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There have already been a lot of New York redistricting proposals on SSP and DKE. Here is mine. The result is 15 districts that are safe D, 1 that is safe R, and 11 tossups (by PVI). It's a bipartisan gerrymander (although admittedly more Democratic than Republican), and it aims for compactness and communities of interest.
Demographics are the % of the voting age population that is white, black, Hispanic, and Asian.
Presidential results are the % who voted for Obama and McCain.

Long Island

Long Island is about even in PVI. So all of the districts are going to be about even in PVI unless you really try hard for partisan or bipartisan gerrymandering. Long Island is currently cut into segments. I decided to keep it that way. I also smoothed out the lines a little bit. Despite being about even in PVI, none of these districts have changed parties in 10 years.

1st District
Incumbent: Tim Bishop (D)
Demographics: 80.0w-4.3b-11.3h-3.3a
Presidential: 52.5O-47.3M
The district remains the east end of Long Island. It loses Smithtown and gains the Bayport area, making it 1% more Democratic. Tim Bishop, who came very close in 2010, will appreciate some more breathing room. This district is surprisingly Democratic for an 80% white district in the NYC suburbs.

2nd District
Incumbent: Steve Israel (D)
Demographics: 66.5w-9.2b-19.5h-3.4a
Presidential: 53.4O-46.0M
The district is still western Suffolk County. It no longer reaches into Nassau for Dem territory, so it becomes more Republican. Steve Israel easily won reelection in 2010 so he should be safe in this district.

3rd District
Incumbent: Peter King (R) vs Gary Ackerman (D)
Demographics: 81.4w-2.2b-7.8h-7.5a
Presidential: 49.4O-49.9M
Peter King would be favored in this matchup, as most of the territory is already represented by King, and it's a district McCain won.

4th District
Incumbent: Carolyn McCarthy (D)
Demographics: 54.2w-17.3b-18.1h-8.5a
Presidential: 59.0O-40.3M
This is the safest district for either party on Long Island. This district, by total population, is only 51.5% white. By the end of the decade we may have a minority-majority district on Long Island. The eastern protrusion is the minority-heavy city of Westbury.

New York City

Great use, or the greatest use, of the aerial feature of Dave's App? The 4th doesn't look small now, does it?

5th District
Incumbent: Gregory Meeks (D)
Demographics: 14.5w-46.0b-20.0h-11.8a
Presidential: 85.6O-14.1M
This district covers all of southern Queens. It is a VRA black district that had to expand, and 46% is the most you can get while staying in Queens. A lot of that land area is JFK airport, so the inhabited land area is pretty densely populated.

6th District
Incumbent: Joseph Crowley (D)
Demographics: 31.2w-15.3b-32.6h-18.9a
Presidential: 72.2O-27.2M
The population is almost exactly half Bronx-half Queens. The Bronx and Queens sections are connected by the Throgs Neck Bridge and the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. Joe Crowley doesn't live here but he represents the current Bronx-Queens district. If Crowley doesn't run here then Gary Ackerman could, as he already represents a lot of the Queens territory. It is such a diverse district so a candidate of any race could get elected here.

7th District
Incumbent: Anthony Weiner (D)
Demographics: 24.2w-5.8b-35.8h-31.8a
Presidential: 72.8O-26.5M
So here is Anthony Weiner's new district. I'm sure he won't mind getting a district that's 17% more Democratic than his current district. If Weiner gets elected mayor and vacates the district then Joe Crowley can run here, because he lives here. It is intended to be an Asian or Hispanic opportunity district.

8th District
Incumbent: Nydia Velazquez (D)
Demographics: 47.1w-4.8b-33.2h-13.0a
Presidential: 76.0O-23.1M
This district is a combination of liberal white people who can't afford Manhattan, and Hispanics (just like Hudson County, NJ). Nydia Velazquez should have no problem getting reelected here.

9th District
Incumbent: Ed Towns (D)
Demographics: 15.6w-53.9b-22.1h-5.6a
Presidential: 94.0O-5.7M
This will be the most Democratic district in New York, and possibly in the whole country.

10th District
Incumbent: Yvette Clarke (D)
Demographics: 31.5w-51.0b-9.5h-6.0a
Presidential: 79.3O-20.4M
It is a black VRA district but it also covers some white Republican neighborhoods along the waterfront.

11th District
Incumbent: Michael Grimm (R)
Demographics: 64.6w-6.0b-14.2h-13.7a
Presidential: 49.2O-50.1M
Republicans have a district they can win in NYC. It had to expand further into Brooklyn so it became a little more Democratic.

12th District
Incumbent: Jerrold Nadler (D)
Demographics: 49.6w-4.9b-20.8h-23.0a
Presidential: 71.5O-27.8M
This district is a new creation. It combines working class neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and Chinatown and the Lower East Side in Manhattan. It's a diverse group of communities, but they should get along. Nadler doesn't live here, but he represents more of it than any other incumbent.

13th District
Incumbent: Carolyn Maloney (D)
Demographics: 73.6w-3.7b-8.5h-12.2a
Presidential: 81.5O-17.6M
All of Manhattan south of 84th or 85th street. Manhattan, south of Harlem, has traditionally been 2 districts, but now that districts are bigger it fits into 1. This has got to be the richest district in America.

14th District
Incumbent: Charles Rangel (D)
Demographics: 29.8w-23.2b-39.7h-5.4a
Presidential: 91.2O-8.1M
It's Harlem, and upper Manhattan north of 84th/85th street. By now it has nearly twice as many Hispanics as Blacks. A candidate who can rally all of the Hispanic voters would have a good chance of winning the primary.

15th District
Incumbent: Jose Serrano (D)
Demographics: 4.6w-27.4b-64.1h-2.5a
Presidential: 93.9O-5.8M
93.9% Obama is less Democratic than the current South Bronx district. That's because it expands north.

16th District
Incumbent: Eliot Engel (D)
Demographics: 42.3w-29.0b-22.0h-4.7a
Presidential: 72.2O-27.2M
This district is turned into a compact Bronx-Westchester district. It extends as far north as Scarsdale and Harrison.

Upstate New York

Many Upstate NY districts have switched parties, and switched back, in the past decade. With these lines, it is likely to continue.

17th District
Incumbent: Nita Lowey (D)
Demographics: 66.1w-9.2b-17.4h-6.0a
Presidential: 58.6O-40.7M
In an earlier age this district would have been Republican but by now it is safe Democratic.

18th District
Incumbent: Nan Hayworth (R)
Demographics: 73.8w-7.8b-14.0h-2.9a
Presidential: 50.7O-48.3M
It's within the NYC sphere of influence, but it's mostly rural, with small cities such as Newburgh. It remains a Republican-leaning swing district.

19th District
Incumbent: Maurice Hinchey (D) vs Chris Gibson (R)
Demographics: 85.7w-5.2b-6.3h-1.3a
Presidential: 54.8O-44.2M
Hinchey and Gibson get combined into a district that is politically about halfway between their two districts. This district has a Democratic southeast and a Republican northwest. In 2010 it would have probably gone Republican, but in an average election year it would lean Democratic, even for Hinchey, who doesn't have a ton of crossover appeal.

20th District
Incumbent: Paul Tonko (D)
Demographics: 83.4w-7.6b-3.6h-3.5a
Presidential: 57.8O-40.5M
This district shifts east to be more centered around Albany.

21st District
Incumbent: Bill Owens (D)
Demographics: 92.0w-2.9b-2.4h-0.9a
Presidential: 52.3O-46.1M
This district becomes a pure rural North Country/Adirondacks district. It does not extend into the Albany or Syracuse suburbs. It has a Republican PVI but Bill Owens already survived 2010 so he should be able to keep getting reelected here.

22nd District
Incumbent: Richard Hanna (R)
Demographics: 88.5w-3.7b-3.0h-3.4a
Presidential: 52.4O-45.9M
Hanna doesn't get a safe district, but it still has a Republican PVI. I don't support giving the Republicans a safe Oneida County district.

23rd District
Incumbent: Ann Buerkle (R)
Demographics: 86.7w-6.5b-2.7h-2.2a
Presidential: 56.6O-41.2M
This district becomes more centered around Syracuse.

24th District
Incumbent: Tom Reed (R)
Demographics: 93.1w-2.9b-2.1h-0.9a
Presidential: 44.7O-53.8M
This will be the only safe Republican district in the entire state.

25th District
Incumbent: Louise Slaughter (D)
Demographics: 76.0w-13.2b-6.0h-3.3a
Presidential: 58.6O-40.2M
Monroe County gets ungerrymandered. Slaughter's district, while becoming less Democratic, is still safe-D.

Buffalo

26th District
Incumbent: Kathy Hochul (D)
Demographics: 83.5w-7.9b-3.9h-3.0a
Presidential: 54.2O-44.2M
The 26th gains about half of Buffalo, and Niagara Falls and Tonawanda, making it a Democratic-leaning swing district.

27th District
Incumbent: Brian Higgins (D)
Demographics: 84.8w-10.2b-2.6h-0.8a
Presidential: 54.7O-43.7M
Brian Higgins' district doesn't change much. It gains Cattaraugus County and some black neighborhoods in Buffalo, making it less than 1% more Democratic. Higgins was reelected with over 60% in his 54%-Obama district in 2010, so he doesn't need to be shored up.

Alternative Western NY

26th District
Incumbent: Kathy Hochul (D)
Demographics: 93.3w-2.1b-2.2h-0.8a
Presidential: 45.7O-52.7M
The 26th becomes a Buffalo-influenced strongly-Republican rural/suburban district. An incumbent Democrat would have to be very talented, and have a conservative voting record, to keep getting reelected here.

27th District
Incumbent: Brian Higgins (D)
Demographics: 75.1w-15.9b-4.3h-3.0a
Presidential: 63.5O-35.0M
Higgins gets the safe Democratic Buffalo-based urban district he deserves. If only an unexpected special election didn't force him to share the Democratic strength with someone. At around D+11, it would be the most lopsided district upstate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is an interesting exercise, but it isn't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, dc1000, dufffbeer, SaoMagnifico

    a bipartisan gerrymander. Just about all of the white Democrats in NYC will scream bloody murder. The Republicans, meanwhile, don't have much to love upstate.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Wed May 25, 2011 at 02:33:02 PM PDT

    •  white Dems in NYC (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that Nadler won't like losing his Manhattan district. But still, the 12th should be his if he wants it. Crowley and Engel already represent coalition minority-majority districts, and as far as I know, haven't had any problems in their primaries. That leaves Weiner, whose district goes from 66% to 24% white. But I don't expect Hispanics and Asians to get together to form an anti-Weiner coalition in the Democratic primary. And here I thought I was doing Weiner a favor.

    •  Republicans upstate (0+ / 0-)

      Hayworth's district is about as Republican as you can get in that region without some creative gerrymandering. Anything directly north or south of the 18th is more Democratic than the 18th.
      Hanna's district remains a swing district, and one of the most Republican in NY. It doesn't shore him up, but it doesn't screw him over either.
      Buerkle doesn't get helped, but she knew what she was getting into when she ran for the Syracuse district in 2010. At least this map doesn't actively try to eliminate her, by combining her with Ithaca or the north country. If Jim Walsh had this district then he would have held it up through 2006 or 2008.
      Gibson probably gets eliminated, but his wacky-shaped district is begging to be the one that gets cut up.

  •  It is a shame the Democrats didn't control (7+ / 0-)

    the trifecta. They could have easily made NY-13 more Democratic by having it go into Manhattan instead of Bay Ridge. And they could have gotten rid of Peter King's NY-3 by adding in Queens precincts.

    •  Indeed a shame (0+ / 0-)

      If we just held Thompson's district (which actually might have voted for Cuomo in Erie!!), we would have been able to eliminate all but two or three Republicans safely. FWIW, I don't think King would be super easy to eliminate, as he holds a ton of Republican territory in middle Nassau that is trending against Democrats. Also, losing Bay Ridge in NY-13 would definitely help, but a Manhattan-to-Staten Island district would be tricky (but not impossible) because SI is not too fond of Nadler for some toll issue (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong). I think it's more prudent to give more Democratic minority areas of Brooklyn and have Clarke or Towns absorb heavily conservative Bay Ridge and surrounding areas.

      NY-14, DC-AL (College), Former SSPer and incredibly distraught Mets fan.

      by nycyoungin on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:42:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes it is (0+ / 0-)

      But I'm convinced that any "fair" map of NY will trend Democratic over time. That's why I'm against any more Republican vote sinks.

  •  Not a bipartisan gerrymander (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, SaoMagnifico

    a gop wet dream maybe.....

    With split control a map with at least 20 safe D districts is the absolute least we can expect.

    •  What would this look like post-2008 and post-2010 (0+ / 0-)

      If this was the map in the 2010 elections then Republicans would have won: 3, 11, 18, 22, 24, maybe 19, and 26 if Chris Lee was already the incumbent. That means after the most Republican election year in recent memory NY would be 20-7.
      If this was the map in the 2008 elections then Republicans would have won : 3, 21, and 24. And then Dems would pick up 21 in the 2009 special election. After the most Democratic series of election years in recent memory NY would be 25-2.
      The 11 tossup districts are everything between D+4 and R+4 (Obama got between 49% and 57%). That designation doesn't account for the strength of incumbents or other factors.

  •  Nice for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer

    South East Columbia County is proposed to be in the 19th, rather than the squid like 20th now.
    Overall this  map is more contiguous than all others I have seen.

  •  Why is Tompkins County in the 22nd? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, dufffbeer

    I just feel it would be put at better use shoring up an incumbent and preventing a dummymander.  

    All Wisconsin, All the Time

    by glame on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:48:28 PM PDT

  •  A few things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer

    Tonko, Hayworth, and Nadler don't live in the districts you made for them, but obviously incumbent protection is not your aim. I like the map, but I still like the Upper East and Upper West Sides having their own district influences. By pushing down Rangel's district, you lose the communities of interest, as Harlem and the Upper East and West Side are very, very different.

    NY-14, DC-AL (College), Former SSPer and incredibly distraught Mets fan.

    by nycyoungin on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:48:59 PM PDT

    •  Rangel's district (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with your comment about Rangel's district. However if it can't go south into Manhattan then it would have to go into the Bronx. Perhaps if I have a Manhattan-Bronx district then I won't need the Queens-Bronx district. It's worth considering.

  •  Given Cuomo's veto threats.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and that he tends to prefer to look good over helping his fellow Democrats something like this could happen.

    •  If we're going to piss so many Dems off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tk421

      we might as well throw the whole enterprise to the courts. At least then the Senate map will be torn up (that's priority one).

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Wed May 25, 2011 at 04:49:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I totally agree... (0+ / 0-)

        I think the last ten years have shown that Democrats in New York State can win everywhere.  Every single seat in the state except for Peter King's has switched at least once during the 10-year cycle.  So, why are we afraid of a court map?  

  •  NYC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer

    This is one of the cleanest NYC maps I've ever seen either here or RRH.  Kudos on that.

  •  Your write-up for the new NY-18 is wrong... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer

    It's within the NYC sphere of influence, but it's mostly rural, with small cities such as Newburgh. It remains a Republican-leaning swing district.

    As someone who grew up in this area of the state, this statement is a good 20-30 years out of date!  The area has rapidly suburbanized to the point where its politics have become progressively more swingy over the past three decades.  Dutchess County, where I grew up, went from being a reliably 60-40 GOP county to a county that Clinton carried in 1996 (not in 1992) and one that Obama won 54-45.  

    It is true that there are some rural areas, especially to the east and north of Dutchess County; likewise Orange County has some rural areas.  But at nearly 700k people between just the two counties now, I would hardly call it "mostly rural."

    •  in the eastern and northern parts of Dutches (0+ / 0-)

      My comment about Dutchess County should read in the eastern and northern parts of Dutchess County, along the Connecticut border.  That part of the county is rural for sure.  But even then, if you add up all the townships north of Poughkeepsie and east (East Fishkill, Beekman, Pawling, Dover, Union Vale, Lagrange)... you still get 150k people.  The part on the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie south to Beacon/Fishkill is another 150k or so people.  Hardly "rural" or even "small towns."

    •  I stand corrected (0+ / 0-)

      Beyond Westchester and Rockland, it still looks rural from aerial view, so they did a good job protecting their land.
      Southern Dutchess (in 18) still leans Republican, while northern Dutchess plus Poughkeepsie (in 19) is Democratic.

      •  that's correct... (0+ / 0-)

        but it varies by township.  Beacon always has been reasonably Democratic, being a former mill town.  Fishkill used to be very GOP in my childhood, but has turned 50/50 now at the presidential level; ditto with Wappinger to the north.  East Fishkill, on the other hand, is very GOP.

        Compared to Westchester or LI, population density isn't as high.  That's correct.  A large part of the reason has to do with mountains, particularly in the Hudson Highlands area.  But population density is higher than further-out areas in upstate New York.  

  •  your map in NYC is probably against the VRA too (0+ / 0-)

    There's a reason for why Valasquez's district is drawn the way it is: it's called the VRA!  Neat map or no-neat map, the VRA must be followed where the Gingles requirement for reasonable compactness (and courts have ruled that previous iterations of her district meet this standard) allow a minority group a chance to elect a candidate of their choice.  Strickland specifically does not require (for VRA purposes) the creation of coalition districts like you are creating.

    Still, were it not for the VRA, I like your general approach to crafting neighborhood-based districts that seem geographically coherent.

    •  Pretty sure Strickland (0+ / 0-)

      also says a group needs to be a majority to be protected. Which means Velazquez' district isn't VRA-protected.

      21, male, RI-01 (voting)/IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Wed May 25, 2011 at 09:52:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am pretty sure (0+ / 0-)

        That there are enough Hispanics in Brooklyn and Queens now to draw a compact 50%+ Hispanic seat, and that such a seat is required by the VRA.  Remember, not that long ago, when people on SSP were assuming a 28-seat delegation post-2010, it was assumed that Crowley's district might have to be made into a 3rd Hispanic seat (4th if you consider where Rangel's is heading).

    •  I want to try it and see what the court says (0+ / 0-)

      This map creates 3 Hispanic opportunity districts (30%+) instead of just 1 that's 50%+. Drawing a C-shaped VRA district through Brooklyn and Queens would ruin the compactness of all the other districts around it.
      The VRA was intended to help black people in the South, not to baconmander Queens.

      •  You are presuming (0+ / 0-)

        that the Hispanics in Queens are mostly citizens; I doubt that a 30% Hispanic seat really is an "opportunity" seat.  

        At the same time I agree with you about baconmandering.  When I have a bit of free time, I would like to see whether one could create a less gerrymandered 12th while still protecting Hispanic voting rights.  I imagine if you eliminating Ackerman's district, you could take the Hispanics he currently represents and draw them into whatever district you designate for Hispanics in the Queens area.

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