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View Diary: Three Different Universes of Redistricting Massachusetts (Plus: Revisiting the Original Gerrymander) (35 comments)

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  •  That map is a little too R friendly and it shows (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, NYFM, Massr, atdnext

    in districts 2, 3, and 9 especially, but whatever, it just proves the point that even an R-friendly "commission" map is still going to result in 9 Democrats in anything other than a 2010 wave or challengers getting their shit together when running against Tierney. Even that 58% R seat, while easily won by Brown is still going to have gone Dem in 2012. All of the Massachusetts Dems ran significantly ahead of Obama save for Tierney and even with his "scandal" he only ran a few points behind.

    Not to say I'm disagreeing with your criticism of KoS map since yes, the Merrimack Valley in particular is eyebrow raising, but there are certainly other ways to draw the state than BostonPatriot did and if you split the difference between his map and my map you get 8 solidly Dem seats given incumbency and then John Tierney by himself.

    •  Yeah, I and I'm no expert. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IllinoyedR, Massr, atdnext, Marcus Graly

      I was giving it my best.

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:47:26 PM PST

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      •  Yeah, and I appreciate that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sorry if I sounded harsh. I was just pointing out what I didn't like. At the same time, other than giving Somerville to the 7th (which seems to have been done because Capuano lives there), your map inside 495 is actually pretty good.

        Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

        by IllinoyedR on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:58:13 PM PST

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        •  I added a revised fair map as an update (0+ / 0-)

          at the end of the diary.

          "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

          by KingofSpades on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:42:48 PM PST

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          •  I like very much your diary (0+ / 0-)

            I think your revision of the fair map is less fair than your first fair map. I think Massr and IllinoyedR are driving your new revision to a more Republican map. It is obvious looking at the PVI of the districts of booth maps.

            I like very much your diary.

    •  I like yours too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, bumiputera

      With the exception of attaching Franklin County to Worcester. I'm not sure what this has become such common practice: of the three counties to Worcester's west, Franklin has the least in common with it and is also the most difficult to access from it. Berkshire is the most similar county to Franklin in the state. Hampden is the best partner for Worcester because both are suburban.

      My 3rd is very different than what most people draw (your 5th/6th/9th configuration is more common) but I was trying to keep the exurbs from being drowned out by the inner suburbs. It does work in Republicans' favor, but I also think it does a better job of keeping similar towns together, especially when you look at population density and income.

      My 9th isn't designed for a Republican as much as a Lynch-type conservadem. I doubt a Republican would be competitive there in the near future--all seats but the 3rd on my map are pretty safe for their Democratic incumbents.

      Former SSP Minority Whip

      by Massr on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:39:47 PM PST

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      •  I posted a revised fair map as an update (0+ / 0-)

        It's at the bottom of the diary now.

        "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

        by KingofSpades on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:43:26 PM PST

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      •  Of Course It's Partisan (0+ / 0-)

        However, you start with the idea that Western MA has around 150K more people than a CD, so the Central MA seat is going to have to include some of those areas.

        The options are :
        1. To get 150K people from the towns between Worcester and Springfield.
        2. To get 150K people from the Pioneer Valley  (basically the area around the Connecticut River upstream from Springfield.)

        Republicans would like option #1. That area, apart from heavily Hispanic Southbridge, is among the most Republican in the state, leaving Worcester mostly alone in a district with a bunch of towns that voted for Romney. Democrats went for Option #2 since the famously progressive Pioneer Valley is pretty much allergic to the GOP, a perfect fit for McGovern of course.  

        It's defensible on the following grounds, depending on your credulity:
        * The towns the Republicans would have liked to move from Neal to McGovern were mostly Neal's turf and had been thru at least two redistricting cycles. Neal gave up the Blackstone Valley but kept everything west of Webster.
        * Since there aren't a lot of people in this area, the Republicans would have had McGovern taking towns that belonged more naturally with a Springfield-based district rather than a Worcester-based one. (Of course lots of towns around Worcester had been with Neal and/or Olver, but that's because it's been a while since Western MA could really support two districts and they had to go somewhere.)
        * There's a pretty decent cultural gap between the Pioneer Valley and Greater Springfield. The former is a "wine track" area; the latter a "beer track" area.
        * The Pioneer Valley happens to have about 150K people in it. So it fits almost perfectly.

        And don't think counties. They mean next to nothing. Think regions and clusters, that basically always cross county lines. In less densely settled parts of the state, think regional school districts if you know them.  

        Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

        by Answer Guy on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:14:40 PM PST

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        •  I think you're misunderstanding Western MA (0+ / 0-)

          The "Pioneer Valley" that the state brands for tourism purposes is quite small and is comprised of central Hampshire County--the Five Colleges towns and a couple neighbors like Pelham.

          Outside of those towns, Hampshire and especially Franklin are fairly gritty and desolate places whose only comp is northern Berkshire (think North Adams, not the summer resort towns). This is anything but a wine-track area; it's almost more moonshine-track than beer-track.

          Regardless of what towns he takes, McGovern will be cutting into areas that belong more with Springfield than Worcester--the Central Mass/Western Mass divide is just about coterminous with Worcester County, a county whose borders actually mean something. It makes sense to keep the state's "Hill Country" together and give the stuff along the Mass Pike to McGovern, since those towns are easily accessed from Worcester and Springfield alike.

          Former SSP Minority Whip

          by Massr on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 11:35:25 PM PST

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