Preview about the redistricting of the 50 states (updated January 31, 2011)

The democrats begin this process with a clear disadvantage from previous redistricting. Following the Cook Partisan Voting Index they are:

194 D+ seats

9 EVEN seats

232 R+ seats

We can not forget it

This diary find to give a preview about what can do the republicans in the redistricting process and about what can be the good ways for the democrats have some success after the current redistricting process.

Update: My first preview was giving – 1 NY, = MO, +3 TX and +1 FL.


I’m not optimistic about this group of states because the republicans never lose a chance for take advantage. The republicans will have full control of the redistricting process in many states, and I will go state by state.


One new district for the republicans.

UT-02 J Matheson (D) surely will run in a R+20+ the next time and without the current basis what send him to the house now.


No effect.


OK-02 D Boren (D) surely will run in a R+20+ district. The same than for J Matheson.


No chance for B Bright return.


The Alaska Redistricting Board (Commission) is in republican hands.

No changes.


NE-02 safer for the republicans. No chance Obama wins again this electoral vote.


The Reapportionment Commission is in republican hands.

KS-03 safer for the republicans.


The republicans will have the control of both state chambers thanks to some party switches and cause of this they will have the control of the redistricting process. But Louisiana will lose one seat and can not be LA-02. Then, the republicans will lose one here.

No chance of C Melancon return.

North Dakota

No effect.


Not gains prospect. I’m habitually optimistic, but here I expect not gains for the democrats. As maximum one if we recover TX-23 and TX-27. If they are not a law requirement of create new VRA districts, the republicans will create no-one. If finally they are 36 districts for Texas, I would expect 7 D+, 3 R+low approximately and 26R+10 or higher, but still the things can be worse. The three “swing” districts would be the successors of TX-28, TX-27 and TX-23. These will be again the districts for fight.

Four new districts for the republicans.

TX-25 L Doggett (D) will run likely in a R+10+ district or (less likely) against one of the neighboring democratic incumbents.

TX-28 H Cuellar (D) can run likely in a R+low district.

South Dakota

No effect.


No chance for L Davis return.

TN-05 J Cooper (D) will run likely in a R+10+ district. The same than L Doggett.

South Carolina

One new district for the republicans.

No chance for J Spratt return.


If I’m not wrong the republicans can decrease the percentage of african-americans in GA-02 and GA-12 because they are districts with white majority. That mean these will be new R+ districts.

One new district for the republicans.

No chance for J Marshall return.

GA-02 S Bishop (D) will run likely in a R+10+ district.

GA-12 J Barrow (D) will run likely in a R+10+ district.


If the republicans wish they can do all the districts with R+6 rating. If they keep one democratic seat (likely IN-01), they can do all the other districts with R+8 rating. If they keep two democratic seats (likely IN-01 and IN-07), they can do all the other districts with R+10 rating. Looking to the recent history of IN-08 and IN-09 districts, I think they will wish safest seats, then I think they will keep IN-01 and IN-07 as democratic seats.

IN-02 J Donnelly (D) will run for a R+10+ district or will need run a primary against P Visclosky.

North Carolina

It will be not easy for the republicans take advantage of the control of the redistricting process cause of the hability of the democratic candidates for win R+low districts in North Carolina.Still, they can do somethings. They first need to protect their new NC-02 district. Later surely they will find attack NC-11 (the easier tarjet). Later surely they will find attack NC-08, the second easier target. But fortunatelly they can not draw less than four D+ seats and they can not attack enough strongly NC-07 and NC-08 at same time. I expect four D+ districts, what can keep the current incumbents and one R+5 district (approximately). Not easy to leave M McIntyre out of this district without endanger other options.

NC-11 H Shuler (D) will run likely in a R+10+ district.

NC-08 L Kissell (D) will run likely in a R+10+ district.


The current redistricting of Florida is very pro-republican and the new procedure for redistricting will not change it. All the current swing districts are in republican hands and the legislature (republican majority) will not approve a map what protect not their incumbents in 2012. FL-22 surely will become a R+low district. Florida will have some R+low districts what the democrats can fight.

Two new R+ seats for the republicans.


Despite to have the control of the redistricting process, including the trifecta and the Ohio Redistricting Commission what draw the legislative maps (not the congressional), the republicans have not chance of improve in Ohio. They have enough work for keep the incumbents, including their gains of 2010 (5 seats) and surely it will be not possible. At least they will lose one district, and they will leave a lot of swing districts with R+low rating, including OH-01, OH-12 and OH-15.

OH-13 B Sutton (D) surely will get out of the game.

One republican seat will disappear too. Maybe OH-06.

New Hampshire

The republicans have here enough majority for the democratic governor can not veto the new map. No changes.


The republicans control here the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission thank to their control of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and they control also the trifecta what must approve the plan. But redistricting Pennsylvania is more difficult than Ohio for the republicans. They have enough work protecting incumbents, and they will have a lot of swing districts with R+low rating. I expect only 4 D+ districts (PA-01, PA-02, PA-13 and PA-14). PA-11, PA-06, PA-07, PA-08 and PA-15 can be R+ low since 2012. And here they are three democratic incumbents in R+ districts. I expect some troubles for one of them.

PA-12 M Critz (D) surely will be without own district and surely will need to run against a republican incumbent, but surely the district will have R+low rating. Then, they are some chance.


After win full control of the redistricting process, I think the republicans will work for keep their incumbents in 2012. Surely WI-07 will be a R+low district. For it all the republican incumbents will be in swing districts.


Again the same history. The republicans have more than enough work keeping their incumbents, and surely MI-06 and MI-11 will up until R+low districts.

MI-09 G Peeters (D) will get out the game. Surely G Peeters will need run against one incumbent, maybe against S Levin.


+23 new R+ districts

-18 new D+ or EVEN districts

We have the next range for the republican gains after redistricting:

+1 – +2 Utah (1 new and maybe UT-02)

=0 – =0 Wyoming

=0 – +1 Oklahoma (maybe OK-02)

=0 – =0 Alabama

=0 – =0 Alaska

=0 – =0 Nebraska

=0 – =0 Kansas

– 1 – – 1 Louisiana (1 seat less)

=0 – =0 North Dakota

+4 – +6 Texas * (4 new and maybe TX-25 and TX-28)

=0 – =0 South Dakota

=0 – +1 Tennessee (maybe TN-05)

+1 – +1 South Carolina (1 new)

+1 – +3 Georgia (1 new and maybe GA-02 and GA-12)

=0 – +1 Indiana (maybe IN-02)

=0 – +2 North Carolina (maybe NC-08 and NC-11)

+2 – +2 Florida * (2 new seats)

– 1 – – 1 Ohio * (1 seat less and unknown still)

=0 – =0 New Hampshire *

=0 – =0 Pennsylvania * (unknown still)

=0 – =0 Wisconsin * (unknown still)

=0 – =0 Michigan * (unknown still)


+7 – +17 Total republican gains for these states *

And the range for the democratic gains after redistricting:

– 1 – =0 Utah (maybe UT-02)

=0 – =0 Wyoming

– 1 – =0 Oklahoma (maybe OK-02)

=0 – =0 Alabama

=0 – =0 Alaska

=0 – =0 Nebraska

=0 – =0 Kansas

=0 – =0 Louisiana

=0 – =0 North Dakota

– 2 – =0 Texas * (maybe lose TX-25 and TX-28)

=0 – =0 South Dakota

– 1 – =0 Tennessee (maybe TN-05)

=0 – =0 South Carolina

– 2 – =0 Georgia (maybe GA-02 and GA-12)

– 1 – =0 Indiana (maybe IN-02)

– 2 – =0 North Carolina (maybe NC-08 and NC-11)

=0 – =0 Florida *

– 1 – – 1 Ohio * (1 seat less OH-13)

=0 – =0 New Hampshire *

– 1 – – 1 Pennsylvania * (1 seat less PA-12)

=0 – =0 Wisconsin *

– 1 – – 1 Michigan * (1 seat less MI-09)


– 13 – – 3 Total democratic gains for these states *

* = For the numbers get more clear I count not the swing districts what the democrats can win in Texas, Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan in 2012, despite the republican full control of the redistricting process. The effect of this would be less gains to the republicans and would be less loses for the democrats (maybe some net gain).




No effect.


No effect.


Arizona will win one house seat what can go to the republicans and in change the democrats will find to protect G Giffords in AZ-08 until have a D+ district.

New district for the republicans.


Here the republicans have a very weak majority in the state house (32D-33R) but the redistricting is made by a commission where the democrats can have the control thanks to the three members appointed by the governor, who has veto power. As minimum I think the democrats can be successful going to the court with a 3D-3R-1S map what gives EVEN rate to the current CO-03. Nothing for lose here.


Iowa will lose one seat. IA-03 and IA-04 can merge in one house seat what can be very close to EVEN rating. I give not L Boswell as sure loser.

New Jersey

The state will lose one house seat and the first candidate can be NJ-03 if they are not open seats, but maybe some republican representative challenge R Menendez. In change of lose one seat, the republicans can find NJ-02 become R+ if this district disappear not. The commission in this state is keeping one of the most pro-republican maps in all the bluest states.


Maybe ME-02 becomes a little safer.


Here will be a new district what can go to the democratic hands, while WA-08 and WA-03 can be R+low districts, and I hope WA-02 become too a little safer.


At least, protecting incumbents, CA-11 should become a D+ district.


No effect.


=0 new R+ districts

– 1 new D+ or EVEN districts

We have the next range for the republican gains after redistricting:

=0 – =0 Idaho

=0 – =0 Montana

+1 – +1 Arizona * (1 new seat)

– 1 – =0 Colorado * (maybe lose CO-03)

– 1 – =0 Iowa (maybe lose the current IA-04)

– 1 – – 1 New Jersey * (1 seat less)

=0 – =0 Maine

=0 – =0 Washington *

=0 – =0 California *

=0 – =0 Hawaii


– 2 – =0 Total republican gains for these states *

And the range for the democratic gains after redistricting:

=0 – =0 Idaho

=0 – =0 Montana

=0 – =0 Arizona *

=0 – +1 Colorado * (maybe win CO-03

– 1 – =0 Iowa (maybe lose the current IA-03)

=0 – =0 New Jersey *

=0 – =0 Maine

+1 – +1 Washington * (1 new seat)

=0 – =0 California *

=0 – =0 Hawaii


=0 – +2 Total democratic gains for these states *

* = For the numbers get more clear I count not the swing districts what the democrats can win in Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Washington and California in 2012. Again, the effect of this would be less gains to the republicans and would be less loses for the democrats (maybe some net gain).

Some people think this system is the right procedure, but the republicans take advantage from here because these commissions are keeping some pro-republican maps and contribute to keep the republican advantage what the republicans take in other states.

In the R+ states working with commissions, the democrats only have 2 hispanic representatives in hispanic majority districts, 3 black representatives in black districts, and 4 white representatives in white districts (3 of them jews). It seems like only they are democrats from these minorities.

While, in the EVEN or D+ states working with commissions, the republicans have 40 representatives.



No important changes. The republicans will block every improvement for the democratic representatives.


No changes. No chance for T Childers or G Taylor return.


Missouri will lose one seat and that will give troubles to both parties. I think the most likely scenario can be a merge of MO-03 (D+7 R Carnahan) and MO-02 (R+9 T Akin) in a EVEN district. Other option would be a merge of MO-05 (D+10 E Cleaver and MO-06 (R+7 S Graves), but I think the democrats will dislike to lose the balance between St Louis and Kansas City and the republicans will dislike leave some democratic votes to MO-04 endangering a second seat or give to the new merging seat a D+ rate.


The democrats will find to protect VA-11 and the republicans some of their districts. Still this state will have some swing district with R+low rating.


Nevada will have a new district. Surely NV-03 will be a R+low district while the new district will be a D+low.


I think the republicans can find MN-03 and MN-08 become R+ while the democrats can find MN-01 and MN-07 become D+.

New Mexico

No changes.


I think the democrats can be able for make safer OR-04 and OR-05. I would like to see a 5-0 map here and I think it would be possible. Despite the tie in the state house, the republicans have a very weak prospect because if the state legislature fail drawing the maps, the Secretary of State (democrat) would draw the maps of the state house and the state senate seats.


The current map only need a little mix of the current CT-05 and CT-01. A bipartisan commission will draw the paps what need the approval of 2/3 of both chambers. The republicans have now just the minimum for be over 1/3 in both chambers.

New York

The first goal for the democrats must be up to D+5+ level NY-02, NY-27, NY-01 and NY-23. NY-25 surely will be the first district what get out the game. The democratic votes of Syracuse can help making safer the NY-23. Still I think the democrats must find more here. I think the democratic members of the legislature must find the republicans lose a second seat. I would select NY-13, but if they are some trouble about Staten Island, the next option would be NY-03. This still would leave 6 R+low swing districts in New York. This is little improvement. I think the little advantage of the republicans in the state senate will not be enough for stop these improvements and maybe more.


– 2 new R+ districts

=0 new D+ or EVEN districts

We have the next range for the republican gains after redistricting:

=0 – =0 Kentucky

=0 – =0 Mississippi

– 1 – =0 Missouri

=0 – =0 Virginia *

=0 – =0 Nevada *

=0 – =0 Minnesota *

=0 – =0 New Mexico *

=0 – =0 Oregon

=0 – =0 Connecticut

– 2 – – 2 New York (2 seats less)*


– 3 – – 2 Total republican gains for these states *

And the range for the democratic gains after redistricting:

=0 – =0 Kentucky

=0 – =0 Mississippi

– 1 – =0 Missouri

=0 – =0 Virginia *

+1 – +1 Nevada (1 new seat)*

=0 – =0 Minnesota *

=0 – =0 New Mexico *

=0 – =0 Oregon

=0 – =0 Connecticut

=0 – =0 New York *


=0 – +1 Total democratic gains for these states *

* = For the numbers get more clear I count not the swing districts what the democrats can win in Virginia, Nevada, Minnesota, New Mexico and New York in 2012. Again, the effect of this would be less gains to the republicans and would be less loses for the democrats (maybe some net gain).

This would be the recount until now:

+21 new R+ house seats

– 19 new D+ or EVEN house seats

(+2,+15) range for republican gains *

(- 13,=0) range for democratic gains *

* = This include not many swing districts in republican hands in many states (emphasized with *) what the democrats can fight. But the big majority of these districts would be R+(low) districts. That mean the republicans have advantage here. NH-01, NH-02 and CO-03 are the alone republican districts in all these 42 states what surely would be EVEN or D+. The republicans have low chance of make these districts R+, then these districts should be obvious targets for the democrats in 2012 since now.


Well, from this group must come the improvements what balance the improvents what will give to the republicans the full control in other states.


(Updated) The democrats have the control of the Board of Apportionment (Commission) what decide about the maps what draw the legislature, what have democratic majorities in both chambers. The best for keep the democratic congressional delegation from Arkansas in the long-term would be to have a black district protected by the VRA, but under the current laws this seems not possible. I would like some change in the laws for can do it, because surely this is the last chance for do a black district in Arkansas protected by the VRA. If the democrats from this state make not this, the republicans will have a 4-0 map in the first chance what they have. My point would be create a black district what would be D+, keep a R+5 district for M Ross, and leave two R+20 for the republicans. Aproximately.

West Virginia

I think the democrats will find to protect N Rahall WV-03 but I doubt if they can do a D+ district here.


No effect.


Illinois will lose a house seat too. The democrats from Illinois have the chance of put to every republican incumbent running in a D+5+ district for 2012. I wish they do it. The redistricting in Illinois is key in this cycle.


I think the democrats from Maryland will make MD-01 and MD-06 D+5+ districts, winning two seats for the democratic side. The democrats of the rest of the country need it.

Rhode Island

No effect.


MA-?? ? This state will lose one district after the redistricting and I hope the new districts become a little safer for the democratic incumbents.


No effect.


-4 new R+ districts

+2 new D+ or EVEN districts

We have the next range for the republican gains after redistricting:

– 1 – =0 Arkansas (maybe AR-02)

=0 – =0 West Virginia

=0 – =0 Delaware

– 11 – – 1 Illinois

– 2 – =0 Maryland

=0 – =0 Rhode Island

=0 – =0 Massachusetts

=0 – =0 Vermont


– 14 – – 1 Total republican gains for these states *

And the range for the democratic gains after redistricting:

=0 – +1 Arkansas (maybe AR-02)

=0 – =0 West Virginia

=0 – =0 Delaware

=0 – +10 Illinois

=0 – +2 Maryland

=0 – =0 Rhode Island

– 1 – – 1 Massachusetts

=0 – =0 Vermont


– 1 – +12 Total democratic gains for these states *

* = For the numbers get more clear I count not the swing districts what the democrats can win in 2012. They are not in this group of states.

This would be the total recount without include the effect of a gerrymander redistricting of Illinois:

+17 new R+ house seats

– 17 new D+ or EVEN house seats

182 D+ seats

4 EVEN seats (maybe IA-03/04, MO-02/03, CO-03 and NH-01)

249 R+ seats

(- 2,+14) range for republican gains *

(- 14,+2) range for democratic gains *

This would be the total recount including the effect of a gerrymander redistricting of Illinois:

+10 new R+ house seats

– 10 new D+ or EVEN house seats

189 D+ seats

4 EVEN seat (maybe IA-03/04, MO-02/03, CO-03 and NH-01)

242 R+ seats

(- 12,+14) range for republican gains *

(- 14,+12) range for democratic gains *

* = This include not many swing districts in republican hands in many states (emphasized with *) what the democrats can fight. But except NH-01 and NH-02, all the other seats would be R+(low) districts. That mean the republicans have advantage here.

Gerrymander Illinois (and Maryland) can be the alone way for keep the current number of D+ seats in the US House and for balance the likely republican gains what the redistricting process in other states will give to them.


Republican safe gains = 10

UT-04 (new)

TX-33 (new)

TX-34 (new)

TX-35 (new)

TX-36 (new)

SC-07 (new)

GA-14 (new)

AZ-09 (new)

FL-26 (new)

FL-27 (new)

Republican safe loses what can not be democratic gains = 6

LA-?? (disappear)

OH-06 (disappear)

NJ-03 (disappear)

NY-25 (disappear)

NY-13 (disappear)

IL-19 (disappear)

Democratic seats what can be republican gains as consecuence of important changes in the redistricting process = 10

TX-25 L Doggett (D) as R+10+

TN-05 J Cooper (D) as R+10+

GA-02 S Bishop (D) as R+10+

GA-12 J Barrow (D) as R+10+

NC-08 L Kissell (D) as R+10+

IN-02 J Donnelly (D) as R+10+

UT-02 J Matheson (D) as R+20+

OK-02 D Boren (D) as R+20+

NC-11 H Shuler (D) as R+10+

TX-28 H Cuellar (D) as R+low

In the middle = 2



Republican seats what can be democratic gains as consecuence of important changes in the redistricting process = 14

MD-01 as D+5+

MD-06 as D+5+

AR-02 as D+5+ I would wish black majority

IL-15 as D+5+

IL-18 as D+5+

IL-16 as D+5+

IL-08 as D+5+

IL-11 as D+5+

IL-13 as D+5+

IL-14 as D+5+

IL-06 as D+5+

CO-03 as EVEN

IL-17 as D+5+

IL-10 as D+5+

The effect of include not the gerrymander redistricting of Illinois would be to quit this 10 districts of this group or at least some of them.

Democratic safe loses what can not be republican gains = 4

OH-13 B Sutton (D) (disappear)

PA-12 M Critz (D) (disappear)

MI-09 G Peeters (D) (disappear)

MA-?? (disappear)

Democratic safe gains = 2

WA-10 (new)

NV-04 (new)

In this resume is not included the fight in other districts. The democrats can have 6 R+ district what can be safer (NC-07, PA-04, PA-17, KY-06, WV-03 and AR-04). The republicans would have only three EVEN or D+ (CO-03, NH-01, and NH-02) and they will have many R+low districts what can be vulnerable but where they will have advantage.


(Updated) An example of 8-0 map from my previous diaries:

Maryland 8-0 II

CD1: (Blue) Frank Kratovil (D)

– D+6 Obama 59% McCain 39%

– Include all of Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline and Talbot counties.

– Include part of Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties and part of Baltimore city.

– White 65% Black 26%

– Deviation of population: +6012

CD2: (Green) Dutch Ruppersberger (D)

– D+7 Obama 60% McCain 39%

– Include part of Harford, Baltimore, Carrol, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

– White 50% Black 26% Hisp 15%

– Deviation of population: -4800

CD3: (Purple) John Sarbanes (D)

– D+7 Obama 60% McCain 39%

– Include part of Harford, Baltimore, Howard counties and part of Baltimore city.

– White 64% Black 25% Asian 6%

– Deviation of population: -2980

CD4: (Red) Donna Edwards (D)

– D+17 Obama 70% McCain 29%

– Include part of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

– Black 50% White 42%

– Deviation of population: +3968

CD5: (Yellow) Steny Hoyer (D)

– D+6 Obama 59% McCain 40%

– Include all of Charles, Calvert, St-Mary’s, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties.

– Include part Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

– White 63% Black 30%

– Deviation of population: +3283

CD6: (Greenish blue) Roscoe Bartlett (R)

– D+7 Obama 60% McCain 39%

– Include part of Carroll, Frederick and Montgomery counties.

– White 61% Black 14% Hisp 13% Asian 10%

– Deviation of population: -1859

CD7: (Gray) Elijah Cummings (D)

– D+16 Obama 69% McCain 30%

– Include all of Cecil county.

– Include part of Harford and Baltimore counties and part of Baltimore city.

– Black 50% White 44%

– Deviation of population: +1739

CD8: (Lilac) Chris Van Hollen (D)

– D+7 Obama 60% McCain 38%

– Include all of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties.

– Include part of Frederick and Montgomery counties.

– White 73% Black 9% Hisp 8% Asian 8%

– Deviation of population: -5366


(Updated) With Illinois and Maryland, Arkansas can be the third state where the democrats can win some seat redrawing current districts thanks to the redistricting process. Arkansas has chance of create a D+ district, and if they are some change in the laws, has chance of create a black district for the future with the protection of the VRA despite the republicans can have a majority.

David has not still political data for this state, but yes demographic data, and I have a draft what shows so close areas with the higher percentage of black population. I wish publish it here for the people can see one area with the population of a US House district with over the 50% of black population in Arkansas. Surely we would down some point connecting all the terrytories but I think it is available to do a district with 48-49% black and a little less white population in Arkansas if they are some change in the current law for can divide the counties in different districts.

This is the draft:


Texasyoming… a VRA compliant GOP 46-seat gerrymander

Continuing the thought experiment about what 2010 redistricting look might like under the “Wyoming Rule,” I give you Texas.  The mid-cycle Delaymander, together with the freak elections of Farenthold and (slightly less shocking) Canseco, several incumbents in the Dallas and Houston areas that are seeing their once solid districts become purplish (think Culberson and Sessions), means that likely the GOP is going to play tactical defense with redistricting this time around.  But the nice thing with adding 14 new districts (versus 3-4 in actual reality) under the Wyoming Rule is the GOP is able, in addition to protecting each and every one of its incumbents, to create several open GOP seats throughout the state.

The second thing I wanted to know what how exactly the VRA might place a monkey wrench in efforts to expand the GOP congressional delegation in Texas.  We know in reality, with a likely 35 or 36 seats after 2010, 2-3 of those will be new VRA seats (probably a new Hispanic district each in the Dallas-Forth Worth and Houston areas), plus perhaps a new Hispanic district in South/West Texas.  But, interestingly, under Wyoming-sized districts, even though there are more VRA districts, the GOP is still able under this map to gain 9 out of the 14 new districts (and that includes one VRA Hispanic district in West Texas that voted 55% for McCain!)  It turns out that the VRA will not prevent the GOP from locking down a likely 32-14 split in Texas’ congressional delegation under the Wyoming Rule.  Follow me below the jump for maps and a fuller explanation.


Now were this New York, they would sensibly label the districts in a coherent way, but this is crazy Texas which means having districts jumping all over the place!  But because I wanted to know where the new districts were going to be, I kept the numbers all the same and added in the new districts.  Since Texas is several states all onto one, I will divide my discussion here by region, starting with Dallas-Forth Worth.

Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area


The map in the Dallas-Forth Worth area sees several major changes.  First of all, the VRA would require the creation of not one but two new Hispanic districts while turning Johnson’s 30th, which is currently a fusion minority-majority district, into a Black majority district.  But because all the Democratic votes get vacuumed up in three as opposed to one district, as is currently the case, the remaining two open seats created in the region are heavily favored to elect Republicans and all currently existing GOP incumbents are given safe districts.

District 3 (light purple) Johnson (R)

Obama 39, McCain 60

This district divides almost neatly into two given its explosive population growth and the smaller districts under the Wyoming Rule.  I decided to move this district completely into Collin County.

District 36 (light orange) NEW GOP SEAT

Obama 39, McCain 60

Took swingy areas in northern Dallas County from Johnson’s current district and merged them with uber-red outlying areas in Collin County mostly now in Hall’s 4th.  Like any GOP mapmaker would do.

District 32 (dark orange) Sessions (R)

Obama 43, McCain 56

Proof you can still create a relatively safe GOP seat in north Dallas, once you create the new VRA seats.

District 5 (yellow) Hensarling (R)

Obama 34, McCain 65

Mostly a Dallas and East Texas hybrid, like now.

District 33 (blue in Dallas County) NEW HISPANIC DISTRICT

H 52, W 25, B 20

Obama 71, McCain 28

The first of two new VRA-compliant Hispanic districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

District 30 (mauve) Johnson (D) BLACK DISTRICT

B 53, W 29, H 14

Obama 80, McCain 19

To make 2 Hispanic districts in the Dallas/Forth Worth area and to gobble up Democratic voters in Fort Worth, Johnson’s district now gives up Hispanic areas in Dallas to the 33rd in exchange for black voters in Fort Worth.  In the real world of redistricting under a 35/36 district map after 2010, her district will likely be drawn in much the same way.

District 34 (green) NEW HISPANIC DISTRICT

H 52, W 30, B 15

Obama 61, McCain 38

This is the 2nd Hispanic majority district, this one a fusion extending from western Dallas to parts of Irving all the way over to Fort Worth.  Again, in the real world after 2010, GOP mapmakers are likely to draw the new Hispanic seat this way as well to maximize the amount of Democratic voters sucked into VRA districts.

District 6 (teal) Barton (R)

Obama 38, McCain 61

Largely as currently, a south Dallas exurbs and rural district with a piece of Arlington to remove all the most pro-Democratic parts away from the open 35th district next door.

District 35 (purple in Tarrant County) NEW GOP SEAT

Obama 39, McCain 60

Should elect a Tarrant County Republican no problem.

District 12 Granger (R)(light blue)

Obama 36, McCain 63

Granger gets a considerably safer district now that minority areas in Forth Worth are removed into the 30th and the 34th.

District 24 Marchant (R) (dark purple)

Obama 41, McCain 58

Should be a safe district for Marchant as long as he wants it…  no longer goes so much into swingish Irving.

District 26 Burgess (R) (slate)

Obama 36, McCain 63

Confined just to Denton County now.

District 39 (light white/beige) NEW GOP SEAT

Obama 23, McCain 76

I combined all the Dallas-Fort Worth exurban counties north, west, and south into one district instead of splitting them off in a million and one directions.  Should be safe for a firebreather as Democrats are an endangered species here.

East Texas


District 1 Gohmert (R) (dark blue)

Obama 30, McCain 69

Slight changes made.

District 4 (red) Hall (R)

Obama 29, McCain 70

Should be safe for the GOP when Hall retires or dies.

District 5 (yellow) (see writeup in Dallas-Fort Worth section)

District 6 (teal) (see writeup in Dallas-Fort Worth section) The only thing I’ll add here is that the 6th now cuts Waco in half with the new 40th, thus probably ensuring no return to Congress by Chet Edwards.

District 40 (burnt orange) NEW GOP SEAT

Obama 39, McCain 60

Probably a safe seat for the GOP, Obama percentage is as high as it is due to abnormally high turnout in 2008 for him in Bell County.  Probably overstates Democratic strength a bit.  If Edwards were to try to get back into Congress, it might be from this district, but I still think the deck is stacked against him.

District 37 (light blue) NEW GOP SEAT

Obama 32, McCain 67

East Texas gets a district of its own.  While this district at one time may have elected a conservative Dixiecrat in the mold of Charlie Wilson, I don’t think it will now.

District 17 (dark purple) Flores (R)

Obama 33, McCain 66

Removes the possibility of Edwards trying to take his old seat back by removing Waco completely and recentering the district more to the left-over areas from drawing districts in East Texas and the Houston area.  

Houston Area

This is one area where the VRA, once thought to be a major friend to the Democrats, actually surprised me in not being all that much of one (South/West Texas is the other).  Back in 2004, the GOP actually sensibly left three Democrats alone here.  A second Hispanic district is added and Lee gets a Black majority district instead of her current fusion minority-majority one.  Even though two new GOP suburban seats are created, all GOP incumbents are given safe districts.


District 2 (forest green) Poe (R)

Obama 38, McCain 61

Shrinks a little bit from before but basically the same.

District 42 (neon green) NEW GOP SEAT

Obama 42, McCain 57

Was able to partition Olson’s district roughly in half into two successor districts, this is one of them.  Would be the congressman who represents the space center in Houston I believe.

District 29 (greenish-gray district right next to it) Green (D) HISPANIC DISTRICT

H 63, W 22, B 12

Obama 63, McCain 36

Perhaps the end of Green and an Hispanic congress-member at last from this district?  Cut in half from its current version to make another Hispanic district in the Houston area.

District 18 (yellow) Jackson-Lee (D) BLACK DISTRICT

B 56, H 24, W 15

Obama 85, McCain 15

Once you scrape off the Hispanic precincts and place them into a new Hispanic district, it is possible to create a Black-majority district in the Houston area, and something which the VRA would require.  In actual reality, after 2010, the Houston area is going to look a lot like I have it now under a 35/36 seat map as under a 46 Wyoming Rule map.

District 9 (sky blue) Green (D) MINORITY-MAJORITY COALITION SEAT

B 38, H 33, W 16, A 11

Obama 79, McCain 21

Very similar to what currently exists.  A very proactive Obama DOJ would perhaps require a black-majority district stretching all the way down to Galveston and over to Beaumont, but I don’t think the Texas GOP will concede such a district unless legally forced to.  I know if I were a Texas Democrat, I would draw such a very district!  In the latter scenario, this district would extend a bit further than now into Fort Bend (and scrape off a few more areas out of the 7th) and retain its mixed-race character.

District 41 (top lighter gray) NEW HISPANIC DISTRICT

H 58, W 30, B 9

Obama 58, McCain 41

Takes Hispanic areas currently in the 7th and 18th, and left-over areas from the 29th, and combines them into a district.

District 7 (lower slightly darker gray) Culberson (R)

Obama 41, McCain 58

Largely the same as before except with  heavily-Democratic Hispanic precincts cut out.

District 38 (light green) NEW GOP DISTRICT

Obama 40, McCain 59

Should be fine for the GOP.

District 8 (purple) Brady (R)

Obama 23, McCain 76

All of Montgomery County and a bit of north Houston County to equalize its population.  Very safe GOP.

In Fort Bend and south of Houston…

District 22 (brown) Olson (R)

Obama 42, McCain 58

Removed the Houston parts of the district into a new district as well as shaved off a few very blue precincts of Fort Bend into the 9th.  Olson should be fine.

District 14 (ugly green) Paul (R)

Obama 33, McCain 66

The incongruity of a congressman who doesn’t believe in flood insurance representing several areas prone to hurricanes gets me.  But then again, I understand very little that comes out of Texas!

Austin Area

With the smaller Wyoming-sized districts, it is prudent to pack Democrats of Travis County into one uber-Democratic district instead of trying to crack them as is currently the case.  Indeed, I would not be surprised if the GOP did this anyways in the real world after 2012.  Doggett isn’t going anywhere.


District 25 (mauve) Doggett (D) NEW MINORITY-MAJORITY DISTRICT

W 42, H 39, B 13, A 5

Obama 78, McCain 20

Packs Democrats and packs them some more into this one Austin-based seat.

District 10 (pink) McCaul (R)

Obama 43, McCain 55

Instead of going east in search of Republican votes to offset the still large numbers of Democrats leftover after drawing the 25th, this district now goes south to the exurbs of San Antonio.  Still, McCaul should like this district.

District 31 (white-yellow) Carter (R)

Obama 43, McCain 55

All of Williamson County and then dips south into a bit of Travis County to help spread the remaining Democratic voters out safely among the 3 districts surrounding the 25th.  If Williamson ever turns purple or blue, Carter may be in for some difficulty.  If the GOP had a long-term version, they’d concede a 2nd Democratic seat in Travis.  But I’m dealing with yahoos who think they can secede from the union for crisssakes!

District 45 (light blue) NEW GOP DISTRICT

Obama 42, McCain 56

This district completes the cracking of remaining Democratic voters out of Travis County by combining Democratic and lean-Democratic areas of Travis with uber-Republican areas north and northwest of San Antonio currently in Lamar Smith’s district.

San Antonio


Here the idea was to see whether I could create a VRA-compliant district that protects Conseco.  A Democrat could still win the district back, but I think I have achieved this goal.  Otherwise, Smith moves entirely into Bexar County.

District 21 (dark brown) Smith (R)

Obama 42, McCain 57

It is possible to draw an entire district in Bexar County that will continue electing Lamar Smith.  Amazing!

District 20 (pink) Gonzolez (D)

H 71, W 19, B 7

Obama 68, McCain 31

Packs Democrats in so that Conseco can be given a fighting chance next door.

District 23 (light blue) Conseco (R)

H 56, W 37, B 3

Obama 50, McCain 49

I believe this just barely meets VRA muster in that 56% is likely just enough to ensure that a majority of adults are Hispanic.  If not, the district can be tweaked a bit to ensure that it is.  About the best that can legally be done for Conseco under the Wyoming Rule.

District 28 (light pink/purple) will be written about in the South Texas writeup.

South Texas


District 27 (light green) Farenthold (R)

H 63, W 31, B 4

Obama 50, McCain 50

In a shocker upset, a white Republican now represents a heavily Hispanic South Texas district in the Corpus Christi area.  To give him a fighting chance, I carved out a new more Democratic district to its south.  But even though this district is still well within VRA guidelines, McCain still narrowly carried it.

District 43 (pink) NEW HISPANIC SEAT

H 73, W 24

Obama 54, McCain 46

Still impressed by how good Republicans do down here.  I guess South Texas Hispanics really don’t vote (because many of them aren’t legal citizens yet?).  A Republican could easily win this D+1 seat in a wave election like we just had.

District 15 (orange) Hinojosa (D)

H 70, W 26

Obama 52, McCain 48

Legally you cannot pack South Texas too heavily with Hispanics; hence all the thin narrow districts.  But that also means that none of these districts are all that Democratic in vote performance.

District 44 (dark red) NEW HISPANIC SEAT

H 76, W 21

Obama 56, McCain 43

South Texas’ other VRA mandated new Hispanic seat.  Again note how it would only be lean-Democratic.

District 28 (lilac) Cuellar (D)

H 81, W 13

Obama 68, McCain 31

Okay, here we get a Democratic-performing district, probably because of the little bit of San Antonio in the district.  Delicious irony from a GOP mapmakers perspective that one of former President Bush’s favorite Democrats gets the most Democratic district in South Texas!

Northwest Texas


Here I decided to create a GOP voting VRA Hispanic district that climbs up the spine of the New Mexico border.  After that, I decided to neaten up the district a bit; there’s no need for wild crazy lines when the days when the likes of Charlie Stenholm ever representing this region again in Congress are now gone and probably gone forever.  This is the most Republican region of all of Texas (of America?) when you take the Hispanics out and give them their own district.

District 13 (beige) Thornberry (R)

Obama 22, McCain 77

District 19 (ugly green) Neugebauer (R)

Obama 29, McCain 70

District is still 27% Hispanic even with the Hispanic district next door explaining the slightly higher Obama performance.  Still Democrats are an endangered species in West Texas.

Southwest Texas


District 11 Conaway (R) (neon green)

Obama 21, McCain 78

District 46 (light red) NEW HISPANIC DISTRICT

H 61, W 32, B 5

Obama 44, McCain 55

This is one way the GOP can screw the Democrats using the VRA.  

District 16 (green)

H 78, W 18, B 2

Obama 65, McCain 34

District shrinks due to Wyoming Rule, making it possible to draw a 2nd West Texas Hispanic seat.

So to recap, the map protects fully 21 of the current 23 Republicans in the delegation and gives the other 2 VRA districts they have a fighting chance of winning.  Then of the 14 new seats, using the VRA to pack Democrats, the GOP is able under this map to carve out 9 new districts for themselves, yielding only 5 to Democrats under the VRA.  Result, a delegation anywhere from 30-16 to 33-13 (given that Hinojosa now represents a R+1 district by PVI).  Yuck, yuck, yuck!!!

South Carolina: Two Compact African-American Districts

After the recent election, Democrats will now hold only one out of six seats in South Carolina — the black-majority SC-6.  With the upcoming reapportionment, the state is slated to add one seat.  I believe that under the Voting Rights Act, the Department of Justice should push hard to make sure that the new South Carolina seat is a black-majority district — as long as the new seat is drawn to be compact.  Frankly, in the case of South Carolina and several other states in the “Deep South”, I think the only way to have another Democratic representative there is to draw another black-majority seat.



Over a year ago, I drew a plan for Louisiana where an additional compact black-majority seat is added (even as the state is set to lose one of its seats):

link is here — http://www.swingstateproject.c…

Fortunately, it appears that it would be quite easy to draw an additional seat in South Carolina that is also compact.  In this diary I have drawn two versions of a map: the first produces two seats that are both at least 55% black, while the second version has two seats that are at least 51% black.  I think that both would pass under VRA and DOJ requirements.  Version 1 is a little more creative, but certainly no more so than existing districts like FL-3 or NC-12.  Version 2 is more strict in criteria like following county lines and would easily pass muster.  Dave’s Application does not appear to have partisan breakdowns for South Carolina, but my “guestimates” for the two new black districts are approximately 62-63% Obama under Version 1, and 58-59% Obama under Version 2.




District 1: Blue — 73% white; 18% black

District 2: Violet — 77% white; 17% black

District 3: Green — 76% white; 17% black

District 4: Red — 79% white; 13% black

District 5: Yellow — 73% white; 21% black

District 6: Gray — 55% black; 40% white

District 7: Teal — 56% black; 38% white




District 1: Blue — 72% white; 19% black

District 2: Violet — 75% white; 19% black

District 3: Green — 76% white; 17% black

District 4: Red — 76% white; 16% black

District 5: Yellow — 70% white; 24% black

District 6: Gray — 51% black; 44% white

District 7: Teal — 51% black; 43% white

Comparison chart for hot house races, 2006-2010

I thought of this idea a few days back when I realized that we might be able to compare margins between 2008 and 2010 for frosh and sophomore losers, to see who should be coming back.  For example, I’d like to see Tom Perriello (who won by about 50-50 in 2008 and lost by about 47-51 in 2010) and Bobby Bright (who won by about 50-50 in 2008 and lost by about 49-51 in 2010) coming back for another crack at things.

I then realized that I could do this for like…well, every district.

I’ve started up a Google Spreadsheet for this! The spreadsheet is now finished!  Check it out here:…


1. Do pay attention to the formatting, and try to keep it like that.

2. If you want to add 2004 congressional, 2004 Kerry/Bush, and 2008 Obama/McCain numbers, please do so in new columns.  2004 congressional should go before 2006 congressional, and presidential columns should go last.

3. Add as many districts as you wish, if you want to see them on the list.  When adding rows, remember to ADD TWO ROWS FOR EACH DISTRICT.

By the way, the spreadsheet is now locked because it’s finished.  If you spot an error, please let me know and I will fix it.

Or if you want to add data for other districts, or other data, such as 2004 data or presidential data.  Give me your GMail address and I’ll give you access.

The Great Realignment: The 1928 Presidential Election, Part 1

This is the first part of two posts analyzing in detail the 1928 presidential election.

The second post can be found here.

The Context

In a previous post, part of a series analyzing the Democratic Party during the 1920s, I spoke of how the 1928 presidential election constituted a realigning election.

The 1928 presidential election marked the beginning of a great shift in American politics. It was when the Democratic Party started changing from a minority and fundamentally conservative organization into the  party that would nominate Senator Barack Obama for president.

In 1928, the Democratic Party nominated Governor Al Smith of New York. Mr. Smith was nominated as a Catholic Irish-American New Yorker who directly represented Democratic-voting white ethnics. Mr. Smith’s Catholicism, however, constituted an affront to Democratic-voting white Southerners, who at the time were the most important part of the party’s base.

The 1928 presidential election thus saw a mass movement of white Southerners away from the Democrats, corresponding with a mass movement of white ethnics towards the Democrats. This was the beginning of the great realignment of the South to the Republican Party and the Northeast to the Democratic Party.

Several maps illustrate this point succinctly. Here is the 1924 presidential election:

Part 2

Here is the 1928 presidential election:

Part 3

As one can tell, there is quite a bit of change from the one presidential election to the next. Democratic strength in the Solid South weakens considerably, while the Republican Midwest and Northeast become much less red.

However, it is somewhat difficult to go further into detail just by comparing the two maps. One can sense that a lot is changing, and that certain regions of the country are moving in diametrically opposed directions. But it is all rather vague.

I therefore decided, out of curiosity, to create an actual map of the shift from 1924 to 1928. Here it is:


This is quite the interesting map. One can see the outlines of the current Democratic electoral map here. In some cases the correlation is quite tight. For instance, Indiana is the only state in the Midwest to vote more Republican in 1928 – and what do you know, today Indiana votes the most Republican out of all the states in that region.

In general the relationship is very strong in the eastern half of the country. The only “wrong” states are today’s Democratic strongholds of Maryland and Delaware. Also, the degree of shift does not perfectly correlate to Republican strength in some of the Southern states. But these are small details; in the East, states that moved Democratic in 1928 vote Democratic today, while states that moved Republican in 1928 vote Republican today.

West of Minnesota, however, the relationship breaks down. In more than a third of the states in the West, the way they shifted in 1928 is opposite of how they vote today. The most obvious outlier is Utah, today a rock-solid Republican stronghold that moved sharply Democratic in 1928.

There are two other very interesting and strange things that are happening in this map. They will be the subject of the next post.


Newyorkoming: A 36-seat Democratic Gerrymander


As a thought experiment, I’d figured I try redistricting the state of my birth (and my entire life up to age 30) under the Wyoming Rule discussed elsewhere on this website.  Aside from truly applying “one-man, one vote” by ensuring that residents of the smallest state do not have more of a vote than residents of the 3rd largest, there were other benefits of the Wyoming Rule when applied to New York City.  I was able under this map to create a new Hispanic VRA-compliant district in Queens (and give Valasquez an entire Brooklyn Hispanic district of her own).  In Queens, it was also possible to create an Asian influence “coalition” district that might ensure the election of the first Asian-American congressmember from New York.  And through the creation of several Queens/Nassau hybrid districts, I was able probably to ensure Peter King’s removal from public office (a major goal of mine as he is just terrible).  In the Bronx, with the smaller sized districts, it is possible not only to create another Hispanic VRA district (sorry Eliot Engel) but also an Black VRA district centered on northern Bronx and neighboring Mount Vernon.

Elsewhere, the major purpose of this map was to maximize Democratic-performing districts, particularly Downstate.  I created an open GOP seat in Suffolk County but cracked Peter King’s base and threw him into a 61% Obama district.  Staten Island is divided into two and hence neutered as a possible source of Republican votes.  In the Hudson Valley, three relatively safe Democratic seats were created with just one district with a Republican PVI (and that seat – Rockland/Orange, a reincarnation of the old Ben Gilman seat – is really more Democratic than the Obama percentages suggest).

Upstate, it is very possible to create a Democratic dummymander (as several of the maps on this site did last year in my opinion).  You need to leave some Republican vote sinks.  My map does this, aiming for a 7-4 split north of Maurice Hinchey’s now Hudson Valley-centered district.  Some of the 4 are within reach for an exceptionally strong Democratic candidate but only one of the 7 Democratic seats is realistically within reach for a Republican now.

This map creates just 6 districts where a Republican has a reasonable shot of winning (the new 2nd out in Suffolk County, the 24th in Rockland/Orange, and 4 districts upstate: the 28th and 29th in Central New York/Adirondacks region, and the 32nd and 34th in Western New York.  29 Democratic seats are at 58% Obama or higher, a 30th Democratic PVI seat (Bill Owen’s new 26th) is at 56% Obama, the best you can draw in that area without splitting Albany which I did not want to do.  A 30-6 delegation and not, I believe, a dummymander.  But please let me know what you think.

Eastern/Central Long Island (Districts 1-3)


District 1 (Blue) (Bishop (D) if he survives his recount… otherwise it’s his again in 2 years) Obama 59, McCain 40

Lose Republican voting areas in eastern LI and replaces them with Democratic-areas of Islip Town.  Turns a swing district into something more like the current NY-02 or NY-04.  Bishop should now be fine.

District 2 (Green) OPEN LEAN GOP Obama 46, McCain 54

Realistically this GOP vote sink is necessary to protect Bishop and Israel.  I would have drawn Peter King in here but he lives too far away (and as I said, I wanted this map to get rid of that thug of a politician).  Would be the only Republican left in the entire downstate New York delegation.

District 3 Israel (D) (Purple) Obama 59, McCain 41

All of Huntington and Babylon towns in Suffolk, finger into Nassau as currently but extends a bit further down to Hempstead and Uniondale to grab black Democratic voters to push the Obama numbers up.  Israel should like this district.

Nassau/Queens Hybrid Districts (Districts 4-10)



District 4 (Red) Ackerman Obama, 60, McCain 39

North Shore areas of Nassau that Ackerman represented before in the 1990s, non-Asian areas of northern Queens that are in his district now, and Astoria (a new area for Ackerman but put in the district to bring up the Obama numbers).  Helps out the cracking of Peter King by removing parts of his North Shore base.  Although the district drops slightly in Democratic performance from now, Ackerman or another Democrat should be fine.


Obama 69, McCain 30

Asians 39%, Whites 29%, Hispanics 22%, Blacks 6%, Others 4%

If you go to smaller Wyoming-sized districts, you still have to follow the VRA.  But ethnic/racial groups that do not have enough numbers to dominate a 720,000-person district do when we’re talking more like 545,000.  This was the hardest district to draw because Dave’s redistrict app does not color-code high Asian-American census tracts as it does for Blacks or Hispanics.  Luckily, my familiarity with Queens from living in New York City for 6 years helped me somewhat in knowing roughly where Asians reside in Queens.

District 6 (Teal Green) Crowley (D) or Weiner (D) although perhaps Weiner moves back to Brooklyn and runs in my new 14th?  Obama 62, McCain 37

Leftover bits of Queens after drawing a new Hispanic VRA district (the 9th), the Asian-influence VRA district (the 5th), and the current black VRA district centered on South Queens (the 8th).  It then snakes out in Long Island to continue helping crack Peter King.  With a PVI of +9, any generic Democrat should be fine in this district.

District 7 (Gray) McCarthy (D) Obama 61, McCain 38

Dips a bit into Queens to grab excess Blacks not needed for the #10 and helps further crack Peter King by grabbing some redder precincts out of his current district.  And it gets 2% more bluer than currently is the case.  What’s not to like?

District 8 (Purple-Blue) King (R) Obama 61, McCain 39

I think Peter King is finished with this remap.  And where is he going to run if not here?


Obama 80, McCain 19

Hispanics 50%, Whites 22%, Asians 14%, Blacks 8%

Barely VRA complaint, but I think it passes legal muster as the nearest demographic group, whites, are 28% less in the district.

District 10 (Pink) Meeks (D) BLACK VRA DISTRICT

Obama 79, McCain 21

Blacks 51%, Whites 26%, Hispanics 16%, Asians 2%

Completes the cracking of GOP voters in Nassau County, and thus Peter King, by sinking the heavily Republican Five Towns and other southwest Nassau GOP areas in a black-majority district that now extends a bit into Brooklyn to equalize its population and gain the necessary blacks to remain VRA complaint.  Meeks should still be fine.

Brooklyn (Districts 11-14)


District 11 (neon green) Valasquez (D) HISPANIC VRA DISTRICT Obama 88, McCain 12

Hispanics 51%, Whites 21%, Blacks 13%, Asians 11%

With Wyoming-sized districts, Valasquez’s currently flailing in all directions district gets partitioned into Queens and Brooklyn-only successor districts.  There are just enough Hispanics in Brooklyn to make a district and its Valaquez’ for as long as she wants it.

District 12 (light blue) I’m guessing Towns (D)? VRA BLACK DISTRICT

Obama 78, McCain 22

Blacks 52%, Whites 34%, Hispanics 7%

I diluted the black share of this district and Yvette Clarke’s next-door so I could crack heavily McCain precincts in south Brooklyn and keep them away from the open #14.  Don’t know for sure whether I kept the Caribbean Blacks in one district and the African-American Blacks in another, though.  (This is mainly why the districts are drawn in the weird wrapping-around way right now).

District 13 (beige pink) Yvette Clarke (D)? VRA BLACK DISTRICT

Obama 81, McCain 19

Blacks 52%, Whites 28%, Hispanics 11%, Asians 6%

Also helps crack McCain precincts in south Brooklyn.

District 14 (ugly green) OPEN DEM SEAT Obama 69, McCain 30

Stretches from parts of Williamsburg, Fort Greene, and Park Slope down to Coney Island.  I think a Park Slope liberal like David Yassky would love this district; otherwise if Weiner wants to move back to Brooklyn he can have it.

Staten Island-Manhattan Districts (Districts 15-18)

District 15 (orange) Grimm (R) NOT MUCH LONGER!! Obama 67, McCain 32

Takes the last bits leftover in Brooklyn from drawing 4 districts, adds that to about 1/2 of Staten Island, and finishes the job by adding a bit of heavily Democratic lower Manhattan.  Shares joint-contiguity across New York Harbor with neighboring 16th with the Staten Island ferry.  Thousands of Staten Islanders take that to work each and every day – along with oodles of tourists getting a free view of the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero.  Prior to 1982, the Staten Island district connected with a bit of Manhattan.  It’s perfectly legal.

District 16 (green) Nadler (D) Obama 69, McCain 31

Nadler helps complete the job of cracking Staten Island.  Even better his type of progressive politics causing Staten Islanders even bigger heartburn.  Want to secede from NYC?  Tough, you can’t!


District 17 (dark purple) Maloney (D) Obama 78, McCain 21

Shrinks to become just an East-Side Manhattan district, like it was before the 1990s.


Obama 94, McCain 5

Hispanics 45%, Blacks 37%, Whites 13%

Largely the same as before, without Rikers Island or a bit of upper-most Manhattan.  Due to the exponential growth of Dominicans, it is no longer possible to draw a black-majority district in Harlem anymore without crossing over into the Bronx.

Bronx-Lower Westchester Districts (Districts 19-21)


District 19 (Serrano (D) VRA HISPANIC DISTRICT

Obama 85, McCain 14

Hispanics 54%, Blacks 23%, Whites 17%

Did a bit of rejiggering of the Bronx districts to create a second Hispanic VRA district as well as an African-American one.  But Serrano should be fine.


Obama 89, McCain 11

Blacks 51%, Hispanics 31%, Whites 14%

One of the best outcomes in my mind of a Wyoming Rule is that it enables you to craft VRA complaint districts in areas that you ordinarily cannot now.  Such is the case of northern Bronx/Mount Vernon.  District extends a bit north to Eastchester Town in Westchester to steal GOP votes from Lowey’s district.

District 21 (maroon) Engel (D) but likely not for much longer VRA HISPANIC DISTRICT

Obama 87, McCain 12

Hispanics 58%, Whites 18%, Blacks 17%

Under the Wyoming Rule and the VRA, Bronx is going to have to have a second Hispanic district.  And with that, Engel loses a seat, unless he wishes to move to Rockland County and take on the open swing district there.  Not that I care much; I find Engel one of the least effective congressmen from the New York delegation.

Lower-Mid Hudson Valley (Districts 22-25)


District 22 (brown) Lowey (D) Obama 60, McCain 39

Most of Westchester, goes north to grab a few more Republican-leaning areas away from Hayworth in the 23rd and helps transform that district from a swing district into a lean-Democratic one now.  Lowey, who’s an institution in Westchester, should be fine.

District 23 (very light blue) Hayworth (R) but not for much longer!

Obama 58, McCain 42

This would be my home district were I still living where I grew up.  Ancestrally Republican, southern Dutchess is now becoming a swing region, in part due to people moving in from New York City and Westchester, but also in part due to the Republican party lurching right off of a cliff over the past 2 decades.  The type of Republicans this region used to support were centrists like long-serving GOP congressman Ham Fish Jr., current State Senator Steve Saland who isn’t all that bad especially on education issues, and George Pataki who is bad on education issues but pretended to be a socially liberal Republican while governor between 1995 and 2007.

Still, by going deep into Democratic areas of Westchester, it is possible to draw this district so that it has a Democratic PVI.  John Hall probably would have won reelection on these lines.

District 24 (purple) OPEN SWING DISTRICT/LEAN GOP?

Obama 51, McCain 49

Welcome to a reincarnated version of the old Ben Gilman district.  Going by Obama percentages alone would suggest that this is a lean-GOP district.  However, for some reason or another, Obama didn’t sit well with a lot of Jewish Rockland and southern Orange voters; similarly, he didn’t earn the robust vote percentages out of Long Island that Clinton and Gore received.  Perhaps a lingering 9-11 effect?  Well, whatever the reason, Rockland and southern Orange are heavily Jewish regions that tend to support Democrats at the state and local level.  A Republican can win here but it has to be a Republican in the mold of Ben Gilman, who even when he was serving in congress (1972-2002) was considered a RINO.  I like our chances in this district even though I drew it this way to maximize the Democratic chances in the 23rd and the 25th next door.

District 25 (pink) Hinchey (D) Obama 59, McCain 40

Hinchey finally gets a Catskills-Hudson Valley only district instead of his squiggling around all over the place!  I love the Wyoming Rule!!

Central New York-Capital Region


District 26 (grey) Gibson (R) vs. Owens (D) LEAN DEMOCRATIC  Obama 56, McCain 42

Being purely tactical here, I combined the most Democratic areas of both the current 20th and the 23rd, excising out the most Republican regions of each (Jefferson, Lewis, northern Oneida, Hamilton, Fulton, etc. in the 23rd; Saratoga in the current 20th).  While I do not like blue Dog DINO Owens, he has shown moxy in winning not once but twice a district that never elected a Democrat before in something like a century.  Now he has a district that has a lean-Democratic PVI… and without having to cut Albany in half.

District 27 (neon green) Tonka (D) Obama 60, McCain 39

The Albany outlaying region is slowly turning against national Democrats.  Decided here to shore up Tonka a little by grabbing Saratoga Springs.  The neighboring 28th is one of 4 GOP vote sinks in upstate New York so this makes a bit of sense.

District 28 (lilac) OPEN GOP SEAT Hoffman probably? (Ugh!) Obama 47, McCain 52

The consequence of making a safer district for Bill Owens is that we probably also get Doug Hoffman.  Oh well….

District 29 (green/gray) Hanna (R) Obama 47, McCain 51

A lean-GOP vote sink in upstate New York because frankly Oneida County has too many frigging Republicans and because under the Wyoming Rule, there’s no place really for them to go but here.  also, I wanted to a safer district for Maffei near Syracuse and an open Democratic college-towns district near the Binghamton-Ithaca area.  So, Hanna gets a safish district.  Arcuri could make a comeback, though, as it isn’t all that Republican.

District 30 (light red) Maffei? (D) Obama 58, McCain 40

I think Dan Maffei is well primed for a comeback with these lines.  Includes along with all of Syracuse-dominating Onondaga County, most of Oswego, including the university town that is bound to turn out big for President Obama in 2012.

District 31 (cream) OPEN DEMOCRAT SEAT

Obama 57, McCain 41

I had a lot of fun creating this one.  In addition to grabbing pockets of Democratic voters from Central New York, the Southern Tier, and the Finger Lakes, it is a community of interest district: it is a universities and colleges district.  SUNY-Oneonta, Hartwicke College, SUNY-Binghamton (my alma mater), Ithaca College, Cornell University, SUNY-Cortland, the list goes on and on.  And I think a liberal/progressive in the mold of Maurice Hinchey would do just fine here.

District 32 (red-orange) Tom Reed (R) Obama 43, McCain 56

This is the most Republican district in New York, and serves as one of four GOP vote sinks in Upstate to ensure the election of 7 Democrats in neighboring districts.  Worth the trade in my opinion.  Takes most of the Republican areas of the Southern Tier and connects them via a narrow corridor in Ontario County to uber-GOP Wayne County (the reason why Maffei lost btw).



District 33 (blue) Slaughter (D) Obama 63, McCain 36

Could have risked it and created another Democratic district in Western New York other than the 3 I have created there.  But let’s face it; Slaughter is getting on in years, the suburbs of Monroe County aren’t nearly as blue as those of Erie, and it just ain’t worth it when you already are running up the score downstate where there are more reliably Democratic votes to unpack.  This district therefore consists of the entire city of Rochester and its immediate suburbs, safely Democratic even when Slaughter decides to retire.



District 34 (green) Lee (R) Obama 44, McCain 54

Republican suburbs of Erie County, the heavily GOP GLOW region between Rochester and Buffalo, and parts of Ontario County left over from the 32d.  A safe GOP district for as long as Lee wants it, designed this way to ensure a Democratic victory in the neighboring 35th and 36th seats.

District 35 (purple) OPEN DEMOCRATIC SEAT

Obama 58, McCain 40

A reincarnation of the old LaFalce seat, without its little finger into Rochester.  A generic Democrat should do just fine here.

District 36 (orange) Huggins (D) Obama 58, McCain 40

Little changed from current district in being a Erie-Chautauqua hybrid, but gains bluer portions of Buffalo to raise its Democratic performance a bit.  Remember in 2002, the district was drawn to be a district that a Republican, namely Jack Quinn, could win.

Post-mortem on the Slaughter – Who won and lost where?

66 seats previously held by Democrats in the House of Representatives fell to the Republicans. Open seats accounted for 14 losses and incumbents accounted for 52.

LA-03 (Open – Melancon)

TN-06 (Open – Gordon)

NY-29 (Open – Massa)

AR-02 (Open – Snyder)

KS-03 (Open – Moore)

IN-08 (Open – Ellsworth)

TN-08 (Open – Tanner)

WI-07 (Open – Obey)

PA-07 (Open – Sestak)

AR-01 (Open – Berry)

MI-01 (Open – Stupak)

WA-03 (Open – Baird)

NH-02 (Open – Hodes)

WV-01 (Open – Mollohan)

PA-03 (Dahlkemper)

FL-08 (Grayson)

OH-01 (Driehaus)

OH-15 (Kilroy)

TX-17 (Edwards)

FL-24 (Kosmas)

IL-11 (Halvorson)

CO-04 (Markey)

FL-02 (Boyd)

NH-01 (Shea-Porter)

WI-08 (Kagen)

GA-08 (Marshall)

NV-03 (Titus)

MD-01 (Kratovil)

PA-11 (Kanjorski)

VA-05 (Perriello)

OH-16 (Boccieri)

VA-02 (Nye)

SC-05 (Spratt)

MS-01 (Childers)

AZ-01 (Kirkpatrick)

NM-03 (Teague)

ND-AL (Pomeroy)

AZ-05 (Mitchell)

SD-AL (Herseth Sandlin)

IL-14 (Foster)

PA-10 (Carney)

NY-19 (Hall)

IL-17 (Hare)

CO-03 (Salazar)

PA-08 (Murphy)

IN-09 (Hill)

AL-02 (Bright)

ID-01 (Minnick)

NJ-03 (Adler)

FL-22 (Klein)

TX-23 (Rodriguez)

OH-18 (Space)

TN-04 (Davis)

MO-04 (Skelton)

MI-07 (Schauer)

NY-20 (Murphy)

VA-09 (Boucher)

OH-06 (Wilson)

MS-04 (Taylor)

NY-24 (Arcuri)

IL-08 (Bean)

NC-02 (Etheridge)

MN-08 (Oberstar)

TX-27 (Ortiz)

NY-25 (Maffei)

NY-13 (McMahon)

Now, what interested me was where these people lost and indeed, where did people survive?

Seats lost with a GOP PVI (52):

TX-17 R+20

MS-04 R+20

ID-01 R+18

AL-02 R+16

MS-01 R+14

MO-04 R+14

MD-01 R+13

TN-06 R+13

TN-04 R+13

LA-03 R+12

VA-09 R+11

GA-08 R+10

ND-AL R+10


WV-01 R+9

PA-10 R+8

AR-01 R+8

IN-08 R+8

SC-05 R+7

OH-18 R+7

CO-04 R+6

NM-02 R+6

AZ-01 R+6

IN-09 R+6

FL-02 R+6

TN-08 R+6

VA-05 R+5

VA-02 R+5

C0-03 R+5

AZ-05 R+5

AR-02 R+5

NY-29 R+5

OH-16 R+4

NY-13 R+4

TX-23 R+4

FL-24 R+4

NY-19 R+3

PA-03 R+3

KS-03 R+3

MI-01 R+3

NY-20 R+2

NY-24 R+2

MI-07 R+2

FL-08 R+2

TX-27 R+2

NC-02 R+2

OH-06 R+2

IL-14 R+1

NJ-03 R+1

IL-11 R+1

IL-08 R+1

NH-01 R+0

In these hyper-partisan times even multi-term incumbents couldn’t hold on in the terrible environment despite having done so easily in the past.

Seats retained with a GOP PVI (17):

UT-02 R+15 (Matheson)

OK-02 R+14 (Boren)

KY-06 R+9 (Chandler)

AR-04 R+7 (Ross)

NC-11 R+6 (Shuler)

PA-04 R+6 (Altmire)

PA-17 R+6 (Holden)

WV-03 R+6 (Rahall)

MN-07 R+5 (Peterson)

NC-07 R+5 (McIntyre)

AZ-08 R+4 (Giffords)

IN-02 R+2 (Donnelly)

NC-08 R+2 (Kissell)

CA-11 R+1 (McNerney)

MN-01 R+1 (Walz)

NY-23 R+1 (Owens)

PA-12 R+1 (Critz)

These select few deserve kudos for surving.

Seats lost with a Dem PVI (14):

WA-03 D+0

WI-08 D+0

OH-01 D+1

OH-15 D+1

FL-22 D+1

NV-03 D+2

NH-02 D+3

PA-07 D+3

WI-07 D+3

NY-25 D+3

PA-08 D+3

IL-17 D+3

MN-08 D+3

PA-11 D+4

Proof positive that the wave was not confined to traditional Republican territory.

Republican seats with a Dem PVI (20):

WA-03 D+0

WI-08 D+0

FL-22 D+1

NJ-02 D+1

OH-01 D+1

OH-12 D+1  

OH-15 D+1

NV-03 D+2

PA-08 D+2

PA-15 D+2

IL-17 D+3

MN-08 D+3  

NH-02 D+3  

NY-25 D+3

PA-07 D+3

WA-08 D+3  

WI-07 D+3

PA-06 D+4  

PA-11 D+4

IL-10 D+6

Obviously redistricting makes this more difficult but there are some juicy targets here for Dems to go on the offense.

Seats lost that voted for Obama (30):































Obama won big so it was to be expected that some of these districts would slip back.

Seats lost by incumbents that voted for Kerry (6):







The most disappointing group of losses in my mind.