Another way to Use Dave’s Redistricting: Partisan Data for Maryland


So, hi, I’m Josh, this is my first diary.  I’m 17, and I got bored one day, so I decided, why not redistrict Maryland solely by 08 Vote.  In simpler terms, let’s use Dave’s, but instead, color-code into Very Dem (>70%), Dem (60-69%), Mod (49-59%), Rep (39-48%), and Very Rep (< 39% using Dark Blue, Light Blue, Purple, Light Red, and Red.  I have done that here, and I will do a county-by-county description of Maryland (I will post New York soon as well).  This will also help those who plan on trying redistricting with these states.  I will talk about each county, sorted by population

Montgomery-DC Suburbs

 One of the most liberal counties in the state.  The area bordering DC (Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, etc) is very, very liberal.  However, as one moves outward, the area gets more swingy, particularly along the Virginia border, such as in Poolesville.  However, further into the state, a line of dark blue runs through Gaithersburg and Rockville.The very North of the County, areas like Laytonville, are even somewhat conservative

Prince George’s-DC Suburbs

 A highly Black liberal area near DC, containing Univ. of Maryland and Bowie, it is almost entirely Very Dem, with exceptions in some of Bowie and Berwyn Heights.

Baltimore County-Baltimore Suburbs

 A county with extreme variance and quite a bit of polarization.  The area southwest of Baltimore is mainly Rep, and the area North of that (West of Baltimore) is much larger and Very Dem.  North of Baltimore is more Mod and Rep areas, while more North of that, near Pennsylvania, is a Very Rep area.  To the Northeast of Baltimore is a mixture of Rep and Very Rep areas, and to the East of Baltimore, along the Bay, is some highly conservative areas.  However, overall, this county is Moderate.

Baltimore, the City

 Enough said.  Highly liberal, sparsely populated southeast is Moderate. rest is very dem.

Anne Arundel-Annapolis

 Relatively Republican suburbs of Baltimore. The parts closer to the bay are more conservative than the inland areas, with Annapolis being an exception.  Some highly Republican areas in central county.

Howard-In between DC,Baltimore

A Democratic area, not as much as DC Suburbs or Baltimore, however.  The Eastern half ranges from moderate to Very Dem, while the Western half is more similar to the Panhandle.


 Except Brunswick (Moderate) and Frederick (Dem), this county is conservative near Virginia and very conservative further in-state.

Harford-Balt. Suburbs

 Our most Republican turf yet, very, very conservative.  More moderate along the water.  Contains conservative Bel Air Area.

Carroll-Balt. Suburbs

 Harford’s twin county.  Same comments, no areas along water, Westminster is less conservative, but still much more conservative than the state itself.


 Frederick’s Western twin.  Conservative near Virginia, moderate to liberal in Hagerstown, very conservative in panhandle.


 From the looks of it, it wouldn’t appear to be a Democratic county, but it has been for the past few elections. One of few counties Gore won while Clinton didn’t.  Northern half is very liberal, 1/3 Black.  Southern part, more conservative.  La Plata in middle is moderate.


 Balt. Exurbs and some of the E. Shore.  Elkton is moderate, the rest is Rep or Very Rep.


Mainly Moderate Republican.  I don’t know enough about it to say any more.

St. Mary’s

 Southwest Peninsula.  Republican, nothing too much of interest.


 An awesome name, contains Democratic Salisbury, moderate Fruitland.  Rest is very Republican.

Panhandle (Allegany, Garrett)

 You didn’t think I would list every county individuall, did you?  These two are identical, except population and the fact that Allegany has some Republican territory in Cumberland rather than solely Very Republican.

E. Shore (Worcester, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Dorchester, Garrett, Caroline, Somerset, Kent)

 Almost all Rep or Very Rep, no clear trends.  Some of Southern end more Dem, probably due to Black vote?

Please comment if you find this interesting so I know if I can continue this.  

vermont Gov election updates

For months now Democrats have merely been in the speculative phase in terms of having a candidate for governor.  First “Young Dunne,” former state legislator Matte Dunne who nearly took down Brian Dubie two years floated his name, but reneged.  Peter Gailbraith, a former ambassador had been floating his name, but he was a second tier candidate at best, without any legislative or executive experience to speak of.  Meanwhile, “Tony the Prog,” Anthony Pollina, a perennial candidate for the progressive party announced that he was running, and hoped for a two man race. This was a rather sad state of affairs, considering how strongly democratic Vermont is, and the opportunity that a surge of democratic voters in the presidential election could bring us.  Then House Speaker Gaye Symington announced that she was going to run, challenging incumbent governor Jim Douglas.  

With four years experience as speaker of the house, and a progressive record on health care, the economy, and childcare issues, she is clearly a top tier candidate.  Speaker Symington has been a legislator for twelve years, first elected to the house in 1996.  During her freshman term as a legislator, she worked to pass Act-60, the plan that funds Vermont’s education system.  After democrats lost the legislature following backlash from both the aforementioned Act 60, and civil unions, Speaker Symington helped bring the democrats back into the majority in both the house and senate, and they now enjoy a 2/3 majority in both houses.  It is because of this, I am asking the netroots to look into Speaker Symington, and contribute.  Her website is a bit primitive at the moment, but should be enhanced soon (at least it better be).

Despite her qualifications, she still faces steep odds, especially in a three way race.  Under the Vermont Constitution, if none of the candidates receive a majority of the votes, then the legislature chooses the governor.  Jim Douglas was elected in 2002 with 45% of the vote to Doug Racine’s 42%.  The democratic legislature chose Douglas as he was the vote leader, despite having the votes to elect Racine.  This occurred as many legislators were asked by opponents and constituents to pledge to vote for the popular vote winner.  With Anthony Pollina in the race, this will most likely happen again.  Symington however, may be planning to just keep Douglas under 50% in an attempt to get the legislature to elect her, who knows?  

Currently there are not any polls on the race, but the race will most likely become a fight for moderates.  Douglas will keep his base on the right (the 5,000 people who voted for Huckabee in the republican primary) and right of center moderates, Symington will aim for left of center moderates and Pollina will consoldate the far left progressives.  Both Scudder Parker in 2006 and Peter Clavelle in 2004 (a former independent mayor of Burlington) aimed for the far left and left of center moderates and couldn’t get better than 41%.

With an expected surge in democratic votes, Symington may be able to benefit in ways former gubernatorial candidates could not.  2006 nominee Scudder Parker (his real name) only managed 41% despite the overwhelmingly democratic year. Others however, were able to capitalize on the strong democratic leanings of the elections.  Brian Dubie, the republican LT. Governor barely received a majority of votes (51%).  Had he not received a majority, the legislature could have chosen democratic nominee Matt Dunne as LT Governor.  Tom Salmon son of a former governor of the same name, managed a narrow victory over incumbent Randy Brock to become the newest auditor of accounts.  These democrats were able to utilize the strong democrats tide of 2006, and Symington can and will utilize the democratic leanings of 2008, all she needs to get elected is your support?  Will you step up?  

caucus fun, which candidate (dem and/or rep) reminds you of which super hero super villian

Before tonight’s caucus, when everything becomes so much more serious, let’s have some fun with the candidates, comparing them to super heroes and villains.  From comics, or movies, whatever, here are a few of mine.  Ron Paul: Mister Mxyzptlk.  Hero, villain, space imp?  What the hell is he?  This could also go for kucinich.  Fred Thompson: the penguin.  Not that much of villain (except the Danny Devito version) kind of bland, and dull.  Guiliani/clinton: lex luthor.  Scheming, conniving, manipulating, face of “the man.”

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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Rate Which 08 senate race look the most like 06 wins.

Each 2006 pickup had a distinctive reason, almost like a category in an award show; so let’s rate them that way.  The categories would be loss because of changing electorate (DeWine-OH), loss because of unpopular war despite personal popularity (Chafee-RI), Macaca moment (Allen-VA) corruption (Burns-MT), just plain unpopular (Santorum-PA), and battleground (McCaskill-MO).  Who will lose for these reasons this time around, and why?  Here are my ratings.

Unpopular: Sunnunu.  Especially if Shaheen jumps in, but either way the guy keeps running to the right in a suddenly left state.  He’s antagonistic, abrasive, and nothing like the traditional new England republican he needs to be if he wanted to have an ounce of a chance of winning.

Corruption: Ted Stevens.  We finally have a chance to take the nut down, between the FBI raids, and corruption charges he’s going to be this cycle’s Burns.  An incumbent who would have won easily without the corruption.  Burns may have faced a more difficult than normal challenge even without the Abramoff connections, he would have still had a safe win, maybe 55-45.  With Abramoff however, he’s out hunting buck, or screaming obscenities at his family, or whatever crazy old senators do when they lose.

Personal popularity:  this is a toughie.  Collins would seem like the obvious choice, seeing as how she’s quite popular (not Snowe popular) in a strong blue state.  Still, she seems more like a Macaca moment senator to me.  Gordon smith is moderately popular, but not chafee, nor is Oregon Rhode Island.  I’d have to stick with collins, but that’s just me. 

Changing electorate: Ohio was (is) in major political upheaval, as is Colorado.  As it’s an open seat, it becomes even more likely that the state that is becoming rapidly more blue will give us a win similar to brown’s over dewine.

Macaca: these are hard to gauge, because they’re unpredictable.  If anyone had asked last year who it would be, everyone would have said burns because of his history of making stupid remarks.  For the moment I’ll say Coleman, but it might go to Mitch down in Kentucky, or collins may win both categories. 

battleground: since Ohio and Missouri don’t have senate seats up this cycle, I’m going to say Oregon.  While it’s not a bellwether, it’s been a swing state for most of the last elections.

These are just my opinions, please tell me what you think.