Unlike Congressional redistricting, state legislative redistricting is not in the hands of the legislature in Missouri.  Rather, it is done by two bipartisan committees, one for each chamber.  However, due to the absence of a tiebreaker, the committees have deadlocked.  I presume Republicans were hoping that they could lure at least one Democrat over to avoid the courts and preserve their overblown majority.  One Republican member of the House redistricting comission even said: "My fear is if we don't get an agreement, some judge will say, 'OK, let's just go with four Democrats and four Republicans' and we Republicans will lose our 6-3 advantage."  At least he's forward about it and doesn't hide it behind BS jargon.  Anyway, the commissions deadlocked in August and the job goes to an appellate court appointed by the MO Supreme Court Chief Justice.  On this panel of judges are 3 Democratic Governor appointees and 3 Republican Governor appointees.  

This diary will focus on the redistricting of the State Senate, where Democrats have a horrendous 26-8 disadvantage.

More below the fold.

A small aside, first.... Apart from Democrats having a terrible year in MO in 2010 due to poor turnout, the Democrats' poor standing in the state legislature is due to their geographical concentration in St. Louis, Jefferson, and Jackson Counties.  Another issue is that the MO Democratic Party focuses all of its energies on statewide races and leaves state legislators to fend for themselves (this is from a second-hand source, so take it with a grain of salt).  There are Democratic footholds in scattered areas throughtout the state, but none outside of Columbia are big enough to support a cleanly-drawn Democratic Senate seat.

Since the appellate court won't have a map approved until December, I decided to see what a clean-drawn Senate map could do.  I did my best to avoid splitting counties and towns.  This was the result:


I'll list the districts not visible in the closer-up maps.

District 16 (lime): Safe R
District 17 (dark slate blue): Safe R
District 20 (black): Likely R
District 27 (spring green): Likely R
District 28 (plum): Likely R

Part 1: St. Louis Area

District 1: Safe D (52.8% AA of VAP)

District 2: Safe D (51.9% AA of VAP)

District 3: Lean R (has a Republican incumbent), but Tossup/Tilt D in an open seat scenario
50.1% Obama, 54.0% Dem

District 4: Likely D
60.6% Obama, 60.0% Dem

District 5: Safe D (54.1% AA of VAP)

District 6: Safe D
69.1% Obama, 75.2% Dem

District 7: Likely R
41.9% Obama, 41.9% Dem

District 8: Lean R
47.2% Obama, 49.6% Dem

District 10: Lean R
47.3% Obama, 49.1% Dem

District 11: Likely R
41.2% Obama, 43.3% Dem

Part 2: Further Inland

District 9: Lean D
52.1% Obama, 58.7% Dem

District 12: Likely R
42.5% Obama, 46.3% Dem

District 13: Likely R
40.4% Obama, 45.5% Dem

District 14: Safe R
34.3% Obama, 42.3% Dem

District 15: Lean D
54.2% Obama, 54.7% Dem

District 25: Safe R
36.2% Obama, 44.7% Dem

Part 3: Southern Missouri

District 18: Safe R
36.5% Obama, 41.6% Dem

District 19: Safe R
33.2% Obama, 38.8% Dem

District 21: Safe R
31.3% Obama, 33.7% Dem

District 22: Lean R
46.1% Obama, 46.6% Dem

District 23: Safe R
32.8% Obama, 35.9% Dem

District 24: Safe R
31.6% Obama, 31.4% Dem

District 26: Safe R
34.8% Obama, 42.3% Dem

Part 4: Kansas City Area

District 29: Lean R
44.9% Obama, 47.0% Dem

District 30: Lean D
53.2% Obama, 56.1% Dem

District 31: Lean/Likely R
41.9% Obama, 46.5% Dem

District 32: Tossup/Tilt D
50.0% Obama, 53.1% Dem

District 33: Safe D
65.8% Obama, 69.5% Dem

District 34: Safe D (majority-minority)


Now, let's tabulate these districts and see what we could get in a neutral year.

Safe D: 6 seats
Likely D: 1 seat
Lean D: 3 seats
Tossup: 2 seats (both Tilt Dem on paper)
Lean R: 4 seats
Likely R: 8 seats
Safe R: 10 seats

Missouri Democrats should therefore expect to have a floor of 10 seats in most years.

My conclusion is that I hope the appellate court unpacks Kansas City and St. Louis a bit more than I did.  I also hope they give a Senate district to Columbia.  What do you think?

Your Email has been sent.