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This is my stab at a Wyoming rule map of Wisconsin. It's pretty much totally based on communities of interest, I wasn't even pay attention to the partisan numbers when I drew it. It would have a total of 10 seats, 3 of which would be solidly democratic, 2 of which would be solidly republican, and 5 of which would be winnable by either party.

Milwaukee close-up:

District 1 (Blue):
Obama 79.3%, McCain 19.5%
VAP: White 42.6%, Black 37.1%, Hispanic 14.9%, Asian 3.3%, Native American 0.6%, Other 1.6%

This district is entirely contained within Milwaukee City, and takes up most of the city. Gwen Moore would run here and win easily.

District 2 (Green):
Obama 52.8%, McCain 45.7%
VAP: White 82.9%, Black 5.9%, Hispanic 7.9%, Asian 1.9%, Native American 0.4%, Other 1.0%

This district is basically the successor district to Paul Ryan's district, even though it lacks his home town of Janesville. It contains all of Kenosha and Racine counties, as well as the south suburbs of Milwaukee. This would be a hotly contested swing district, either toss-up of tilt R. Democrats would do well in Kenosha and Racine cities, but Republcans would rack up huge margins in the rural parts of those counties. The winner of this district would probably be determined by performance in the Milwaukee County parts of the district.

District 3 (Purple):
Obama 40.6%, McCain 58.2%
VAP: White 91.0%, Black 1.5%, Hispanic 4.3%, Asian 2.2%, Native American 0.3%, Other 0.7%

This is Jim Sensenbrenner's district, and it is just as Republican as his current district. It takes in all of Waukesha County, the west Milwaukee suburbs, and parts of Walworth County. There's no way a Democrat wins here.

District 4 (Red):
Obama 45.5%, McCain 53.1%
VAP: White 92.5%, Black 1.9%, Hispanic 2.6%, Asian 2.0%, Native American 0.3%, Other 0.6%

This districts spans from the northern Milwaukee suburbs up through Manitowoc, also taking in most of Fond du Lac County. Tom Petri lives here and would probably run here. This district isn't quite as red as Sensenbrenner's, but it's still safe R.

District 5 (Yellow):
Obama 70.1%, McCain 28.5%
VAP: White 86.0%, Black 3.7%, Hispanic 4.8%, Asian 4.0%, Native American 0.3%, Other 1.2%

This district is basically Jefferson and Dane Counties. It is the second solidly democratic seat in Wisconsin. If she doesn't rune for senate, Tammy Baldwin would run here, and if she does run for senate, it'd elect another Madison liberal, probably Erpenbach, Roys, or Pocan.

District 6 (Teal):
Obama 61.4%, McCain 37.0%
VAP: White 93.1%, Black 1.7%, Hispanic 3.0%, Asian 1.2%, Native American 0.3%, Other 0.6%

This district is something of a bipolar district, spanning from La Crosse to Beloit and Janesville while taking in most of southwestern Wisconsin. Ron Kind would probably run here and win, and the district would probably keep on electing democrats after he retired or went statewide.

District 7 (Grey):
Obama 53.2%, McCain 45.1%
VAP: White 93.9%, Black 1.6%, Hispanic 2.3%, Asian 1.1%, Native American 0.6%, Other 0.6%

This new central Wisconsin swing seat would almost certainly be a pure toss-up. The district basically pits the democratic cities of Stevens Point, Oshkosh, and Wisconsin Rapids against the republican rural stuff down by Dodge county. Julie Lassa could run here, as she lives here and her State Senate District is almost entirely within the district. Also, the Fitzgerald brothers are from Dodge county, and one of them might give this seat a shot.

District 8 (Slate Blue):
Obama 54.7%, McCain 43.8%
VAP: White 90.4%, Black 1.2%, Hispanic 3.9%, Asian 2.1%, Native American 1.6%, Other 0.8%

This district would be competitive, although it probably leans D. The core district's core is Green Bay, Appleton, and Neenah, which is more or less the same core as the old 8th. Ribble would probably run here, and Kagan might attempt a comeback.

District 9 (Cyan):
Obama 54.5%, McCain 43.9%
VAP: White 93.4%, Black 0.3%, Hispanic 1.3%, Asian 1.2%, Native American 2.9%, Other 0.9%

This Swing district contains a lot of reddish rural turf, but that is counterbalanced by the Superior coast, the Menominee Indiana Reservation, the city of Wausau, and some smaller cities like Rhinelander and Merril. Sean Duffy would probably run here. Possible Democratic candidates include Jim Holperin, Russ Decker, Janet Bewley and Nick Milroy (Bob Jauch is probably too old). Democrats would probably be slightly favored here, but this would still be a tough seat.

District 10 (Pink):
Obama 54.2%, McCain 44.1%
VAP: White 95.3%, Black 0.7%, Hispanic 1.5%, Asian 1.1%, Native American 0.7%, Other 0.7%

This new swing seat is based in Eau Claire and St. Croix. Pat Kreitlow lives here and would probably run here for the Democrats. Republicans might run Harsdorf or Terry Moulton. This seat would probably be pretty close to a toss up, although Democrats might have a slight edge.

Well that's the wrap. Feedback would be appreciated, and I'll try to answer any questions.

Originally posted to BeloitDem on Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 06:29 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is beautiful, logical and so clear... (3+ / 0-)

    and therefore wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in the Sahara...  but great job!

    (reposted to Badger State Progressive)

  •  Biased Beloiter believes blue better beat bullies (0+ / 0-)

    Well, that didn't make a lot of sense. I'm biased. I want every single elected office currently held by a Republican to be filled by a Democrat asap. Emotionally, that's my dream.

    But we're talking about redistricting.

    I can't help but think that Walker is going to pull another dirty trick and screw up the redistricting process somehow.

    I've read snippets that hint he's up to something, but I'm wondering what your take is on this possibility. Have I missed any news?

    I like the concept of taking Janesville out of Ryan's district. I'd like it better if Ryan ended up without any district, but that isn't in the cards. The current map gerrymandered Janesville into red territory and that has been harmful to the folks in Janesville.

    Tammy Baldwin would have supported the people in Janesville. Instead, Ryan has done nothing for his constituants. He didn't exactly fight to keep the GM plant open. If I still lived in Beloit, I would rather bring Janesville back into her original district and keep Rock County and Dane County in the same district. But Tammy seems to have thoughts of moving up to bigger and better things.

    Personally, I think she has what it takes to be an excellent senator and would do good things for Wisconsin. This election is her best chance because she can leverage the Walker backlash, the Ryan non-plan, and the reelection of President Obama. Mostly, she needs better name recognition in Wisconsin. Unless Feingold changes the whole picture, of course.

    I haven't been focused on the other congressional districts in Wisconsin, I must admit. So I have nothing to add to the bigger picture.

    Overall, I think your cut at redistricting is reasonable and sensible. This, of course, would be totally unacceptable. No chance.

    If you weighted the population by political donation dollars, the map would change drastically. My bet would be that this would result in a better prediction of the final district map.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 09:10:11 PM PDT

    •  This isn't really a map that I think would happen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It was mostly just a fun little exercise. If nothing else, it has two extra seats because it was drawn using the Wyoming Rule, a theoretical redistricting scheme where by instead of aiming for an arbitrary 435 total seats, the population target for each district was the population of Wyoming, the nation's smallest state. It is VERY unlikely to become the law of the land. However, if the Wyoming rule were in place, I could see this map being implemented, as we will likely get a court-drawn map if democrats take back the State Senate, and a court might draw a map something like this.

      •  It is a fun little exersize (0+ / 0-)

        The map represents an abstract theory, so to speak. Although the results are far from perfect, the Wyoming Rule is a tool that provides value and insight into the process. It doesn't represent the law of the land or reality, for sure.

        My commentary went way off topic. From theory to worst case scenario. No transition.

        If this map represents an unbiased and reasonable redistricting result, I wondered what the worst case biased and unreasonable map might look like.

        Redistricting using the Fitzwalkerstan Rule.

        Unfortunately, there's no telling what Walker and his gang-bangers will do next. One can only speculate.

        Regardless, if the final redistricting is an improvement, I'll be pleased.

        My BMHS history and government teacher years ago was Beloiter Gary K Johnson, who ran for office a couple of years after I graduated. He was a Beloit College alum. He served in the state Assembly for many years and was the Democratic Assembly Leader for a while. Gary passed away a few years ago. I can't imagine what his thoughts would be.

        "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 12:40:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It looks good but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I believe we only have 8 districts in Wisconsin, and I don't think we've gained enough population since we lost a district after the 2000 census to give us 2 more.

    •  It's a Wyoming Rule Map (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plankbob, walja

      The Wyoming Rule is an alternate system by which instead of there just being 435 house seats, the target population for each district is the population of Wyoming, the nation's smallest state. The idea of the Wyoming Rule is to make the house more evenly representative. It's pretty unlikely to actually become law, but can be fun to draw maps using it.

  •  The political behavior of the counties below (0+ / 0-)

    Hi!  I really love this map.  BTW, I'd like to know the reasons behind the political behaviors of the following counties:

    A) Heavily Republican
    1. Washington
    2. Waukesha
    3. Ozaukee
    4. Fond du Lac

    B) Generally Republican
    1. Brown
    2. Outagamie
    3. Winnebago
    4. Manitowoc
    5. Sheboygan
    6. Walworth
    7. St. Croix

    C) Marginal
    1. Marathon
    2. Racine
    3. Jefferson
    4. Chippewa
    5. Pierce

    d) Generally Democratic
    1. Eau Claire
    2. Rock
    3. Kenosha
    4. LaCrosse

    Also, I'd also like to know if there are any pockets of Democratic strength in catagories A) and B), the Republican/Democratic pockets in catagory C) and the Republican pockets in catagory D)?  Thanks!

    31, Male, Independent MS-02 (Hometown FL-19)

    •  Very Complicated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeloitDem, Xenocrypt

      You can write a book about why parts of Wisconsin vote the way they do but the problem is you have great difference in voting trends among similar demographics.  For urban areas it is simplest. The difference between Milwaukee and Madison and other cities (which tend to be Democratic but MKE and MAD more so) is minorities in Milwaukee and Madison is a college town and the seat of state government.  
      However, with suburban and rural areas, there is great variance.  The Milwaukee Suburbs (Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington) and increasingly St. Croix county as it becomes an exurb of the Twin Cities, is white, college-educated, and relatively affluent.  But the suburbs of Madison (Middleton, Verona, Merona, Fitchburg, etc)  and the North Shore suburbs of Milwaukee (such as Shorewood, Brown Deer, Glendale, Fox Point, Bayside) are also predominately white, college-educated, and relatively affluent, yet vote very Democratic.  So I think in that case it is more about culture and outlook than anything else.  Yes the state government and UW-Madison might affect the lean of the Madison suburbs, but this area is host to a ton of private industry, particularly biotech firms that shoot of from the UW grads.  I think the Circle of Ignorance types hold to the parasite/producer typology of the world where they are the producers and they should not have the pay for the "parasites" (public sector workers, welfare recipients) through higher taxes.  Whereas I tend to think the Madison suburbans have the "There but for the Grace of God go I" mentality.  
      As for the rurals, there is also great variance.  The rural areas of the East and Northeast, which you cite as generally Republican, are Republican (however this counterbalanced by Democratic cities such as Oskhosh, Appleton, and Green Bay thus they tend to be lean Republican counties).  On the other hand the rural areas in the South and Southwest (such as Trempealeau, Sauk, Iowa, Vernon counties) tend to be very Democratic.  This might be an accident of history as Inoljt points out: in that the Southwest areas tend to be Scandinavian, while the Northeast tends to be German.  Why in particular that would have an impact on voting patterns generations later, I do not know.  Both Scandinavian and Germany both have much more powerful trade unions and advanced welfare states than America, but Scandinavia tends to be the most social democratic in the world.  One other note, the reasons why the very northern counties (Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas counties) tend to be very Democratic is why the Minnesota Iron Range in Dem: strong unions in mining and shipping.  While these counties are still quite Democratic, there are less so, which trends with the decline in unions.  
      So, long story short, I would guess the difference between demographics can be explained by economic interests, but within demographics culture and history is helpful.

      All Wisconsin, All the Time, Social Democrat, WI-05 (Home), Oxford East (Study Abroad), NY-22 (College)

      by glame on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 09:14:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, quite frankly (0+ / 0-)

        Part of the reason exurban areas tend to vote so heavily Republican is that they were to some extent the product of white flight.

        As for a couple of the counties glame didn't explain:

        Racine county isn't marginal because it has a lot of swing voters, it's marginal because it has a democratic city and rural areas that act like rural Waukesha.

        Rock County is basically democratic due to Beloit and Janesville making up a huge chunk of the population and the rural areas averaging out to moderate.

      •  A couple of questions (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks for your explanations.  However, I still has a couple of questions:

        1. What is your "Circle of Ignorance"?
        2. Why are German Americans much more Republican than Scandinavian Americans?


        31, Male, Independent MS-02 (Hometown FL-19)

        •  A Nickname (0+ / 0-)

          Circle of Ignorance is just a pejorative term used (almost exclusively here on DKE) to denote ridiculously Republican suburbs surrounding major cities.  For Milwaukee this means Waukesha, Washington, and Ozaukee counties.  Michelle Bachman's district is also a good example of the Twin Cities' Circle of Ignorance.  

          As for the whole ethnic thing, I really have no idea.  I do not know much about cultural anthropology but it basically is the best I can think off to separate two areas that are so similar, yet have such different voting patterns.  I am talking about areas such as Dale Schultz's 17th senate district vs the neighboring 14th district held by (presently Luther Olsen) (for visuals look here:  They are both Republicans, their districts are both similar, they both do not have large cities (I do not call Portage or Richland Center large), and yet while Schultz's district voted over 60 percent Obama, Olsen's only went 52 percent.  

          All Wisconsin, All the Time, Social Democrat, WI-05 (Home), Oxford East (Study Abroad), NY-22 (College)

          by glame on Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 02:46:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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