No Time to Lose: Redistricting Virginia

No time wasted here. My intention was to create a 7-4 map at best. Boucher may be in trouble, but there’s not much you can do to help him. Wolf will probably be safe until he retires, but his district is turning blue fast. Nye and Perriello (especially Nye) get much more favorable districts, and Connolly, Scott, and Moran relax in safe districts.

Click to embiggen.

VA-01 (teal, Rob Wittman – R) – Wittman’s district is reconfigured to stretch from the Northern Neck (eastern edge) to the West Virginia border, taking in the exurbs of Northern Virginia along the way. Safe Republican district.

VA-02 (dark green, Glenn Nye – D) – I excised the Republican portions of Virginia Beach, added all of Norfolk and minority-heavy parts of Chesapeake and Suffolk. The district is 35% black now and probably voted pretty strongly for Obama, I’d guess in the high-50s.

VA-03 (dark blue, Bobby Scott – D) – Not much changed here. Removed Norfolk, added Petersburg and some more territory around Richmond. 53% black.

VA-04 (purple, Randy Forbes – R) – Pretty much all the population here is Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Chesterfield. The district is solidly Republican now.

VA-05 (red, Tom Perriello – D) – The heavily-Republican southwestern part of the district is removed, and instead it stretches both down southeast to the Greensville/Emporia area and northeast to Caroline/Essex/King & Queen, both Democratic areas. Also included most of Lynchburg, not a heavily Democratic city but friendlier territory than the Bedford area. District probably voted for Obama in the low-50s. Now 27% black.

VA-06 (light green, Bob Goodlatte – R) – Picked up the aforementioned Bedford area, and lost Lynchburg and the Democratic parts of Roanoke. Safe Republican.

VA-07 (yellow, Eric Cantor – R) – Instead of stretching up almost to NoVa, the district now spreads east to the Jamestown/York/Williamsburg historic triangle. Sorry, Williamsburg.

VA-08 (grey, Jim Moran – D) – Alexandria, part of Arlington, and eastern Fairfax. Safe D. Interestingly, this district is only 54% white.

VA-09 (magenta, Rick Boucher – D) – Poor Rick Boucher, can’t do much for him. Added the Democratic parts of Roanoke and snaked up to Bath County, so Creigh Deeds could give it a try in the future if he felt like it.

VA-10 (light blue, Frank Wolf – R) – Wondering about the population growth in NoVa? Well, this district now consists solely of Loudoun, Prince William, Clarke, and a sliver of Fairfax. Probably won by Obama with around 55%, Wolf would be able to hold it but it would be a tossup (slightly Dem-leaning) in an open seat.

VA-11 (light purple, Gerry Connolly – D) – western Fairfax, Falls Church, part of Arlington, Manassas/Manassas Park and one or two precincts of Prince William. Safe Dem seat, probably 60%+ for Obama.

New States and Changes in Daves Redistricting App

I’ve just uploaded a change that allows the application to use voting districts in addition to block groups, as the building blocks for drawing redistricting maps. This is a step toward getting partison data (specifically the 2008 presidential vote) into the app, because voting district partisan data is available for many states. That will require a bit more work, but will be coming soon.

I’ve added 6 new states, all using voting districts: Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia. I added voting districts to the existing state Georgia, so it supports both. If you have saved DRFs, you’ll need to keep using block groups on those files.

Check it out at Daves Redistricting. Enjoy.

SSP Daily Digest: 8/28

KY-Sen: Here’s a surprise; Mitch McConnell says he still won’t endorse in the GOP Senate primary, despite the presence of only one establishment candidate anymore (SoS Trey Grayson). Is he worried about drawing the wrath of the nationwide army of malfunctioning Paulbots? Anyway, even though he won’t endorse, he and 22 other GOP Senators are still planning to host a $500/person fundraiser in DC for Grayson in September.

LA-Sen: David Vitter dodged rumored challenges from Suzanne Terrell, Tony Perkins, and John Cooksey, but his luck may yet run out. Retired Lt. General Russel Honore, who has a high profile from his role in leading forces tasked with rescuing Katrina victims, says he’s leaning toward running in the GOP primary. Honore, a Creole African-American who lives near Baton Rouge, says he’s been a Republican since the Reagan era. A tough primary might be just what we need to soften up Vitter before loosing Charlie Melancon on him.

MA-Sen: The Massachusetts Secretary of State says that Gov. Deval Patrick has two choices as to the timing of the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat: A Dec. 8 primary and a Jan. 19 general, or a Dec. 15 primary and a Jan. 26 general. (D)

NV-Sen: If this is meaningful, and not just cloud talk — that Harry Reid is going on record as saying health care reform must contain a public option, which moves us that much closer since (as best as I can tell) he’s the person with primary responsibility for how to merge the (good) HELP and (probably crappy) Finance Committee bills into one — we may have Danny Tarkanian and Susan Lowden to thank for passage of a public option. Facing suddenly perilous re-election prospects in the polls, Reid may be realizing that he’s going to need strong on-the-ground union support to stay in office in 2010, and that he’s not getting anything but tepid support from them without a decent reform package.

AR-Gov: There was a second phase to PPP’s Arkansas poll that showed Blanche Lincoln looking weak for re-election, with some details about the 2010 gubernatorial race. If there’s one governor in the country who doesn’t have much to worry about it, it’s Democrat Mike Beebe, who has 63/17 approvals and beats prospective GOP challenger state Rep. Allen Kerr 55-24.

AZ-Gov: Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, still getting her feet wet in the gube office, says that she’s “leaning toward” running for a full term in 2010. Despite having a rough time with the state legislator with her proposed tax increases, Brewer says that she “loves being governor, and I love campaigning”. (J)

GA-Gov: Rep. Nathan Deal doesn’t seem to be getting much traction in the Georgia Governor’s race, but now there are some nasty allegations out that may further dim whatever luster he once had. Apparently he intervened with Georgia state officials, lobbying them to preserve an obscure state program on inspection of rebuilt salvaged vehicles. Deal owns co-owns a salvage company that provides the location for these inspections, a company from which he personally earns up to $150,000 a year. Deal personally lobbied the state Revenue Commissioner against opening the program up to competitors instead of preserving his monopoly.

SC-Gov: State lawmakers are apparently getting ready to hold a special session of the legislature to impeach and remove Gov. Mark Sanford. Meanwhile, an Insider Advantage poll says 50% of South Carolinians think Sanford should resign. (D)

IA-05, IA-Gov: Rep. Steve King has ruled out a run for Governor and will run for re-election to the House again. While having been mentioned as a possible candidate earlier in the year, shortly after gay marriage was legalized in Iowa, he hadn’t shown much interest lately. Looks like it’s Terry Branstad (who’s still making up his mind) or bust for the Iowa GOP.

IL-14: Rotta the Huttlet Ethan Hastert won’t have the GOP primary to himself in his attempt to revenge the Hutt Hastert family name. Mark Vargas, a former Dept. of Defense official in Iraq, former Kane County Young Republicans chair, and briefly, an aide in the elder Hastert’s district office, said he’ll run too.

MT-AL: Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is listed in stable condition after being injured in a boating accident on Flathead Lake at some point between 10 pm and midnight last night.

NC-08: Republicans finally have a candidate to challenge freshman Democrat Larry Kissell this year, but it’s not anyone with a track record of electoral success. Retired Army Col. Lou Huddleston, who won 38% of the vote in an unsuccessful state House campaign last year, announced yesterday that he’ll seek the GOP nomination to challenge Kissell just a week after ex-Rep. Robin Hayes and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory passed on the race. Republicans seem to hope that Huddleston, who is African-American, will chip some support away from Kissell in the district’s sizable black community. Good luck with that. (J)

ND-AL: A Republican has stepped forward to take on entrenched Blue Dog Earl Pomeroy in North Dakota. Paul Schaffner currently is an insurance salesperson and has no electoral experience, but may have some residual name rec from his stints as football player at NDSU and assistant coach at local Jamestown College and Univ. of Mary.

NYC-Mayor: SurveyUSA has a new poll of the Democratic primaries in New York City, which closely match the Quinnipiac findings earlier this week. For the Dem nod in the mayoral race, Comptroller William Thompson leads city councilor Tony Avella, 48-13. Ex-Public Advocate and former mayoral candidate Mark Green has a big lead at 38% in the Public Advocate primary.  City councilor Melinda Katz leads the Comptroller field at 27%.

FL-Sen: Crist Taps Ex-CoS to Fill Martinez’s Seat

Of all the many names Charlie Crist considered for the Senate appointment, he decided to stay close to home. From the St. Petersberg Times:

Gov. Charlie Crist entered the hushed and historic Senate chamber of the Old Capitol at 11:36 a.m. to introduce longtime confidante George LeMieux as Florida’s new junior U.S. senator. The room erupted in a standing ovation as the pair reached the front of the room in full view of the crowd. “Are you surprised?” Crist asked as he walked past.

Crist said he made his decision Thursday night, and summoned LeMieux to the Governor’s Mansion to tell him at about 10 p.m.

[…] The choice is not a major surprise, and it will focus new questions about LeMieux’s advocacy on issues such as gambling and his law firm’s legal work for the state. The selection also signals that Crist is not worried about a major backlash from the GOP’s right flank: LeMieux is a moderate who shares Crist’s populist views, especially as they relate to utility companies and other corporate interests.

Indeed, while LeMieux, who has never served in elected office, doesn’t have a paper trail of votes to pick apart, he did run for the state House once, and conservatives can’t be too thrilled with what he said on the campaign trail a decade ago:

But it’s some of the stances LeMieux took on gay adoption and gay benefits way back in 1998 when he ran unsuccessfully for the state House that could really rankle the conservative base.

In 1998, when LeMieux was challenging Democratic state Rep. Tracy Stafford for a Broward Congressional seat, he sought to siphon off votes from the district’s gay community in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manor.

LeMieux told Steve Bousquet (back then of the Herald, now of the Times/Herald) in September 1998 that gay couples in Florida should be allowed to adopt children. He also said he favored domestic partnership laws to extend health care and other benefits enjoyed by married couples. He said unmarried partners should be permitted to be listed as beneficiaries on insurance policies.

Of course, there are also issues regarding the conflict of interest involving LeMieux’s firm and state contracts, but that sort of thing is not exactly a hot-button issue with the base.

FL-Sen: Crist announces LeMieux as Martinez successor

Hot off the wires:

First Read has confirmed that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) has chosen George LeMieux to fill Mel Martinez’s (R) Senate seat.

The pick of LeMieux — who had formerly served as Crist’s campaign manager in 2006 and then Crist’s chief of staff — is the clearest sign yet that this person would be a caretaker of the Senate seat, which Crist is running for next year.

Full article:…

Clearly, this is an exceptionally safe and calculated choice. The question is, given LeMieux’s closeness to Crist, will it come off as too calculated? And, perhaps more pertinently, can we expect LeMieux to share the moderate streak of his old boss? Lacking any record as an elected official, is it even possible to judge as much?

FL-Sen: Crist picks George LeMieux

(h/t Jimdotz)

Charlie Crist has picked George LeMieux to replace Mel Martinez in the Senate.

Gov. Charlie Crist chose trust and loyalty Friday over Washington experience or potential political gain in choosing former chief of staff George LeMieux to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez.

State Rep. Jennifer Carroll, who was considered for the position, said Crist told her he is choosing LeMieux. LeMieux is Crist’s closest political adviser and the governor’s pick shows he wants someone who thinks like him to hold the Senate seat Crist hopes to win in the November 2010 election.

As LeMieux said after interviewing for the position: “I’m a Charlie Crist Republican.”

LeMieux served as deputy attorney general under Crist and left that job to run Crist’s 2006 campaign for governor. Once elected, Crist picked LeMieux to serve as chief of staff. LeMieux left the position in December 2007 and has since worked for the Tallahassee law firm Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart.

So, looks like a placeholder.

NY-20: Tedisco Gauging Support for a Rematch

Back in April, former GOP Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco said that he wasn’t planning on seeking a rematch against Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy, but today he’s singing a different tune. From the Glens Falls Post-Star:

Republican James Tedisco said Thursday he has been meeting with county GOP chairmen in the 20th District to discuss a possible rematch next year against U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls.

“I enjoy being a public servant and I’m looking at the atmosphere now,” said Tedisco, a state Assemblyman from Glenville. “And it certainly has changed since when I ran for congressman in the short eight week election.” […]

Tedisco said in a telephone interview that he has been meeting with the 10 county chairmen to analyze mistakes his campaign made  in the special election and to discuss how the mood of the country may be changing.

“I think I’ve met or talked with all of them,” he said.

Elizabeth Benjamin has a lot more; apparently, losing the open seat race and also getting booted, literally, to the back row of the GOP Assembly caucus has left Jimmy T nothing short of morose over the past several months. Eager to redeem himself, he’s looking at a second chance against Murphy or a possible run for the state Senate if Republican Hugh Farley retires next year. If Tedisco passes, Benjamin also identifies John Faso, another former Assembly Minority Leader who lost to Eliot Spitzer in 2006, as a potential recruit.

If Republicans are going to nominate somebody with more grativas than a sack of potatoes, Scott Murphy couldn’t complain too badly with the prospect of beating up on Tedisco again.

RaceTracker Wiki: NY-20

NJ-Gov: Pair of New Polls Show Corzine Inching Back

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps (8/25-26, likely voters, 8/11-12 in parens):

Jon Corzine (D-inc): 41 (35)

Chris Christie (R): 43 (40)

Chris Daggett (I): 7 (10)

(MoE: ±4%)

Rasmussen Reports (8/25, likely voters, 8/4 in parens):

Jon Corzine (D-inc): 42 (39)

Chris Christie (R): 50 (52)

Other: 2 (4)

Undecided: 7 (5)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

Rasmussen still refuses to include Chris Daggett as an option in their poll, which seriously puts into question the utility of these results. However, the trend confirms GQR’s findings — Corzine has stopped the bleeding, and Christie appears to have peaked:

Certainly, the Corzine campaign has enjoyed quite a run over the past couple of weeks, successfully smacking Christie over his collusion with Rove while still a U.S. Attorney, and making some well-placed hits on his curious friendship (and the loans that came with it) with former aide Michele Brown. Yesterday’s news that Christie was caught speeding with an unregistered and uninsured car (with Brown along for the ride as a passenger, no less) back in 2005 have ensured that the bruising isn’t over yet.

While SSP currently rates this race as Lean Republican, Team Corzine is doing the right things to have a good shot at pushing this one back into Tossup turf.

OK-01, OK-05: Dems Hoping to Test Pair of Deep Red GOP Seats

You wouldn’t think of Oklahoma as particularly fertile territory for Democratic pickups in Congress lately, but the Oklahoma Democratic Party (and, apparently, the DCCC) is hoping to line up a couple of stronger-than-expected challengers in a pair of GOP districts, according to the Southern Political Report. In the 1st CD, Democrats are attempting to test GOP Rep. John Sullivan for weaknesses. (Sullivan, as you may recall, checked into the Betty Ford clinic earlier this year due to his alcohol addiction.) However, any Democrat would likely have a tough time overcoming the district’s GOP bent; McCain won the CD by a 64-36 margin (R+16 PVI) and the district hasn’t sent a Democrat to the House since James Robert Jones held down the seat for seven terms until his retirement in 1987. The Southern Political Report identifies outgoing Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor, a potential self-funder, as a possible Dem recruit, but also names former state Sens. Scott Pruitt and Jim Williamson as potential Republican primary opponents for Sullivan.

Over in the Oklahoma City-based 5th CD, where incumbent Republican Mary Fallin is jumping ship in order to pursue her gubernatorial ambitions, the “hottest rumor” on the block is that Kim Henry, wife of Democratic Gov. Brad Henry and celebrated educator, is interested in running. The Governor’s office, though, says that the First Lady has “no plans to run for public office”. OK-05 looks like it has the potential to be the more interesting race of the Oklahoma duo, though, as it was the only district in Oklahoma that had an appreciable shift towards the Democrats in 2008. (Obama lost the district by 41-59, up from a 36-64 Kerry loss four years earlier.) For the GOP, an expensive primary is already brewing between state Rep. Mike Thompson and former state Rep. Kevin Calvey.

Popular Oklahoma City Mayor Tom Cornett, who ran for the open 5th CD GOP primary to Fallin in 2006, announced yesterday that he’ll seek a third term in 2010. That takes a run for the House off the table, and he also explicitly ruled out a run for Governor or Lt. Governor, too.

RaceTracker Wiki: OK-01 | OK-05