Arkansas Redistricting: New Pres Numbers by CD

Arkansas rounds out the first batch (along with Iowa and Louisiana) of states finishing their redistricting tasks, so we’ve crunched the data to see how the last few elections went in the newly-designed districts. (If you’re unfamiliar with the new map, which wound up without the infamous “Fayetteville Finger,” you can take a gander here.)

District Obama # McCain # Obama % McCain % Beebe % Keet % Lincoln % Boozman %
AR-01 102,670 151,918 39.17 57.96 67.68 30.32 42.29 52.34
AR-02 129,888 157,732 44.29 53.79 66.06 32.28 42.02 53.77
AR-03 85,866 161,902 33.86 63.85 57.84 39.93 26.01 68.32
AR-04 103,886 166,465 37.41 59.95 65.54 32.52 36.49 58.07

Unlike last decade’s map (which placed in Arkansas in the company of only Iowa and West Virginia in keeping every county intact), the new Arkansas map splits several counties down the middle, making this a more difficult task than Iowa (and more difficult than Louisiana, which seems to have more useful data). Jeffmd’s data crunching involved not only some estimation of how to allocate absentee ballots, but also some approximation of Sebastian County (i.e Fort Smith, now split between the 3rd and 4th) votes, which aren’t listed by precinct but rather by polling location, meaning rather tediously mapping the county and pinpointing polling places. (You can check out the full spreadsheet here.)

Despite controlling the redistricting trifecta here (the Gov. plus both legislative chambers), it doesn’t seem like Arkansas Dems did much to advance their cause here, leaving the numbers pretty much as is, despite shifting around a lot of counties (especially in the dark-red northwest, where there’s now an unsightly bulge of the 4th into the former 3rd). The old districts were 38 Obama/59 McCain in AR-01, 44/54 in AR-02, 34/64 in AR-03, and 39/58 in AR-04… hardly any change at all, although the 1st improved very slightly at the expense of the 4th. If there was any consideration given to either improving Dem chances at picking up the 2nd or strengthening the 4th in the event of a Mike Ross retirement, it didn’t pan out.

Louisiana Redistricting: New Pres Numbers by CD

With the Louisiana redistricting map one of the first to emerge intact from the sausage-making process, it’s time to crunch the numbers and see just what kind of districts we wound up with. (Notice that I’m not saying the map is a done deal… the Obama DOJ might still weigh in and shake things up, as they could conceivably push for a second African-American plurality district under the VRA.) Our resident data guru, jeffmd, has sliced and diced the shapefiles on the state House’s website, overlaid that onto the VTDs available from the Census Bureau, matched the VTDs to 2008 and 2010 election results available from the Louisiana SoS website, and voila:

District Obama # McCain # Obama % McCain % Fayard % Dardenne % Melancon % Vitter %
LA-01 81,515 233,789 25.34 72.68 25.30 74.70 24.89 69.79
LA-02 235,554 81,703 73.36 25.44 73.01 26.99 70.38 24.72
LA-03 111,831 210,951 34.06 64.25 39.36 60.64 31.40 62.55
LA-04 126,899 187,020 39.94 58.86 45.78 54.22 36.29 57.54
LA-05 124,119 209,705 36.69 61.98 40.04 59.96 32.98 60.31
LA-06 103,071 225,094 30.90 67.49 33.04 66.96 32.45 62.02

The full precinct-by-precinct dataset, courtesy of Google Docs, is available here.

If you aren’t familiar with the contours of the new map, you can take a look here. In a nutshell, the 1st remains the New Orleans suburbs, the 2nd remains New Orleans proper (although now it reaches into Baton Rouge’s African-American neighborhoods as well), the 4th is still centered on Shreveport, the 5th is still Monroe and Alexandria, and the 6th is still centered on Baton Rouge (even if its core is now missing). The big difference is the 3rd, which now mostly occupies what used to be the 7th, across Lake Charles and Lafayette; the old 3rd, in Cajun country south of New Orleans, has been parceled out to the 1st, new 3rd/former 7th, and also the 6th and 2nd.

As you can see, the redistricting result is very, very likely to result in a 5-1 map. The friendliest district for Dems, after the 2nd, is now the Shreveport-based 4th, but even it didn’t even see Barack Obama hit 40%. That’s not much different from the current setup (where he did hit 40%); the old 6th was the friendliest for Dems, but barely more so (with 41% for Obama).

Greg Giroux has some other interesting tidbits available on how the 3rd district (which is now poised to become a battleground between incumbent GOPers Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry) got neatly dismantled: Boustany represents 575K of the 3rd’s residents, while Landry represents only 180K of them, a nearly 3:1 advantage for Boustany. Of the old 3rd, 29% of it wound up in LA-01, 28% in new LA-03, 24% in LA-06, and 18% in LA-02. (The Daily Kingfish has picked up on this, and speculates that Landry might be better off challenging Steve Scalise in the 1st instead.)