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It seems more and more likely that Minnesota's Congressional Map will be drawn for the second decade in a row by the legal system. (As seems likely for Colorado, the way Republicans there in the State House will accept nothing more than a Republican gerrymander). So, I tried to envision a redistricting done by a State Court with intentions, basically, of maintaining the status quo, keeping communities of interest intact, and achieving political fairness.

The result?

Well the result was pretty boring actually. A wide overview of the whole state looked like this:

Photobucket

It isn't that much different; MN-07 and MN-01 remain literally the same, give or take a few precincts. MN-08 drops the parts of Chisago and Isanti counties that it previously held, (counties pretty much Responsible for giving us Chip Craavack), both areas that have become increasingly wealthy and increasingly mere outposts of Minneapolis exurbia, and instead takes in the St. Cloud metropolitan area at the southwest edge. On the whole this area has a lot more in common with the rest of the district than exurban Isanti and Chisago, and it leans Democratic, weighing the needle down a bit further for Democrats. Obama won it 54-43, and the average Democratic performance was 57-43. This move definitely favors Democrats by keeping the district solidly in their corner, (moreso than the numbers suggest. While it looks narrow, that margin is pretty ironclad, it's rare for a Democrat not to win this district).

MN-01 remains swingish, but Democratic leaning. Obama won it 52-46, and all and it might be a smidgen more Democratic, not that it matters. Tim Walz can hold this district as long as he wants and it seems to like moderate DFLers moreso than it likes Republicans.

MN-07 remains very farmer oriented and socially conservative, with a healthy dose of fiscal conservatism as well. Obama lost it 48-50, the average Democratic performance is 49-51. In essence it's a swing district that leans Republican. Colin Peterson though is both insanely conservative for a Democrat, and very vocally an ass when it comes to trashing and blocking progressive ideas. Jim Matheson and Mike Ross were more useful Democrats than this guy for Pete's sake. He could win a much more conservative district than this, and even in 2010 he wasn't seriously challenged. The guy is safe for however much longer he wants to hold the district, (my guess is 2022 when he gets tossed into the Iron Range when Minnesota loses a district). If he were to retire before then, it'd be anybody's guess who'd win.

Here's a close up of the Minneapolis area:

Photobucket

Here's where fairness to Republicans kicks in. First off, Erik Paulsen is aided by the addition of conservative Carver County to his district, while it retains all of outer Hennepin and the urban northern portion of Scott. Obama won it 51-47, the average Democratic performance though is 48-52, and Democrats have a weak base here. It should be enough to stave off another decade of the Democratic trend in Hennepin County's outer suburbs. A swing district, but on that definitely ordinarily favors Paulsen.

MN-02, yeah, it doesn't look very neat cause it swerves off west rather than into the northern areas of Walz's district. I also managed to turn it from a district that voted for Obama, to one that voted for McCain 49.3 to 48.8, again with a 48-52 average Democratic performance. So John Kline is slightly shored up, though his map remains swingish.

And that's pretty much all there is to see. Obama got 71.5% in MN-04, and 64.2% in MN-05. So this map works out to 3 Democratic leaning districts, 1 Republican leaning district, and 4 swing districts. Of those swing districts, 3 could be said to lean Republican, and one, MN-01, is, if scrutinized, an utter toss up politically. So as a map, it creates a very competitive environment in over half the state, (because MN-08 has competitive potential as well), and attempts to create a map that's fair in representing the political balance of the state. I think this does this. The Iron Range has a seat, the west farmlands have a seat, southeast Minnesota has a seat, and the northern and southern suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul each have their own seats, as do the twin cities. With a court, I mostly expect traditions to be followed.

P.S. This is my eternal tag for diaries, but I am fond of knowing my readership. It's not a like a blog with a built in counter on the sidebar, (at least not one that I'm aware of), so if you read this, please take a moment to vote in the poll so I can get a feel for what kind of outreach I'm getting.

-jw

Poll

Does this seem to be a likely outcome?

41%15 votes
30%11 votes
22%8 votes
5%2 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

    by ArkDem14 on Mon May 09, 2011 at 06:15:07 PM PDT

  •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dskoe

    Some is seriously not fricking working for me with this new tagging system. I'm confused about how to make it show up on the sidebar of the groups I want it to show up at.

    "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

    by ArkDem14 on Mon May 09, 2011 at 06:25:53 PM PDT

  •  What district is Lake Woebegone in? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14

    Seriously, that 7th district running from the Canadian border to the Iowa border is a loooooooooooooooooooong district.  Probably a 7, 8 hour drive.

    The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

    by deepsouthdoug on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:00:02 PM PDT

  •  I drew this one intending on an R gerrymander (0+ / 0-)

    Turns out to be a map with lots of exceptionally competitive districts:

    Really Competitive MN

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:07:28 PM PDT

    •  Wow that looks terrible (0+ / 0-)

      But yeah, I pretty much see Two Republican leaning districts, and three Democratic leaning districts, plus three swing districts.

      "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

      by ArkDem14 on Mon May 09, 2011 at 07:19:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Couple small notes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14

    But I really do like this map. Your 4th and 5th districts are changed, but that is just a numbering issue, but the Minneapolis district is/will be 5, and the St. Paul district is/will be 4. Over all this seems like a very fair and reasonable map. Although I am not sure it is necessary to cross 2 county lines with MN-3, and you could do it by giving more of one county and the expense of the other, but that is ultimately trival compared to the bulk of the district. Great map

  •  All four corners voted for Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, angry marmot

    OK, maybe not so much the southwest corner.  Here's a map:

    So what's up with that red blotch in the middle? That's Michele Bachmann territory -- around St. Cloud (and south). It's not a perfect correlation, but look at this:


    "One man's Mede is another man's Persian." - George S. Kaufman

    by Dbug on Mon May 09, 2011 at 11:51:36 PM PDT

    •  FWIW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug

      The Iron Range has quite the Finnish tinge to it (I myself am the grandson of Finnish immigrants). I believe there are probably more Swedes and Germans there in terms of absolte population, but you can't go anywhere without running into some Tikkanen, Nevala, Kujala, Karjalanen, or Uulala (best last name on the planet, IMO, pronounced oo-lu-la). And given the Finn's previous position as essentially the slaves of Scandanavia, the North Woods in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan is where they settled. This roughly correlates to MN-8, Wi-7, WI-8, and the U.P. of Michigan.

      •  The rural upper midwest (0+ / 0-)

        is essentially the only non-minority area that still votes Democratic on a regular basis.

        "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

        by ArkDem14 on Tue May 10, 2011 at 07:27:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are some Italians and Slavs, too (0+ / 0-)

        The Iron Range historically has a strong Democratic tilt because of the various unions (miners, longshore workers, etc.).

        Historically, there's also the Farmer Labor party (from the 1930s), a third party that brought together urban and rural progressives. North Dakota had the Non Partisan League, Minnesota had the Farmer Laborites, and Wisconsin had the Progressive Party (the second of three or four incarnations).

        "One man's Mede is another man's Persian." - George S. Kaufman

        by Dbug on Tue May 10, 2011 at 09:44:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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