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There's a lot of talk about how Democrats garnered record support among racial and ethnic minorities in the 2012 Presidential election, but not as much about how strongly white voters supported Republicans.  You might be surprised to learn just how conservative the white vote is in some areas, with around nine in ten white voters in the Deep South supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential election.  That's nearly as polarized as the African American vote.  Barack Obama was walloped among white voters in every southern state, and nationally.  Among white voters only, Mitt Romney would have won over 450 electoral votes, including New York and California.  Most of the information we have on the white vote in 2012 comes from exit polls; there isn't as much actual data on it.  That's why I decided to crunch some numbers and get county by county breakdowns on the white vote.  We'll start by looking at North Carolina in this diary.

Let's first look at the overall results in North Carolina:

(Thanks Politico)
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As you can see, it was a pretty close race.  Obama won thirty counties, mostly in eastern North Carolina where there is a large African American population.  Obama had a very diverse group of voters in North Carolina.  According to my estimates he won about 997,000 African Americans, about 1,030,000 White voters, and about 145,000 from other ethnic groups including Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans.

Mitt Romney won seventy counties, largely rural ones.  His support was overwhelmingly white.  Only about 4% of his supporters were non-white.  By my estimates he won about 31,000 African Americans, 62,000 of other minority groups, and about 2,175,000 white voters.  That number - 2,175,000 - is less than Obama's vote total.  That means Mitt Romney would not have won North Carolina if it wasn't for his support among minorities.

If you take away the African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian votes, what's left?  This is what North Carolina would have looked like if only white people voted:

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Note, those numbers are slightly less than the vote totals I listed above.  I'll explain why in the Methodology section of this diary.

As you can see, Mitt Romney won the white vote in ninety-seven counties to just three for Barack Obama.  Here's a county by county breakdown:

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If you're not familiar with NC, that breakdown may seem foreign to you.  Orange and Durham are rapidly growing counties located in the Research Triangle area.  The liberal white vote in Durham County has developed only in the past decade or so, however Orange County has always been pretty liberal.  White voters in Wake County - the largest county in the Triangle - supported Romney by a 58-42 margin.  Wake includes a lot of suburban and rural votes that cancel out the more Democratic leaning white votes in Raleigh.  Aside from the Triangle, the only other part of the state in which Democrats won white voters was Buncombe County, 89% white and home to Asheville.

The white vote was dramatically different outside of the Triangle and the Mountains.  Especially in the "Down East" portion of eastern North Carolina, historically known for "Jessecrats" - conservative Democrats who were the base of Jesse Helms' support in his five U.S. Senate runs.  Former Gov. Bev Perdue's gaffe "We look like Mississippi" had some truth to it, because parts of eastern NC do look like and vote like Mississippi.  Lenoir County (Kinston) white voters supported Romney by an 86-14 margin.  Notice that three of the counties with some of the most conservative white voters are home to large military bases: Onslow (Camp Lejeune), Cumberland (Ft. Bragg) and Wayne (Seymour Johnson).

Now let's look at a few more maps:

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This map shows NC's white vote compared to the national white vote, which was 61-39 Romney.  It is slightly bluer - notice that white voters in some of the rural mountain counties around Asheville voted at higher rates for Obama than nationally, despite being very socially conservative.  New Hanover County (Wilmington), Mecklenburg (Charlotte) and Transylvania (Mountains) are right on par with the nation.

Now, here's a representation of the white vote on a map of the state's thirteen congressional districts (outline thanks to MilesC56)

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White voters supported Romney in every district but the fourth, even in the I-85 Democratic vote sink.

As a bonus, I also calculated the performance of NC's thirteen congressmen (winners' names are shown):
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I was surprised by how much support G.K. Butterfield (D-1st) received among conservative white voters.  Interestingly, Butterfield, who has a pretty liberal voting record overperformed Obama among whites by the same amount as Mike McIntyre (D-7th), who has a pretty conservative one.  McIntyre had a much tougher opponent, though.  Walter Jones (R-3rd) was the only Republican to overperform Romney significantly.

METHODOLOGY

I accessed official state voter turnout data here, and plugged in the percentage of white and black votes for each county and congressional district into the two party vote total.  I assigned 97% of black voters to Obama in each county.  Looking at the "other" votes (not white or black) you see there are several different classifications by the NC State Board of Elections...

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"Unknown" makes up the largest portion of those votes, about 40%.  Most of those are white or black voters who skipped the "race" portion on their voter registration form for some reason.  However, a large portion are probably Hispanics or some other ethnicity who consciously did not want to register under any of the races listed.  I assigned "unknown" votes to Obama by a 60-40 margin.  "Other" votes are mostly Hispanics, which I assigned to Obama 67-33, based on exit polls.  Asians 62-38 Obama, Native Americans 65-35 Obama and Mixed Race 80-20 for Obama.

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That's it for this diary, I hope you learned something.  Notice this is just "part 1" so there may be more states in the future... but since it took me six months to finally crank out this diary it will probably be awhile if there ever is a part 2. ;)

Happy New Year

Poll

North Carolina....good state or bad state

55%151 votes
44%122 votes

| 274 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

I've been reading a lot of diaries lately about the damage the Republican gerrymanders of 2010 have done to Democrats' chance of winning the House of Representatives - including this good one today, and I decided I would finally post my fair redistricting plan for the country.  This is something I've been working on for a long time.  No, I haven't been slaving over my computer non-stop drawing districts; I made most of these maps back in February and March, and then I took a long hiatus, and then did some touch ups and plotted all the district data in a spreadsheet over the last two months, and now my fair redistricting project is finally done.

Why do we need fair redistricting?  Well, you should click on the video of Ronald Reagan and find out.  I haven't heard any other Presidents talk about gerrymandering and redistricting, other than Reagan.  Although Reagan's discomfort with gerrymandering probably had the same motivation as our discomfort with gerrymandering does - the opposing party controls most of the state houses - he still makes good points.

We've seen a number of fair redistricting initiatives in effect in Florida, California, Iowa, and a few other states.  They all approach redistricting in a different way.  Florida's is pretty weak, and still allowed Republicans to impose a nasty gerrymander in 2010.  California's is more fair with respect to communities of interest, but it focuses heavily on racial gerrymandering to ensure proportional representation of Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans.  Some states have fair redistricting that considers the interests of each party equally - for example, in a hypothetical situation, in Minnesota, a commission like this would create four Republican districts and four Democratic districts.

I did not consider drawing districts proportional to party composition of each state, or drawing districts to represent minorities (in most cases).  The only factors I considered were keeping communities of interest together and keeping county splits to a minimum.  In only three cases - Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana - did I go out of my way to draw minority districts.  Why?  Well, I don't know, just because I feel like these are the most racist states (no offense to them) and they might still need the Voting Rights Act to protect minorities.  But for the most part, I think we're beyond the time when African Americans absolutely can't win elections outside of Black majority districts.  That doesn't mean there won't be majority minority districts outside of AL, MS, and LA - I just won't go out of my way to create them.  Drawing districts to connect minorities have resulted in some of the worst gerrymanders out there.

Now, to begin.  I'll be going in alphabetical order, and you'll see roughly 140 districts redistricted in each of 3 diaries, and the 4th diary will analyze the impact nationwide fair redistricting would have on American politics.  The first diary will go from Alabama to Massachusetts - except I'm leaving California out, because it will take up too much room in the middle of this diary.  CA will be the last state redistricted in the third diary.

Let's go!

Note#1: All race percentages are total population, not just 18+.

Note#2: If you want to see racial data, just click on the image with the Presidential data.  I can't fit the entire thing into this diary without the type becoming too small.

Note#3: I'm not going by the current district numbers.  I'm assuming each seat is an open seat when assigning ratings and district numbers are randomly assigned.

ALABAMA

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As I mentioned, Alabama is one of only two states that will have a racial gerrymander.  The 2nd district, with the arm down into Mobile, is a black-majority district.  The 4th district is now almost entirely in Jefferson County, and would present an opportunity for Democrats to pick up a seat.

Note#5: "CS" means "County Splits"

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ARIZONA

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Districts with respect to city limits in Maricopa County.

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There is one 65% Hispanic district in Phoenix, AZ-01, and the district down in Tucson is slightly majority minority.  Two districts are strongly Democratic, but a few more could be picked up from Republicans in a good year.  District AZ-09 is 21% Native American, which may be the highest percentage of any district in the country.

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ARKANSAS

This one was a bit tougher since Dave's Redistricting does not feature Presidential data.  I purposely made no county splits so I could calculate the data easier, which means some districts deviate up to about 4,000 people.  In a real scenario one or two counties would have to be split to equalize the population.

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As you can see, two districts cover the more urban areas of the state, while two more are heavily rural.  AR-01 narrowly went for Republicans in 2008 and 2012, while the rest were strongly Republican.

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CALIFORNIA

Skip!!!!  We'll visit California in another diary.

COLORADO

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The Denver city limits make CO-05 look like a gerrymander anyway, but it only splits one county.  The Denver-centric district and Boulder-centric district are both heavily Democratic, while two suburban districts east and west of Denver are swingier but lean Democratic

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The western Colorado district is all mountain, and Republican leaning.  The eastern district and Colorado Springs district are heavily Republican.

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CONNECTICUT

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I love my Connecticut.  Three districts are entirely within one county and a fourth has no county splits.  Pretty fair, huh?

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FLORIDA

The Sunshine State.

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All of the tiny districts are heavily Democratic, except the one in Miami, which is 71% Hispanic and swingy.  Click on the data table below, there are a lot of minority districts around here.

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Everything in Central FL except Orlando and Tampa-St. Pete is Republicanland, although many of the districts here are just Republican leaning and could possibly be won by Democrats.

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Amazingly, when North Florida is de-gerrymandered, only 3 out of 7 N. Fla. districts are heavily Republican.

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The delegation still leans Republican but there are a lot of toss ups, so Democrats could win a majority of the delegation.

GEORGIA

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Cobb County and DeKalb County get their very own districts.  Three districts around ATL are black majority while the Gwinnett County district is majority minority, only 41% white.

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HAWAII & IDAHO

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Not much to see here, although I did move Idaho's 1st district to the south, and it is now an entirely Boise-centric district.  ID-02 is Idaho's "everything else" district.

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ILLINOIS

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You can see how nicely four districts fit entirely or almost entirely within the city of Chicago.  One of them, on the southside, is 77% Black, and another is 65% Hispanic.  Click on the chart below to see the full racial breakdown.

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Illinois is a strange state when fairly redistricted.  Although it is a heavily Democratic state, it is heavily Republican when redistricted.  After all - it's the only state where Democrats can lose 101/102 counties and still win statewide elections.  I suspect almost all of the Downstate districts flipped to Mitt Romney in 2012.

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INDIANA

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Hmm.  Indiana is kinda boring.

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IOWA

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Iowa gets a Des Moines-centric district.

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KANSAS

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Kansas actually has two districts that are just barely Republican, and would be winnable for Democrats.

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KENTUCKY

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The western part of Kentucky gets less gerrymandered but not much else changes.

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LOUISIANA

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Louisiana has a black majority district that straddles I-49 from Baton Rouge to Shreveport.  Yes, it is the second and final racial gerrymander in this series, but I tried to keep it as clean as possible, splitting as few counties as possible.

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MAINE

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MARYLAND

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Maryland's 2010 gerrymander was one of the worst in the country.  This is an improvement, although it does give Republicans 3 seats.  There are two black majority districts, one majority minority district.  63% of the seats in MD would be won by Dems, which is fairly proportional to the real partisan composition of Maryland.

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MASSACHUSETTS

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THE END!  NEXT TIME... Michigan to Tennessee

If you made it this far, congratulations, and thank you for reading.  Let me know what you think of these maps and of fair redistricting in general in the comments below.

Poll

Which state had the worst gerrymander in 2010?

4%3 votes
25%17 votes
8%6 votes
10%7 votes
50%34 votes

| 67 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM PST

SC-Gov: Nikki Haley's problems

by psychicpanda

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South Carolina politics has not been covered much thanks to wall to wall reporting of the presidential election and other 2012 races, but there have been some very interesting things happening down in "the Moon Tree state," as I call it, over the past two years.

Of course we all know Nikki Haley, Sarah Palin's hand-picked governor of South Carolina, who has traveled the country campaigning for Mitt Romney and other tea party Republicans.  She's been billed as a "rising star" in the GOP and she was mentioned as a possible VP pick for Romney this year.  Why - is it because she's dramatically improved the economy or quality of life in South Carolina?  No, it's because she's a female and she's not white.

But her status as a tea party darling may stop on the other side of South Carolina's borders.  Her tea party supporters were upset when she endorsed Mitt Romney before the South Carolina primary (which he lost by a huge margin, if everyone remembers; he later went on to become the nominee and lose the national election).  She has also hilariously pissed off the Republican leaders of the South Carolina General Assembly:

This recent article I found in a local South Carolina media outlet sums up the situation nicely:

Politics is a game of addition, normally. Politicians work to keep the support of their base and, at the same time, win new supporters.

Not so with S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, critics say. In the two years since her election, the first-term Republican has turned that adage on its ear, playing a game of subtraction.

Critics say Haley has adopted an insular management style, surrounding herself with a small group of 20-something former campaign staffers, led until recently by a young chief of staff, with limited state government experience. She also employs an “us vs. them” mentality against her perceived foes.

The result?

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/...

The whole article is worth a read.  The most important point though, in my opinion, is her alleged "us vs. them" mentality.  This is the same mentality Sarah Palin and the most conservative forces in the Republican party have about politics.  Nikki Haley has chosen not to be the governor of all South Carolinians, but to use the governorship to make a name for herself and be as conservative as possible.  In doing so she has made herself an enemy of all SC Democrats and many SC Republicans.

In addition to the ethics problems and political problems Haley has faced over her term, a new problem has developed over the past few weeks, involving the breach in cyber security at one of South Carolina's government agencies.  This is not Nikki Haley's fault directly, but it can indirectly be blamed on the inefficiencies of Republican policies in South Carolina over the past decade.

In this year's legislative elections, Mitt Romney's coattails brought GOP legislators into supermajorities in neighboring Georgia and North Carolina; but South Carolina Republicans did not have the same success.  South Carolina Republicans gained one seat in the state senate, but only because long time Democratic Sen. Dick Elliot retired, making his seat in heavily Republican Horry County an automatic gain.  There were a couple of key races in South Carolina that showed the Republicans' weakness.

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One key race was in South Carolina's 35th Senate District, which you see above.  Before redistricting, the 35th was a heavily Democratic district based in Sumter.  Republicans redrew it with an arm into the heavily Republican Columbia suburbs, which actually makes this seat Republican leaning (John McCain and Mitt Romney got about 52% here).  Republican legislators hoped to gain a seat here, as the popular Democratic senator from the 35th district was retiring and it was an open seat.  Nikki Haley even made a stop in Sumter to campaign for Republican Tony Barwick.  However, Barwick went on to lose the open 35th district by a margin of ten points to Democrat Thomas McElveen.

Another key swing race was in the 78th House District, where an incumbent Republican was defeated.  The 78th district is a 50/50 swing district in Columbia.  While 50% Obama certainly is a Democratic district in the low country - it isn't in Columbia.  Democrat Beth Bernstein based her campaign on opposition to Nikki Haley and won this swing district by twelve points.

Then we have the 27th Senate district:

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This district was not competitive; it was won by Democrat Vincent Sheheen, who was unopposed for the second consecutive election.  At 55% McCain/Romney, it is the most Republican district in the state to be held by a Democrat and a mirror image of the state itself.  Sheheen was a candidate for governor in 2010 and will likely be again in 2014.  He is one of Haley's loudest critics in the state, and the fact that no one can challenge him, even in a district this conservative, must speak to his political strength.

The state legislature is so gerrymandered, it's hard to tell which party came out ahead.  The vast majority of incumbents ran unopposed in safe districts, and the 35th Senate District and 78th House District were literally the only competitive races in the state, both of which Democrats won.  Every incumbent Democrat that stood for re-election was re-elected.

I don't know how the 2014 elections in South Carolina will turn out, but I think South Carolinians are finally starting to realize how destructive Republican policies have been.
Republican governor Mark Sanford cut government to the bone.  And if you can believe it, even after Mark Sanford was finished, Nikki Haley found even more government to cut.  She cut teacher pay, the very small SC arts program, medicaid, and so much more.  She even cut domestic violence centers, which was a move so outrageous that even the Republican legislature overrode the cuts by a vote of 111-0.  Governor Haley continues the centuries old South Carolina tradition of pretending federal laws don't exist by refusing to consider setting up a state run insurance exchange or federal-state partnership to implement Obamacare, just as her predecessor, Mark Sanford, refused to take billions of dollars offered to South Carolina to build up it's crumbling infrastructure by the stimulus program in 2009.  Nikki Haley brags about cutting government, cutting public workers and cutting taxes in South Carolina.  Yes, the low gas prices are nice when you're driving through SC but is that really something to brag about when you ALREADY have the lowest tax burden and government spending in the country in almost every area?  Why did the SC Department of Revenue get hacked?  Because Republicans wanted the cheapest government administrative costs they could possibly have.  As State Sen. Vincent Sheheen put it, "Nikki Haley is trying to turn South Carolina into a third world country."

I also find this article funny.  It says that since Romney has lost, Haley won't get a cabinet job and she'll actually have to try to make South Carolinians like her for the next two years.  It's speculative but it's probably true.  This woman wants a future in national politics.  I can only hope Democrats will deny that to her by defeating her in 2014.  Vincent Sheheen is considered the best chance South Carolina Democrats have had to retake the governorship in a long time - seeing as he lost very narrowly in 2010 even though Republicans had a great year nationwide and Jim DeMint won by 35 points down the ballot.  And he represents a Republican-leaning district, where he is very popular - that's the ideal candidate to win a state like SC.  It looks like Sheheen is considering a run, so if he does run, Democrats across the country need to support him because you know Nikki Haley will raise huge sums of money from teabaggers around the country.  I'm only an hour from SC and I love SC - I go there all the time - so this race is personal to me.

Republicans will control 10/11 governorships in former Confederate states next year and for the first time in history, all 11 state legislatures.  Scary thought.  We need to win some back.

I'll keep everyone posted.

Poll

Do you approve of Nikki Haley?

5%18 votes
94%286 votes

| 304 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss
2008alaskafairbanksredo085

Along the 500 mile highway from Fairbanks, across the arctic circle, to Alaska's northern shore at Deadhorse in the North Slope Borough.  Maybe the loneliest road in the America.

The largest swing I could find towards Barack Obama in the contiguous states was in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, southeast of New Orleans, where he got 36% of the vote against Mitt Romney, a sizable improvement over his 26% against John McCain in 2008.  However, I came across some Alaska election data today, and discovered some even more astonishing, massive improvements for President Obama from 2008 to 2012.  Take a look at these maps:

(Note: these are results from Alaska's state house districts, not it's counties (boroughs).  I could not find borough results anywhere.  The state house districts are not exactly the same shapes from 2008 to 2012, as there was redistricting, but you can pretty much see what was going on....)

2008:

Alaska, of course, a typical red state.  A few tiny Democratic districts around city centers in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau, with the rural areas of the state going heavily Republican.  Right?

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But then look at 2012...

a marked improvement for Obama.  With that much blue, he must have carried Alaska by a larger margin than he carried Vermont...?

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But no.  Alaska was heavily Republican again, with strong Republican results concentrated in the Anchorage suburbs and the Matanuska-Susitna borough... also known as Wasilla, Sarah Palin's home town.

Wasilla House District (part of Matanuska-Susitna Borough)

2008:  77-20 McCain/Palin
2012:  73-22 Romney/Ryan

So that's a swing of about 6 points.  Romney held his own in the conservative Anchorage suburbs.  Romney held his own in Anchorage proper, too, with Obama winning a few house districts around downtown Anchorage, but Romney carrying most of the districts within Anchorage city limits by large margins.

Where you really start to see big changes towards Obama are in what I like to call "The Real Alaska"... where glaciers are crashing into the ocean, bear populations are thinning, permafrost is melting, the land is being raped for oil, and the native populations are "47%-ers".

House District 40, which includes all of the North Slope Borough and Northwest Arctic Borough.  The North Slope Borough alone covers an expanse the size of the U.S. State of Michigan (and yes, that includes the lakes that are within Michigan's borders), however there are less than 10,000 people who live there permanently.  The population is 68% American Indian.  The North Slope's largest town is Barrow, on the northernmost tip of Alaska.  The North Slope also includes the ANWR.

2008:   54-44 McCain/Palin (R+10)
2012:   67-29 Obama/Biden (D+38)

A swing of 48 points.  There are some other boroughs in the real Alaska that may have even bigger swings...

The House district that covers the Aleutian peninsula and islands, which stretch from southwest of Anchorage almost to North Korea...

2008:   57-40 McCain/Palin (R+17)
2012:   62-34 Obama/Biden (D+28)

A swing of 45 points.  These swings towards Obama in Alaska, if the results hold true when they are certified, may be even bigger than some of the swings towards Romney in Appalachia.

Why was the swing so large?  These areas of Alaska are Democratic by nature.  But you can see why, being as isolated and forgotten as they are (except when it comes to $$$OIL$$$), they might want an Alaskan looking out for them in Washington.  Obama admitted that he had never even been to Alaska until he made a quick stop at an Anchorage military base to refuel on his way to China in 2010.  So Palin may know/understand more about remote little Alaskan villages than Obama.  But... Romney cares more about poor Alaskan villages than Obama?  Hell no.

Sources:
http://www.ourcampaigns.com/...
http://www.ourcampaigns.com/...
http://www.elections.alaska.gov/...

Discuss

Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM PDT

218 is within reach (Seriously)

by psychicpanda

NOTE:  Sorry about the blotchy pictures.  I haven't posted a diary in awhile and forgot what kind of file to save the pictures as in Paint...

I think the consensus this cycle has been, if Obama wins in a landslide (by which I mean all the toss ups), there will be a wave and Democrats can retake the House.  Unfortunately, over the past few weeks Romney has risen and the race is neck and neck, an Obama landslide seems less likely.  But we've also noticed that the Senate seems to be trending more and more towards the Democrats, even with Romney rising in the polls.  I'm beginning to think that Democrats may be able to retake the House... even without a landslide.  According to the Cook Political Report, Republicans are currently at 213 and Democrats are at 169 with 53 tossups.  On paper, that seems like a SERIOUS uphill climb for Democrats.  Here's how we can win:

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You may have heard Karl Rove talk about his 3-2-1 plan for Romney.  Well this is my 6-5-4-3-2-1 plan for House Democrats. Haha.

6 BLUE DOGS
McIntyre, Critz, Barrow, Chandler, Matheson, Wallace

6 Blue Dogs - all considered toss ups right now but I think some of them are in better positions to win than Cook lets us believe.  The first five are all battle tested, and have won in very difficult districts in the past.  They were the few Blue Dogs that survived the 2010 wave.  Some recent polling suggests that Matheson may be in a bit of trouble, but I think he can make it out.   After all, he's won in friggin' Utah five times already, and that's the least Democratic state in the Union.  The rest of the Blue Dogs are running in ancestrally Dem areas.  Even though he's running in one of the most conservative districts in the country, I gave Rob Wallace the edge because he's shown some good fundraising numbers recently and that district in eastern OK is INCREDIBLY Dixiecrat.  It's the exact same district that Dan Boren and Dixiecrats before him won, so I think he'll make it.

That brings Democrats up to 175.

6 in CALIFORNIA

There are 8 tossups in California, but Democrats only have to win six of them.  I think 6 might be generous, actually, with the recent implosion of Mary Bono Mack.

That brings Democrats to 181.

5 - a sweep in NEW ENGLAND

Yeah.  There are a few tossups here that I don't even think should be tossups.  I'd bet money Democrats will win the "tossups" in MA, RI, and CT.  Then they have to win the two in New Hampshire, which seems reasonable.

That brings Democrats to 186.

5 - a sweep of ILLINOIS

This one might be a little bit optimistic.  Democrats are doing better than expected downstate, so I think they'll win those three races.  The tougher ones are in the Chicago suburbs, where Judy Biggert and Bob Dold are running.  Biggert was the strongest but she has flubbed up recently, so we might have a better chance there now.  We should definitely shoot to win all five tossups in the Land of Lincoln - but even if we don't, at the end, you'll see there are plenty of other places where Democrats can make up for a loss here.

If we get 5, that brings us to 191.

5 - the UPPER MIDWEST
Dems must win 5/6 tossups here - out of 3 in Iowa, 1 each in MI, WI, and MN

Republicans overperformed in the upper midwest more than anywhere in the country in 2010, so I'm very optimistic that Democrats can pull off 5 victories up here.  I think Obama won every single one of these tossups by more than a few points (with the exception of Steve King's district, but he may be in trouble anyway.)  Boy, it'd be great to beat Steve King, wouldn't it?

That brings us to 196.

4 - NEW YORK
We have to win 4/6 tossups in New York.

4/6 is not as tall of an order as some of the others.  But that is because there are some very rare breeds of Republican in office here... socially moderate "pro-choice" Republicans.  I believe there are two or three.  Kathy Hochul's district will be tough to hold but I think she can do it.

That brings us to 200.

4 - in the SWING STATES
There are 5 tossups - 3 in Florida and 2 in Ohio.

Two outrageous incumbents in South Florida shouldn't be hard to beat.  SHOULDN'T - but Allen West is doing better than I expected.  I still think we can beat him, though.  If we win those two we have to win two of the remaining three.

That brings us to 204.

3 in the BORDER STATES
Democrats will have to win all three tossups - 2 in Arizona and 1 in Texas.

The two seats in Arizona are actually tilting Democrat and I think we can win the one in Texas pretty easily because Democrats are overperforming with Hispanics this year.

That brings us to 207.

2 in NEVADA AND COLORADO

There are 4 tossups in these two states combined, Dems should be able to peel off two of them.  I actually have those two in mind - that one really large district in Nevada and the small district (Coffman) in Colorado.  The other two seem to be leaning Republican, but they're still considered TOSSUP - so Dems could technically win any combination of the 4.

That brings us to 209.

1 in TENNESSEE

Cook still considers this one Safe Republican but I don't think they've updated their list since this DesJarlais scandal broke.  There are two big things that DesJarlais screwed up on, 1) hypocritically supporting abortion of his child and 2) having an affiar with a patient while he was a doctor.  The 2nd one is really something that doctors shouldn't be able to get away with - MUCH LESS get away with it and become a Congressman.  Personally, I would let it go since it happened so long ago and it was personal.  But because the conservative social agenda is so strong in this part of the country, I don't think they'll tolerate this kind of sin.  A poll released today showed the Democrat, Stewart, down by 5 points but I think that will change after more people learn about the scandal.

That brings Democrats to 210 and Republicans down to 212.

EXPANDING THE MAP

There are a couple of districts that Cook doesn't recognize as tossups yet - however I think they are significantly in play for Democrats.  Those two are Florida's 2nd, based in the Florida panhandle and Texas's 14th, stretching from Galveston to Beaumont.  Poll numbers in Florida's 2nd have shown that this race certainly is competitive, and the DCCC has begun to spend money there.  Texas's 14th seems like a tougher get for Democrats, because it's a Republican district in Texas.  But this is one of the few areas of Texas where there are still a large number of white southern Democrats, like their neighbors in Southern Louisiana.  Combine that with a large black population in Beaumont and a sky-rocketing Hispanic population along the 45 corridor in Galveston.  Plus, Nick Lampson is showing some encouraging fundraising numbers, outraising his opponent.

These are solid tossups - not leaning towards either party.  However this does bring Republicans down to 210.

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What now? 210-210

Democrats and Republicans are now tied, with 210 each.  There are fifteen tossups remaining on the board.  Democrats would need to win slightly more than half of these - 8 - to get to 218.  But suppose these tossups are unwinnable, or Democrats are not able to get every district in the 6-5-4-3-2-1?  There are places where Democrats may be able to open up the map even more.  There are plenty of districts that are considered "likely" or "safe" Republican that I believe could be in play for Democrats, but I haven't seen any solid evidence YET that they are.  To name a few....

- The three at-large districts in the big sky country.  Democrats may be able to peel off at least one of these
- Runyan (R-NJ), Ribble (R-WI), Lee (R-NE), Open (R-MI), Amash (R-MI), all districts that were won by Obama in 2008 but considered "Likely R" now
- Hurt (R-VA), Hartzler (R-MO), BACHMANN! (R-MN), all long shots but they may be competitive
- And I'm still not giving up on Kissell (D-NC) and Open (D-NC).  Very long shots, especially since they've posted weak fundraising numbers, but polls have shown they could be close.

So! That's the 6-5-4-3-2-1 plan.  Even if Romney becomes more personally popular, I don't think it will help the House Republicans.  Out with the old.  It's safe to say we'll be looking at a Democratic Senate next year and a Democratic house?  Who knows.

Poll

Good strategy?

72%87 votes
27%33 votes

| 120 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

This is how a Florida map might look if Democrats were able to draw it, using the fair redistricting amendment.  In a way, this map is actually perfectly fair for Florida.  It creates 14 likely Republican districts and 13 lean/likely Democratic districts.  Republicans have a slight edge... about 52% of the districts, which is representative of the state's behavior in the past few elections.  It's almost impossible for Democrats to do any better than 13 districts, because the Democratic strength in Florida is packed into the Miami metro and Republican strength is spread out across the state.

So let's begin!

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Note: I did not search each Congressman/woman's hometown, I just put their names next to the districts they currently represent.

1: Pensacola (light green): Jeff Miller (R)
67/33 McCain (+1D over old district)

This district barely changes, and remains safe Republican.

2: Tallahassee-Gainesville (dark green): Steve Southerland (R)
59/41 Obama (+14D), 25% Black

The new second district goes from toss up/lean Blue Dog to safe Democratic.  It unites two college towns, Tallahassee and Gainesville.  There's also a lot of African American strength in this district.  59% Obama may not be safe in South Florida, but given the "Southern" nature of this district I think it will definitely elect a Democrat.

6: Panama City-Ocala (dark turquoise): Cliff Stearns (R)
65/35 McCain (-8D)

This district changes shape somewhat.  It's still based in Ocala, but it takes in a good portion of Rich Nugent's 5th and Steve Southerland's 2nd.  Safe for GOP.

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3: Jacksonville (orange-red): Corrine Brown (D)
57/43 Obama (-16D), 33% Black

This district gets a little bit tougher for Democrats.  It still meets VRA requirements because African Americans would be a majority in the Democratic primary.  By reaching down into Palatka it becomes safer than a district that's entirely Jacksonville-centered, but Corrine Brown would still be in trouble seeing as she underperformed Obama by 10 points in 2010.  You could make this district safer by reaching into Sanford, perhaps.  Corrine Brown could still win here, but she'd actually have to put some effort into reelection.  Lean D.

4: Greater Jacksonville (yellow): Ander Crenshaw (R)
71/29 McCain (-9D)

Safe Republican.  Most conservative district in Florida.

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7: Daytona (gray): John Mica (R)
50/50 McCain (+4D)

This space coast district is pretty marginal, it could potentially swing to a Democrat in a wave election.  Suzanne Kosmas was elected in a similar area in '08.  However, the geography of this district leads me to believe it would elect Republicans more often than not.  Lean R.

5: Spring Hill-Dade Springs (purple): Richard Nugent (R)
57/43 McCain

This district shrinks a lot (I believe there was considerable population growth in this area) but still remains 57/43 McCain.  Safe R.

15: Titusville-Vero Beach (orange): Bill Posey (R)
56/44 McCain (-4D)

Nice compact district on the Florida coast.  Almost no county splits.  Safe R.

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9: Bayonet Point-Clearwater (cyan): Gus Bilirakis (R)
53/47 McCain

Likely R.

10: St. Petersburg (pink): Bill Young (R)
57/42 Obama (+6D)

Super-old Congressman Bill Young represents St. Petersburg, and by adding downtown St. Pink from Castor's district the 11th becomes more Democratic.  This St. Petersburg district - recently named most depressing place in the U.S. (weird - I always thought it sounded like nice place?) - would probably elect a Democrat if Bill Young decides to retire.

11: Tampa (light green): Kathy Castor (D)
65/35 Obama (-1D), 47% White, 21% Black, 27% Hispanic

Safe D.

13: Manatee County (peach): Vern Buchanan
53/47 McCain

Likely R.

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8: Orlando (purplish-blue): Daniel Webster (R)
59/41 Obama (+6D), 51% White, 24% Black, 18% Hispanic

Theoretically Alan Grayson still would've lost here in 2010, but in a more favorable political climate he might be able to make a comeback here. Likely D.

24: Lake-Seminole Counties (green): Sandy Adams (R)
54/46 McCain (-3D)

This district moves a lot actually; Adams might be representing new territory here.  Still  likely R.

27: Kissimmee (light green): OPEN (new district)
62/38 Obama, 43% White, 41% Hispanic

Hispanics make up a large portion of this district, Puerto Ricans, I believe.  Safe D.

12: Lakeland (light blue): Dennis Ross (R)
55/45 McCain (-4D)

Likely R.

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16: Sarasota-Port St. Lucie (bright green): Tom Rooney (R)
55/45 McCain (-2D)

Likely R.  Still an ugly cross-Florida district but in a moment you will find out why that benefits...

22: Fort Myers-Okeechobee-Palm Beach (crimson): Allen West (R)
59/41 Obama (+7D), 22% Black, 17% Hispanic

West actually lives nowhere near this district but I had to put the number 22 somewhere.  The 22nd takes in some AA strength from Alcee Hastings' dismantled district.  Safe D.

14: Cape Coral (dark goldenish?): Connie Mack IV (R)
56/44 McCain (+2D)

Safe R.

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19: Palm Beach County (light green): Ted Deutch (D)
63/37 Obama (-2D)

White majority. Safe D.

23: I-95 strip (blue): Alcee Hastings (D)
76/24 Obama (-7D), 40% White, 39% Black, 17% Hispanic

The former 23rd was an obvious racial and political gerrymander.  This new district still strongly favors the election of an African American congressman or woman; there is still a lot of AA strength in the Democratic primary and Safe D in the general.

17: North Miami (navy blue): Frederica Wilson (D)
87/13 Obama, 53% Black, 32% Hispanic

Black majority, most Democratic district in Florida.  Safe D.

20: Fort Lauderdale (light pink): Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D)
59/41 Obama (-4D)

This district becomes a few points more Republican, however seeing that Schultz has outperformed other Democrats in the past I think she'll be fine here.  Safe D.

21: Coral Springs-Pembroke Pines-Hialeah (blood red): Mario Diaz-Balart (R)
57/43 Obama (+8D), 50% Hispanic

This district is technically a fourth Cuban VAP district.  It is favorable to Democrats, but Diaz-Balart has done well in the past, winning without opposition in a marginal district in '10.  However, Democrats could win here.  Tilt D.

18: Hialeah-Miami-Miami Beach (yellow): Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R)
52/48 McCain (-3D), 75% Hispanic

This district is the Miami Republican vote sink.  Miami may be the only major inner-city in America with a Republican representative.  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen easily has the most bipartisan appeal of any South Florida Republican, so that's why I put her in the most Republican district.  Safe R.

25: Coral Gables-Naples (light pink): David Rivera (R)
62/38 McCain (-11D), 58% Hispanic

This district stretches from Coral Gables over to Naples.  And, yes, there is road contiguity via Rte 41, entirely within the district.  Cuban VAP district, Safe R.

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26: South Dade-Everglades-Keys (gray): OPEN (new district)
59/41 Obama, 55% Hispanic

New district covering beautiful territory.  Favors Democrats.

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That's all!  Thoughts?

Discuss

Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 10:24 PM PST

North Carolina 10D-3R Gerrymander

by psychicpanda

North Carolina Republicans have released a map that makes 10 Republican Districts and 3 Democratic Districts.  This is a reverse of that, a fantasy map of course, which forms 10 Democratic Districts and 3 Republican.  It would likely oust 3 Republican incumbents (most likely Walter Jones, Howard Coble and Sue Myrick).  It is more aggressive than my first North Carolina map, which was 9D-4R.

Behold:

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Edit: Gah!  Eastern NC was cut off...

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____________

(all racial data is VAP)

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District 1: G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson)

68/32 Obama
70/30 Democratic

50% Black, 41% White, 6% Hispanic

Unlike the 1st district in my last map, I believe this one is VRA compliant.  It includes all VAP mandated counties.  This district loses much of it's current Democratic strength in Northeastern NC and replaces it with some AA precincts in Southeastern NC and precincts from Greensboro and Durham.  I also managed to make a Democratic district the most partisan district in the state - and still in a Democratic gerrymander.  Safe D.

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District 2: Renee Ellmers (R-Dunn)

68/31 McCain
65/35 Republican

80% White, 11% Black, 7% Hispanic

This is a Republican vote sink and a very ugly-shaped district.  Contiguous at a single-point in many areas.  The only GOP incumbent who lives here is Renee Ellmers, but really this district takes in the most heavily GOP areas from three districts - Walter Jones' 2nd, Ellmers' 3rd, and Howard Coble's 6th.  Safe R.

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District 3: Walter Jones (R-Farmville)

50/50 Obama
53/47 Democratic

63% White, 31% Black, 4% Hispanic

This district only went for Obama by two-tenths of a percent (49.7-49.5) but it is actually very heavily Democratic.  The only Republican who would have good odds of winning here is Walter Jones, who is basically a Democrat (pro-taxes on walthy, pro-Medicare, anti-war), but I wouldn't bet on him surviving a tough primary.  Bev Perdue probably got 60% here and Mike Easley maybe 65%.  Lean R for Walter Jones, Likely D for everyone else.

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District 4: David Price (D-Chapel Hill)

59/40 Obama
56/44 Democratic

67% White, 17% Black, 9% Hispanic, 6% Asian

This district becomes a few points more Republican, but is still Safe D.

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District 5: OPEN

68/31 McCain
67/33 Republican

89% White, 5% Black, 4% Hispanic

This is one of two Republican vote sinks in Western NC.  It displaces current 5th district Rep. Virginia Foxx, which screws Republicans over even more.  (Touch-point contiguity southwest of Lexington.)  Safe R.

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District 6: Howard Coble (R-Greensboro)

55/44 Obama
53/47 Democratic

63% White, 31% Black, 4% Hispanic

Howard Coble is in the worst position of all GOP incumbents with this map.  Almost none of his old 6th district is in the new 6th district, and it's 20 points more Democratic than before.  The 6th follows the I-40 corridor through Central NC, taking in all of Winston-Salem, leftovers of Greensboro, and the Duke University area of Durham.  Likely D.

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District 7: Mike McIntyre (D-Lumberton)

56/43 McCain
53/47 Republican

69% White, 16% Black, 7% Native, 6% Hispanic

Mike McIntyre is one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, but is still apparently liberal enough to make the Republicans spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to beat (which they haven't).  Barring another 2010 wave year, he will be safe here.  He won with about 70% in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 - and his district only becomes 4 points more Republican.  It also splits Wilmington which diminishes the possibility of a strong primary/general challenge from that part of the district.

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District 8: Larry Kissell (D-Biscoe)

51/49 Obama
51/49 Democratic

60% White, 27% Black, 8% Hispanic

Larry Kissell is a tough incumbent to draw a safe district for in any situation, but given that this district doesn't change much from it's pre-2010 form, he should be able to win here.  Lean D.

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District 9: Sue Myrick (R-Charlotte)

56/44 Obama
50/50 Republican

63% White, 21% Black, 9% Hispanic, 5% Asian

Charlotte has historically been a very Republican city, but has been trending progressive in recent years.  Mecklenburg County was one of the few in the U.S. that went for Bush in '00 and Kerry in '04.  Sue Myrick is a popular former mayor of Charlotte and has a fair chance of winning here, but she is a staunch conservative and if a good Democrat could point that out, this district is certainly winnable.  Tilt D for now, but Likely D by the end of the decade.

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District 10: Patrick McHenry (R-Cherryville)

66/33 McCain
65/35 Republican

87% White, 7% Black, 4% Hispanic

I think Patrick McHenry's little town of Cherryville has actually been moved out of this district - but just barely.  Other than that, Patrick McHenry is safe here - which is kind of unfortunate because he's my least favorite NC Republican.

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District 11: Heath Shuler (D-Waynesville) vs. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk)

52/48 McCain
53/47 Republican

90% White, 3% Black, 4% Hispanic

This is my favorite district in this map.  It is by far the most compact (no county splits!) and it only includes mountain counties (I love the NC mountains!).  The election stats haven't changed at all, and Virginia Foxx would not run here - so Heath Shuler is safe in this district.

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District 12: Mel Watt (D-Charlotte)

64/35 Obama
63/37 Democratic

49% White, 36% Black, 11% Hispanic, 3% Asian

Drawing this district majority-minority was my greatest feat in making this map.  It includes the least-white precincts from Mecklenburg county and the city of High Point, and then criss-crosses through the western half of the state, taking in small towns that vote Democratic.  Unfortunately it's congressman, Mel Watt, is owned by the Bank of America.  But at least he is a Democrat.  Safe D, in any case.

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District 13: Brad Miller (D-Raleigh)

57/42 Obama
54/46 Democratic

64% White, 23% Black, 9% Hispanic, 3% Asian

This district becomes more Raleigh centered and takes in some Democratic areas of Johnston County (Clayton and Smithfield).  Safe D.

____________

That's it.  Too bad this map is not real.  Instead we have a horrid GOP gerrymander.  Oh well.

Thoughts?

Discuss

This is probably the best gerrymander Georgia Democrats could hypothetically get.  It doesn't overrepresent minorities like the early 2000s map did.  It's a possible  9-3 map, but not guaranteed.  However, it almost certainly would be 9-3 by the end of the decade.  

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There are:

8 White Districts (59% of state population)
4 Black Districts (29% of state population)
2 Mixed/coalition districts

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1st District:  Austin Scott (R-Ashburn)

68/31 McCain
62/38 Republican

73% White, 20% Black

This south Georgia district is home to peanuts and Austin Scott.  It does, however, contain most of Jack Kingston's former territory and not very much of freshman Scott's.  It is safe for the GOP.

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2nd District: Sanford Bishop (D-Albany)

61/38 Obama
62/37 Democratic

51% Black, 43% White

The 2nd becomes majority black, and safer for Sanford Bishop.

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3rd District: OPEN

69/30 McCain
66/34 Republican

77% White, 16% Black

Lynn Westmoreland (R) would likely run here, since he lives in the heavily Democratic 13th now.  Still safe for the GOP.

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4th District: Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia)

63/36 Obama
62/38 Democratic

51% Black, 42% White

The 4th loses some of DeKalb County and reaches down into Deep South Georgia.  It's still majority black and heavily Democratic.

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5th District: John Lewis (D-Atlanta)

67/33 Obama
64/36 Democratic

53% Black, 35% White, 7% Hispanic

Safe Democratic.

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6th District: Tom Price (R-Roswell)

70/29 McCain
72/28 Republican

80% White, 7% Hispanic, 6% Black, 6% Asian

Safe GOP.

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7th District: Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville)

50/49 McCain
54/46 Republican

40% White, 27% Hispanic, 18% Black, 13% Asian

This Gwinnett-centric district has changed dramatically over the last decade.  It is the second-least White district in the state but it still narrowly went for John McCain in 2008.  A conservative Republican would have a difficult time winning here - a moderate Republican probably could, but by the end of the decade this district and Atlanta's Northeast suburbs will likely swing more for the Democrats than Republicans.  Toss-up now, lean/likely D later.

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8th District: OPEN

73/26 McCain
69/31 Republican

84% White, 9% Black

North Georgia mountainous district, safe for the GOP.

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9th District: Tom Graves (R-Ranger)

73/26 McCain
69/31 Republican

86% White, 8% Hispanic

Very conservative district and safe for very conservative Rep. Tom Graves.

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10th District: Paul Broun (R-Athens)

51/49 Obama
51/49 Democratic

57% White, 35% Black

New Democratic district in Eastern Georgia.  Would be a pretty easy pickup with ultraconservative Paul Broun running.

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11th District: Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta)

53/46 Obama
51/49 Democratic

50% White, 31% Black, 13% Hispanic

This district is centered in Atlanta's trending Democratic western suburbs.  Likely D.

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12th District: John Barrow (D-Savannah) vs. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah)

51/49 McCain
51/49 Republican

58% White, 34% Black, 6% Hispanic

John Barrow has a pretty moderate voting record, and would probably be the favorite in this historically Democratic district.

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13th District: David Scott (D-Atlanta) vs. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grafton)

62/38 Obama
60/40 Democratic

51% Black, 42% White

Safe Democratic.

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14th District: OPEN

57/42 Obama
56/44 Democratic

59% White, 26% Black, 7% Asian, 6% Hispanic

This is about the closest thing there is to a liberal White district in Georgia.  Open seat and safe for the Democrats.

Discuss

Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 05:33 PM PDT

Virginia 9-2 GOP Map

by psychicpanda

Unlike North Carolina, in which Democrats are very much favored on the congressional level - it's almost impossible to draw a map which really favors Democrats in Virginia.  Almost every Republican running for Congress outperformed John McCain in 2008 and Republicans swept Virginia house seats in 2010.  They now hold a 8-3 majority over Democrats in the delegation.  I don't know if it is just the weakness of Virginia's Democratic party or what - but Democrats did horribly this cycle in what would appear, on paper, to be a GOP dummymander.

Tea Party Gov. Bob McDonnell may actually want to go for an 9-2 map if Democrats lose the state Senate this November.  So, Bob, you can thank me later, here's a map that would likely give the GOP an impressive 9-2 majority in purplish-blue Virginia.

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District 1: Rob Whitman (R-Montross)

52/48 McCain
54/46 Republican

68% White, 16% Black, 8% Hispanic, 6% Asian

Whitman won handily here when it was 1 point less conservative, and the district in this shape would almost certainly elect a Republican.

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District 2: Scott Rigell (R-Virginia Beach)

51/49 McCain
53/47 Republican

66% White, 22% Black, 5% Hispanic, 4% Asian

This district takes in some of the redder precincts from Bobby Scott's district.  It's quite ugly, but it actually becomes two points more conservative than before.  The military is a big issue in this area.  Freshman Dem. Rep. Glenn Nye lost to former car salesman Scott Rigell here in 2010, and Rigell, who at least seems like a nice guy and not a bitter partisan, would probably win again here in the future.

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District 3: Bobby Scott (D-Newport News)

84/16 Obama
79/21 Democratic

62% Black, 29% White, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian

The 3rd district as I've drawn it would probably win the award for ugliest-shaped district in the country.  Criss-crossing the James River about half a dozen times, this district takes in the most heavily Democratic precincts from Richmond to Virginia Beach.  This is one of two districts in Virginia that is safe for Democrats.

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District 4: Randy Forbes (R-Chesapeake) vs. Robert Hurt (R-Chatham)

53/47 McCain
55/45 Republican

66% White, 27% Black, 3% Hispanic, 3% Asian

Randy Forbes would probably hold onto this district pretty easily; but Robert Hurt lives here too and he would have to move up to Richmond or Charlottesville to avoid running against a fellow Republican.

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District 5: VACANT

54/46 McCain
57/43 Republican

75% White, 14% Black, 5% Hispanic, 4% Asian

Open seat.  Robert Hurt could move up here to run.  One-term Dem. Rep. Tom Perriello would have little to no chance of returning to Congress in the fifth district, where most of his base (Charlottesville) lives.

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District 6: Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke)

56/44 McCain
56/44 Republican

79% White, 15% Black, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian

The district shifts to the south and east a bit, but Goodlatte would still win easily here.

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District 7: Eric Cantor (R-Culpeper)

50/50 McCain
55/45 Republican

69% White, 12% Asian, 9% Hispanic, 8% Black

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's district moves up towards the DC area.  It just barely went for John McCain in 2008 - but in Northern Virginia that is certainly enough to elect a Republican congressman.

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District 8: Jim Moran (D-Arlington)

70/30 Obama
67/33 Democratic

The 8th takes a much uglier shape in this map, but becomes majority-minority and slightly more Democratic.  This is the only district in No. Va. that is safe for Democrats.

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District 9: Morgan Griffith (R-Salem)

63/37 McCain
59/41 Republican

94% White, 4% Black, 1% Hispanic, 1% Asian

Morgan Griffith actually lives in the 6th, but just barely - Salem is about a mile outside of this district.  Ironically, Democrats would probably have the best chance of taking the 9th, the most conservative district, out of all GOP districts in Virginia - that is, if Rick Boucher were running again.  However, he's probably the only Democrat who would have a good shot here.

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District 10: Frank Wolf (R-Vienna)

50/50 McCain
52/48 Republican

77% White, 8% Hispanic, 7% Asian, 6% Black

Frank Wolf should have no problem winning in this ugly baconmander district, since he won handily in 2008 year in a 53-47 Obama district.

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District 11: Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax)

51/49 McCain
55/45 Republican

Gerry Connolly just barely held on in what was previously a 57% Obama district in 2010, and under-performed Obama in 2008.  Mathematically, Connolly stands almost no chance in a district that is made 8 points more Republican.

Discuss

With this map, North Carolina would likely gain one liberal democrat and one center-left democrat, bringing the delegation to 9 Democrats and only 4 Republicans.

All racial data VAP.

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District 1: G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson)
69-30 Obama    70-30 Democratic        50% Black, 40% White, 6% Hispanic

(Touch-point contiguity at High Point)

Butterfield is probably the only Democrat who would not like the new map, since his new district would contain mostly unfamiliar territory.

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District 2:  Walter Jones (R-Nashville)
61-38 McCain    58-42 Republican        71% White, 18% Black, 9% Hispanic

Includes much of Jones' current territory, but the actual 3rd district moves to the east.  He is basically a democrat, with his anti-war, pro-raising taxes on the rich and pro-Medicare positions.  He'd probably survive a primary challenge, as many Republicans in this district are former Democrats, like Jones.

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District 3: OPEN
51-48 Obama    54-46 Democratic        61% White, 32% Black, 4% Hispanic

This district would almost certainly elect a Democrat.  The Obama numbers are a little low, but the numbers for statewide races are much higher.

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District 4: David Price (D-Chapel Hill)
63-36 Obama    59-41 Democratic        70% White, 14% Black, 7% Asian, 7% Hispanic

Safe Democratic.  I did my best to create a liberal white VAP district. :)  They are a rarity in the South.

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District 5: Virginia Foxx (R-Blowing Rock)
64-35 McCain    62-38 Republican        88% White, 5% Black, 5% Hispanic

This district is a Republican sink, by which I mean it sinks a Republican congressman/woman.  Pat McHenry doesn't live here but he'd likely challenge Virginia Foxx for this seat.  Neither is very well-liked in their district, so who knows what would happen here.

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District 6: OPEN
57-42 Obama    53-47 Democratic        65% White, 22% Black, 9% Hispanic, 3% Asian

(Touch-point contiguity at High Point)

This district would have a good chance at electing a fifth liberal democrat to NC's delegation.  The north and south ends of this district take in the leftovers from the Triad and Charlotte, while the I-85 part of the district takes the shape of Mel Watt's current district... I know, we couldn't get rid of it. :P

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District 7: Mike McIntyre (D-Lumberton)
52-48 McCain    51-49 Democratic        65% White, 20% Black, 5% Hispanic

Takes in more of Fayetteville and loses Sampson & Duplin.  Still safe for McIntyre.

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District 8: Larry Kissell (D-Biscoe)
50-49 McCain    50-50 Democratic        63% White, 24% Black, 9% Hispanic

This district probably fits Kissell's voting pattern better than his current district.  He's really not safe anywhere, but he could win here.

Photobucket

District 9: Sue Myrick (R-Charlotte)
65-34 McCain    67-33 Republican        83% White, 7% Black, 6% Hispanic

Runs east of I-85 from Charlotte to Greensboro.  Very safe for Myrick.

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District 10: Howard Coble (R-Greensboro)
63-36 McCain    65-35 Republican        85% White, 8% Black, 4% Hispanic

Coble's pretty old, but he's showing no signs of retiring yet.  Regardless, he could get a primary challenge from Patrick McHenry here.

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District 11: Heath Shuler (D-Waynesville)
52-47 McCain    52-48 Republican        88% White, 4% Black, 4% Hispanic

Doesn't change much.  Safe for Shuler in the general, but he's still vulnerable in a primary.

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District 12: Mel Watt (D-Charlotte) vs. Patrick McHenry (R-Cherryville)
62-37 Obama    60-40 Democratic        49% White, 35% Black, 11% Hispanic, 4% Asian

Less AA than before, but the 12th becomes more compact with this map.  And I threw Cherryville into this district just to screw McHenry.  If only this map were real....

Photobucket

District 13: Brad Miller (D-Raleigh) vs. Renee Ellmers (R-Dunn)
55-44 Obama    54-46 Democratic        60% White, 27% Black, 9% Hispanic

Not quite as Democratic as before, but Miller could still beat Ellmers here any day.  This district takes a shape similar to the current 2nd, actually.

And that's all!

Thoughts?

Discuss

Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 03:39 PM PDT

Florida VRA Districts?

by psychicpanda

I was wondering about minority districts in Florida and what the rules are -

There are two African American majority districts, both in Miami.  One, near downtown Miami is doable, but the other requires a crazy gerrymander screwing up all of Southeast Florida.  Is there some kind of clause in the VRA that says this kind of district is not required?

Corrine Brown's district is 49% black.  I don't know if it's considered black majority or what -- but it also requires a crazy gerrymander through North-Central Florida.  Whether you bring the district down to Orlando or over to Tallahassee, a 51% black district is nearly impossible.  Can this one be eliminated too?

All I can say is - the Republicans did a really good job with Florida.  

Discuss

Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 02:27 AM PDT

Tennessee w/ 4 Obama Districts

by psychicpanda

This, of course, is a fantasy map - since Republicans control every level of Tennessee's government right now.  I probably could've made a map that elects 5 or 6 Democrats but there would be a lot of Blue Dogs there... here is a map with 4 Obama districts:

STATE MAP:

Photobucket

DISTRICT ONE:

Photobucket

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City)
SAFE R

68/32 McCain
64/36 Republican
94% White

DISTRICT TWO:

Photobucket

Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-Knoxville)
SAFE R

67/33 McCain
61/39 Republican
92% White

DISTRICT THREE:

Photobucket

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Chattanooga)
SAFE R

66/34 McCain
63/37 Republican
92% White

DISTRICT FOUR:

Photobucket

Rep. Steve DesJarlais (R-South Pittsburg) vs. Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin)
LEAN D

50/50 Obama
51/49 Democratic
82% White, 13% Black

DISTRICT FIVE:

Photobucket

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville)
LIKELY D

55/45 Obama
61/39 Democratic
63% White, 25% Black, 8% Hispanic

DISTRICT SIX:

Photobucket

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood)
SAFE R

66/34 McCain
61/39 Republican
87% White, 7% Black

DISTRICT SEVEN:

Photobucket

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Crockett County)
LIKELY R (a John Tanner-like Democrat could take this seat out of the R column)

64/37 McCain
60/40 Republican
83% White, 12% Black

DISTRICT EIGHT:

Photobucket

OPEN SEAT
LEAN D

51/49 Obama
54/46 Democratic
67% White, 27% Black

DISTRICT NINE:

Photobucket

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis)
STRONG D (though not necessarily strong for Cohen)

62/38 Obama
60/40 Democratic
51% Black, 41% White

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