprised of West Mesa, Ahwatukee, Chandler, and Southern Scottsdale. I know that Chandler is swingy, and West Mesa is D friendly, but know nothing about Ahwatukee and the portion of Scottsdale in the district.

Arizona’s 8th Congressional District

Demos: 32% White, 3% Black, 5% Native American, 1% Asian, 58% Hispanic, 1% Other

This is a lot like the old 7th, though it sheds La Paz to the 7th, parts of central Tucson (including the University of Arizona) into the 9th. In exchange, it picks up some Hispanic heavy turf in Maricopa in the West Valley and the rest of Sierra Vista, and is in the end, several points more Hispanic than the old district (though what this translates to in VAP is unknown); should send some flavor of Dem back to Congress.

Arizona’s 9th Congressional District

Demos: 73% White, 3% Black, 1% Native American, 3% Asian, 18% Hispanic, 2% Other

Picks up white liberals in Tucson and sheds eastern Cochise and the Sierra Vista portions. The two big military installations are here as a community of interest, along with Eastern Tucson. Gabby would do very well here, but as an open seat I’d guess that it’s still definitely winnable for either party.

The Most Optimistic Set of Predictions You’ll See (H: D-24, S: D-4)

I think I’m about to post the most optimistic set of predictions this board will probably see. Aside from a brutal South, I think Dems will be relatively okay through the rest of the nation.

(As a side note, I’ll be knocking doors in Pittsburgh all day tomorrow, so I’m signing off until 9PM-ish tomorrow.)


1. I fundamentally believe that the polling is off in our favor-too much Razzy goodness, too much crappy Republican internal polling, and bad, bad LV models (also cell phone effect) have been baked into the so called “cake”. I just don’t buy it (either that or I’m in denial).

2. …..except in the South, there I do buy the polling actually being as bad as it is.

3. The other major thing that should help Democrats, especially in the Philadelphia-Kansas City corridor is the GOTV ground game brought to you by your friendly local unions. This conversely explains why the South will be so bad.

4. In key states, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New York,  while they may not all win, Senate and Gubernatorial candidates are doing well enough to save the Chris Carneys, John Salazars, Zack Spaces, and John Halls of the world.

5. Too many bad GOP candidates like Allan West, Tim Walberg, Tom Marino, Andy Harris and Sharron Angle (among many others).

6. Everyone remembers the great GOP landslide of 1998, don’t we….


Senate (D-4)

North Dakota



Wisconsin (though I can easily see PA here)


Republican Gains (31)

South (14)

Arkansas 1st

Arkansas 2nd

Florida 2nd

Florida 8th

Florida 24th

Georgia 8th

Louisiana 3rd

Mississippi 1st

Tennessee 4th

Tennessee 6th

Tennessee 8th

Texas 17th

Virginia 2nd

Virginia 5th

Northeast (5)

New Hampshire 1st

New York 29th

Pennsylvania 3rd

Pennsylvania 7th

Pennsylvania 11th

Midwest (9)

Michigan 1st

Illinois 11th

Illinois 17th

Indiana 8th

Kansas 3rd

Ohio 1st

Ohio 15th

Wisconsin 7th

Wisconsin 8th

West (3)

Arizona 1st

Colorado 4th

New Mexico 2nd

Democratic Pickups (7)

Arizona 3rd ****UPSET SPECIAL****


Florida 25th

Hawaii 1st

Illinois 10th

Louisiana 2nd

Washington 8th ****UPSET SPECIAL****

House-10: Where The Pain Is

The Heart of This Year’s Darkness: The Deep South

There are seven Southern House seats that are, in my opinion, absolutely gone: the two open Arkansas seats, the Louisana 3rd, Tennessee 6th, Florida 2nd, and the Virginia 2nd and 5th. I still think we have a ghost of a chance in the Tennessee 8th, but that one is likely toast too.

If its any consolation, I think that the Arkansas 2nd and Tennessee 8th are long term pains in the neck for the GOP. The bright spot in the Deep South is the Louisana 2nd, which we should get back, so that effectively cancels out our loss of the 3rd district, which disappears in redistricting anyways.

I’m actually optimistic when it comes to pretty much every Deep South incumbent except for Allan Boyd. If my memory serves me right, the last one of those to lose under non flukey circumstances was Max Burns in the Georgia 12th in ’04. So I have Bright, Childers, Barrow, Spratt, Edwards, Ciro Rodriguez, and Marshall hanging on.

In the upper South and border states, things are a bit better. I think the North Carolina delegation is in relatively good shape, and that we hold onto the Virginia 11th as well. Kentucky is fine. In Florida south of the I-4 corridor, Kosmas and Grayson are far from gone (pure tossups, though I like Grayson’s chances better), Klein’s challenger in the 22nd is insane, and we could actually come out of Florida in better shape, if the only loss is Boyd and Garcia picks up the 25th. The GOP has yet to nail down Florida 12 as well.  

The Other Pain Center: The Industrial Midwest

Our incumbents in Missouri are in pretty good shape; I’m firmly convinced that Ike Skelton is too much of a fixture to lose and Russ Carnahan’s seat is too Democratic. Roy Blunt isn’t exactly setting the world on fire either on the Senate side, which is a plus. In Illiois, we should break even; minus Halvorson but plus Seals; Foster is a likely winner as well. I can live with that. I think Brad Ellsworth’s seat is a likely loss, but Donnelly and Hill narrowly hold on. The success of the auto bailout saves Gary Peters in the 9th District, but Mark Schauer is in trouble in the 7th. In Ohio, Kilroy isn’t strong enough, and Driehaus’s district is too polarized this year for him to survive; he’s not going to get the AA turnout he needs there. Boccieri should be okay in the 16th.

The Mid Atlantic

In the Mid Atlantic region, there are two seats that are currently very far gone: Pennsylvania 11th and New York 29th. Neither of those should be a long term hold for the GOP (PA-11 is too Dem, NY-29 goes in redistricting). There are a large number of seats I’m very concerned about here: the New York 24th (though I feel better seeing some positive numbers for Arcuri there), John Adler in the New Jersey 2nd, the Maryland 1st, and the Pennsylvania 3rd, 7th, and 10th; though Carney’s opposition seems sub-par. I particularly feel very queasy about the open 7th in Pennsylvania. Altmire, Murphy, and Holden should be okay,. Against this, we will pick up the open seat in Delaware.

New England

In all of New England, I think our only problems lay in the New Hampshire seats; my best guess is that we hold the 1st, and lose the open 2nd District. There are some who think MA-10 is in play, but I have my doubts, and even if it is, guess who gets screwed over in redidtricting….

The Upper Midwest and Plains

Our incumbents in Minnesota and Wisconsin seem to be in relatively good shape; Kagan could lose, but I honestly think he’ll be okay, and Julie Lassa’s opposition doesn’t seem to be that strong. Sadly, Michele Bachmann isn’t going anywhere though. In the Dakotas, I think we’ve been seeing too much Rasmussen and too little of anything else. I’m more worried about Pomeroy than Herseth-Sandlin because of Hoeven at the top of the ticket, but I think those are both holds at the end of the day.

I think that Dennis Moore’s seat in suburban Kansas City is a likely loss; the only incumbent in the region I have any reservations about is Leonard Boswell in the Iowa 3rd; he was in trouble even in the wave year of ’06. Why he didn’t get out of dodge in ’08 is beyond me…..

The West

This is the region where we’ve gotten the most help from the GOP. The top of the ticket for the GOP in Colorado is a godsend, which will give Markey a fighting chance, which is all you can ask for in this year’s environment. The spillover effects from Sharon Angle likewise help Dina Titus in suburban Las Vegas, and Jan Brewer doens’t look so hot in Arizona which helps out Harry Mitchell.

I’m guessing that we lose the open Washington 3rd, along with the Colorado 4th. Mitchell has a strong enough brand name in Tempe that he narrowly holds the Arizona 5th, and Titus’s seat could go either way. Somehow, I think Walt Minnick holds on, as does Harry Teague. We are plus one in Hawaii.

So, here’s the Dem lost causes (15):

-Arkansas 1st

-Arkansas 2nd

-Florida 2nd

-Louisana 3rd

-Kansas 3rd

-Illinois 11th

-New Hampshire 2nd

-New York 29th

-Ohio 1st

-Ohio 15th

-Pennsylvania 11th

-Tennessee 6th

-Virginia 2nd

-Virginia 5th

-Washington 3rd

GOP Goners (5)

+Delaware AL

+Florida 25th

+Hawaii 2nd

+Illinois 10th

+Louisana 2nd

Dem “It’s Not Looking Good” Seats (11)

-Colorado 4th

-Florida 24th

-Indiana 8th

-New York 24th

-Maryland 1st

-Michigan 7th

-Nevada 3rd

-New Jersey 2nd

-Pennsylvania 3rd

-Pennsylvania 7th

-Tennessee 8th

Dem Watch List

-Arizona 5th

-Florida 8th

-Iowa 3rd

-Illinois 15th

-Indiana 2nd

-Indiana 9th

-Michigan 9th

-Missouri 4th

-New York 20th

-New York 23rd

-Ohio 16th

-Pennsylvania 10th

-Virginia 11th

GOP Watch List

+Arizona 3rd (nothing but a gut feeling here)

+Florida 12th

+Minnesota 6th

Overall Guess: ~R + 29 seats

As a note feel free to comment about any of these races, and I’ll give you my thoughts

Washington State: A Nonpartisan 10 District Map

In the wake of the news that Washington State is slated to recieve a new seat in Congress, I decided to try and draw a 10 district map for the state. Since they redistrict by a non partisan board, I tried to make the districts as sensible as they could be and avoid splitting counties wherever possible. I also ignored incumbents’ homes and aimed to create districts based upon shared interests where possible without splitting counties. For example, the new 10th is centered on the high tech industry as a creative class district, while the new 8th is a blue collar industrial district, and the 6th has a secondary military focus.

The resulting map probably will make at least three incumbent Democrats less than pleased. Norm Dicks and Jay Inslee now live in the new 2nd, Rick Larsen is now in the new 1st, the 6th and 10th are unoccupied. Dems should win the 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 9th, and the new 10th without much problem. The 8th is drawn to favor a blue collar union Dem, though Reichert could win there, and the 3rd is still the most balanced in the state.

The GOP is probably content with this one; while not a gerrymander, the 4th and 5th are secure, the 3rd is still a tossup, and Reichert sheds the problematic parts of the old 8th (though his new one is far from secure).


Pierce County (Tacoma)

King County (Seattle)

Details for Each District

Washington’s 1st Congressional District

Community of Interest: Snohomish County

Politically: Likely Democrat

Ethnic Makeup: 77% White, 2% Black, 1% Native Americam, 9% Asian, 7% Latino, 3% Other

One of my core beliefs is that if any county has roughly the correct amount of population to form a single congressional district, it should remain intact as a single unit. Thus, the 1st takes up all but about 30,000 residents of Snohomish County, which supported Obama by a 58-40 margin. That said, Jay Inslee doesn’t live in this version of the district, but current 2nd CD congressman Rick Larsen does. Correspondingly, Inslee now finds himself in Larsen’s 2nd. It would be an interesting situation to be sure.

Washington’s 2nd Congressional District

Community of Interest: Pacific Coast Communities

Politically: Likely Democrat

Ethnic Makeup: 83% White, 2% Black, 2% Native American, 4% Asian, 7% Latino, 3% Other

This is the district that I am by far the least happy with in the whole map. It’s a direct result of keeping Snohomish largely together in the 1st, and is an awkward combination of Bremerton’s Kitsap County, the various islands, and the two farthest north coastal counties. All of these are fairly Democratic areas, and it should elect a Democrat. The new 2nd has two Democratic incumbents: Jay Inslee (already discussed) and Norm Dicks, who lives in Bremerton. I’d guess that Dicks runs in my 6th, where most of his old district is and Inslee or Larsen would run here.

Washington’s 3rd Congressional District

Community of Interest: Southern Washington

Politically: Tossup, Slight Dem Lean

Ethnic Makeup: 76% White, 1% Black, 2% Native American, 3% Asian, 15% Latino, 2% Other

This, along with my new 8th District are the two most competitive within the new map. The bulk of the district’s population lives in Clark County, and Obama carried every county in the district with the exception of the Yakima County portion of the district. Now, about that Yakima County portion of the district…it’s 60% Latino, so it’s not nearly as bad as you might think upon first glance. That said, I don’t doubt that the right GOPer could win here given the swingy nature of several of the counties.

Washington’s 4th Congressional District

Community of Interest: Central Washington

Politically: Safe Republican

Ethnic Makeup: 68% White, 1% Black, 1% Native American, 2% Asian, 27% Latino, 1% Other

The most GOP district in all of Washington. It contains several smaller cities: Pasco, Kennewick, Walla Walla, and the vast bulk of the city of Yakima. This should be a sinecure for whichever GOPer holds it.

Washington’s 5th Congressional District

Community of Interest: Eastern Washington

Politically: Likely Republican

Ethnic Makeup: 86% White, 1% Black, 2% Native American, 2% Asian, 5% Latino, 2% Other

This is the less Republican of the two Eastern Washington seats, and most of the population here is concentrated in Spokane County, which McCain barely won. It also contains Washington State University in Pullman; Whitman County is the only one in the district that voted for John McCain. This should be a relatively safe place for Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, but it’s not a mortal lock like the 4th.

Washington’s 6th Congressional District

Community of Interest: Olympic Peninsula/US Military

Politically: Likely Democratic

Ethnic Makeup: 83% White, 2% Black, 2% Native American, 3% Asian, 6% Latino, 3% Other

This version of the 6th has been largely reconfigured; it sheds Bremerton to the 2nd, and Tacoma into the 9th. In its place, the new 6th gains heavily Democratic Thurston County (Olympia)which voted 60-38 for Obama. It also picks up moderately Democratic Pacific and Wahkitum Counties as well as Republican Lewis County. It also includes Fort Lewis, McChord Air Force Base and the Gig Harbor portions of Pierce.

My guess is that with Fort Lewis and McChord, Dicks would run here instead of the 2nd, which despite Kitsap and Bremerton, is still mostly of a Whatcom/Skagit/San Juan/Island District. The only familiar part of the 2nd for Dicks would be Bremerton, whereas here he has represented the four northernmost counties plus the Pierce component of the district. It’s likely not quite as Democratic as the old 6th, but it should elect some flavor of Democrat.

The only regret I had here was not getting the missile sub base in Bangor into this district as well. If you’re willing to split Snohomish and King even more, you can do that. With that said, two out of three ain’t bad, and Dicks will look after Bangor anyways.

Washington’s 7th Congressional District

Community of Interest: City of Seattle

Politically: Strong Democratic

Ethnic Makeup: 63% White, 9% Black, 1% Native American, 17% Asian, 8% Latino, 3% Other

This is basically the city of Seattle with just a sliver of suburbs to the south. Slam dunk Dem with a very high Dem + PVI number.

Washington’s 8th Congressional District

Community of Interest: South King County

Politically: Tossup

Ethnic Makeup: 69% White, 6% Black, 1% Native American, 11% Asian, 9% Latino, 3% Other

Now we move on to that Democratic perennial target, the 8th District. That district, in its old form has been vaporized into three. The new 8th has been designed as a largely South King County seat; think of this as the Boeing/Weyerhauser district. It includes Kent, Renton, Covington, and Auburn from the old 8th, as well as Federal Way, Des Moines, and SeaTac from the old 9th. In addition, there is a small slice of Pierce County (mostly Bonney Lake) included.

Dave Reichert would probably run here; the new 10th is drawn as a Microsoft/High Tech District that has most of Darcy Burner’s best areas included. That said, most of the Pierce County portions that have saved him in the past ended up in the new 9th District.

For the Democrats, my guess is that State Rep Chris Hurst runs here, setting up a cop vs. cop showdown. Hurst always would have difficulty in a Dem primary in the old 8th, as he was a poor fit for the Bellvue/Mercer Island parts. This much more working class version should fit him like a glove.

Washington’s 9th Congressional District

Community of Interest: City of Tacoma/Pierce County

Politically: Likely Democratic

Ethnic Makeup: 72% White, 7% Black, 1% Native American, 7% Asian, 8% Latino, 4% Other

The 9th has been redrawn to be all about Tacoma and Pierce County. With the exception of Gig Harbor, Bonney Lake, and Fort Pierce, all of Pierce County is in the district. Adam Smith, a Tacoma resident, should be just fine here.

Washington’s 10th Congressional District

Community of Interest: King County’s High Tech Community

Politically: Likely Democrat

Ethnic Makeup: 77% White, 2% Black, 1% Native American, 12% Asian, 6% Latino, 2% Other

If the new 8th is all about Boeing and Weyerhauser, then this is the Microsoft District. It includes Bellvue, Redmond, Mercer Island, Shoreline, Issiquah, and part of Bothell. There is also a small portion of Snohomish County with about 30,000 voters.

It is likely the wealthiest district in the state and the best educated. It is appropriately the newest district, as this portion of King County has been the fastest growing in the state. It includes the areas where Darcy Burner did best in the old 8th and will almost certainly elect a Democrat. The primary here would be something to watch….Ross Hunter would likely have the inside track here.

BREAKING: NY-23 Scozzafava Endorses Owens

Absolutely a priceless moment. Here’s the link to the statement. Dede must be seriously cheesed off, I wonder if she switches parties after this disaster and sits as a Dem in the State Assembly.


Full statement after the jump.

I want to thank you for your support and friendship. Over the past 24 hours, I have had encouraging words sent to my family and me. Many of you have asked me whom you should support on Tuesday.

Since announcing the suspension of my campaign, I have thought long and hard about what is best for the people of this District, and how to answer your questions. This is not a decision that I have made lightly.

You know me, and throughout my career, I have been always been an independent voice for the people I represent. I have stood for our honest principles, and a truthful discussion of the issues, even when it cost me personally and politically. Since beginning my campaign, I have told you that this election is not about me; it’s about the people of this District.

It is in this spirit that I am writing to let you know I am supporting Bill Owens for Congress and urge you to do the same.

It’s not in the cards for me to be your representative, but I strongly believe Bill is the only candidate who can build upon John McHugh’s lasting legacy in the U.S. Congress. John and I worked together on the expansion of Fort Drum and I know how important that base is to the economy of this region. I am confident that Bill will be able to provide the leadership and continuity of support to Drum Country just as John did during his tenure in Congress.

In Bill Owens, I see a sense of duty and integrity that will guide him beyond political partisanship. He will be an independent voice devoted to doing what is right for New York. Bill understands this district and its people, and when he represents us in Congress he will put our interests first.

Please join me in voting for Bill Owens on Tuesday. To address the tough challenges ahead, we must rise above partisanship and politics and work together. There’s too much at stake in this election to do otherwise.

IA-Sen: Grassley Vulnerable?

As we all know, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has been cozying up to the teabagger crowd and saying some truly bizarre things of late (though for the record, I do not believe he has dementia). Those comments could make Grassley vulnerable in a state which Barack Obama carried by 10 percent of the vote. Grassley was only leading former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack by four points a few months ago, so I don’t buy that he’s unbeatable. Right now this race is flying under the radar, but I think it has dark horse potential.

There have been rumors of a significant player entering the race, with speculation focusing on 1st District Congressman Bruce Braley.

So, onto our candidate bench. One note though: I think that Iowa is one of those states where voters intrinsically know the value of seniority, and would have a hard time electing someone who wasn’t going to be there for a good long while. On the other hand, this is almost certainly Grassley’s last run for office either way, so it might not be as much of a disqualifier as usual.

On paper, my opinion is that the strongest Democratic candidate for the seat would have to be Braley, who represents the 1st Congressional District, based in Northeastern Iowa. While Obama carried it with 58% of the vote, before Braley it was held by Republican Jim Nussle. Braley is about the perfect age (51) to be viable as a long term replacement for Grassley, and he’d almost certainly be able to raise the requisite dough for such a run.

I’m not quite sure who the next best choice is though; former Congressman Mike Blouin would be perfect if he were about five years younger.

As I’m not well tuned into Iowa’s Dem bench, I did some research and came up with the following possibilities:

-Frank Cownie:Very popular Mayor of Des Moines, just young enough (60) to be viable from that standpoint. Comes from a swingier part of the state than Braley does.

-Michael Mauro: Iowa’s current Secretary of State, also 60, also hails from Polk County (Des Moines)

-Patrick Murphy: Current Speaker of the Iowa House, represents Dubuque. Young, at age 49, though came under criticism for his management of the House chamber.

-Kevin McCarthy: Current Iowa House Majority leader.

I’d love to hear the perspective of someone who’s plugged into the Iowa political scene as to who they’d think would have a good shot at the seat.

House/Senate/Governor “Prospects”

In sports, people spend a lot of time talking about “prospects”, the young talent in the minor leagues that they expect to see in the major leagues in the future. I thought it would be an interesting thread if we talked about folks who are now in the “minors” (ie state legislatures, mayors, and other fields) that would be good candidates for major offices (Gov, Sen, US House) sometime soon.

So, without further delay, here are five profiles of people to watch. I’m interested in seeing what other prospects are out there….

1. Andrew Romanoff (Colorado)

Who Is He: Former Speaker of the Colorado State House, represented the 6th State House District

Where Would He Run: CO-Sen? CO-Gov?

Why Isn’t He In Congress Already: Romanoff had the misfortune of retiring just as every single possible slot in the state delegation that’s winnable for a Dem got filled. If someone less quirky than Bill Ritter was Governor, he likely would have been tapped for an appointment to Salazar’s vacated Senate seat. The other problem for Romanoff is that even though Dems control the trifecta in Colorado, it would be very difficult and risky to draw another Dem seat, as Markey has to be shored up as does John Salazar (though much less so); there almost certainly has to be at least one GOP seat based in Colorado Springs, and probably, although not certainly, another based in Douglas County.

Theoretically, he could challenge Ritter or Bennet in the primary, though that would be a mighty tough slog. Ritter is vulnerable on his left flank to an extent. DeGette’s too popular in the 1st, so unless Obama appoints her to something, that avenue is closed.

2. Christopher Hurst (Washington State)

Who Is He: State Representative for the 31st House District in Southern King and Pierce Counties

Where Would He Run: WA-08

Why He Isn’t In Congress Already: Hurst has considered running for Congress in Washington’s 8th District against Dave Reichert before. I’m convinced the reason he hasn’t is that he’d have a tough time making it through a primary, as the bulk of the Democratic vote is up in the Bellevue area. Hurst is from the Southern part of the district which is less populated and generally more conservative.

If you could get him through a primary, he matches up perfectly against Reichert-he’s a former cop, so Reichert can’t out law and order him, and he’s also a proven vote getter in swingy South King and the conservative Pierce County.

3. Sean Logan (Pennsylvania)

Who He Is: State Senator for the 45th District, lives in the Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville

Where He Would Run: PA-18 or its successor

Why Isn’t He In Congress Already: Logan has been repeatedly wooed as a challenger for Tim Murphy, but has declined. Logan doesn’t actually live in the 18th, which is insanely gerrymandered, but lives just over the line in Mike Doyle’s 14th.

Logan may simply be waiting for redistricting, as the map is likely to be drawn by a judge, and there is absolutely no way Murphy, who is ethically on shaky ground, will get anywhere near as Republican a seat as he has now. Even as is, the 18th isn’t a great seat for Murphy; trust me when I say that the PVI here lies by at least 3 points, and that a local Dem could easily win here. Obama and Kerry were both terrible fits for the 18th, and Gore only lost here by 5.

4. Rafael Anchia/Kirk England (Texas)

Who Are They: Texas State House Reps for the 103rd (Anchia) and 106th (England) Districts, England is a former Republican who switched parties

Where Will They Run: Texas’s new “33rd” District

Why Aren’t They In Congress Already: Here’s the situation; prior to the DeLaymander, metro Dallas had two pretty solid Dem seats, the 30th a minority majority district based in Dallas, and the Arlington based 24th, held by Martin Frost which was a “coalition” district. In re-redistricting, the 24th got chopped up among several districts with a lot ending up in a new GOP 24th and Pete Sessions 32nd. This has led to both of these districts starting to fall off a cliff for the GOP because of explosive latino growth. McCain only won 24 with 55% and 32 with a mere 53%, danger territory by Texas standards.

So, unless they want a Pennsylvania style disaster in North Texas, they’re going to have to create some sort of Democratic district to pack all of the Dems together. There’s a fair amount of debate as to how they will do this, with one thought being that it will end up as a Latino plurality Fort Worth based seat, while some others feel that they’ll recreate something like the old 24th and make it a coalition district.

Both Anchia and England are well placed for whatever they create, and I have to think that one of them will almost certainly run for the new seat.

A “Fair” Florida Map


The Scenario:

If Alex Sink or another Democrat were to capture the Governorship, I can easily see them letting a judge draw the maps-they can seldom get anything worse than what the map currently is and they would almost certainly gain more seats then they would in an incumbent protection map. I also assume that Florida only gains a single seat, rather than the 2 some are predicting (opinion is widely split on that).

So, here goes. I know my FL-4 will spark a lot of controversy.  

North Florida (Districts 1-6)

FL-1: A very conservative Pensacola based district and a cakewalk for Jeff Miller.

FL-2: A modestly more Democratic friendly version of the 2nd which Allen Boyd should have no problem with.

FL-3: Ander Crenshaw should love this heavily GOP district with its base in the Jacksonville suburbs and exurbs.

FL-4: Replaces the old Florida 3rd; entirely within Duval County and is 33.8% African American, compared to the 49% it is now. Would it trigger a lawsuit? Almost certainly. However, there is absolutely no way to draw a black majority district in North and Central Florida. I spent four hours trying and got something that was like 48% black and looked like an octopus. Since the Supreme Court has ruled in Bartlett v. Strickland that a district must be 50%+ minority to be protected under the VRA (unless I’m misreading the decision). Thus, I went for compactness while keeping the minority heavy parts of Duval together. It should be winnable for a black Democrat, as they would be favored in the primary, and I can’t imagine the GOP winning a 34% African American urban district (when you add in Latinos, minorities are 38% of the district).

FL-5: Similar to the current 5th, though more North and Central Florida than exurban Tampa. Should elect Ginny Brown-Waite or another GOPer easily.

FL-6: One of the more interesting new districts created out of parts of the current 3rd, 6th, and 7th. Its basically a battle of bases, with the GOP being strong in the St. Johns part of the district and Dems having all of Alachua County. The Marion County portion though, gives this district a slight GOP lean, though I can absolutely see a moderate to Blue Dog Dem winning this seat.

The I-4 Corridor

(FL-7 to FL-12 and FL-24)

FL-7: Suburban Orlando, taking in parts of Seminole and Osceola Counties. I would expect this to be something like a 53-47 Democratic district.

FL-8: Orlando’s downtown core and some suburbs. Allen Greyson will love it.

FL-9: Suburban Greater Tampa. Probably would elect Gus Bilrakis again.

FL-10: A significantly more Democratic version of the current district. If Charlie Justice gets elected next year, he’ll love this district.

FL-11: Tampa’s downtown core and some of suburban Hillsborough County. Probably less Dem than its current configuration but still plenty safe for Kathy Castor.

FL-12: A Hillsborough-Polk Tampa suburban district that looks like a tossup.

FL-24: A Volusia/Seminole based district that would elect Suzanne Kosmas.

South Central Florida

FL-13: A Sarasota County based seats with large hunks of Charlotte and Manatee Counties. Leans to likely Republican.

FL-14: The leftovers district. A Republican lock, though I’m pretty sure it has no incumbent.

FL-15: Republican Brevard and Indian River Counties plus the leftovers of Osceola. Bill Posey, with his wingnuttia could make it extremely interesting.

FL-16: Democratic St. Lucie plus marginally Republican Martin and a big chunk of north Palm Beach County. On paper, its Democratic leaning.

FL-17: Fort Myers based. Connie Mack is safe.

Southeast Florida (West Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade)

FL-18: A Democratic South Palm Beach County seat. My guess is Robert Wexler runs here.

FL-19: A much safer district for Ron Klein.

FL-20: A Dem friendly district for Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

FL-21: A black majority district for Kendrick Meek’s successor, though I had to strip out some African American precients to get Alcee Hastings over the 50% hump in the 23rd.

FL-22: Cubans in Miami and down the coast, but wholly in Dade County. Possibly the safest of the 3 Cuban districts now.

FL-23: Basically the same as is now.

FL-25: Hialeah based, Joe Garcia stands a much better chance in this version of the district.

FL-26: What’s left of Dade and Collier plus the Florida Keys.


Dems hold everything they have now and probably pick up the Florida 7th, at least one of the Cuban Districts (I’d bet on the 25th), and maybe the 12th. A Dem will carry my new 10th as well.

The 6th is a tough GOP hold, and Bilrakis could have trouble in the new 9th. Posey is capable of turning a relatively safe 15th into a battleground.

Redistricting the Mitten (Michigan)

The goals of this map were:

a)Shore up Stupak’s 1st

b)Create a Dem leaning 2nd using the Western Shore Counties and Grand Rapids

c)Pack as many GOPers into the 3rd and 4th CDs

d)Create a Democratic Lansing District and a Democratic Ann Arbor based district, destroying Thad McCotter’s 11th in the process

e)Dismember Candace Miller’s Northern Macomb base while drawing safe districts for Gary Peters and Sander Levin

f)Preserve 2 black majority districts.

Under my map, I think that:

CDs 1, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13, and 14 are mortal Dem locks

CDs 6, 7, 10 have strong Dem leans

CD 2 leans slight Dem, CD9 is a tossup

CDs 3 and 4 are Republican fortresses

Let me know how I did….

Here’s Stupak’s New 1st CD

Here’s the bulk of Western and Central Michigan:

The Kalamazoo/Battle Creek 6th and Lansing based 7th

Here’s the 9th, which I’m guessing is a tossup district, maybe with an ever so slight Democratic lean.

The new Ann Arbor based 8th and a Dingell friendly 14th:

Gary Peters’s 10th and Sander Levin’s new 11th

The two majority black districts, numbered 12 and 13:

Rust Belt Redistricting Musings

The following are my thoughts on redistricting each of the Midwestern states-from Iowa and Missouri to Western Pennsylvania. I think in general, things look good for Dems right now, with the exceptions of Indiana and Missouri. But read on and tell me what you think.

In alphabetical order


I think that in some ways, Iowa is the most predictable state because of the way they redraw their lines. You know that there will be a Democratic leaning 1st District in the northeast, a stronger Democratic 2nd in the southeast part, a Polk County/Des Moines based 3rd, and Steve King’s wingnut friendly 4th in the Western part of the state.


With the GOP likely to run remap here, the consensus is that they’ll target Baron Hill by stripping him of Bloomington. I think that’s potentially dangerous, as neither Buyer or Burton are good campaigners. Furthermore, I think Baron Hill would be a great candidate for Governor, so the Indiana GOP better be careful what it wishes for……


Two thoughts: if Kirk runs for Senate and we win his 10th (or if we win it outright), I’m guessing the ultimate target would be Judy Biggert, who’s older and less politically talented than Roskam. The best bet might be to pair them together in an ultra GOP DuPage based district and use the Dem leftovers with parts of say, the 9th to create a new Dem district.

Now my evil little thought: I wonder if we could create a Democratic leaning monstrosity with the most Democratic friendly parts of Rockford, Peoria, Champaign/Urbana, and Springfield. Yeah it’d be ugly, but so is Phil Hare’s 17th…..


In Michigan, if Dems run remap, there are several ways to go with it. My guess is that they would draw Thad McCotter into an Ann Arbor based district that he couldn’t win-that’s by far the easiest. I also think they’ll. The other thing they should do is draw a Lansing based Democratic District drawn for Virg Bernero and give the GOP parts of the 8th to Candice Miller and pack all of the GOP’s Southeast strongholds into a single district. I suppose there’s also the outside possibility of a Dem Western district that combines the city of Grand Rapids with some of the Dem leaning counties on Lake Michigan, but I’m not sure Vern Ehlers wouldn’t win that anyways….


Regardless of whether the state ends up with 7 or 8 CDs, the objective of Minnesota’s redistricting plan (if Dems control, and I think they will) will be to get rid of Michele Bachmann. The only difference being how you do it. If there are 8 CDs, you simply draw a 6th that is is close to even and friendly to State Senator Tarryl Clark. If there are 7, slam her into an uber-GOP (Sherburne, Wright, Carver,Scott and the most GOP friendly parts of Dakota, Anoka, and Hennepin)  district with John Kline.

The big question here in either case is whether the DFL goes after the 3rd by swapping some of the more Democratic suburbs like St. Louis Park and Hopkins for GOP friendly stuff like Edina.


Dems have to pray that Missouri holds onto its 9th CD so they can simply play incumbent protection and draw a more friendly 4th CD along the I-70 corridor from KC to Boone County. If Missouri goes to 8, I’m almost certain that Skelton’s district is toast.


If Dems control redistricting and Ohio loses 2 seats, here’s some possibilities

-The basic premise is to pack the GOPers into 4 ultra GOP districts: the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th while creating a Dem Dayton district, cracking the 14th into 3, and the 2nd into 3 parts plus creating a Democratic leaning mashup of the 18th and 12th designed for Zack Space.

-Create a Democratic 3rd by combining Montgomery County with Oxford and the most Dem friendly turf you can find in Greene.

-Eliminate Jean Schmidt’s 2nd with the Dem parts of Hamilton going to the 1st, the GOP suburban stuff splitting between the 7th and 8th CDs and the Dem leaning Ohio River Counties into the 6th.

-Drop the GOP parts of the 15th into the 4th, 5th, and 7th and pick up Dem friendly turf in Franklin. However be careful because….

-To protect Zack Space, try and take what’s left of Franklin and mate it to the friendliest portions of the 18th while dropping as much of the GOP stuff into the 7th as possible.

-Finally, crack Steve LaTourette’s 14th into 3 between Marcia Fudge’s 10th (as much of Geauga  as you can get away with), Tim Ryan’s new district (which would be something like half of Lake and what’s left of Geauga, Astabula, Trumbull and the most Dem parts of Mahoning with some Dem strength going to Boccieri in the 16th), Finally, put the other half of Lake into Kucinich’s 10th by connecting it along Lake Erie.


As I remarked in another diary, Tim Murphy is almost certainly toast because the map is likely to be redrawn by a judge due to the split in the state legislature. Flat out, there is no way that any sane judge would draw something similar to Murphy’s one step short of fictitious 18th CD that he has now. He’ll either wind up running against Murtha (and will lose) or will end up in something similar to Frank Mascara’s old 20th (which he’d lose as well).


I think the best target for Wisconsin Dems, should they control the trifecta, would be to go after Paul Ryan rather than Tom Petri-its much easier to play mix and match with the heavily Democratic 2nd and 4th than it is with Petri’s 6th. Ryan’s also waaaay to conservative for his district as it is, and Petri is something of an institution in his district anyways, even if on paper it is slightly more Democratic.