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Please begin with an informative title:

Looking into the Wisconsin election results, at first blush they were very good.  Both Barack Obama and Tammy Baldwin won by impressive margins.  However, down ballot, the picture is grim.  Both Duffy and Ribble won by double digits while we actually lost two State Senate seats and gained little in the Assembly.  So while 2012 was pretty good, Wisconsin Dems return to Madison in basically the same shape in the Senate and Assembly with around the same numbers as 2010, with the exception being Jen Schilling in the 32nd SD.  

The biggest reason, to me, of this is redistricting.  The Republican-drawn maps were absolutely brutal.  This lead me to wonder how things could be different, if history changed and Dems kept their trifecta after the 2010 elections.  With this in mind, I produced what would be my ideal maps.  I have been working on this for awhile, but work obligations kept be busy.  These might upset some Democratic incumbents with some new territory, but on the whole these maps could lead to a 7-1 Congressional Delegation (although 6-2 would be more likely) and solid holds of the Senate and Assembly.  

So lets get started with the Congressional map:



CD 1 (Blue): Obama (2008 performance) 58.9 Dem 2010 (average of 2010 statewide performance) 51.2

This district changes dramatically to simply include Racine and Kenosha east of I-94 (by and large) and the southern half of Milwaukee county.  This includes the Hispanic southside, Milwaukee downtown, and the East Side.  With such changes, this becomes a Safe Dem seat that would have been perfect for State Senator Chris Larson or any Kenosha or Racine area official.

CD 2 (Dark Green): Obama 61, Dem 2010 53.7

One of the lynchpins of this map would be to split Madison.  This takes the west side of Madison and Dane county and extends to include a lot of reddish rural territory.  Still would be Safe Dem.  Would have been good for State Senator Jon Erpenbach or State Reps Kelda Roys and Fred Clark.  Safe Dem

CD 3 (Purple):  Obama 59.1, Dem 2010 49.2

This district sheds Eau Claire and Menomonee to help out other districts, but that is more than made up by adding Rock County and portions of Dane County.  This takes in more the Twin Cities exurbs to again help out other districts.  Ron Kind or any Dem like State Senator Kathleen Vinehout or state reps Chris Danou (or in my post-2010 scenario) Jen Schilling would make this Safe Dem.

CD 4 (Red):  63.5 Obama, Dem 2010 57.1

The other lynchpin of this map would be to split Milwaukee.  Rep Moore would probably not be happy with having to go into Waukesha county, but this was already not a VRA district, this helps out with the 1st, and she keeps her northside African-American base.  Nevertheless, she would still have the most Dem district in the state, so Safe Dem.

CD 5 (Yellow): Obama 37.5, Dem 2010 27.8

This district becomes even more Republican by expanding into more exurban regions and dropping its inner suburbs.  Sensenbrenner continues to be fine, Safe GOP.

CD 6 (Lime Green): Obama 59.3, Dem 2010 51

This district takes the other portion of Madison and connects it with cities such as Oshkosh, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc.  In the process it would become a very Democratic district that would have been great for State Reps Mark Pocan, Andy Jorgensen, or Gordon Hintz.  

CD 7 (Orange): Obama 57.1, Dem 2010 47.2

This district becomes a little bit more Dem by adding Eau Claire, Adams, and Dunn Counties and losing some rural areas.  In my scenario Duffy would have won but probably would have lost in a rematch with Julie Lassa or to Senators Pat Kreitlow or Russ Decker.  Lean Dem

CD 8 (Slate Blue): Obama 54.7, Dem 2010 43.9

This district would be the most difficult to win and to hold and could switch between parties throughout the decade.  The addition of Menasha, Neenah, and Rhinelander move the district a little to the left, but it would still be a pretty swingy district.  Kagen would have made a good candidate for a rematch.  Tossup or maybe Lean GOP

So the result would be a likely 6-2 Delegation and even a 7-1 in good years.

Now for the State Senate and Assembly maps. In Wisconsin, each Senate district is divided into 3 nested Assembly districts.  Because I wanted to keep some incumbents in their old numbered districts (for comparing old/new districts) the numbering for the Assembly seats is not perfect:

SD 1, AD 1, 25, 26:


SD 1: 56.5 Obama, 44.9 2010, Tossup
AD 1: 56.4 Obama, 45.7 2010, Tossup
    25: 55 Obama, 43.2 2010, Tossup
    26: 58.3 Obama, 45.7 2010, Lean Dem

This district brings together a lot of the most Dem parts of the 1st and 9th SDs to create a district that stretches from Sheboygan up to Door County and create another takeover opportunity.  

SD 2, AD 5, 6, 89:


SD 2: 48.5 Obama, 36.7 2010, Safe GOP
AD 5: 47.4 Obama, 35.5 2010, Safe GOP
     6: 50.3 Obama, 38.4 2010, Likely GOP
     89: 48 Obama, 36.4 2010, Safe GOP

Robert Cowles is moved out of the district but this would be safe for any Republican that runs.  We might by able to win the 6th if we get really lucky, but it would be a big climb.

SD 3, AD 7, 8, 9:


SD 3: 63.4 Obama, 55.6 2010, 45.8 Hispanic pop, 38.9 VAP, Safe Dem
AD 7: 56.7 Obama, 49.2 2010, 29.9 Hispanic pop, 23.8 VAP, Likely Dem
     8: 72.8 Obama, 65.6 2010, 61.3 Hispanic pop, 55.6 VAP, Safe Dem
     9. 64.7 Obama, 56.9 2010, 46.1 Hispanic pop, 38.9 VAP, Safe Dem

This Senate district should elect a Hispanic Senator when Carpenter retires and all three of these seats have the potential to elect a Hispanic State Rep.  I included some Hispanic areas into the 7th AD to shift it into a much safer district.

SD 4, AD 10, 11, 12:


SD 4: 78.8 Obama, 74.1 2010, 58.8 AA pop, 54.7 AA VAP, Safe Dem
AD 10: 86.4 Obama, 83.5 2010, 65.7 AA pop, 62.1 AA VAP, Safe Dem
AD 11: 72 Obama, 66.2 2010, 54.8 AA pop, 50.6 AA VAP, Safe Dem
AD 12: 78 Obama, 72.9 2010, 55.9 AA pop, 51.3 AA VAP, Safe Dem

This district expands to include some of Waukesha and Ozaukee counties so as to ensure that the 5th SD can be turned into a safe seat, but it would be fine for Lena Taylor.

SD 5, AD 13, 14, 15:


SD 5: 58.5 Obama, 52.5 2010, Safe Dem
AD 13: 56.5 Obama, 52.1 2010, Safe Dem
AD 14: 60.9 Obama, 54.6 2010, Safe Dem
AD 15: 58.6 Obama, 50.6 2010, Safe Dem

This is my home district being born and bred in Wauwatosa.  This district moves entirely into Milwaukee county to provide a safe seat for would be Senator Jim Sullivan.  Due to population loses and VRA requirements however, I was not able to make both the 5th and 8th better seats. Given in my hypothetical, we would already have an incumbent in the 5th (and since it was my home district), I elected to make the 5th the safe seat.

SD 6, AD 16, 17, 18:


SD 6: 81.2 Obama, 77.5 2010, 60.9 AA pop, 56.7 AA VAP, Safe Dem
AD 16: 89.9 Obama, 90.5 2010, 69.8 AA pop, 63.8 AA VAP, Safe Dem
     17: 79.5 Obama, 76.6 2010, 58.6. AA pop, 55.5 AA VAP, Safe Dem
     18: 75.5 Obama, 69.9 2010, 54.2 AA pop, 50.7 AA VAP, Safe Dem

Again this district expands into Waukesha to make up for population loses and make the 5th Safe. This still would be safe district for upcoming Senator Nikiya Harris.

SD 7, AD 19, 20, 22:


SD 7: 63 Obama, 59.4 201, Safe Dem
AD 19: 70.7 Obama, 68.4 2010, Safe Dem
     20: 57.3 Obama, 53.9 2010, Safe Dem
     22: 60.2 Obama, 56.4 2010, Safe Dem

In order to make would-be Senator Lehman's seat safer (as I explain later), Chris Larson supplies the Oak Creek/ South Milwaukee assembly district to Lehman.  To make up the population, Larson takes up what is by and large Sandy Pasch's assembly district.

SD 8, AD 21, 23, 24:


SD 8: 34.8 Obama, 26.7 2010, Safe GOP
AD 21: 33.6 Obama, 25.1 2010, Safe GOP (most GOP part of the state, known as Lake Country)
     23: 36.2 Obama, 28.6 2010, Safe GOP
     24: 34.6 Obama, 26.2 2010, Safe GOP

Since there is not enough populations to make both the 5th and 8th safe, I chose to help out (in my scenario) the incumbent Dem Senator Sullivan and then let the 8th become another Safe GOP suburban/exurban seat.

SD 9, AD 2, 3, 27:


SD 9: 44.4 Obama, 32.1 2010, Safe GOP
AD 2: 48.1 Obama, 34.7 2010, Safe GOP
     3: 47.6 Obama, 35.2 2010, Safe GOP
    27: 37.8 Obama, 26.8 2010, Safe GOP

SD 10, AD 28, 29, 30:


SD 10: 48.2 Obama, 39.2 2010, Safe GOP
AD 28: 48.5 Obama, 40.9 2010, Likely GOP
     29: 47.6 Obama, 37.5 2010, Safe GOP
     30: 48.5 Obama, 39 2010, Safe GOP

By shedding River Falls and Menomonee to help out the 23rd/31st, this becomes Safe GOP. Former Rep Ann Hraychuck might be able to win the 28th.

SD 11, AD 31, 32, 33:


SD 11: 41.2 Obama, 29.9 2010, Safe GOP
AD 31: 48.7 Obama, 35 2010, Safe GOP
     32: 39.4 Obama, 28.7 2010, Safe GOP
     33: 36.7 Obama, 27.7 2010, Safe GOP

SD 12, AD 34, 86, 87:


SD 12: 49.5 Obama, 38.6 2010, Likely GOP
AD 34: 47.9 Obama, 38.6 2010, Safe GOP
     86: 48.6 Obama, 38.3 2010, Safe GOP
     87: 52.5 Obama, 39 2010, Likely GOP

My rationale for this district is that the 12 and 29th are both very precarious districts that are in a part of the state that seems to be trending away from us. So in my scenario this would be remedied by putting together the best parts of the districts into one, which as discussed below is the 29th.  Holperin would probably not be happy with this configuration, but he retired anyway.  We might have an outside chance of the 87th AD, but the 2010 numbers suggest that it would be a tough district to win.  

SD 13, AD 42, 46, 47:


SD 13: 59.9 Obama, 50.8 2010 Safe Dem
AD 42: 60.3 Obama, 51 2010 Safe Dem
     46: 61 Obama, 51.6 2010 Safe Dem
     47: 58.1 Obama, 49.7 2010 Likely Dem

This was one of my most favorite districts to create as it essentially creates a new Dem seat based in the Madison suburbs and exurbs. It mashed together some of the best parts of the old 14th and 13th as well as parts of the 16th.  Reps Fred Clark or Gary Hebl would be good picks for this district.

SD 14, AD, 38, 40, 41:


SD 14: 45.1 Obama, 34.9 Obama, Safe GOP
     38: 51.4 Obama, 40 Obama, Likely GOP
     40: 46.3 Obama, 36.1 Obama, Safe GOP
     41: 37.7 Obama, 29.3 Obama, Safe GOP

This district mashes together some of the most GOP parts of the old 14th, 13th, and 18th.  While Senator Olson is moved out of the district, this would be safe for any Republican.

SD 15, AD 43, 44, 45:


SD 15: 63.1 Obama, 53.2 2010, Safe Dem
     43: 60.6 Obama, 50.8 2010, Likely Dem
     44: 67 Obama, 58 2010, Safe Dem
     45: 61.6 Obama, 50.7 2010, Likely Dem

These Assembly districts should have never gone GOP but the combination of crummy candidates and a good GOP year lead to GOP pickups in not just one, but all three of the Assembly seats in 2010.  

SD 16, AD 37, 39, 48:


SD 16: 66.1 Obama, 60.6 2010, Safe Dem
AD 37: 63.9 Obama, 57.6 2010, Safe Dem
AD 39: 60.5 Obama, 52.5 2010, Safe Dem
     48: 73.8 Obama, 71 2010, Safe Dem

This district ends up creating a new Dem seat in AD 39.  

SD 17, AD 49, 50, 51:


SD 17: 60.6 Obama, 48.7 2010, Likely GOP with Schultz, Likely with D if open
AD 49: 60.8 Obama, 47.1 2010, Tossup/Lean D
     50: 58.9 Obama, 49.1 2010, Lean GOP with Brooks, Tossup/Lean D if open
     51: 62.1 Obama, 49.9 2010, Tossup/Lean D

These seats have been interesting, in both good and bad ways.  Senator Schultz has been a voice of reason in the GOP caucus, but until he retires it would be hard to take this seat.  The Assembly seats have been really frustrating.  Not only were these seats ones we should not have lost in 2010, but we should have at least taken then 49th and 51st on November 6th. At least with the 50th there is a well-established incumbent.  But it just seems that the people in this corner of the state like to split their tickets and/or the GOP candidates are able to appeal to nominally Dem voters.  Frankly, these are seats we cannot afford to lose if we want any shot of a majority in the Senate and Assembly.  

SD 18, AD 52, 53, 54:


SD 18: 53 Obama, 42.8 2010, Likely R Tossup with King
AD 52: 50.4 Obama, 39.8 2010, Likely GOP
     53: 47.7 Obama, 38.3 2010, Safe GOP
    54: 61.2 Obama, 51.3 2010, Safe D

One of the most painful results of the 6th was seeing Jess King lose in another close race, losing by around 600 votes, in a repeat of 2008.  In my scenario, there would be no recalls (due to Dems retaining the trifecta) so there would have been no recalls. But if King wanted to make it a rematch, she would have been a fierce contender especially if the stuff against Randy Hopper still came to light.  Additionally this shifted slightly Dem due to the inclusion of Ripon and rural Winnebago instead of rural Fond du Lac county.  

SD 19, AD 55, 56, 57:


SD 19: 58.5 Obama, 49.4 2010, Likely R with Eliis, Likely D if open
AD 55: 59 Obama, 49.3 2010, Likely R with Kaufert, Likely D if open
     56: 58 Obama, 49 2010, Likely D
     57: 58.6 Obama, 49.9 2010, Safe D

By bringing together all the Fox Valley cities, this becomes a very Democratic Senate seat. Even so, Senator Ellis and Rep. Kaufert are personally popular, so they should be fine but when they retire these seats should be very ripe for the picking.    

SD 20, AD 58, 59, 60:


SD 20: 38.3 Obama, 27.5 2010, Safe GOP
AD 58: 41.4 Obama, 29.6 2010, Safe GOP
     59: 37.8 Obama, 27 2010, Safe GOP
     60: 35.9 Obama, 26.2 2010, Safe GOP

SD 21, AD 61, 62. 63:


SD 21: 58.6 Obama, 49.7 2010, Likely D
AD 61: 50.4 Obama, 42.1 2010, Likely R
     62: 64.7 Obama, 55.5 2010, Safe D
     63: 61.8 Obama, 53.2 2010, Safe D

As a I mentioned above I swapped some areas to make this a pretty solid seat for Lehman.  By exchanging some of the exurban areas of Racine county west of I-94 for Oak Creek and South Milwaukee (which are significantly less GOP) this becomes quite Democratic.

SD 22, AD 64, 65, 66:


SD 22: 57.7 Obama, 47.5 2010, Likely D
AD 64: 64.4 Obama, 55.8 2010, Safe D
     65: 61.7 Obama, 52.9 2010, Safe D
     66: 47.5 Obama, 36.2 2010, Safe R

SD 23, AD 67, 68, 93:


SD 23: 57.7 Obama, 47.7 2010, Likely D
AD 67: 52.1 Obama, 40.9 2010, Likely GOP
     68: 59.9 Obama, 50 2010, Safe D
     93: 60.2 Obama, 51.5 2010, Safe D

In my scenario, Senator Kreitlow would have been rewarded with getting the rest of Eau Claire county, as well as losing some reddish rural areas.  Both AD 93 and 68 are more seats that we should not have lost, but only lost them by less than 100 votes in 2010 and these districts are just a little bit better.  We might be able to get 67 in a good year, but should stay Republican.

SD 24, AD 70, 71, 72:


SD 24: 59 Obama, 48.1 2010, Likely D
AD 70: 58.9 Obama, 47.4 2010, Likely D
     71: 60.8 Obama, 50.9 2010, Safe D
     72: 57 Obama, 45.8 2010, Lean D

AD 72 was another tough loss in 2010. We just barely lost taking it back in 2012 even though it was made redder.  This brings it back to its lean Dem orientation.

SD 25, AD 73, 74, 75:


SD 25: 58.9 Obama, 51.5 2010, Safe D
     73: 61.2 Obama, 53.7 2010, Safe D
     74: 59.2 Obama, 51 2010, Safe D
     75: 56.3 Obama, 50.1 201, Likely D

While the Senate district does not change much, I tried to change the configuration of the Assembly districts to make 75 better.  This means trying to include some of the areas by Lake Superior. However, due to population distribution, this spaghetti strips formation results.  The reason for the touch-point continuity for AD 73 is that I cannot split the Town of Wascott in southeastern Douglas county.

SD 26, AD 76, 77, 78:


SD 26: 81.2 Obama, 80.9 2010, Safe D
AD 76: 79.3 Obama, 77.6 2010, Safe D
     77: 79.2 Obama, 78.9 2010, Safe D
     78: 85.2 Obama, 86.1 2010, Safe D

Have to love Madison.

SD 27, AD 79, 80, 81:


SD 27: 65.7 Obama, 60 2010, Safe D
AD 79: 67.7 Obama, 63.1 2010, Safe D
     80: 63.4 Obama, 55.6 2010, Safe D
     81: 65.9 Obama, 60.9 2010, Safe D

SD 28, AD 82, 83, 84:


SD 28: 39.8 Obama, 32.2 2010, Safe GOP
AD 82: 44.3 Obama, 36.5 2010, Safe GOP
     83: 41.8 Obama, 35 2010, Safe GOP
     84: 33.6 Obama, 26 2010, Safe GOP

SD 29, AD 35, 36, 85:


SD 29: 56.7 Obama, 45.8 2010, Likely D with Decker, Tossup if Open
AD 35: 56.5 Obama, 41.6 2010, Tossup
     36: 56.2 Obama, 42.3 2010, Tossup
     85: 57.4 Obama, 48 2010, Lean D

As I mentioned above, I wanted to bring together the best parts of the 12th and 29th to provide a district that would be much better for us to hold. This would still be a tossup if open, but it would be a district that would be easier to win.  Additionally, the 35th and 36 become somewhat winnable.

SD 30, AD 4, 88, 90:


SD 30: 57.6 Obama, 47.1 2010, Likely D with Hansen, Lean D if Open
AD 4: 53.1 Obama, 42.2 2010, Lean R
     88: 60.8 Obama, 50.2 2010, Safe D
    90: 59.9 Obama, 50.3 2010, Safe D

This district becomes a little safer by brining in inner suburbs of Green Bay.  Additionally, AD 4 becomes a somewhat winnable district.

SD 31, AD 69, 91, 92:


SD 31: 57.4 Obama, 46.4 2010, Likely D with Vinehout, Lean D if Open
    69: 57.8 Obama, 48.1 2010, Likely D
    91: 58 Obama, 46.2 2010, Safe D with Danou, Lean D if Open
    92: 56.2 Obama, 44.9 2010, Likely D with Radcliffe, Tossup if Open

While Vinehout loses Eau Claire to help Kreitlow, she makes up for by getting Menomonee and River Falls.

SD 32, AD 94, 95, 96:


SD 32: 60.6 Obama, 49.9 2010, Lean R/Tossup with Kapanke, Safe D if Open
     94: 61.4 Obama, 49.9 2010, Safe D
     95: 60.5 Obama, 50.1 2010, Safe D
     96: 59.9 Obama, 49.7 2010, Lean R with Nerrison, Likely D if Open

In my scenario the recalls would not have happened, so Kapanke would still be Senator. However, as with SD 17, there becomes many pick-up opportunities for Senate and Assembly upon retirement.

SD 33, AD 97, 98, 99:


SD 33: 38.1 Obama, 29.6 2010, Safe R
AD 97: 34.8 Obama, 28.2 2010, Safe R
    98: 34.5 Obama, 26.5 2010, Safe R
    99: 46.9 Obama, 36.4 2010, Safe R (most Dem Assembly district possible in Waukesha county)

For the Senate, this map would have shored up Kreitlow, Sullivan, Lehman, and Decker.  While we would lose the 12th, there would be a nearly guaranteed pickup in the 13th, reasonable pickups for the 1st, 17th, 19th, and 32nd, and a potential pickup in the 18th.  Thus, this map would lead to a solid Senate majority with the potential for 22 seats.  
For the Assembly, this map would produce (give or take a few seats) 55 Dem-leaning seats, 8 tossups, and 36 Republican leaning seats.  So this should produce a Democratic majority, if not as solid as the Senate.

In terms of the actual map. There is some hope for taking back majorities in both chambers, but it would be difficult.   For the Senate we have to see what 2014 and 2018 bring.  That is because those years contain our best chances for pickups.  The 1st, 17th, 19th, 23rd and 29th are up these years.  As for 2016 and 2020, only 12 and 18 seem like possible pickups and would both be pretty difficult.   However we only need 2 seats, Schultz and Ellis will not be around forever, and both seats would be pretty favorable in an open seat situation.  So it would not be unreasonably difficult to take back the Senate.

The Assembly is another story.  We need to net 11 seats to take back the majority.  Fortunately, there were 11 seats that went Republican on the 6th that we lost by less than 10 points and in some cases, by only a couple of points.  Those seats are the 1, 26, 37, 49, 50, 51, 67, 68, 72, 88, and 93. Some of these seats (like the 1st and 50th) as well as the 96th should become more favorable when the incumbents retire.   Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will have the tailwinds we had this year with Obama and Baldwin as well as the strong field organization they brought, especially given that at this point Walker is a favorite for re-election.  So while there is a path for taking back the Assembly, it is a very steep hill to climb.  


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