Colorado Redistricting: Maps from the “Kumbaya Committee”

Yesterday afternoon the 12 maps were released by the Joint Committee on Redistricting.  The committee has also been tagged as the “Kumbaya Committee” for it’s attempt to bring bipartisanshippyness to the most partisan issue possible.

Of the 12 maps, 6 were brought forward by the Democrats on the Committee and 6 from the Republicans.  All 6 Democratic maps followed a similar pattern of keeping whole cities intact as well as entire rural counties and were appropriately named “city integrity”.  The Republican maps all stayed close to the current map, probably realizing that’s the best deal they could get at this point.  

Several of the changes from both maps incorporated the wishes of different constituencies in the hearings the committee held all over the state.  The biggest wish “Keep us separate from Boulder.”  Other major wishes included putting Grand and Chaffee counties in the 3rd (or at least not in their current 2nd and 5th CDs) and keeping the city and county of Denver whole (which is a shame).  

I’ve only included 1 map from each side as the other 5 on both sides are similar to them and change only a county or city here and there.  

City Integrity 1

First, the Democrats map, known as “City Integrity 1.”  This is my personal favorite of all the Democratic maps and it’s also the “cleanest map” according to Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), co-chair of the committee.  All of the “City Integrity” maps strived to follow transportation corridors as well as striving for competitiveness.  The 1st, 2nd and 7th CDs are consistent throughout all the Democratic maps.



1st CD:  The 1st CD probably has the fewest changes.  It contains all of Denver County, Englewood, Cherry Hills Village, and Sheridan as before.  It adds Littleton, Greenwood Village, Bowmar, Cherry Creek Reservoir and some surrounding unincorporated areas of Arapahoe County.  The additions to the district are more Republican than the district as a whole, but the changes should be minimal, just making the district somewhat whiter than before.

2nd CD: The 2nd CD has some radical changes, going from it’s base in Boulder County (minus Longmont and Erie) west to take in all the north-west corner of the state.  The biggest new addition is Mesa County, one of the most Republican counties in the state and now the 2nd largest county in the district.  Chaffee, Lake and Park were taken from the 5th (as requested by the residents of Lake and Chaffee.  The district now includes all the major ski towns, Aspen, the oil and gas counties and the foothills towns in western Jefferson County.  If nothing else the district is now much more diverse in it’s interests and much more Republican.  The party break down is now 31 D, 31 R and 26 U, much more similar to the 7th CD when it was drawn a decade ago to be the most competitive.  We should be thankful Polis has more money than God and can probably hold this district in a non-2010 year.

3rd CD: The biggest disappointment of this map (especially to House Minority Leader Sal Pace of Pueblo) is the new 3rd CD.  It does a great job of keeping together the communities of interest in southern Colorado (despite what Republicans say, the south has more in common than the western slope and eastern plains as a whole).  It still contains all of Pueblo, but also adds Fremont, the rest of Otero, all the rural plains counties south of I-70 and the non-Colorado Springs portions of El Paso county, as well Parker and rural parts of Douglas county.  Overall this makes for a much more Republican district, probably out of reach for Democrats, but if you had to cut one loose, this was probably the district to do it with as several of the blue areas are shifting more and more R every year (San Luis Valley, Pueblo, Las Animas, Huerfano).  It still keeps Rep. Tipton’s home in Montrose so he can’t be too disappointed.

4th CD: The 4th CD needed to lose population and it did it with the most Republican parts of the district, now ending at Arapahoe/Washington/Yuma rather than taking in all the eastern plains down to the New Mexico Border.  It also loses the western half of Larimer County to the 2nd.  Most of the population lives in eastern Larimer so not much change other than shedding many republican precincts.  It then adds Erie and the eastern portions of Adams and Arapahoe counties, which are republican but not nearly as much as the counties given up.  These changes probably produce a district Obama and McCain were even in, if not a slight Obama win.  It becomes more winnable for Democrats, but still very competitive.  Sen. President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) has to be pleased with this map as it keeps him in the district for a potential run.  Rep. Cory Gardner would not be happy at all with this district, but definitely still won it in it’s new configuration and the district keeps his home in Yuma.

5th CD:  Officially the southern I-25 corridor district, the 5th probably becomes even more Republican, adding most of Douglas, while shedding the swingier Chaffee and the blue Lake County.  Maintaining the home of Rep. Lamborn and also maintaing the districts center of gravity in Colorado Springs, the district will be to his liking (except for the absence of Fort Carson, which is now in the 3rd).  This is the beginning of the screwing-over of Rep. Coffman by taking out his best area in Douglas.  

6th CD:  The best change this map makes is the changing of the 6th from a suburban-Republican stronghold to a swingy eastern-suburban district.  While it keeps Coffman’s home in Aurora, he’s basically screwed in this district.  The extent to which this district takes in parts of Douglas and/or Weld changes between maps, but the heart of the district is the Arapahoe suburbs not in the 1st and most of the Adams Co. suburbs, including all the most hispanic areas.  Obama certainly won this district and in any normal year it would elect a solid Dem candidate.  This is probably the biggest reason this map will never be acceptable to the Republican House (while they have no love for Coffman I can’t see them being this willing to give up a safe seat).

7th CD: Another great change is in the 7th CD.  Keeping it’s base in Jefferson County, it sheds most of it’s Adams Co. areas and all of Aurora.  It then adds all of Arvada, Westminster, Northglenn and Broomfield (formerly in the 2nd).  It also takes in the Ken Caryl and unincorporated Jeffco (sometimes referred to as part of Littleton).  The district probably doesn’t change much in it’s tilt (maybe a very slight shift to the right), but it does remove the possibility of a Ryan Frasier challenge as he lives in Aurora.  This district makes more sense, while also maintaining it’s competitiveness.

Balmer Map 1

The first Republican Map, known as “Balmer Map 1” for it’s author Rep. Balmer (R-Foxfield).  It is typical of all the Republican maps, keeping to the current boundaries as much as possible.  The biggest changes are the removal of Chaffee county from the 5th, the rest of Otero county in the 4th and more of Weld into the 2nd and southern Aurora into the 7th.  

The map below has helpful green lines where the current districts are so you can track the changes.



1st CD: Few changes here, but to add population the lines were moved from the county line between Denver to Jefferson (Sheridan Blvd.) to Wadsworth Blvd., all the precincts in between include parts Wheat Ridge and Lakewood and are probably some of the most Democratic precincts in Jefferson county.  The district remains as Democratic as before.

2nd CD: Biggest changes here were putting south-west Eagle County into the 3rd, a sliver of summit into the 5th to balance population there and the addition of Fort Lupton in Weld County.  The meter will be moved very little here either.  

3rd CD: The addition of Chaffee county is the biggest change along with the removal of the rest of Otero.  Little change here, but maybe a smidge in the Democratic direction.  

4th CD: Only the addition of the rest of Otero and the removal of Fort Lupton, doubtful to have much impact on the partisan make up.

5th CD: Removal of Chaffee county and the addition of the rest of Park and the Summit County Sliver, making it just a point or 2 more Republican.

6th CD: While appearing to have little change, the 6th actually has the most radical change in that it removed Rep. Coffman’s home in southern Aurora and puts it in the 7th!  Coffman has already reacted to the maps, lashing out at the Democratic maps for not including his home in his current district, when in fact they do…  But he plans to move to Greenwood Village, so he is actually angry at his future home being removed from the district and isn’t mad at the Republicans at all for screwing out of a district in their maps.  Gotta love that!

7th CD: Almost no change, except now being the home to Rep. Coffman!  

Likely result

Unless the “Kumbaya Committee” suddenly has a desire to actually work together, looks like neither of these maps or any of the other 10 maps will make it.  The rural Republicans are already screaming about the dividing of the eastern plains and western slope, which they consider to be “communities of interest.”  So we’re more likely than not to have the issue before the courts.  Lucky for Dems the Colorado Supreme Court is packed with Democratic-appointed Justices and in 2000 they chose the current map, which was proposed by Democrats.  

SSP Daily Digest: 4/5


AZ-Sen: Rep. Jeff Flake (R) will apparently announce a haul of more than $1 million in Q1.

OH-Sen: A spokesman for Treasurer Josh Mandel says he’ll file paperwork with the FEC “very shortly,” but it’s not clear from the writeup whether this means an exploratory committee (what I’m guessing) or if it’s the real thing. Also of note: Rep. Pat Tiberi (R), whose name first came up as a possible candidate less than a week ago, quashed any notion that he might run against Sherrod Brown last Friday.

VA-Sen: If you want to believe CNN’s sources, Tim Kaine will announce a Senate bid in the next two weeks.

WA-Sen, WA-10: Sue Rahr, the conservative King County Sheriff who inherited the job from now-Rep. Dave Reichert, said through a spokesman that she has no intention of running against Sen. Maria Cantwell – a rumor that seems to have gotten shot down before we’d ever heard of it here at SSP. However, a political consultant of Rahr’s thinks the sheriff (who supposedly has crossover appeal) could run in Washington’s new 10th CD, if a district emerges out of Reichert’s 8th centered in the area north of I-90.


ME-Gov: Will Paul LePage be the next Rick Scott? Like Florida’s governor, Republican members of LePage’s own legislature are starting to turn on him; eight state senators penned an op-ed declaring : “‘Government by disrespect’ should have no place in Augusta, and when it happens, we should all reject it.”

MO-Gov: I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better for Republican LG Peter Kinder. Trying to push back against revelations that he spend taxpayer money to spend two months a year in St. Louis luxury hotels to attend baseball games, society balls, and teabagger conclaves since 2006, Kinder claimed that his office had been reviewed by two different state auditors, both of them Democrats: Susan Montee and Claire McCaskill (yes, her). The problem? Montee’s audit faulted Kinder for “numerous mathematical errors and inconsistencies” regarding employee pay, and McCaskill’s found that Kinder used a state-owned care for personal use. I’m sensing a theme here.

WA-Gov: Could Christine Gregoire’s claim to be undecided about seeking a third term really just be a way to ward off lame-duck syndrome? That’s Jim Brunner’s guess. The Seattle Times reporter points out that campaign finance filings show the Democrat had just $44K on hand at the end of February. At the comparable reporting deadline during the prior election cycle, she had $1.2 million in the bank. Meanwhile, other likely candidates are flush: Republican AG Rob McKenna has raised $800K and has $400K on hand, while Rep. Jay Inslee (D) had $1.2 million in his congressional account at the end of last year. The piece also notes that another possible Dem candidate, state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, has recently discussed a potential run for Lt. Gov. instead. (She’d have to primary Brad Owen, who has been in office since 1997, or push him into retirement.)


FL-22: Whoa, I was definitely wrong to dismiss “no not that” Patrick Murphy as a Some Dude. One article described him as a 28-year-old accountant, but he’s got family money – and, evidently, good connections. Murphy says he raised a majorly impressive $350K in less than a month, and only $30K of that is his own money. Even fundraising machine Ron Klein raised “only” $153K in the comparable quarter in 2005 (before he was first elected).

NM-01: Terry Brunner, a former state director for the retiring Jeff Bingaman, had previously said he was thinking about running for his old boss’s seat, but now says he’s considering a run for the 1st CD instead.

NV-01: Jon Ralston thinks former 3rd CD Rep. Dina Titus will run for Shelley Berkley’s seat if the latter runs for Senate, but this is definitely a case of Schrödinger’s Seat.

OR-01: Former state Rep. Greg Macpherson is the first big-name Dem to say he’s considering a primary challenge to embattled Rep. David Wu. He wants to wait until the district lines become clear, saying he’ll only run if he lives in the district. (He doesn’t live there now, but I suppose he could move even if redistricting doesn’t help him, so I’m not sure how big an obstacle that is.) He also says he’s considering a primary challenge to state AG John Kroger, the man who beat him in the Dem primary for that office in 2008.

WI-07: Feeling the heat, Rep. Sean Duffy offered a half-assed non-apology, saying his “words were admittedly poorly chosen” when he whinged about getting paid only $174,000 a year as a member of Congress.

Other Races:

Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: Surprise, surprise: “Citizens for a Strong America,” the potemkin right-wing group responsible for several attack ads in the race (including one even PolitiFact rated “pants on fire”) turns out to be just a clone/offshoot of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ arch-evil front group.

Special Elections: After a few weeks without any state lege races, Johnny Longtorso is back:

While everyone will be focused on the Wisconsin Supreme Court election (which is a phrase I never thought I’d type), there is one special occurring on Tuesday in South Carolina’s HD-64, though it’s in a safe Democratic seat. Democrat Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Manning, will face off against Republican Walter Sanders.

Also, a quick shout-out to Republican Mike “Pete” Huval, the newest member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from HD-46. He defeated another Republican (no Democrat ran) on Saturday for the seat vacated by now-State Sen. Fred Mills.


Maps: The National Journal has an interesting set of maps which focus on a theme that DCCyclone has been hitting in comments: Namely, because of population growth among minorities, the share of the white vote that Obama needs in 2012 is lower than it was in 2008, assuming minority support for Obama stays the same. In a very pessimistic scenario where his minority support falls 10%, Obama would only lose three states he otherwise won in 2008 (FL, IN & NC), assuming he keeps the same share of the white vote. (But note that that latter assumption is unnecessary: Even under the reduced minority support scenario, Obama’s white support could also drop considerably in many states and he’d still win.)

Votes: A new study (full paper here) says that Dems who votes “yes” on healthcare reform saw their reelection margins reduced from 6 to 8 points. Something about this study seems incomplete to me, though, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’ll be really curious to read your thoughts in comments.

VRA: This is interesting: Black lawmakers in Georgia have filed a lawsuit challenging to dissolve the charters of five very white cities in DeKalb and Fulton Counties. The plaintiffs argue that these cities, all formed between 2005 and 2008, were created to dilute minority voting power, and hence violate the VRA. Apparently, this is a novel application of the Voting Rights Act, so we’ll see how it unfolds.

Passings: Very sad news: Former Rep. John Adler, a longtime state Senator who served one term in NJ-03 before losing last year, passed away at the age of 51. Last month, Adler contracted an infection which led to heart disease from which he never recovered. His father also died young of heart disease, something Adler would mention on the campaign trail when describing his family’s struggles after his father’s death. As a state legislator, one of his signature accomplishments was a smoke-free air bill which banned smoking in many public places. He leaves behind a wife and four children.

In other news, former TN Gov. Ned McWherter also passed away yesterday. McWherter, who was 80, served two terms as governor in the late 80s and early 90s. One of the things McWherter is probably best known for is the creation TennCare, the state’s expanded Medicaid program. His son Mike ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor last year.

Redistricting Roundup:

Arkansas: Rob Moritz of the Arkansas News Bureau has a good rundown of what’s going on with Democrats’ controversial redistricting plan, dubbed the “Fayetteville Finger.” The plan has passed in the House but has stalled in the Senate, where a vote won’t come until Thursday at the earliest. At the end of the piece, Moritz details several different alternate proposals pending in the Senate.

Louisiana: A piece from Sunday’s Times-Picayune said that votes were possible on Monday in the House and Senate on congressional maps, but I’ve not yet seen any subsequent coverage.

Michigan: Aaron Blake’s redistricting series takes him to Michigan, where he has a good explanation of just how difficult it will be for the GOP to shore up its current situation.

Missouri: Check out this Google Maps version of the state House’s proposed new federal district lines.

New Jersey: Republicans started bitching and moaning about the state’s new map even before it was officially chosen, but so far, they haven’t said whether they’d challenge the map in court. Not really sure what grounds they’d have even if they wanted to give it a go.

Nevada: The LVRJ has a piece on the debate in Nevada over whether to create a majority-Hispanic district, or whether to keep Hispanic voters spread out to keep all districts more Dem or more competitive. Most Republicans obviously like the former idea, while Dems (including some Latino lawmakers) are understandably skeptical. Also, it looks like abgin must have trekked all the way from Basque Country to make a presentation at a public hearing in Vegas last weekend: The LVRJ says that “[s]everal interest groups presented proposed maps, including one that likely wouldn’t pass legal or political muster because it would create four new vertical congressional districts stretching from North to South.”

Texas: Ah, redistricting cat fud – it has a stench all its own. GOP Rep. Lamar Smith is apparently taking the non-insane view that Hispanic growth and the VRA require that two (well, at least two) of Texas’s four new districts be majority-minority, and he’s been working with Dem Rep. Henry Cuellar to create a compromise map. This has infuriated fellow Republican Rep. Joe Barton (aka Smokey Joe), who insists that at least three if not all four of the new seats be Republican-favored. And folks, the cat fud is real. Sayeth Politico:

Barton has harshly criticized Smith during Texas GOP delegation meetings, launching a profanity-laced tirade at Smith during one session early last month, and he’s privately tried to oust Smith as the lead Republican negotiator on redistricting.

Politico’s sources say that Smith is still favored among members of his own party, but that Gov. Rick Perry may be leaning toward Barton. Perry’s alleged plan is to skip DoJ pre-clearance and go directly to federal court, perhaps hoping for a friendly conservative panel (backstopped by an unquestionably conservative Supreme Court), so that could turn Barton’s dream into a reality… but I still think it’s a serious stretch. The piece also reports that proposed maps have been circulated among Republicans, but of course, no one’s sharing any copies.

New York State Senate Redistricting: 43-19

After only two years of a slim 32-30 Democratic majority in the New York State Senate, Republicans in this past election barely took back the chamber that they had previously held continuously for more than forty years. People around the country endlessly ask the question: how is it possible that Republicans have a majority of state senators in a state as “blue” as New York?

There is no simple answer to that question. Sufficed it to say, one of the most important factors is gerrymandering. Republicans did a masterful job of redistricting a very favorable map for themselves ten years ago. The current map is littered with Republican senators holding light blue Obama districts all over Long Island (9-0 Republican) and Upstate (21-4). With the great help of Daves Redistricting App 2.0, I set about in the task of redistricting New York's State Senate districts with three main goals in mind: 1.) connect Democratic towns and cities in Long Island, 2.) preserve majority-minority districts in New York City, and 3.) consolidate small cities Upstate. Much of the basis for my analysis comes from jeffmd's excellent post on the State Senate written in 2009 in which he looked at the numbers for the current districts. Inspecting the presidential toplines, it was determined that the cutoff between Republican and Democratic districts is about 58-60% Obama. My map uses that percentage as the benchmark. It would create 10 Democratic districts at over 58% in Upstate New York and another four at over 62% in Long Island. Combined with New York City, this would be more than enough to give Democrats a two-to-one majority in the State Senate. So without further ado, here is what I came up with:

New York 

District Pop. Center Pop. Wh% Bl% Asn% Hisp% Oth%
O% M%
D 1 Hamptons 318633 66 11 3 17 2
62 38
R 2 Brookhaven 318569 89 2 2 6 1
49 51
R 3 Lindenhurst 318229 89 2 1 6 1
47 53
D 4 Huntington 318189 60 17 3 18 2
63 36
R 5 Smithtown 318668 91 1 3 4 1
46 54
R 6 Massapequa 318525 90 0 3 5 1
44 56
D 7 Great Neck 318243 67 12 8 11 2
64 35
D 8 Hempstead 318681 51 26 3 18 2
69 31
R 9 Garden City 318620 86 1 5 7 1
43 56
D 10 Jamaica 317030 9 55 9 15 12 Black Majority 92 8
D 11 Bayside 317619 60 5 18 13 3
62 37
D 12 Astoria 315924 42 5 13 34 5
78 21
D 13 East Elmhurst 318053 15 9 16 57 3 Hispanic Majority 81 18
D 14 St. Albans 318613 22 55 4 13 5 Black Majority 82 17
D 15 Forest Hills 316488 59 5 15 17 5
63 36
D 16 Flushing 317432 24 3 48 21 4 Asian Plurality 68 31
D 17 Bushwick 317715 13 13 7 60 6 Hispanic Majority 87 12
D 18 Bedford-Stuyvesant 317273 26 51 2 17 4 Black Majority 90 9
D 19 Canarsie 317538 28 52 3 14 3 Black Majority 83 17
D 20 Brooklyn Heights 318797 25 51 3 18 3 Black Majority 93 6
D 21 Prospect 318898 19 51 5 22 3 Black Majority 92 7
D 22 East Flatbush 317890 21 56 6 12 5 Black Majority 85 14
R 23 Homecrest 316816 81 1 11 6 2
33 67
D 24 Brighton Beach 317711 56 6 21 13 3
55 44
D 25 North Shore 318201 49 13 10 24 4
66 34
R 26 Arden Heights 323582 84 1 6 7 1
37 62
D 27 East Village 311559 45 6 27 19 3
84 15
D 28 Upper East Side 309905 83 3 8 5 2
75 24
D 29 Upper West Side 310495 73 5 8 11 2
85 14
D 30 Spanish Harlem 309111 22 23 3 50 2 Hispanic Majority 91 8
D 31 Bedford Park 308720 12 19 5 61 3 Hispanic Majority 90 9
D 32 Harlem 309836 2 61 1 33 2 Black Majority 97 2
D 33 Washington Heights 309056 22 12 4 60 2 Hispanic Majority 90 9
D 34 Soundview 309592 10 28 3 55 3 Hispanic Majority 90 10
D 35 Belmont 308704 21 21 3 53 2 Hispanic Majority 84 16
D 36 Mount Vernon 309493 14 60 2 20 4 Black Majority 92 8
D 37 Harrison 309361 73 7 5 13 2
61 38
D 38 Yonkers 309287 56 14 5 21 3
64 35
D 39 Ossining 309454 76 7 3 13 1
59 40
D 40 Clarkstown 317946 72 10 5 10 2
53 47
R 41 Carmel 321768 88 3 2 6 1
46 53
D 42 Poughkeepsie 317728 71 12 2 13 2
58 41
D 43 Kingston 320216 85 6 1 6 2
60 38
D 44 Troy 317388 86 6 3 3 2
58 40
D 45 Plattsburgh 317612 94 2 1 2 2
58 40
D 46 Albany 315314 84 9 2 3 1
63 35
R 47 Moreau 317511 96 1 1 1 1
49 49
R 48 Rome 317470 91 4 1 3 1
44 54
D 49 Syracuse 317634 80 12 2 3 3
62 36
R 50 Utica 317412 91 4 1 2 1
54 45
R 51 Herkimer 316544 96 1 0 2 1
45 53
R 52 Blooming Grove 319845 90 3 1 4 1
46 52
D 53 Ithaca 318178 87 4 3 3 2
61 38
R 54 Penn Yan 317011 95 2 0 2 2
47 51
R 55 Perinton 316789 92 3 3 2 1
51 47
D 56 Rochester 318289 60 26 3 9 2
72 27
R 57 Corning 317311 95 1 1 1 2
42 56
D 58 Amherst 317906 80 14 2 2 1
61 38
R 59 Hamburg 318084 94 1 1 2 2
49 49
D 60 Buffalo 317816 67 23 1 6 3
69 29
R 61 Batavia 318545 94 2 0 2 1
41 57
R 62 Greece 318537 93 3 1 2 1
46 52

Note, also, that I broke the state into four regions for simplicity: Upstate, Westchester/Bronx/Manhattan, Brooklyn/Queens/Staten Island, and Long Island. Here is another table that breaks down the numbers by region:

Region County Population Districts (+/-) 316280 (+/-)
Long Island Suffolk 1516544

Nassau 1349555

2866099 9 0 318323 0.6
New York City Queens 2320449

Brooklyn 2588844

Staten Island 496246

5405539 17 1 317972 0.5

Manhattan 1646675

Bronx 1415056

Westchester 961565

4023296 13 1 309484 -2.1
Ustate New York Rockland 301308

Other 7010169

7311477 23 -2 317890 0.5

As you can see from the table, I redraw the map so that NYC gained two seats at the expense of Upstate New York, while Long Island remained the same at 9 districts. The population of each district in each region is very equal with the greatest deviation of -2.1% below the ideal population in the region of Westchester/Bronx/Manhattan. The rest of the seats compensate for this by being about .5% above the ideal. Before discussing the statewide changes that would occur under this redistricting plan, first let me go through the four regions themselves…

Long Island

District Pop. Center Pop. Wh% Bl% Asn% Hisp% Oth% O% M%

D 1 Hamptons 318633 66 11 3 17 2 62 38

R 2 Brookhaven 318569 89 2 2 6 1 49 51 Ken LaValle-1, Port Jefferson
R 3 Lindenhurst 318229 89 2 1 6 1 47 53 Lee Zeldin-3, Shirley Owen Johnson-4, West Babylon
D 4 Huntington 318189 60 17 3 18 2 63 36

R 5 Smithtown 318668 91 1 3 4 1 46 54 John Flanagan-2, East Northport Carl Marcellino-5, Syosset
R 6 Massapequa 318525 90 0 3 5 1 44 56

D 7 Great Neck 318243 67 12 8 11 2 64 35

D 8 Hempstead 318681 51 26 3 18 2 69 31 Charles Fuschillo-8, Merrick Dean Skelos-9, Rockville Centre
R 9 Garden City 318620 86 1 5 7 1 43 56 Kemp Hannon-6, Garden City Jack Martins-7, Mineola

(The table above is a portion derived from the table in the intoduction. However, included in this table and the three that are to follow it, the number for each district has a link to a picture of that district's new boundaries. Also, I included the incumbent senators in whichever district that they would live in if my map went into affect. Each senator's party is denoted by the font color, and the data entries include the number district that each senator currently represents in the State Senate, as well as where they live and a link to their official biographies.)

Long Island has been the province of Republicans in the New York State Senate for many decades. At the height of the Democratic wave in 2008, Long Island elected only two Democratic senators out of nine total. Both of them lost their seats in this last election, returning Long Island to its usual position of having only Republicans represent them in the State Senate. It's not as though Long Island is that conservative overall — indeed, all but one of the current nine senate districts in Nassau and Suffolk Counties was won by Obama. Republicans have been very effective in diluting Democratic votes, thereby allowing many independents who fear a complete Democratically-controlled Albany to elect Republican candidates for the State Senate.

Of the eight Obama-voting Long Island Senate districts, none of them were won by more than about 55%, which is a very managable percentage for incumbent GOP senators, including the new Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who hails from Rockville Centre in Nassau County. In this region, the goal was to be realistic about what could be achieved and very cautious in achieving it. I drew up four Democratic districts each at over 62% for Obama.

Three out of the four new Democratic districts that I created are left open for any Dem who wants them. The most Democratic district in the region — SD-8, based in Hempstead and Long Beach — is occupied by Skelos and Senator Charles Fuschillo. As the Black and Hispanic populations are spread throughout Long Island, each district retains their white majority.


Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island

District Pop. Center Pop. Wh% Bl% Asn% Hisp% Oth%
O% M%

D 10 Jamaica 317030 9 55 9 15 12 Black Majority 92 8 Shirley Huntley-10, Jamaica

D 11 Bayside 317619 60 5 18 13 3
62 37 Tony Avella-11, Whitestone

D 12 Astoria 315924 42 5 13 34 5
78 21 Michael Gianaris-12, Astoria

D 13 East Elmhurst 318053 15 9 16 57 3 Hispanic Majority 81 18

Jose Peralta-13, East Elmhurst

D 14 St. Albans 318613 22 55 4 13 5 Black Majority 82 17 Malcolm Smith-14, St. Albans

D 15 Forest Hills 316488 59 5 15 17 5
63 36

D 16 Flushing 317432 24 3 48 21 4 Asian Plurality 68 31 Toby Ann Stavisky-16, Flushing

D 17 Bushwick 317715 13 13 7 60 6 Hispanic Majority 87 12 Joseph Addabbo-15, Ozone Park Martin Malave Dilan-17, Bushwick
D 18 Bedford-Stuyvesant 317273 26 51 2 17 4 Black Majority 90 9

D 19 Canarsie 317538 28 52 3 14 3 Black Majority 83 17 John Sampson-19, Canarsie

D 20 Brooklyn Heights 318797 25 51 3 18 3 Black Majority 93 6 Valmanette Montgomery-18, Boerum Hills Eric Adams-20, Crown Heights Daniel Squadron-25, Brooklyn Heights
D 21 Prospect 318898 19 51 5 22 3 Black Majority 92 7 Kevin Parker-21, Flatbush

D 22 East Flatbush 317890 21 56 6 12 5 Black Majority 85 14

R 23 Homecrest 316816 81 1 11 6 2
33 67 Martin Golden-22, Bay Ridge

D 24 Brighton Beach 317711 56 6 21 13 3
55 44 Carl Kruger-27, Sheepshead Bay

D 25 North Shore 318201 49 13 10 24 4
66 34 Diane Savino-23, Staten Island

R 26 Arden Heights 323582 84 1 6 7 1
37 62 Andrew Lanza-24, Great Kills

While much of Staten Island remains a stubborn Republican bulwark, Queens and Brooklyn voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in 2008. They are home to most of New York City's black population, as well as significant Hispanic and Asian communities. Since this area of the state is so heavily Democratic, the overriding goal for this region was not to squeeze out more Democratic seats, but to strengthen a few shaky ones and create new Voting Rights Act (VRA) districts wherever possible. Under my plan, this region would gain one additional seat as a result of new population estimates given by the Census Bureau. 

This map preserves the two African-American majority districts in Queens and adds a fifth black majority district to the four that already exist in Brooklyn. One of the best things about this map is that it creates an Asian plurality district that is based in Flushing and spread throughout many parts of Queens. The 16th district is currently represented by Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, but if the Asian community were able to unite around a consensus candidate, she could well be displaced in a primary. I found it impossible to make the 16th District any more heavily Asian than 48%, but the next largest racial community was 24% of the population, so if Stavisky were to retire, this would most likely go to an Asian candidate. It also preserves the two Hispanic majority districts in Queens and Brooklyn.

The recently-flipped 11th and 15th Districts would be strengthened for the Democrats. Carl Kruger's 27th district in southern Brooklyn would be radically changed into the 24th district, both strengthening our vote there and also allowing for a primary challenge to the less-than-venerable “Amigo.” At 55% for Obama, the 24th is one of two districts that I created below the magic 58% line that I still counted in the Democratic column — largely because presidential voting patterns in southern Brooklyn are volatile and not necessarily indicative of a broader ideological differentiation. What Republican-leaning communities that do exist here would be consolidated into two large McCain majority districts: the 23rd in southern Brooklyn and the 26th in southern Staten Island, both of which are currently represented by Republican Senators anyway.


Manhattan, Bronx, and Westchester County

District Pop. Center Pop. Wh% Bl% Asn% Hisp% Oth%
O% M%

D 27 East Village 311559 45 6 27 19 3
84 15

D 28 Upper East Side 309905 83 3 8 5 2
75 24 Liz Krueger-26, Upper East Side
D 29 Upper West Side 310495 73 5 8 11 2
85 14 Thomas Duane-29, Upper West Side
D 30 Spanish Harlem 309111 22 23 3 50 2 Hispanic Majority 91 8 Jose Serrano-28, Spanish Harlem
D 31 Bedford Park 308720 12 19 5 61 3 Hispanic Majority 90 9 Gustavo Rivera-33, Kingsbridge Heights
D 32 Harlem 309836 2 61 1 33 2 Black Majority 97 2 Bill Perkins-30, Harlem
D 33 Washington Heights 309056 22 12 4 60 2 Hispanic Majority 90 9 Adriano Espaillat-31, Washington Heights
D 34 Soundview 309592 10 28 3 55 3 Hispanic Majority 90 10 Ruben Diaz-32, Soundview Jeffrey Klein-34, Throgs Neck
D 35 Belmont 308704 21 21 3 53 2 Hispanic Majority 84 16

D 36 Mount Vernon 309493 14 60 2 20 4 Black Majority 92 8 Ruth Hassel-Thompson-36, Williamsbridge
D 37 Scarsdale 309361 73 7 5 13 2
61 38 Suzi Oppenheimer-37, Mamaroneck
D 38 Yonkers 309287 56 14 5 21 3
64 35 Andrea Stewart-Cousins-35, Yonkers
D 39 Ossining 309454 76 7 3 13 1
59 40

This region, encompassing Manhattan, Bronx, and Westchester County, is the most strongly Democratic area in one of the most Democratic-leaning states in the Union. It is home to the largest Hispanic communities in the Northeast United States — mostly Peurto Rican, but also Dominican, Mexican, and other Latin American heritages. The white communities here also tend to be much more liberal than their counterparts in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. That is especially the case in Manhattan and Westchester, which are home to many educated urban white professionals.

All twelve districts here are represented by Democrats in the State Senate. That would stay the same under my plan, except for the addition of a thirteenth Democratic district. This is the second distric that comes at the expense of Upstate New York — the other one being in Brooklyn.

Both majority African-American districts would remain intact. The map also adds another Hispanic-majority district to the four that currently exist.

Upstate New York

District Pop. Center Pop. Wh% Bl% Asn% Hisp% Oth% O% M%

D 40 Clarkstown 317946 72 10 5 10 2 53 47 David Carlucci-38, Clarkstown
R 41 Carmel 321768 88 3 2 6 1 46 53 Greg Ball-40, Patterson

D 42 Poughkeepsie 317728 71 12 2 13 2 58 41 Bill Larkin-39, New Windsor Stephen Saland-41, Poughkeepsie
D 43 Kingston 320216 85 6 1 6 2 60 38

D 44 Troy 317388 86 6 3 3 2 58 40 Hugh Farley-44, Schenectady
D 45 Plattsburgh 317612 94 2 1 2 2 58 40 Betty Little-45, Queensbury Patty Ritchie-48, Heuvelton
D 46 Albany 315314 84 9 2 3 1 63 35 Neil Breslin-46, Albany James Seward-51, Milford
R 47 Moreau 317511 96 1 1 1 1 49 49 Roy McDonald-43, Stillwater
R 48 Rome 317470 91 4 1 3 1 44 54 Joseph Griffo-47, Rome
D 49 Syracuse 317634 80 12 2 3 3 62 36 David Valesky-49, Oneida John DeFrancisco-50, Syracuse
R 50 Utica 317412 91 4 1 2 1 54 45

R 51 Herkimer 316544 96 1 0 2 1 45 53

R 52 Blooming Grove 319845 90 3 1 4 1 46 52 John Bonacic-42, Mount Hope
D 53 Ithaca 318178 87 4 3 3 2 61 38 Thomas Libous-52, Binghamton Michael Nozzollio-54, Fayette
R 54 Sodus 317011 95 2 0 2 2 47 51

R 55 Perinton 316789 92 3 3 2 1 51 47 James Alesi-55, East Rochester
D 56 Rochester 318289 60 26 3 9 2 72 27

R 57 Corning 317311 95 1 1 1 2 42 56 Thomas O'Mara-53, Big Flats Catharine Young-57, Olean
D 58 Amherst 317906 80 14 2 2 1 61 38 Tim Kennedy-58, Buffalo
R 59 Hamburg 318084 94 1 1 2 2 49 49 Pat Gallivan-59, Elma Mike Ranzenhofer-61, Clarence
D 60 Buffalo 317816 67 23 1 6 3 69 29 Mark Grisanti-60, Buffalo
R 61 Batavia 318545 94 2 0 2 1 41 57

R 62 Greece 318537 93 3 1 2 1 46 52 Joe Robach-56, Greece George Maziarz-62, Newfane

Here more than anywhere else in the state, Republicans dominate in local and state politics. Recently, Democrats lost five of their ten Upstate congressional districts. This is also where Republicans picked up two Senate seats and gained about a half-dozen Assembly seats last fall. Nevertheless, there are still many strongly Democratic areas of Upstate New York: mostly medium- and small-sized cities and liberal inner-suburbs that dot the landscape from the Hudson Valley to the Great Lakes. The goal was to consolidate those areas and churn out as many new Democratic districts as possible. Here again, as in Long Island, the minority ethnic populations are too spread out to create any VRA districts. Instead, this is where the great bulk of Republican Senate seats would hit the buzz-saw.

The region as a whole would lose two seats, mostly from the equalization of populations in each Senate district — which Republicans largely disregarded during the last redistricting ten years ago — as well as the much greater population growth downstate.

I was able to get about half of these 23 districts in the Democratic column. The 40th District, based in Rockland County, is the second of only two districts in this entire map (the other being in southern Brooklyn) that I counted as a Democratic district even though Obama's vote there was less than 58%. The reason is that this seat was one of very few elected offices around the country that Democrats actually gained from the Republicans in this last election. The seat would also bolster its Democratic vote through redistricting, so I figured, if David Carlucci could pick it up for the Dems in a year like 2010, odds are pretty good that he'll be able to hold it in a lot of other political environments.

I was able to get ten of these districts at over 58% for Obama. One of the most certain Democratic gains under this plan would be my native 56th Senate District, based in the City of Rochester and the Town of Brighton. Republican Senator Joe Robach has vexingly been able to hold onto this district for years despite the fact that it voted by a two-to-one margin for Barack Obama in 2008 (66%-33%). Under this plan, Robach's hometown of Greece would be removed from the 56th and replaced by the Democratic-leaning suburbs of Gates and Irondequoit.

The four seats that we do hold here would be strengthened. The 60th District, which is even more Democratic district than the 56th, voted out a Democratic incumbent last fall. This district would remain largely unchanged in the hope that a different Dem might likely be able to win it back from freshman Republican Senator Mark Grisanti.

As is convention when State Senate seats are redistricted in Upstate New York, I left every town intact. In addition, only two cities are divided between different districts: Buffalo and Tonawanda (just south of Niagra Falls). The self-imposed requirement that towns be left undivided was a major constraint, but it would probably help a plan like this to survive a court challenge.



A major drawback of this map is that without realizing it, I redraw the lines with no attention paid to which district each senator lives in. Hence, a lot of Democratic primaries and games of musical chairs would happen in this plan that might otherwise have been avoided. But, by the time I realized it, it was too late. In any event, many more Republicans get stuck together than Democrats, so that serves to counter-balance this problem.

This map pays tribute to the Voting Rights Act by creating three new majority-minority district: a new Black-majority district in Brooklyn, an Asian-plurality district in Queens, and a fifth Hispanic-majority district in the Bronx.

My plan also evens out the population disparities between regions by making every seat within only a few thousands residents off from the ideal population of 316,280 people per district. In applying a fairer division among the state's population and using new population estimates given by the Census, Upstate New York lost two districts to New York City.

I am confident that if this plan went into affect at the next election, Democrats would hold a large 43-19 majority in the New York State Senate for many years to come. But alas, Republicans won back this chamber last year and thus, it is not to be. However, I'm still convinced that with new population estimates, it will be extremely difficult for Republicans to redistrict another map that would allow them to retain the majority. Their luck has simply run out. They may be able to preserve many incumbents in Upstate and Long Island, but remember that Democrats only need to gain one seat for them to retake the majority (a 31-31 tie would allow Democratic Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy to act as the tie-breaker). And as I've shown through this analysis, downstate will have to gain two seats for the next redistricting plan to be in compliance with the Census.

It took many practice tries, but I believe this map provides the strongest possible plan for a large Democratic majority in the Senate that not only respects existing VRA districts, but also creates three new ones. In short, this is the ideal Democratic redistricting plan for the New York State Senate.

Maps of Colorado Elections

To follow up the series of posts on Colorado, I’ve posted a few recent presidential elections in the state (courtesy of the New York Times). Each map comes with some brief analysis.


Boosted by a Democratic National Convention held in Denver, Senator Barack Obama wins a thorough victory in the ultimate swing state of 2008. The Democratic candidate does especially well in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Denver – winning several outright and dampening margins in Douglas County and Colorado Springs.

More below.


Written off early as a sure Republican victory, Colorado surprises pundits in 2004 with a surprisingly strong Democratic performance. It is one of the few states where Democrats do better than in 2000 as they pick up the 2000 Ralph Nader vote.



Governor George W. Bush performs well throughout the Rocky Mountains in 2000, and Colorado is no exception. With Green Party candidate Ralph Nader pulling off a substantial bloc of liberal voters, Mr. Bush even cracks the Democratic “C” that composes the Democratic base of Colorado.



Conservative Colorado returns to form in 1996; President Bill Clinton loses the state by the barest of margins as conservative Ross Perot voters go Republican. Republican Bob Dole wins based off Republican strength in Colorado Springs and rural Colorado.



Surprise! – reliably Republican Colorado votes Democratic for the first time in a generation, and for the first time in a competitive race since the days of Harry Truman. To be fair, this map somewhat overstates Democratic strength: Republican margins are dampened by Ross Perot’s strength amongst conservatives.


Maps of Virginia Elections

By: Inoljt,

To follow up the series on Virginia, I’ve posted a few recent presidential elections in the state (courtesy of the New York Times). Each map comes with some brief analysis.

Maps of Virginia Elections

Capitalizing on a decade of Democratic movement, Senator Barack Obama becomes the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia since 1964. The Senator performs best in eastern Virginia, especially the fast-growing northern Virginia metropolis. Western Virginia is not as enamored; parts of it even vote more Republican.

More below.


Maps of Virginia Elections

Nobody pays attention to Virginia in 2004, and for good reason: incumbent George W. Bush cruises along to a comfortable victory. Amid all the hoopla in Ohio, Republicans fail to notice a disquieting trend. Fairfax County, the populous heart of Northern Virginia, goes blue in the first time for decades.


Maps of Virginia Elections

Governor George W. Bush sails to an 8% victory. He artfully weaves together a classic Republican coalition: wealthy suburbs combined with Republican-trending rural Virginia.


Maps of Virginia Elections

Expecting to win the state, incumbent Bill Clinton is surprised to see Virginia slip from his grasp. He does better than in 1992 – performing well amongst Democratic constituencies in the Appalachian west, the black southeast, and the rich inner-core suburbs of Northern Virginia. But it’s not enough: a strong Republican vote in Richmond’s suburbs denies Mr. Clinton his victory.


Maps of Virginia Elections

Another presidential election, another Republican victory in Virginia powered by suburbs and small towns. Yet Governor Bill Clinton does relatively well. Compared to the 20.5% beating George H.W. Bush gave to Democratic nominee Mike Dukakis in 1988, a 4.4% loss ain’t nothing.

Maps of Pennsylvania Elections

By: Inoljt,

A few maps of Pennsylvania’s presidential elections are posted below, for your enjoyment. Each map comes with some brief analysis. Note how in each succeeding election, Democratic margins in the Philadelphia metropolis increase, while their margins in the Pittsburgh corridor decrease.

(Note: Because the Times stopped updating before all absentee/provisional ballots were counted, this map does not fully reflect the actual results. I have corrected the discrepancy.)

Maps of Pennsylvania Elections

As the national tide increasingly turns in Senator Barack Obama’s favor, Senator John McCain mounts a quixotic attempt to win Pennsylvania. While Mr. McCain improves in the southeastern rustbelt, Democratic dominance in eastern Pennsylvania ensures a double-digit blue margin.

More below.

Maps of Pennsylvania Elections

President George W. Bush mounts a determined attack on Pennsylvania, coming within 2.5% of Senator John Kerry. Mr. Bush does quite well in the traditionally Democratic Pittsburgh corridor and Republican strongholds throughout the “T.” But double-digit losses in Philadelphia’s suburbs (and a 400,000 vote deficit coming out of the city itself) prevent Mr. Bush from victory.


Maps of Pennsylvania Elections

Without President Bubba holding the line, Republican margins in Pennsyltucky are much higher. Nevertheless, Al Gore closely carries Pennsylvania based on Democratic strongholds in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metropolises.


Maps of Pennsylvania Elections

With incumbent Bill Clinton poised to win comfortably weeks before election day, Senator Bob Dole does not seriously contest Pennsylvania. Democrats improve in the east and weaken in the west, while Mr. Clinton sails to a comfortable victory.


Maps of Pennsylvania Elections

Governor Bill Clinton romps to a nine-point margin, following three straight Republican victories in the state. Mr. Clinton milks Democratic strength in the industrial southwest for everything it’s worth, winning 2-1 margins in a number of counties. More ominously for Republicans, President George H. W. Bush barely loses the Philadelphia suburbs – the first Republican to do so since Senator Barry Goldwater (and before him President William Taft, in 1912).

(Note: Credit goes to the NYT for these amazing images.)

Maps of Ohio Elections

By: Inoljt,

A few maps of Ohio’s presidential elections are posted below, for your enjoyment. Each map comes with some brief analysis.

Maps of Ohio Elections

(Note: Because the Times stopped updating before all absentee/provisional ballots were counted, this map does not fully reflect the actual results. I have corrected the discrepancy.)

Senator Barack Obama wins Ohio by 4.6%, a solid but unimpressive victory. Mr. Obama performs poorly in traditional Democratic areas – the northeast and even Cleveland – but offsets this with unique strength in Columbus and Cincinnati. Senator McCain runs strongly in the Republican base.

More below.

Maps of Ohio Elections

President George W. Bush wins Ohio by a close but decisive margin. Senator John Kerry does extremely well – winning Columbus and Cleveland by what his campaign wants – but Mr. Bush’s exurban strength famously overwhelms this strength. Nevertheless, Ohio votes more Democratic than the nation, the first time since 1972.


Maps of Ohio Elections

Vice President Al Gore gives up Ohio before election-day; Governor George W. Bush wins the state by 3.5%. Perhaps, campaign strategists later muse, they should not have abandoned the state.


Maps of Ohio Elections

Incumbent Bill Clinton cruises to a comfortable victory – the best Democratic performance since LBJ (and before that, FDR). The former Arkansas governor runs strong in the industrial northeast and the Appalachian southwest, while severely undercutting Senator Bob Dole’s margins in Republican territory. It’s a classic Democratic victory.


Maps of Ohio Elections

It’s an exact replica of the 1996 map – except this time the Democratic strongholds are a bit less blue, the Republican strongholds a bit more red, and Ross Perot is running strong. Governor Clinton wins by a mere 1.8%.

MA-Sen: Map of Special Election Results by Town

With all but five precincts reporting, this is what tonight’s election results look like on a town-by-town basis (click image for larger version):

UPDATE: Jeffmd does some quick number crunching to look at performance by congressional district. The preliminary conclusions:

Coakley Wins: 1st, 7th, 8th

Uncertain, but likely Brown wins: 4th, 9th

Brown Wins: 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 10th

UPDATE: Dave Wasserman tweets:

Q: Where are the other potential Dem collapse areas this Nov? A: Almost precisely the places Hillary carried in the 08 prez primary

He’s definitely on to something. Below is a map of the 2008 presidential primary results in Massachusetts between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Red is Clinton, blue is Obama:

The results between tonight’s race and the presidential primary correlate at a rate of 0.56, which is quite high.

SSP Daily Digest: 11/16

IA-Sen/Gov: The newest Des Moines Register poll by Selzer & Co. has some appalling numbers for Democrats. In the Senate race, Chuck Grassley leads Democratic challenger Roxanne Conlin 57-30. And in the gubernatorial race, incumbent Dem Chet Culver trails Republican ex-Gov. Terry Branstad by almost as wide a margin, 57-33 (with Culver also trailing conservative GOPer Bob vander Plaats 45-37, although Culver beats several other GOP minor-leaguers). A 24-point beatdown is hard to believe given Culver’s poor-but-not-abysmal 40/49 approval rating, and this is way out of line with R2K‘s polling last month, but this being Iowa, I’d be hesitant to bet against Selzer. (Discussion already well underway in desmoinesdem’s two diaries.)

IL-Sen: Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who was considered a likely candidate in this race for a long time but eventually backed down, endorsed state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias in the Democratic primary. Giannoulias now has the endorsement of five of Illinois’s twelve House Dems. Also today, Patrick Hughes, the conservative alternative to establishment GOP pick Rep. Mark Kirk, is in DC looking for support from conservative movement poohbahs. The DSCC has a well-worth-seeing video out detailing Kirk’s transparent shift to the right (especially his pleas for help from Sarah Palin) as he seeks to fight off primary challenges.

MA-Sen: The voter registration deadline to be able to participate in the primary special election to replace Ted Kennedy is this Wednesday. The primary itself is Dec. 8.

NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov (pdf): Siena’s monthly look at the Empire State shows a little improvement for Kirsten Gillibrand, who now narrowly leads ex-Gov. George Pataki, 45-44. She loses 49-43 to Rudy Giuliani; weirdly, while the rumor mill has until very recently had Pataki likelier to make the Senate race than Giuliani, Pataki now seems much likelier to run for President, while Liz Benjamin is now wondering if Giuliani‘s recent bout of national security saber-rattling shows he’s more likely to run for Senate than Governor.

Meanwhile, Siena has yet another installment in the ongoing David Paterson implosion. Paterson’s approval is down to 21/79, 69% would prefer to elect someone else, and he now loses the Democratic primary to Andrew Cuomo by a 59-point margin (75-16) while, in a first, also losing the general to Rick Lazio (42-39) as well as, natch, Giuliani (56-33). Cuomo defeats Giuliani 53-41 and Lazio 67-22. Latest Cuomo rumors involve him trying to assemble a whole slate to run with, and central to that is recruiting outgoing NYC comptroller William Thompson to run for state comptroller. Having the African-American Thompson on a ‘ticket’ with him would take some of the awkwardness out of Cuomo elbowing aside an African-American governor to avoid a replay of the 2002 gubernatorial primary. Cuomo also wants a female AG (possibly Nassau Co. DA Kathleen Rice) and an upstate LG to balance everything out. Still, that would set up a hot Democratic primary between Thompson and incumbent comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; there’s some tension between Cuomo and DiNapoli, though, so that’s another instance of two birds, one stone. Finally, in case there were any doubts, Hillary Clinton confirmed that she has no intention of getting in the gubernatorial race.

SC-Sen: Lindsey Graham, although not up until 2014, could be going the way of Olympia Snowe. There are leaks of private polls showing that more Republicans oppose Graham than support him, and that his support among independents is dwindling too. I guess that’s what happens when you vote the party line only 93% of the time.

TX-Sen: Little-noticed in the announcement on Friday that Kay Bailey Hutchison was going to delay her resignation until after the gubernatorial primary election in March means that, unless she does it immediately afterwards, the special election won’t be held until November 2010. Conventional wisdom is that this is good for the GOP, as the seat will be easier to hold as part of a larger election instead of on its own. (Of course, that assumes KBH resigns at all assuming she loses the gubernatorial primary, which somehow I doubt.) The Austin American-Statesman also has a good rundown on what the delay means to all of the potential players in the special election.

ME-Gov: The Maine governor’s race may well wind up as crowded as the one in Minnesota: we’re up to 21 candidates, although most of them are minor. One more medium-to-big name is getting in today on the Dem side, though: John Richardson, the former House speaker and current commissioner of the state Dept. of Economic and Community Development. Current Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan is also looking likely to get in the Dem field.

WY-Gov: Former US Attorney Matt Mead has formed an exploratory committee to run for the Republican nomination in next year’s gubernatorial race in Wyoming. He joins state House speaker Colin Simpson and ex-state Rep. Ron Micheli in the hunt. Mead, you may recall, was one of the finalists to be picked to replace Craig Thomas in the Senate, but that post went to John Barrasso.

IL-11: This isn’t the way to get your campaign off on the right foot: Adam Kinzinger, who has the insider backing for the GOP nomination in the 11th, stormed out prior to a debate held by Concerned Taxpayers United against his primary competition when one of them, David McAloon, had a staffer with a video camera present. The base in the district is already suspicious of Kinzinger, and ticking them off this way can’t help.

NY-25: One race in a swing district that hasn’t been on anyone’s radar is NY-25, held by freshman Dem Dan Maffei. He’s drawn two potential challengers, wealthy ex-turkey farmer Mark Bitz and former Syracuse Common Councilor Ann Marie Buerkle. Bitz hasn’t held office before, but says he’s prepared to loan himself a “substantial amount” of money. He’ll need it, as Maffei has been one of the freshman class’s top fundraisers.

TN-01: Fans of wingnut-on-wingnt action may be disappointed to hear that it sounds unlikely for ex-Rep. David Davis to take on slightly-more-mainstream Rep. Phil Roe (who knocked out Davis in a 2008 primary) next year. Although he’s been staying visible at local tea parties, Davis is focusing on paying down campaign debt from last time.

UT-02: It doesn’t sound like Rep. Jim Matheson is going to face a primary over his health care vote after all; state Sen. Scott McCoy said he didn’t intend to go after Matheson, citing the difficulty of a run given the overall composition of the GOP-leaning district.

Biden Alert: Joe Biden is in the midst of a western swing, doing a Sunday fundraiser for Rep. Dina Titus. Today he’s holding events for Ann Kirkpatrick, Harry Mitchell, Martin Heinrich, and Harry Teague, bringing the total to 26 for vulnerable House Dems he’s campaigned for. Biden will also be in Connecticut next month for a Chris Dodd fundraiser.

NRCC: To avoid a repeat of NY-23, the NRCC has basically turned the vetting process over to Grover Norquist and friends. Norquist said that at a recent meeting between the NRCC and conservative movementarians, 40 recruits were discussed and they apparently all met the litmus test (although Norquist grudgingly admitted that some of the northeasterners were “as good as it gets”).

WATN?: Ex-Rep. Bill Jefferson’s going to the big house. On Friday, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison after his August conviction for money laundering and wire fraud; this is the longest sentence ever handed out to a former Congressman.

Maps: As if electoral junkies didn’t have enough online tools to geek out over, now there’s this: super-helpful step-by-step instructions on how to generate a county-by-county map of the country on, well, whatever topic you want, using only free tools instead of expensive GIS software.

Site News: We were so busy following the off-year elections that we didn’t notice it at the time, but last month, the Swing State Project welcomed its seven millionth visitor. (Number six million came this past March.) Thanks, everyone! (D)

MO-Missouri Redistricting

Okay, so as my first diary, I’m sure this is overly long, but I wanted to add a lot of data and analysis as I could because I am relentlessly geeky.

So read on, if you dare…

Shout-out: Dave’s Redistricting App.

Missouri Congressional districts Post-2010 Census

With Missouri most likely dropping a seat and with the redistricting authority evenly split between the Democratic Governor and Republican Legislature, incumbency protection and relatively even numbers of safe and swing districts should be considered priorities. Plus, with the political battles likely to be intense enough to be settled by an independent-ish panel, I figured that drawing geographically-sensical boundaries would also be important.

Therefore, I tried to keep each county in the same district (which I did successfully, barring the expected biggies–Kansas City’s Jackson and St. Louis city and county). This was done as a proxy for the “communities of interest” standard that seems to crop up when redistricting time rolls around, but I ain’t a lawyer and don’t know about no redistrictin’.  

An added bonus of this map is that each area is contiguous and geographically-sensible. Finally, in terms of population, each of the 8 districts clocks in around 739,000 using the awesome Dave App’s “Use New Pop Est” feature. The biggest variance is less than 5,000 + or – and I figure some changes from the estimate are to be expected, so some tussling around the edges should be expected. The counties of Gasconade, Crawford, Phelps, Dent, Iron, St. Francois, Montgomery and St. Clair could all be shifted between at least 3 Congressional districts to equalize populations and still be a part of pretty sensible, contiguous districts. So what I’m trying for is a good working template for starting negotiations.

Relevant recent races:

Governor – 2008 — Democrat Jay Nixon vs. Republican Kenny Hulshof 58.4-39.5

Longtime Attorney General Jay Nixon stomped the lackluster Hulshof (after Sarah Steelman weakened him severely in the primary). I use this as a sort of shorthand for what a reasonably strong Democrat could potentially do. (although some Congressmen like Ike Skelton defy the odds even further once they’re entrenched incumbents). Basically, a solid, local but new-to-a-seat Democrat could outpoll Nixon by a few points, perhaps, but not much more.

President – 2008 — Democrat Barack Obama vs. Republican John McCain 50-50

Missouri’s bellweather status ended when McCain took a 4,000 vote victory over Obama out of almost 3 million ballots cast (ftr, national average was 53-47-ish). It’s an interesting shorthand for outsiders, but its variance from the Nixon numbers is an important insight into the actual voters of a county.

With that, here we go….

St. Louis Close-Up


Blue-District 1: Rep. Clay, D

Residence: St. Louis

Old Cook PVI: D+27

Gains: much of the city of St. Charles, plus that county’s eastern reaches

Loses: fairly small parts of St. Louis county & St. Louis proper

Keeps: Half of St. Louis proper, northeast chunk of St. Louis county

Analysis: As drawn, the massively-Dem PVI will shrink, but only modestly, probably to around D+16 or so. I would expect neighborhood tweaks because STL is the most densely-populated part of the state. Instead of black-majority, this district will be almost evenly matched, about 51% white to 42% black according to the app, but I’m going out on a limb and saying that shifts in population (ie-the inner suburbs getting more racially-mixed) will make this really, really close by the time the Census is held.

Effectively, St. Charles may tip the racial balance, but likely not the political one. Clay, one of MO’s two African-American Congressmen, should definitely be safe in this district, whatever its racial makeup. If the Voting Rights Act requires a black district, it should be easy enough to shift a few precincts on the margins (ie-losing parts of St. Charles, adding parts of STL) to bump it up to 50% black.


Green-District 2: Todd Akin, R

Old PVI: R+9

Residence: Town & Country

Gains: Montgomery County (pop. 12,000), Warren Co. (30,000), Franklin (100,000), Crawford (23,000), Washington (23,000), Iron (10,000), southwestern St. Charles county

Loses: Lincoln county (pop. 51,500), eastern St. Charles county

Keeps: Most of St. Charles county (though not St. Charles itself) and southwest St. Louis county

Franklin:   Obama-McCain 43-55, Nixon-Hulshof 51-47

Warren: Obama-McCain 43-56, Nixon-Hulshof 49-49

Washington:  Obama-McCain tie (5-vote margin), Nixon vs. Hulshof 67-31

Crawford: Obama-McCain 40-60, Nixon-Hulshof 52-46

Iron: Nixon-Hulshof 64-33, Obama-McCain 50-47

Analysis: Akin keeps most of his base in the western and southern sections of St. Louis county, but he loses part of St. Charles and picks up a set of rural-ish counties in return. Those rural-ish counties aren’t quite as Republican-friendly as he’d like–Obama won Washington & Iron, and stayed competitive in the rest, while Dem Gov. Nixon did very well in all of them.

The rural counties provide about 200,000 residents, while suburbanites (read: most of Akin’s base) make up the rest of this district. Akin is weakened, but only slightly. This should count as a “safe Republican” seat, especially because most of the St. Charles areas I removed are the swingiest parts of the county.


Purple-District 3: Russ Carnahan, D

Residence: St. Louis

Old PVI: D+7

Gains: A few more bits of St. Louis, plus St. Francois & Perry counties

–St. Francois county, pop. 63,000

Nixon-Hulshof 64-35

McCain-Obama won 51.5-47

–Perry county, pop. 18,800

Hulshof-Nixon 52-46

McCain-Obama 64-35

Loses: Not too much–a few St. Louis county and city neighborhoods where borders were tweaked.

Keeps: The aforementioned, Ste. Genevieve, Jefferson, southeastern bits of St. Louis county, roughly half of St. Louis proper

Analysis: The bits of urban St. Louis added to this district keep it from leaning too far right, and St. Francois is actually fairly moderate–Jay Nixon outperformed his statewide average here. Conservative Perry County is too small to have much effect. Carnahan should be able to hold this district.  


Red-District 4: Ike Skelton, D

Residence: Lexington (Lafayette County)

Old PVI: R+14 (Obama 38-McCain 61)

Gains: Howard, Cooper, Boone, Callaway, Osage, Maries, Phelps, Gasconade, plus the south & eastern suburbs of Jackson County (Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lone Jack)

Loses: Barton, Vernon, Dade, Cedar, part of Polk, Dallas, Webster, Laclede, Pulaski, Camden, Ray

Keeps: Lafayette, Johnson, Henry, Pettis, Saline, Morgan, Moniteau, Cole

Analysis: This district sees some big changes to make it the probably the most swing-tastic of the new map. While Skelton can easily hold the old MO-4, it’s unlikely another Democrat could. The new MO-4 changes that to an extent, refocusing the district on the mid-section of Missouri, linking the Kansas City suburbs to Columbia and Jefferson City. In terms of community interests, it could be the “River District”, as it roughly follows the outline of the Missouri River through the middle of Missouri. But notice what else it is–an education/govt/services district. Behold….

Boone County (155,000): O-Mc 55-43, Nix-Hul 55-43  –>Columbia (MU, 30,000 students)

Cole (70,000): O-Mc 36-63, Nix-Hul 49-50  —> Jeff City (state capitol)

Johnson (50,000): O-Mc 43-55, Nix-Hul 54-43   —> Warrensburg (UCM, formerly CMSU, 10,000 students)

Phelps (43,000): O-Mc 38-60, Nix-Hul 53-44  —> Rolla (6500 students)

Pettis (40,000): O-Mc 38-60.5, Nix-Hul 55-43   —> Sedalia, state fair/services

Callaway (40,000): O-Mc 40-59, Nix-Hul 49-50 —> Fulton? Jeff City suburbs

Saline (24,000): O-Mc 48-50, Nix-Hul 57-33  —> Marshall, Missouri Valley College, 1500-ish students

Morgan (21,000): Nix-Hul 50-48

Cooper (17,000): Nix-Hul 46-52

Gasconade (15,000)

Moniteau (15,000)

Howard (10,000)

Maries (9,000)


Yellow-District 5: Emanuel Cleaver

Residence: Kansas City

Old PVI: D+10

Gains: most of Cass county, all of Bates

Loses: Modest bits of southeastern suburbs of KC, like Lee’s Summit

Keeps: Most of Jackson County (Kansas City)

Analysis: Lost suburban bits compensated by swaps from northern suburbs, and the overwhelming urban tilt cancels the Cass/Bates suburban/rural tinge–no huge changes here and geographically it’s pretty similar, with mostly changes at the margins. Remains an urban district, perhaps now a smidge more conservative for a left-ish Dem like Cleaver, the former mayor of Kansas City, but still a pretty safe Dem seat.

Population centers: urban Kansas City, which went for Obama 78-21, is the majority of this district.

Cass County: Mc-O 60-40, Nix-Hul 52-46

Bates County: Mc-O 58-40, Nix-Hul 55-42


District 6: Sam Graves

Residence: Tarkio

Old PVI: R+7 (Bush-Kerry 57-43)

Gains: Practically every county in northern Missouri

Loses: Some Kansas City suburbs- wealthy Blue Springs and the closer-in Clay county districts

New PVI: Much more heavily Republican, probably R+15-20

Analysis: It’s the northern Missouri exurban-rural district, stretching from the northern Kansas City suburbs all the way to the outskirts of St. Louis. It becomes a blood-red district … Sam Graves is safe here as long as he wants. It’s perhaps not quite as ironclad as numbers might suggest–Nixon won a number of these counties, especially the ones that have higher populations (Buchanan, Platte, Clay). But the northeast is especially Republican and Sam Graves or a competent Republican should have no trouble holding this heavily-stacked district.

Main population centers: St. Joseph, Kansas City suburbs (Platte/Clay), rural northern Missouri


District 7: Roy Blunt (until the next election)

Old PVI: R+17

Gains: Barton, Vernon, Cedar, Dade, half of Taney

Loses: Polk

New PVI: Probably about the same, still heavily Republican

Analysis: It may not technically have the highest number of Republicans in terms of percentage of registered voters, but southwest Missouri is full of religious conservatives and this district will be safely, probably wingnuttily-Republican. But then again, it pretty much was before, so no major changes here. The borders expand modestly, but the flavor remains the same.

Main population centers are Joplin, Springfield and Branson (whose county, Taney, is now entirely in the 7th).


District 8: Jo Ann Emerson, R


Old PVI: R+15

Gains: Webster, Dallas, Polk, Hickory, Laclede, Benton, Camden, Miller, Pulaski, St. Clair

Loses: (other) Half of Taney, Washington, Iron, St. Francois, Perry, Phelps

Analysis: Jo Ann should like her new district–she loses the most Democrat-friendly parts (Washington, Iron, St. Francois) and picks up a slew of more conservative counties in south-central Missouri, stretching her district into the Ozarks. Although Emerson has been drifting gently toward the center (which basically means support stem cell research and uh…) since being elected in 1998, she’s still definitely conservative enough to represent this new district–after all, a lot of her new counties would be used to voting for Democrat Ike Skelton, so a center-right, but not far-right representative should do the trick.

“Main population centers” are…Cape Girardeau? Poplar Bluff?

Southern MO map:…


District 9: Blaine Lueketmeyer

Residence: St. Elizabeth, Miller County

Old PVI: R+9


His district is eaten by several others, and he now lives in Jo Ann Emerson’s new 8th. He has little chance to defeat her in primary as her base makes up the vast majority of this district.

But his previous district is now split between the new ones of Skelton, Akin and Carnahan, wi

So why would Republicans sacrifice ole Blaine?

Blaine will lose because he has the least seniority, other than whoever Blunt’s replacement is. But Blunt’s district makes sense–southwest Missouri–as opposed to Blaine’s crazy-shaped current 9th (“Little Dixie” …yeah, good try).

Why else dump Blaine? Because Republicans get a lot in return. Three totally safe districts, one mostly safe one, and they have a chance on at least one, if not two, of the “Democratic” districts. Democrats will like it because it’s a better balance and they may have a chance with Akin in the future. And with Skelton unlikely to make it another decade in Congress (though I hope and pray to God he does) they’re gonna lose one forever if they don’t agree to act now. Basically, you can gerrymander Missouri a lot worse.

Overall, despite its 2008 performance, Missouri is still the ultimate swing state, and having a 4-4 delegation (with one seat that could go to Republicans) seems right.


Other Missouri redistricting maps:




MO Gov Race –…  (MO Sec. of State’s office)