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View Diary: Congressional races by state: IL (44 comments)

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  •  Is the minority issue critical? (2+ / 0-)
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    Chicago Lulu, andgarden

    I mean, it surely was critical at one point, but one could argue that, now, in some places it's irrelevant and in other places might even hurt minority power.  

    Take NYC....it's got some ridiculous looking districts, all represented by liberal Democrats....

    NY 8,9,10,11, and 12, for instance....here

    8 is Nadler
    9 is Weiner
    10 is Towns
    11 is Clarke
    12 is Velazquez

    does it help or hurt Latinos that the 12th is designed to get as many Latinos as possible?  After all, then they influence just one seat.

    I dunno

    •  It is an important question (2+ / 0-)
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      Chicago Lulu, plf515

      and also a political one. Overpack minorities and they'll elect a representative that looks like them, but have no influence; crack them and they'll have no influence at all. make them 1/3-1/2 of a district, and they'll be kingmakers.

      This played out in Georgia in between 1990 and 2006. If 2002 hadn't been such a Republican year, and one of the Democratic nominees hadn't turned out to have ethical problems, this is what would have happened there:

      If Democrats in Georgia have drawn the new lines for Congressional districts as cleverly as they think they have, the party will win four additional seats in the House in the November elections, and the state's delegation will include five African-Americans, the most ever from any state.

      here, Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat, and the Democrats who control the State Senate and House set out with a vengeance to reverse the gains Republicans had made in the 1990's. Then, they joined forces with black politicians to create three districts where black voters were a heavy majority -- a tactic called ''max black'' that had the effect of making the state's other districts safely white and Republican.

      The Democrats' strategy was based on the conclusion of Mr. Lewis and other black political leaders in Washington and the Georgia Legislature that blacks could win even if they did not make up the overwhelming majority of voters in a district, and that white Democrats needed black votes to win.

      It was still a pretty Democratic map, given the state, and Blacks had real influence in the elections.

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