A Democratic Oklahoma

Following attempts to create seats with Democratic PVIs in Nebraska and Kansas I’ve continued south into Oklahoma. Oklahoma has been trending Republican at the presidential level (and most levels really) and Obama received only 34% of the vote state-wide whilst not winning a single county. Whilst the following map would be impractical in the real world, it demonstrates that it is still theoretically possible to create a Democratic leaning congressional district in Oklahoma.  

1st CD (Blue) 54.9% Obama, 50/29/16/7 (W/B/H/N)

The Democratic CD is centred on linking the urban centres of Oklahoma City and Tulsa via Stillwater. A short arm reaches down to Norman and a long arm stretches all the way back to eastern Oklahoma picking up those counties (or at least certain precincts thereof) which still vote reasonably Democratic at the presidential level. This district also answers the unasked question of whether it is possible to draw a majority-minority district in Oklahoma with a surprising (to me) yes.

2nd CD (Green) 29.6% Obama, 76/6/8/4 (W/B/H/N)

The more republican parts of Oklahoma County and some nearby area areas.

3rd CD (Dark Magenta) 29.2% Obama, 75/4/6/8 (W/B/H/N)

The rest of Tulsa, the area inscribed by CD1, and a couple of counties north of Tulsa.

4th CD (Red) 31.6% Obama, 69/3/4/17 (W/B/H/N)

Eastern Oklahoma including Little Dixie. Fairly similar to the current 2nd CD.

5th CD (Gold) 27.4% Obama, 74/5/10/6 (W/B/H/N)

Western Oklahoma.

IL and OK: Population by CD

The four states this week for the Census 2010 data dump are Illinois, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. South Dakota has only one congressional district and Texas I’m reserving for its own special in-depth post which will look at changes in racial composition in each district over the decade (and Texas isn’t out yet today, so it’s a moot point), so here are just Illinois and Oklahoma. The Illinois target (based on the drop to 18 seats) is 712,813. (Check out the depopulation on Chicago’s South Side in IL-01 and IL-02. Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson Jr.’s districts already include small amounts of suburbs, but they’re going to need to take on significantly more.)

District Population Deviation
IL-01 587,596 (125,217)
IL-02 602,758 (110,055)
IL-03 663,381 (49,432)
IL-04 601,156 (111,657)
IL-05 648,610 (64,203)
IL-06 657,131 (55,682)
IL-07 638,105 (74,708)
IL-08 738,840 26,027
IL-09 628,859 (83,954)
IL-10 650,425 (62,388)
IL-11 759,445 46,632
IL-12 666,459 (46,354)
IL-13 773,095 60,282
IL-14 840,956 128,143
IL-15 681,580 (31,233)
IL-16 718,791 5,978
IL-17 634,792 (78,021)
IL-18 665,723 (47,090)
IL-19 672,930 (39,883)
Total: 12,830,632

In case you were wondering about population growth in the few Illinois districts where the state’s growth was concentrated, much of that growth is Hispanic. For instance, IL-08 went from 11% Hispanic in 2000 to 17% Hispanic in 2010. IL-11 went from 7% to 11% Hispanic. IL-13 went from 5% to 11% Hispanic, while IL-14 went from 18% to 25% Hispanic. (Perhaps not coincidentally, we lost seats in three of these districts, as turnout in 2010 was much whiter and older than in 2008.)

Oklahoma (which stays at 5, and where the growth has been remarkably consistent across CD boundaries) has a target of 750,270.

District Population Deviation
OK-01 754,310 4,040
OK-02 729,887 (20,383)
OK-03 732,394 (17,876)
OK-04 785,424 35,154
OK-05 749,336 (934)
Total: 3,751,351

Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, and Vermont Primary Results Thread

11:00pm: Time for some fresh thread.

10:55pm: Hahahhahahahahahha! The AP calls FL-Gov for none other than Rick Scott! Fuckin’ amazing!

10:53pm: Over in FL-24, is Sandy Adams this cycle’s Alice Kryzan? Diebel attacked Miller on immigration, Miller attacked Diebel on crazy, and Adams is walking through the hole in the middle. Still, it’s a very close race and not yet called.

10:49pm: Speaking of Boyd, the AP just called the race for him. What a crazy race.

10:47pm: The hamsters have been spinning in their wheels furiously to keep the ol’ mainframe running, which is still calling for about a 2-point Scott win and a 3-point Boyd escape.

10:42pm: We have a winner in FL-17! The AP has called the race for state Sen. Frederica Wilson, with 35% of the vote. Self-funder Rudy Moise was a distant second with 16%. He spent over a million bucks to get fewer than 6,000 votes (so far).

10:37pm: Rick Scott has now nudged up to 47%. If he hangs on, Tom Jensen and the gang over at PPP are going to look like geniuses.

10:34pm: Annette Taddeo, who ran a spirited campaign last cycle in FL-18, is running again this year for County Commissioner in Dade Co. Unfortunately, things don’t look so hot for her right now – she is in third place (look for District 8) in a race where the top two candidates advance.

10:28pm: We’re up to 67% in VT-Gov, Racine leads Markowitz by 8 votes. Shumlin trails by 50 or so votes. Basically, every update of this race has given us a new leader.

10:20pm: We’re now up to 81% reporting in Florida, and Rick Scott leads by 46-43. Note the disparity between the AP and Miami-Dade’s website in terms of precincts reporting: AP says 380, Miami-Dade says 526, but both show the same raw vote total. I’ve learned that when in doubt, the AP is usually wrong!

10:13pm: A perfect tie! Racine and Shumlin are at 9,440 votes each. Markowitz is about 200 votes behind.

10:07pm: Over in Vermont, Peter Shumlin had the lead briefly, but now it’s Doug Racine over Markowitz by 34 votes. (52% reporting)

10:06pm: The AP has called FL-25’s GOP primary for David Rivera. He’s up 64, to Crespo’s 25 and Cancio’s 10. Democratic oppo researchers are doing happy dances.

10:05pm: Eagle-eyed watchers may have noticed that the Miami-Dade elections office is about 300 precincts further along than the AP (526, instead of 213). McCollum needs to make up about 40K votes statewide, and the further-along Miami votes only help him make up about 5,000, though. Anyway, according to the AP, 72% are reporting, and it’s still 47-43 in favor of Scott.

9:59pm: It’s still a small Sandy Adams lead on the GOP side in the 24th. She leads Karen Diebel 30-29, with Craig Miller at 27, with 93% reporting. On the Dem side, let’s Partyka like it’s 2010. Suzanne Kosmas beat even-more-conservaDem Paul Partyka 78-22.

9:57pm: Did we mention there were primaries in the open seat FL-12? On the Dem side, Lori Edwards won 75-25 over Doug Tudor, the 2008 candidate and the preferred candidate of a few vocal souls in the netroots. On the GOP side, Dennis Ross’s performance against some teabagging dude J. Lindsey wasn’t overwhelming: 69-31.

9:55pm: Allen Boyd is starting to put a little more distance between him and Al Lawson, if 52-48 can be considered distant. That’s with 86% reporting, and with mostly rural white counties left (Boyd’s stronghold) to report.

9:51pm: Things are starting to look kind of locked in, in the Florida GOP gubernatorial race. With 65% reporting, it’s still 47 for Lex Luthor Bizarro World Peter Garrett Rick Scott, 43 for Bill McCollum. There’s still 2/3ds of Miami-Dade County left, though, where McCollum is doing well (up 63-30), presumably because of his support in the Cuban community over his less-insane immigration stance.

9:47pm: In the wildly swinging Vermont gubernatorial race (if you go by percentages instead of raw votes), Deb Markowitz has pulled back into the lead by about 65 votes over Doug Racine. It’s 26-26 with Shumlin at 24 and Dunne at 19.

9:44pm: One more call to mention: the AP called OK-05 for outsiderish social con Jim Lankford, who beats Club for Growth stooge Kevin Calvey 65-35.

9:41pm: The AP called the Dem field in FL-25 for Joe Garcia, who beats Luis Meurice 77-23. Still no call on the GOP side, but David Rivera’s at 64.

9:39pm: No call yet in the GOP field in FL-24, but it has one thing in common with FL-08: the NRCC’s prize pick finished embarrassingly back. In the 24th, Craig Miller is in 3rd at 27 (with Sandy Adams at 31 and Karen Diebel at 30). And in the 8th (which is called), Bruce O’Donoghue finished 5th, at _7_, behind Daniel Webster at 40, Todd Long at 23, Kurt Kelly at 14, and heretofore unknown P. Sullivan at 11.

9:37pm: Somewhere in there, the Republican primary in FL-05 got called for the Nuge. That’s Richard Nugent, not Ted, the Hernando Co. Sheriff who beats random teabagger Jason Sager 62-38 for the right to succeed Ginny Brown-Waite. He’ll face Dem Jim Piccillo in the general.

9:35pm: With 57% now reporting statewide in Florida, we’re still holding at a 47-43 lead for Rick Scott. That’s with 10 for Mike McAllister, a pretty good showing for Some Dude, although he pretty much a priori has to be the least of three evils.

9:32pm: The mainframe at SSP Labs has finally laid its egg (extrapolating each county’s results so far), and it predicts that Allen Boyd will continue to hold the lead and survive, by a not-so-convincing 52-48 margin. (He’s currently up 51-49 over Al Lawson, says the AP.) By the way, who ever wins will face Steve Southerland; the AP has called the GOP field in the 2nd for him, with 48% out of a field of five.

9:30pm: In what’s likely to not be the last lead change of the night, now Doug Racine leads the Dem pack in Vermont, with not quite 1/3 reporting. Racine’s at 26, with Markowitz at 25 and Shumlin at 24. (Racine’s edge is just 22 votes, so this’ll be a game of inches all night.)

9:15pm: And in FL-Gov, Rick Scott leads by 3.6% with 55% of the vote in. The other hot race to watch is FL-24, where conservative state Rep. Sandy Adams leads Karen “Snakes in a Pool” Diebel by 1% with 90% reporting.

9:14pm: We’re at 73% reporting in FL-02, and Allen Boyd’s lead has dipped down to 51-49. The ticker tape is spewing out of the SSP Labs mainframe fast and furiously — we’ll let you know what our findings tell us in a few minutes.


Florida, Oklahoma, and Vermont Primary Results Thread

9:06pm: Move along, now, y’all. Over here.

9:04pm: “Out East” or so they say, with 18% reporting in Vermont, Markowitz has a 121-vote lead over Shumlin, who has a 6-vote lead over Racine. For those of you that prefer percentages, that’s 26-25-25, with 19 for Dunne.

9:01pm: 39% reporting in OK-05 now, Jim Lankford continues to lead Kevin Calvey, now 61-39. First of several outsider upsets tonight?

8:57pm: All of Broward’s reporting in FL-17, Wilson continues to hold her 33-16 lead. Broward is 26% of the district.

8:55pm: The AP’s also called FL-08 for Daniel Webster, who’s holding his 40-23 lead over Todd Long.

8:53pm: The AP’s called the OK-02 runoff for Charles Thompson, who…has a $13k warchest. While that’s better than Edmonds’ $1300, it’ll likely be no match for Dan Boren.

8:49pm: Bill McCollum is lagging Rick Scott just a little more in FL-Gov (R), with Scott now up 46-43. While McCollum’s stronghold of Miami-Dade is only 0.1% reporting, let’s not forget that  around 40% of votes are cast early in Florida, and those have indeed reported.

8:47pm: Some early results coming through in Vermont. With 12% reporting, SoS Deb Markowitz has a narrow 28-25 lead over Lt. Gov Doug Racine; Shumlin and Dunne are close behind at 21 apiece.

8:44pm: Further down the peninsula, Daniel Webster leads Todd Long 40-23 in FL-08; Sandy Adams leads Karen Diebel 32-30 in FL-24, and “Road Rage” Rivera has 65 in FL-25. For the “Get to Congress Free” card in FL-17, Frederica Wilson has 33% to Rudy Moise’s 16%. (The GOP isn’t contesting this district in November.)

8:39pm: Another 200 precincts have rolled in down in Florida; Rick Scott continues to hold his 46-44 advantage for the GOP Gov nod. 57% reporting in FL-02, with Boyd seeing a little more daylight at 52-48 now. Alarmingly for him, only early votes have reported in Gadsden County, which is heavily-Democratic and majority-black.

8:38pm: In Oklahoma, Charles Thompson leads Daniel Edmonds 66-34 in OK-02 with about 10% reporting; Jim Lankford looks on track to upset establishment pick Kevin Calvey in OK-05, leading 58-42 with 9% reporting.

8:24pm: Wow. Allen Boyd only leads Al Lawson by 2% with 42% reporting.

8:21pm: Summerwind sails into the sunset. The AP has called the Dem Senate primary for Kendrick Meek.

8:18pm: Over in FL-24, Sandy Adams leads Karen “Snakes in a Pool” Diebel by 31-30 with 29% reporting.

8:11pm: We’re up to 30% reporting in Florida, and Scott is still holding steady at 46-44 over McCollum. Meek leads Greene by 55-32. Oh, and hey: The AP has called FL-Sen (R) for Marco Rubio and FL-Gov (D) for Alex Sink.

8:05pm: Some early results in from Vermont — Deb Markowitz, Matt Dunne, and Doug Racine are separated by a mere handful of votes.

7:57pm: Rick Scott’s margin has tightened to 46-44, in part thanks to McCollum’s strong performance in Miami-Dade, where the pocket protector-wielding dork is boasting 66% of the vote.

7:48pm: In the AP’s hot early precinct action in FL-25, scumbucket David Rivera has 57% to Paul Crespo’s 33% and Mariana Cancio’s 10%.

7:42pm: We’re up to 5.5% reporting in the Gov race, and Rick Scott’s lead over Bill McCollum is now at 48-42. In the Senate race, Meek now leads Greene by 51-36.

7:36pm: Some early House primary results: Boyd leads Lawson 59-41 in FL-02. Richard Nugent’s got a 60-40 lead over Pat Sager in FL-05. Dan Webster’s at 40%, with a big lead over Todd Long in FL-08. In FL-24, Sandy Adams, Karen Diebel and Craig Miller are essentially locked in a three-way tie.

7:31pm: So much for the Florida DoE’s futile plan to hold the results until 8pm… The Associated Press has already got some early precinct action: Meek is up 48%-38% on Greene, and Rick Scott leads Bill McCollum by 50-40!

7:24pm: And we’re off! Only, Florida is holding their results until 8pm…


Predictions Thread

Polls close in less than an hour in select locations, so let’s hear some predictions! Can Bill McCollum beat free-spending Rick Scott by virtue of being less unlikeable in the Florida governor’s race? Can Jeff Greene sail his vomit-covered yacht through the rapidly closing window in the Florida Senate race? Can J.D. Hayworth help you get free government grant money?

Closing times tonight:

Florida: 7 pm ET (except: 7 pm CT/8 pm ET in the Panhandle)

Vermont: 7 pm ET

Oklahoma: 7 pm CT/8 pm ET

Arizona: 7 pm MST/10 pm ET

Alaska: 8 pm local/midnight ET (except: 8 pm local/1 am ET in the Aleutians)

Oklahoma Primary Results Roundup

The roundup, of last night’s unexpectedly exciting results.

  • OK-Gov (D): Incumbent LG Jari Askins pulled out a razor-thin win over incumbent Attorney General Drew Edmondson, despite Edmondson’s polling lead before the election. Football coaching legend Barry Switzer’s endorsement of Brad Henry 8 years ago is sometimes credited with Henry’s come-from-behind win, and perhaps the same applies this time around?
  • OK-Gov (R): No surprise in the GOP gubernatorial race, where 5th CD Rep. Mary Fallin scored 55% against three opponents – this is eerily close to Ernest Istook (Fallin’s predecessor)’s 55% haul in 2006. Regardless of who wins in November, Oklahoma will have its first female governor in 2011.
  • OK-01 (R): John Sullivan drew five challengers in his bid for re-election, with presumably some discontent on his right flank. Sullivan’s 62% performance puts him quite in line with other underwhelming incumbent performances this cycle.
  • OK-02 (D)/(R): Incumbent Dan Boren easily dispatched State Senator Jim Wilson by a 76-24 margin. Wilson lost the counties in his own district 36-64, and the rest of the district by an even wider 78-22 margin. Boren will face one of the two underfunded GOPers who moved onto the runoff, Charles Thompson or Daniel Edmonds. Given that neither Thompson nor Edmonds has even one measly K in their campaign accounts, Boren should be a lock for re-election in November.

  • OK-05 (D)/(R): On the GOP side, Christian camp director Jim Lankford and former state Rep. (and 2006 candidate) Kevin Calvey will move onto the runoff, having earned 34% and 32% respectively. State Rep. Mike Thompson – despite having the largest campaign warchest – came in third with 18%. The winner of that runoff will be heavily favored against Democrat Billy Coyle, a veteran and attorney, in this R+13 district.

Oklahoma Primary Results Thread

11:01pm: Drew Edmondson’s conceded the race to Jari Askins, who’s still holding onto her 2,000 vote lead. That’s a wrap, folks!

10:47pm: Big chunk of Tulsa precincts just reported, closing Edmondson within 1%. This last batch was only slightly more pro-Edmondson than expected, leaving our projection at 50.28% Askins.

10:43pm: Canadian County’s also completely reported, shifting from a 7-vote Edmondson lead to a 4-vote Askins lead. That hardly budges the needle when it comes to the projection, we’re still saying 50.31% Askins. Three counties are left, but the bulk of remaining precincts are in Edmondson’s stronghold of Tulsa.

10:21pm: Rogers County has finally reported, adding a bit more than 5,700 votes into the race. (The mainframe is still good for some things!) Edmondson’s 53-47 haul there tightens the projection further, now to 50.31% Askins, with about 11,000 votes outstanding.

10:07pm: Here at SSP, we’re entertaining ourselves by speculating on what’s taking Rogers County so long to report results. We usually assume to ganja breaks, but this is suburban Tulsa, after all. In all seriousness, we’re estimating roughly 5,700 votes from Rogers County – Dem turnout’s been about 26% of the registered total; Rogers County has 22,000 registered Dems.

10:00pm: More than three hours in, and still nothing from Rogers County. The bulk of outstanding OK County precincts are in, only slightly less Askins-friendly than expected, nudging her predicted total to 50.38%.

9:40pm: The incoming precincts continue to be more Edmondson-friendly than expected, Askins is down to a predicted 50.46%, with the Rogers County caveat still applicable. With much of Tulsa left outstanding, it’ll likely come down to how the remaining OKC precincts swing.

9:36pm: Dan Boren is one lucky fellow. A runoff’s been called in OK-02 between Edmonds and Thompson, neither of whom has raised more than $24k this cycle (or has more than $1k cash-on-hand, for that matter).

9:25pm: We’re still looking at 51.00% for Askins, but an important caveat – we know nothing about Rogers County, which is next to Edmondson’s Tulsa stronghold.

9:19pm: Some more Edmondson-friendly territory in just now, dropping our prediction for Askins to 51% flat with about 65,000 votes left to count. Little movement in OK-02, where Daniel Edmonds is still almost doubling up Daniel Arnett in competition for that second runoff slot.

9:13pm: The last two sets of updates have been remarkably consistent for Jari Askins – her predicted vote share moved from 51.23% to 51.22% to 51.24%. We’re estimating now about 80,000 left out there.

9:04pm: 62% reporting statewide now; Askins continues to hold a slim 52-48 lead. Back-of-envelope says Askins by 2.5% with about 88,000 votes still floating in the ether.

9:00pm: A runoff’s been called for OK-05 as well, with Kevin Calvey at 34 slightly ahead of Jim Lankford at 32. Mike Thompson lags at 17; Shane Jett’s at 12.

8:53pm: The AP’s called half the runoff in OK-02, with the scarlet letter floating next to Charles Thompson’s name. He’s at 34%, followed by Daniel Edmonds at 27% and Daniel Arnett at 14%.

8:49pm: The mainframe’s finally warmed up, and the back-of-punchcard calculations are saying  Askins by 3%. Edmondson’s cleaning house in his home base of Tulsa 61-39, but Oklahoma County is leaning towards Askins 52-48. Askins is also doing well in the south of the state (her base), scoring 82-18 in Stephens County (Duncan) and 68-32 in Comanche County (Lawton).

8:40pm: For OK-05, the AP’s called the Dem nod for Billy Coyle, a former Marine and current OKC lawyer; despite this district’s swing towards Obama in 2008, he’ll face an uphill climb in November.

8:37pm: A big influx of precincts brings us to 42% reporting; Askins continues to hold a 53-47 lead for the Gov nod. Thompson at 34 and Edmonds at 27 continue to look like runoff contenders in OK-02 (R), as do Calvey at 33 and Lankford at 31 in OK-05 (R). We’ll put the call to SSP Labs to boot up the mainframe, should the Gov (D) race stay close.

8:34pm: The AP’s called the Governor’s race on the GOP side for Mary Fallin, following the trajectory of her Congressional predecessor, Ernest Istook.

8:30pm: One-third reporting for Governor now, Askins still has a 53-47 lead, while Fallin continues to cruise with 60 on the (R) side.

8:26pm: The AP’s now called OK-01 for John Sullivan, who’s at 65% – a number we’ve seen pretty frequently this primary cycle for underwhelming incumbents on both sides.

8:17pm: The AP’s now running slightly ahead of the OK SEB, and the two sources have converged on 53-47 Askins for Gov-D and 58% for Fallin on the R side.

8:14pm: In the House races, OK-02 and OK-05 are two similar stories of two candidates pulling away. In OK-02, Edmonds and Thompson are ahead; in OK-05, it’s Calvey and Lankford. In OK-01, Sullivan’s still pulling a less-than-stellar but far-from-worrisome 65%.

8:08pm: Jari Askins continues to exceed expectations in the Gov (D) race, the AP (36,000 cast) has her with a 55-45 lead; the OK SEB has her with some newfound daylight at 53-47 (46,000 cast). Fallin’s still clearing a runoff on the (R) side.

8:01pm: While the AP and OK SEB disagree on the Dem side for Governor, they’re in agreement on Mary Fallin’s 59% haul so far. In OK-02 (R), Daniel Edmonds and Charles Thompson have broken away from the field, but are still in runoff territory. The AP’s also called OK-04 for Tom Cole, who’s scoring 80%.

7:56pm: Edmondson continues to close on Askins for the Dem nod for Governor, now 51-49 according to the SEB with 25,000 votes cast. The AP has 18,000 votes cast and a 56-44 Askins lead.

7:53pm: Off in OK-01, six lined up to challenge incumbent GOPer John Sullivan, but only 2 are in the double digits; Sullivan has 67% or 69%, depending on source.

7:51pm: More precincts keep trickling in. The OK SEB has 5% reporting and a 53-47 Askins lead for Gov (D); Fallin’s still looking at an outright win, with 59% right now. AP has this at 57-43 Askins and Fallin at 62%.

7:48pm: Love him or hate him, Dan Boren seems on track for reelection. The AP’s just called OK-02 in his favor.

7:46pm: Again the OK SEB and the AP are showing their discrepancies. The OK SEB has Calvey ahead at 39 and Lankford at 30, with the rest of the field still trailing.

7:44pm: In the OK-05 free-for-all, now 3% reporting, Lankford’s at 35 and Calvey at 30. Thompson’s at 18, Jett at 12. In the OK-02 (R) six-way brawl, Charles Thompson’s leading. He’s at 40 according to the AP, but the OK SEB has him clearing a runoff with 55.

7:39pm: The geographic discrepancy is already quite obvious in OK-02 (D), where Boren’s ahead 69-31. Wilson’s leading 57-43 in the counties that overlap his SD, but is getting demolished 75-25 elsewhere.

7:32pm: The AP’s called the OK-Sen (R) primary for Tom Coburn, who holding steady at 91%.

7:29pm: On the Republican side, Tom Cole is easily dispatching his opponent in OK-04 79-21; Mary Fallin is still on track for an outright win with 60% by the AP/Politico and 58% by the OK SEB.

7:25pm: Politico and the OK SEB seem to be reporting different areas; Politico’s absentees, for example, have Askins up 59-41, while the SEB’s 17 (presumably election-day) precincts show a 58-42 Askins.

7:23pm: Tom Coburn has 2 primary challengers but seemingly little difficulty, earning 91% in the first few precincts. In OK-05, Jim Lankford and Kevin Calvey have a bit of distance between then and Mike Thompson, who’s in 3rd. Boren’s now leading in OK-02, 71-29 according to Politico; the OK SEB has this at 52-48 Boren.

7:17pm: With a single precinct reporting in OK-02, Jim Wilson has a 57-43 lead over Dan Boren. No info on where that precinct is; Wilson represents three counties (Adair, Cherokee, and Sequoyah) in the state Senate.

7:15pm: Just a few votes here and there so far; Jari Askins has a 35-vote lead over Drew Edmondson in the Dem Gov race, while Mary Fallin’s 3% out of runoff territory.

This is about to get real.

RESULTS: Associated Press | OK SEB | Politico

Redistricting 2011: Oklahoma & Wisconsin

This is now Episode 12 of my seemingly never-ending redistricting series. (In reality, it has a definite end — after this diary, there are only 9 states I’m planning to address: California, Washington, New Mexico, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Kansas, and Tennessee. The other 15 states are either at-large states, or are unlikely to see substantive boundary changes.)

Today comes Oklahoma and Wisconsin. I struggled with whether to include Oklahoma at all, since my Oklahoma effort is barely different from the current map. But given the fluid partisan dynamics in Sooner State politics, and the potential issue over how to handle the “conservative Democratic” 2nd District, I thought it might be worth a look. On the other hand, I drew two maps for Wisconsin based on the highly changeable atmosphere in that state’s 2010 elections.

Previous efforts:

Diary 1: Massachusetts and Texas

Diary 2: Michigan and Nevada

Diary 3: Iowa and Ohio

Diary 4: Georgia and New Jersey

Diary 5: Florida and Louisiana

Diary 6: Pennsylvania and Utah

Diary 7: Illinois and South Carolina

Diary 8: Indiana, Missouri, and Oregon

Diary 9: Alabama, Arizona, and Kentucky

Diary 10: Colorado and Minnesota

Diary 11: Mississippi and New York

Hark, to the extended text!


In a few short years, the legislature has gone from an eye-poppingly enduring history of Democratic reign as of 2004 to full GOP takeover by 2008. The governor’s mansion will be open in 2010 as popular Democratic Gov. Brad Henry is term-limited. Fortunately, the Democrats have two strong candidates to retain that office, but Republicans are still even odds at worst for a pickup. So what would GOP control of redistricting mean in 2011? There is only one Democrat in the delegation, the rebellious Dan Boren of the rural (and Native American-heavy) 2nd District. But my gamble is that, even with Republican control, district lines will only be adjusted, and no real effort will be made to dismantle Boren’s territory.

I can’t say my confidence in this prediction is exceedingly high, but look at the signs: even though Tom Coburn won this heavily evangelical, highly socially conservative district for the Republicans as recently as the late 1990s, the GOP has made no effort to target the seat, even when it was open in 2004 (their sacrificial lamb back then lost to Boren 66-34%, and Boren’s two reelections have both topped 70%). Considering Boren racks up urban New England-like Democratic margins in a district that broke 2-to-1 for McCain, and that Oklahoma redistricting has historically revolved around the preservation of culturally cohesive regions, it would seem a dangerous overreach for the GOP to aim its fire at Boren at the risk of softening up less conservative turf around Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Other than completely breaking the traditional boundaries around Eastern Oklahoma, how would they crack his constituency, anyway? And how much worse would it be for Boren to compete for votes in Tulsa than to compete for them in Little Dixie?

So that’s my gamble. And as a result, the differences between this map and the current one are scarcely visible:


There’s not much to even describe here, except that the Oklahoma City-based 5th is contracting in area as the two most rural districts (especially the 3rd) expand.


As in neighboring Minnesota, circumstances of state politics pushed me to draw two possible maps for America’s Dairyland. The Democrats currently enjoy a redistricting monopoly here, but a tenuous one, with a narrow 52-47 edge in the Assembly, 18-15 in the Senate, and a controversial governor in Jim Doyle. Given the high possibility/probability that any one of these pillars of state power could flip to the Republicans in 2010 (the most likely loss being the governor’s mansion, Doyle’s approval rating hovering in the 30s), it seemed logical to draw a bipartisan compromise map to accompany a hypothetical Democratic gerrymander. Since it would be an incredible feat for the GOP to pick up all three levers in one election cycle, I thought it unnecessary to draw a Republican gerrymander map.

Democratic gerrymander first: this map creates two or three solid Democratic seats, just one solid Republican seat, and as many as five swing seats, all of which would have voted for Obama. Most importantly, it concentrates GOP areas in the 5th and pits two veteran Republican incumbents, Tom Petri of Fond du Lac and Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls, against each other. Petri’s 6th is then opened up for Democratic poaching, as is Paul Ryan’s 1st south of Milwaukee. It’s possible Petri could move north and run for the 6th, but when he retired, this iteration would be a prime pickup opportunity. Meanwhile, all five Democratic incumbents are kept about as solid as they were (Kagen gets a very slight boost, though none are pointedly shored up). In toto, a good year under this map might produce a 7-1 Democratic majority; an average year would result in 6-2, and a bad year might retain the standing 5-3 edge, either with the status quo remaining, or with Kagen’s seat traded for Ryan’s.


District 1 – Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) — with all of Kenosha and Racine Counties along with 36% of Milwaukee County, Ryan would face his first truly difficult race in 2012 under these lines (though many think he’ll bail for a gubernatorial try in 2010), and as an open seat this district would be likely to elect a moderate suburban Democrat.

District 2 – Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) — made only slightly less Democratic to help Dems in the 1st and 3rd.

District 3 – Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) — still somewhat Dem-leaning, as before. The three Dem seats in small town Wisconsin (Kind, Kagen, and Obey) are all only modest Obama districts, but seem to be a bit stronger for their incumbents.

District 4 – Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) — the other 64% of Milwaukee, plus 24% of GOP-friendly Waukesha County; a strong urban Rust Belt Democratic seat.

District 5 – Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) vs. Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac) — geography would seem to favor former Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner, and Petri might choose to move north in this scenario, but muddying the waters was clearly my goal. This packs Republican votes as well as can be expected anywhere in Wisconsin.

District 6 (open) — without Petri, this would be a fairly good shot to elect a Democrat, with Obama having performed somewhere in the neighborhood of 51-53%. But much like the current 6th, if Petri ran, it would be on loan to the GOP until his retirement.

District 7 – Dave Obey (D-Wausau) — as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Obey obviously has nothing to worry about, though Democrats have long noted the fairly marginal nature of the 7th. When he does retire, this will still probably be a somewhat Dem-leaning/Obama-friendly rural seat, but a slam dunk? No.

District 8 – Steve Kagen (D-Appleton) — I only had minimal room to strengthen his district, since most rural Wisconsin counties are competitively balanced, but made the necessary trades to up his chances a bit.

Now the bipartisan compromise map: this adhered to clean, simple, aesthetic district lines and made superficial efforts to help incumbents without going out of its way to do so. The reason I didn’t make an aggressive “incumbent protection” map is that the current lines are fairly incumbent-friendly, especially as Democratic strength has increased in the once-Republican 8th. So my primary goal for this scenario was pretty boundaries, with a dash of Petri, Ryan, and Kagen protection thrown in (for Petri, I had no concerns about his ability to be reelected, but rather about the GOP’s chances of holding the open seat). Needless to say, I’d rather see the Democrats retain control, but at least this map appeases my “good government” instincts.


State Legislatures Roundup

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about state legislatures, so here are some bits and pieces on where we stand right now (if you need a primer on where the most hotly contested chambers are and what the margin of seats held is, see my previous diary here). New York remains the big prize, with Democrats within one flipped seat of a tied State Senate and two seats away from taking control. This is the only state I know of where individual races have been polled; over the past month Siena has polled 10 of the 62 races, and with one GOP-held open seat poised to fall to the Democrats, one Dem incumbent trailing a GOP challenger, and one GOP incumbent tied with his Democratic challenger, the outcome is too close to call.

In Texas, the House is possibly the next juiciest legislative target after the NY Senate, which looks more like a two-cycle project but might actually get done this year. Republicans currently hold the House 79-71. Burnt Orange Report recently put together an impressive set of projections, and it seems like a 75-75 split is possible if Dems run the table on the closest races.

They peg two Democratic challengers, Diana Maldonado (open seat in HD-52 in Austin’s northern suburbs) and Chris Turner (against incumbent Bill Zedler in HD-96 in Ft. Worth’s southern suburbs), as “Lean Dem,” with two more potential Democratic pickups at the “Tossup” level (Joe Moody in an open seat in HD-78 in El Paso and Joel Redmond in an open seat in HD-144 in Houston’s eastern suburbs). A Houston Chronicle article from yesterday seems to support this analysis; while it doesn’t delve in to specific seats, it looks at fundraising and general mood to conclude “Climate is ripe for Texas House takeover.”

There’s more over the flip…

Governing Magazine’s Ballot Box blog has, in the last month profiled some of the other most hotly contested state legislature races. One race recently profiled that presents the GOP with a takeover opportunity in an unlikely place: the Maine Senate, based on the Dems’ narrow 18-17 lead and, in an example of all politics being local, an unpopular tax on alcoholic beverages intended to pay for improved health care access. The swingiest district seems to be the 1st district in the state’s southernmost tip, matching a freshman Dem against his GOP predecessor.

The Nevada Senate is another prime pickup opportunity for the Democrats, as the GOP currently controls it by an 11-10 margin. As they point out, this turns on only two races, both involving endangered GOP incumbents, Bob Beers and Joe Heck in the suburbs of Las Vegas. Beers and Heck, if they survive, are both considered possible gubernatorial candidates, seeing as how embattled Jim Gibbons isn’t likely to try again… however, first they have to survive Gibbons’ unpopularity.

One of the Democrats’ toughest holds this year is the Indiana House, where the Dems have a 51-49 edge. This race is hard to handicap because it’s likely the Republicans will pick up a few open seats in rural areas left open by Dem retirements (including ones in West Lafayette and the rural area near Evansville), while Dems pick up a few GOP-held but Dem-heavy seats in Indianapolis (including the seat held by Jon Elrod, whom you might remember getting demolished by Andre Carson in the IN-07 special election).

The Oklahoma Senate is the closest in the nation, as it’s a 24-24 tie, although Democrats maintain control because of the Lt. Governor. Democrats face big trouble in a Dem-held open seat in Stillwater, where a former president of Oklahoma State University is the GOP nominee. However, they feel they have several possible pickups elsewhere, including in the Oklahoma Panhandle, one of the most conservative places in the country but where they’re running a professional bull rider by the name of Bowdy Peach who seems uniquely suited to the district.

In the New Hampshire Senate, Democrats hold a 14-10 edge and are likely to hold on to that. They may even add to that, starting with the seat being vacated by Joe Kenney, the GOP sad sack currently losing the New Hampshire governor’s race by a margin of about 70-10; the Union-Leader projects this seat as “Lean Democratic.”

Both chambers in Florida are heavily Republican right now, but Democrats are optimistic they might pick up a few seats in each, especially a Republican-held open senate seat near Sarasota. However, Florida Dems sound more focused on 2010, when term limits will turf out 21 House Republicans and 8 Senate Republicans.

The Tennessee Senate is one place where the Republicans may take over (despite a 16-16-1 tie, they effectively wield control already; the one independent, who claims to belong to the “NASCAR Party,” generally votes Republican). Several retirements in rural seats held by Democrats may lead to GOP pickups, such as the seat in rural areas just east of Memphis held by long-time Senate leader John Wilder since 1966.

Louis Jacobson at Stateline.org is apparently the only prognosticator who goes so far as to try to assign state legislatures to the “tossup/lean/likely” framework; he published his newest ratings yesterday. They’re mostly in line with what we’ve seen discussed above, and movements that he’s made lately have generally been in the Democratic direction. He forecasts two currently Republican-held chambers, the New York Senate and Delaware House, as being Lean Democratic. He also forecasts seven Republican-held chambers (Alaska Senate, Nevada Senate, North Dakota Senate, Arizona House, Montana House, Ohio House, and Wisconsin Assembly) as being Tossups. He forecasts one Democrat-held chamber, the Montana Senate, as being Lean Republican, and four Democrat-held chambers (Maine Senate, New Hampshire Senate, Indiana House, and Pennsylvania House) as Tossups. Finally, he forecasts the Tennessee Senate and Oklahoma Senate (both tied) as ending up in Republican hands. Some of these choices (NH Senate?) seem to turn merely on the small number of seats needed to flip the chamber, rather than broader trends in each state, but it’s an interesting starting point.

That’s a lot of information to digest… still wondering what to do? Well, the DLCC maintains its own blog, which has been, over the last few weeks, rounding up dozen of Essential Races, focusing on up-and-coming candidates in key races. You can learn more about our Democratic bench as we build it, and there are links for contributions, too.

(OK-Sen) Rice to Inhofe: Talk is cheap, gas is expensive

Yesterday, Jim Inhofe called on his supporters to send their gas receipts into his campaign office so that he can send them to Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader.  Apparently, Inhofe is trying to show his frustrations that Congress adjourned without bringing any relief on energy prices.

Oklahomans, though, should be more frustrated with Jim Inhofe’s decades of doing nothing to avert an energy crisis.

State Sen. Andrew Rice is fed up with opponent’s lack of leadership on this issue.  He’s not going to send Jim Inhofe his gas receipts.  Instead, he’s going to send Jim Inhofe an invoice for $1,076,573 – the amount of money he’s received in campaign contributions from big oil.

(more below the fold)

It’s nothing new for Oklahoma’s senior senator to try to distract from our energy problems by pointing fingers and shifting blame.  Rather than taking responsibility for his own inaction on gas prices and energy independence during his 22 years in Congress, Inhofe chooses to accuse those who disagree with him of “an attempt to misinform and frighten the public” (Inhofe in a July 9, 2002 floor speech) and “fear-mongering” (Inhofe in a January 4, 2005 floor speech).  He used two hours of the Senate’s time last October to discuss Leonardo DiCaprio, the Weather Channel, and his climate change denial, when he could have used that time to put forward solutions to the growing energy crisis.

During the 14 years Inhofe has been in the Senate, gas prices have nearly quadrupled.  Yet he seems content to blame others and takes no responsibility for his own failures.  It’s time Oklahoma’s voters held Jim Inhofe accountable, and it’s time we sent him a message that pointing fingers is no way to lead.

The message Sen. Rice would like to send Sen. Inhofe?  Talk is cheap, but gas is expensive.  It’s time for real leadership in the U.S. Senate.  To add your name to the invoice that Sen. Rice is sending to Jim Inhofe, click here.

In the state senate, Andrew Rice has fought for common-sense solutions to our energy problems that are both fiscally and environmentally responsible.  This week, he endorsed the “Gang of Ten” Plan, a bipartisan energy proposal to diversify our resources to pave the way for a more secure, independent, and responsible energy future.  He will continue this fight in the U.S. Senate, working toward solutions that will help everyday Oklahomans.

With over $1 million dollars in campaign contributions from big oil, Jim Inhofe won’t change his mind on energy.  In the U.S. Senate, Andrew Rice will show real leadership to pave the way for a new energy future.

– Karina Henderson

Rice for U.S. Senate