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Please begin with an informative title:

this is a map that returns the state to the traditional boundaries enumeration and location of the congressional district with a few changes here and there. This is a map that is fair and one where neither republican nor democrats are an all out winner. If the pictures are too big, you can just click on it and get a full screen view.

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Houston Area
District 7 (Dark Gray, West Central Harris)
Incumbent: John Culberson R-Houston
Race: 42.9% White, 36.9% Hispanic
Election Results: 59.8% McCain
Comments: This is very similar to the 3rd district in the sense that the district has been voting republican longer than most anywhere else in the state. The district isn’t as republican as it once was (where the presidential numbers seldom fell below 70%) but it is still a safe district, since the district has only 14.5% SSVR.

District 8 (Slate Blue, NE Harris)
Incumbent: Ted Poe R-Humble
Race: 40.8% Hispanic, 33.1% White
Election Results: 51.2% McCain
Comments: This was the district that sent Bob Eckhardt to congress in the 1970s. Eckhardt was a colorful and controversial congressman whose ADA ratings often scored above 90 and had the balls to take unpopular stands including his open hostility toward the oil industry and his support for busing. Times have changed of course as the 18th and 25th has gobbled up its best precincts and the northern part of the district near IAH has filled up with new subdivisions where the people living it them vote republican. Poe would probably be OK here for the time being, but may have a tough election later in the decade.

District 18 (Yellow, Central Harris)
Incumbent: S.J. Lee D-Houston
Race: 43.1% Hispanic, 31.2% Black
Election Results: 77.1% Obama
Comments: This district was initially drawn to be a black influence district. The old 18th was under populated by about 200,000 people and only about a quarter black. This district gobbles up a lot of precincts from mostly the old 25th but some from the old 8th as well.

District 22 (Sienna; outer Fort Bend, Brazoria)
Incumbent: Pete Olson R-Sugarland vs. Ron Paul R-Surfside
Race: 49.2% White, 24.7% Hispanic
Election Results: 62.1% McCain
Comments: Fort Bend County is a very political symmetrical county with two parts of the county voting entirely opposite of each other. The very conservative parts of Fort Bend are in this district as is all of Brazoria County, which I would guess is a mix of new exurban subdivisions and rural rednecks. Paul lives here, but he is retiring and Olson should have no problem in this district.

District 25 (PaleVioletRed, SE Harris)
Incumbent: Gene Green D-Houston
Race: 55.1% Hispanic
Election Results: 50.5% Obama
Comments: The political complexion of this district has changed because the eastern part of the district which was heavily black and democratic, was given to the population shy 18th. The district only had 696,000 people to begin with and with the removal of the black precincts, was about 170,000 people short. So as a result it takes in some areas from the 8th such as Galena Park/Jacinto City and Baytown. This is a marginal district, but the fact that most republicans here are too conservative to win it and the fact that Green is an inoffensive incumbent who runs ahead of the ticket, he should be fine here.

District 29 (Black for Color Contrast; Harris, Fort Bend)
Incumbent: Al Green D-Houston
Race: 38.2% Hispanic, 25.2% Black
Election Results: 62.3% Obama
Comments: The area within this district has often moved in inverse proportion to the state of Texas as a whole. In the 1980s, this was a prototypical suburban Sunbelt areas that were loyally republican while the rest of Texas was still a very democratic state downballot. This territory back then was split between two districts that sent two big-time republicans to Washington. Tom DeLay eventually became house majority leader and Bill Archer eventually became Ways and Means chairman. In the state legislature (which was heavily democratic back then), some of this territory was represented by arch conservative Talmadge Heflin. But in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the state of Texas began moving further to the GOP at the presidential and especially at the local level, this district moved the other way. In 2002, after being in the minority for twenty years, Heflin finally became chairman of the appropriations committee when the republicans gained control. But two years later, he was suddenly defeated for re-election. Overall this district is pretty solid democrat territory.

District 34 (Lime Green NW Harris)
Incumbent: None
Race: 47.8% White, 28.4% Hispanic
Election Results: 65.1% McCain
Comments: The 34th is the northern half of the old 7th and also taking in some of the more GOP areas of the old 8th. This is an exurban Houston district which is similar to Montgomery County. The minorities in parts of the district are the only thing preventing it from voting 75% republican. This is obviously a republican district, but I’m not sure who would run here since the legislators from the area (Patrick Fletcher Riddle) are all quite old.

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The Metroplex

District 3 (Dark Magenta NE Dallas)
Incumbent: Pete Sessions R-North Dallas
Race 50.5% White
Election Results: 55.6% McCain
Comments: This is actually the district Sam Johnson first represented (his residence was listed as North Dallas as late as 2002) but redistricting destroyed many of the old districts and Pete Sessions has now represented a lot of this territory since 2002 when he carpetbagged. The people in this district are old school republicans, who have been with the party the longest.

District 5 (Gold SE Dallas)
Incumbent: Jeb Hensarling R-Dallas
Race: 44.0% Hispanic, 28.5% White
Election Results: 65.5% Obama
Comments: This district is a mix between working class whites (who may vote dem from time to time) as well as some working class Hispanics. Hensarling, with his Club for Growth accolades, is a terrible fit for this district and would probably retire

District 12 (Cornflower Blue; Central and NW Tarrant)
Incumbent: Kay Granger R-Fort Worth
Race: 44.3% White, 36.6% Hispanic
Election Results: 50.3% McCain
Comments: This is a Fort Worth based district. The democrat urban core is balanced out by the more republican northern and western parts of the district. Kay Granger has been in office for eight terms and is a mainstream conservative (lifetime ACU of 87) so she should be able to win re-election in this district. She is nearly 70 years old so it still might go democrat when she retires.

District 24 (Indigo, SW Dallas)
Incumbent: E.B. Johnson D-Dallas
Race: 46.1% Hispanic, 32.9% Black
Election Results: 72.9% Obama
Comments: This is similar to the old 24th except that it was overpopulated by 160000 people. The areas that were excised were in the Coppell and Las Colinas area, making this district all the more democrat. This is obviously a safe democrat district.

District 32 (OrangeRed, NW Dallas, NE Tarrant, SE Denton)
Incumbent: Kenny Marchant R-Carrollton
Race: 56.2% White
Election Results: 61.8% McCain
Comments: The most well known landmark in this district is DFW airport, which is larger than Manhattan Island! When it was built in the mid 1970s, it was out in bf nowhere but as the decades have gone by, subdivisions have continued appearing in this area and many of the pilots, stewards, controllers and people who work at the airport in general live in this district. Also in this district is the well known Carroll High School in Southlake that was considered one of the best high school football teams in the nation. Overall, this is a noveau riche GOP district.

District 35 (Dark Orchid - Mid Cities)
Incumbent: None
Race: 49.9% White, 23.3% Hispanic
Election Results: 54.7% McCain
Comments: The 35th is what I call “the mid cities district”. The district is based in Arlington, which is sort of a big city in its own right. It is where the Cowboys play, there is a general motors plant, and a six flags park as well as where the Rangers play. Much of the success of the city can be attributed to Tom Vandergriff, who was mayor from 1951-1977 and also was a congressman for a term in the early 80s. Overall, this is a GOP district and as goes Texas, so does this district. State Rep Todd Smith would be a likely candidate for this seat.

District 36 (Orange, much of Collin County)
Incumbent: Sam Johnson R-Plano
Race: 61.9% White
Election Results: 62% McCain
Comments: Collin County has grown to the point where it can now afford its own congressional district. This district is mostly mcmansion style homes, big box stores, and SUVs. Johnson is already past 80 and may retire soon. His probable successor would be State Rep (and current State Senate candidate) Ken Paxton, who is notorious for being a young Turk.

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District 20 (pink, central Bexar)
Incumbent: Charlie Gonzalez D-San Antonio (retiring)
Race: 77.5% Hispanic
Election Results: 69% Obama
Comments: This central part of San Antonio is another area that has always voted 60+% democrat, even for candidates like George McGovern or Walter Mondale. The old 20th was under populated by almost as much as the 18th so it has expanded to take in a lot of low-income democrat areas from the 23rd.

District 28 (in gold for color contrast, northern and eastern Bexar)
Incumbent: Lamar Smith vs Quico Canseco (both Republicans from San Antonio)
Race: 45.0% White; 42.2% Hispanic
Election Results: 56.7% McCain
Comments: This district contains the wealthy parts of San Antonio including Alamo Heights, Hill Country Village and Hollywood Park. This district I would guess also has a lot of “lace curtain Mexicans” who would be willing to vote GOP.  This district contains Smith’s electoral base and in a primary, he would be the favorite since he has been in office since the 80s. But I’m guessing Canseco probably runs in the new 33rd.

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Austin Area

District 10 (Deep Pink; much of Travis)
Incumbent: Lloyd Doggett D-Austin
Race: 42.8% Hispanic; 39.6% White
Election Results: 74% Obama
Comments: This is the only district in Texas that is really liberal in the New York or Hollywood sense of the word.

District 31 (Khaki; west Travis, Bastrop, Hays, Blanco Burnett, west Williamson)
Incumbent: Michael McCaul R-Austin
Race: 67.4% White
Election Results: 52.3% McCain
Comments: This district takes in the western half of Travis County which is quite a bit wealthier and republican than the rest of the county. It also takes in some rural/exurban counties surrounding Austin that are surprisingly not that conservative as well as the largely rural precincts of western Williamson county. McCaul is an inoffensive conservative who should be OK in this district for the time being.

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Outstate

District 1 (Blue, NE Corner)
Incumbent: None
Race: 70.3% White
Election Results: 70.8% McCain
Comments: This is a rural seat with a populist tinge to it. This was represented by Wright Patman for nearly 50 years. But in the past two presidential elections, the democratic presidential candidate has received McGovern levels of support here. Gohmert doesn’t live here but would maybe run here since his home was put in same district with Ralph Hall.

District 2 (Green; Nacogdoches, Palestine, Orange, Huntsville)
Incumbent: None
Race: 70.9% White
Election Results: 70.3% McCain
Comments: This district is culturally more like Louisiana and like the 1st, has a populist tinge to it. Like the 1st, Democrats are down to McGovern levels in this district. No incumbent lives here but its possible Kevin Brady carpetbags here to avoid a primary with Bill Flores (and his district from 05-12 took in some of this turf)

District 4 (Red, Tyler, most of Longview, Rockwall, Greenville, Terrell)
Incumbent: Ralph Hall R-Rockwall vs Louie Gohmert R-Tyler
Race: 70.1% White
Election Results: 70.7% McCain
Comments: Hall and Gohmert are put in the same district. Since Hall isn’t retiring (even though he’s 89), Gohmert would run in the 1st. On paper, this is similar to the 1st, but has a lot more straight ticket republicans as it contains the archconservative oil town of Tyler and parts of Longview as well as mcmansion-laden Rockwall County.

District 6 (Teal, College Station, Conroe, Woodlands)
Incumbent: Kevin Brady R-The Woodlands vs. Bill Flores R-Bryan
Race 66.9% White
Election Results: 72.8% McCain
Comments: This contains some of rural east Texas (similar to the 2nd) but is more than drowned out by the straight ticket republicanism of Collie Station and Montgomery County. Collie Station is very republican for a college town and from what I know, is a borderline cult. Montgomery County, which is over half the district’s population; is, according to the Daily Caller, an area that “could be viewed as a conservative’s vision of earthly paradise.” The area is full of master planned communities, corporate office parks, an upscale town center, seven golf courses and a man-made canal that bisects the business district.

District 9 (Cyan; Galveston, Port Arthur, Beaumont)
Incumbent: None
Race: 52.3% White
Election Results: 56.5% McCain
Comments: This used to be a very democrat district and probably voted for Dukakis in 1988. But this district seems to be suffering from Archie Bunker’s disease just as SWPA has. This seat would probably go Republican, but in an open race, a good democrat like Eiland could maybe win it.

District 11 (Chartreuse; Bell, Williamson, much of McLennan)
Incumbent: None
Race: 58.4% White
Election Results: 58% McCain
Comments: This district takes in parts of Williamson county, which is much less gop then other Texas suburban counties, and also takes in Bell County (which isn’t as republican as other midsized cities because of Killeen) and just over half of McLennan county. Still, this is probably an R+12 district that will go republican barring a meltdown. Edwards has said he is done with politics while Dunnam might be interested.

District 13 (Dark Salmon; the panhandle and the western counties on the Red River)
Incumbent: Mac Thornberry R-Clarendon
Race: 66.6% White
Election Results: 77.2% McCain
Comments: Uhhh yeah, I doubt you could find a district more hostile to liberalism than this one. Next.

District 14 (Olive; Central Coast)
Incumbent: John Carter R-Round Rock
Race: 55.5% White
Election Results: 64.1% McCain
Comments: Although this does take a good chunk of suburban/exurban Williamson County, this is a mostly rural seat that was settled by German Republicans. Carter hasn’t had any trouble winning election in his first seat and definitely won’t in an R+18 seat.

District 15 (Dark Orange; Hidalgo County)
Incumbent: Ruben Hinojosa D-Mercedes
Race: 90.2% Hispanic
Election Results: 69% Obama
Comments: This district is a mix between a lot of mid sized cities within close proximity to each other and a lot of impoverished rural areas in between. This is one part of Texas, whose loyalties to the Democratic Party has never wavered.

District 16 (Lime; El Paso)
Incumbent: Silvestre Reyes D-El Paso (defeated in primary)
Race: 80.7% Hispanic
Election Results: 65.8% Obama
Comments: El Paso is a heavily Hispanic and heavily democratic city. Not much else needs to be said except that you shouldn’t visit the other side of the Rio Grande.

District 17 (Dark Slate Blue; Abilene, Weatherford, parts of Waco)
Incumbent: None
Race: 71.3% White
Election Results: 73.4% McCain
Comments: This is similar to the old 17th district with the exception being that the 19th gobbles up its western precincts and shifts east to take in some areas from the old 11th. This district would have been open to electing a democrat ten years ago but would be a safe GOP district now.

District 19 (Yellow Green; Lubbock, Odessa; West Central TX in general)
Incumbent: Randy Neugebauer D-Lubbock  
Race: 50.3% White
Election Results: 72.1% McCain
Comments: Don’t let the racial statistics fool you. This is a safe Republican district. The whites here are easily 80% GOP and the Hispanics, although 29% of all registered voters, seem more open to voting pub here than elsewhere.

District 21 (Maroon; Big Bend Country, Midland, German Hill Country)
Incumbent: Mike Conaway R-Midland
Race: 53.1% White
Election Results: 71.3% McCain
Comments: This is a mammoth district that takes in mostly desert areas where all that can grow is sage and takes in the dusty west Texas town of San Angelo as well as the ancestrally republican and wealthy oil town of Midland. It also takes in some of the German counties near San Antonio which have been voting republican for a long time, even longer than Midland. This is similar to the old 21st except that it has taken off the excess population from the old 16th and the San Antonio portion of the district has been put in a new district.

District 23
Incumbent: Henry Cuellar D-Laredo (Aquamarine; areas to the south and west of San Antonio)
Race: 70.4% Hispanic
Election Results: 55.3% Obama
Comments: This is mostly rural south Texas which is very Hispanic and democrat and also takes in the west side of Bexar County, which is politically marginal. Cuellar is a relatively moderate democrat (lifetime ADA of around 70) who would probably have little trouble winning this seat.

District 26 (Gray; Outer Collin, northern Denton; Cooke, Montague, much of Grayson and Wise.
Incumbent: Michael Burgess R-Lewisville
Race: 72% White
Election Results: 67% McCain
Comments: This is a district that takes in a lot of areas that are expected to fill up with a lot of people between now and the next census. The idea is that by the end of the decade, a district with a huge population of voters (and high turnout ones) will be stuck in one district while in democratic districts, only about a third of the same number of votes are cast, but in either case, still elect one congressman.

District 27 (Spring Green; far south coast)
Incumbent: Blake Farenthold R-Corpus Christi
Race: 76.2% Hispanic
Election Results: 55.6% Obama
Comments: Farenthold was an unexpected winner over 14 term congressman Solomon Ortiz in 2010. His ACU rating of 80 in 2011 was lower then most Texas congressmen so he might have a decent chance of holding this seat, though he would probably still be an underdog.

District 30 (Light Coral; SW Tarrant, Johnson and Ellis counties)
Incumbent: Joe Barton R-Ennis
Race: 67.3% White
Election Results: 67.0% McCain
Comments: This district is a mix between exurban and rural territory. It takes in the southwest part of Tarrant County, Ellis and Johnson counties and some rural areas further south. This district is largely middle class with the only wealthy area being around TCU. The rest of southern Tarrant and Ellis and Johnson are people who are buying their first home and can’t afford to live in Southlake or Plano so they move where the housing is cheaper. But the lower SES of this area doesn’t make it at all more democrat as McCain won 2/3 of the vote here.

District 33 (rural south Texas)
Incumbent: None
Race: 71.2% Hispanic
Election Results: 51.7% Obama
Comments: The 33rd takes in much of the old 15th as well as parts of the old 14th and 23rd districts. It goes further north then the other south Texas districts which explains why McCain managed to get 48% here. My guess is that Canseco would carpetbag here. Although it doesn’t contain much or any of his old district, it has similar demographics in the sense that it is heavily Hispanic on paper but racially polarized.

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