I'm actually not terribly keen on a lot of Blue Dog Democrats in the Deep South, yet here I am with new maps of Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana showing how we could expand the playing field in a way that helps out Blue Dogs. I've weakened a district here and there but generally most Democratic incumbents aren't too adversely affected, and there are also new districts for non-Blue Dog Democrats, too.
Dem Average: 43.6%
While this isn't a district I would imagine Democrats have a great shot at winning, this was Bobby Bright's old district, and the Obama numbers were improved by 2.5 points. This district shifts up the eastern border of the state.
Dem Average: 50.1%
This compact northern Alabama district takes in some conservative territory, but also some that votes for white Democrats. Each of the northern border counties plus Colbert and Lawrence, and dips a bit into Morgan County but not as much as the current district, plus a tiny about 500 people in Franklin County. While federal Dems get slaughtered here, in 2002 Don Siegelman got above 50% in all but two of the whole counties, and didn't hit below 46% in any of the whole counties. It may not offer Democrats a seat where they're favored, but it does give a good opportunity to be competitive.
Dem Average: 60.9%
This compact district is based around Birmingham, with Tuscaloosa County as well. This is not a Blue Dog district, though there are some white Democrats here. This district was designed as a Tuscaloosa-Birmingham district, to be compact and urban, but as a result of the combination (unintentionally) this district is plurality black by total population, 44.2% black by voting age population, presenting a good opportunity for an African American Democrat to be elected here.
Dem Average: 62.2%
This is Alabama's majority black district, at 57.9% black by total population, and 55.3% black by voting age population. This district moved down into Mobile and pulled out of Birmingham, and could probably be unpacked a bit more to help out AL-02, but I didn't think it was worth it.
Dem Average: 59.8%
This is a newly majority black district, at 50.4% by voting age population, and 52.9% by total population.
Dem Average: 72.7%
51.6% black by voting age population, the east side of the Atlanta metro area.
Dem Average: 72.1%
50.5% black by voting age population, the heart of Atlanta and suburbs south in Clayton and Henry counties.
Dem Average: 50.9%
This is a 56% white (by voting age population) district that Obama won in Georgia. It's kinda sprawling and kinda all over the place, hitting 4 different counties in the northern Atlanta metro area, including north Atlanta, Decatur, Marietta, and Berkeley Lake. A white Democrat could probably compete here, and I'm guessing by the look of it (Obama winning by more than average, growing minority populations) that this will only trend more Democratic over time.
GA-12 (Light Blue in the far southeast)
Dem Average: 54%
This district stretches from Augusta down to Savannah and then to McIntosh County. It's 39.5% black by voting age population, but probably not safe for a black Democrat to win given the narrow Democratic advantage.
Dem Average: 64.2%
This district is 53.3% black by voting age population, in the west side of the Atlanta metro area, from Powder Springs through Douglasville and on to Fayetteville.
Dem Average: 52.3%
This is a new district, 36.2% black by voting age population, which gives Democrats a competitive edge for a 7th district they can win in Georgia. It is a horribly gerrymandered beast, though, for while Athens and parts of Gwinnett County are both in the district, in reality there's only one county in between them. To stay within this district, one would have to travel through 8 other counties between them.
Dem Average: 70.1%
This district is 51.5% black by voting age population. This district now stretches out to Iberville and St. Mary parishes.
Landrieu 2008: 53.9%
This district is one where Democrats overperform. Landrieu did by nearly 2 points, Obama did by 4 points, Gore did by about a point. It including counties on the northern border, including the city of Shreveport, and extends east to the Mississippi region and goes down the river and extends east and west to St. Helena and Avoyelles parishes, soaking up old Blue Dog and black Democrats wherever it can. The district is 37.5% black by voting age population, but nowhere near Democratic enough to elect a black Democrat reliably.
Landrieu 2008: 57.1%
This T-shaped district extends from Allen Parish in the west to Baton Rouge in the east and New Iberia in the south. Again, while 37.7% black this district is not reliable enough to elect a black Democrat, but the strength of Democrats here, with Landrieu overperforming her statewide numbers by 5 points, and Obama by 7 points, suggests that this would be a very good opportunity for a local Blue Dog Democrat.