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Unlike North Carolina, in which Democrats are very much favored on the congressional level - it's almost impossible to draw a map which really favors Democrats in Virginia.  Almost every Republican running for Congress outperformed John McCain in 2008 and Republicans swept Virginia house seats in 2010.  They now hold a 8-3 majority over Democrats in the delegation.  I don't know if it is just the weakness of Virginia's Democratic party or what - but Democrats did horribly this cycle in what would appear, on paper, to be a GOP dummymander.

Tea Party Gov. Bob McDonnell may actually want to go for an 9-2 map if Democrats lose the state Senate this November.  So, Bob, you can thank me later, here's a map that would likely give the GOP an impressive 9-2 majority in purplish-blue Virginia.

Photobucket

District 1: Rob Whitman (R-Montross)

52/48 McCain
54/46 Republican

68% White, 16% Black, 8% Hispanic, 6% Asian

Whitman won handily here when it was 1 point less conservative, and the district in this shape would almost certainly elect a Republican.

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District 2: Scott Rigell (R-Virginia Beach)

51/49 McCain
53/47 Republican

66% White, 22% Black, 5% Hispanic, 4% Asian

This district takes in some of the redder precincts from Bobby Scott's district.  It's quite ugly, but it actually becomes two points more conservative than before.  The military is a big issue in this area.  Freshman Dem. Rep. Glenn Nye lost to former car salesman Scott Rigell here in 2010, and Rigell, who at least seems like a nice guy and not a bitter partisan, would probably win again here in the future.

Photobucket

District 3: Bobby Scott (D-Newport News)

84/16 Obama
79/21 Democratic

62% Black, 29% White, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian

The 3rd district as I've drawn it would probably win the award for ugliest-shaped district in the country.  Criss-crossing the James River about half a dozen times, this district takes in the most heavily Democratic precincts from Richmond to Virginia Beach.  This is one of two districts in Virginia that is safe for Democrats.

Photobucket

District 4: Randy Forbes (R-Chesapeake) vs. Robert Hurt (R-Chatham)

53/47 McCain
55/45 Republican

66% White, 27% Black, 3% Hispanic, 3% Asian

Randy Forbes would probably hold onto this district pretty easily; but Robert Hurt lives here too and he would have to move up to Richmond or Charlottesville to avoid running against a fellow Republican.

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District 5: VACANT

54/46 McCain
57/43 Republican

75% White, 14% Black, 5% Hispanic, 4% Asian

Open seat.  Robert Hurt could move up here to run.  One-term Dem. Rep. Tom Perriello would have little to no chance of returning to Congress in the fifth district, where most of his base (Charlottesville) lives.

Photobucket

District 6: Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke)

56/44 McCain
56/44 Republican

79% White, 15% Black, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian

The district shifts to the south and east a bit, but Goodlatte would still win easily here.

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District 7: Eric Cantor (R-Culpeper)

50/50 McCain
55/45 Republican

69% White, 12% Asian, 9% Hispanic, 8% Black

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's district moves up towards the DC area.  It just barely went for John McCain in 2008 - but in Northern Virginia that is certainly enough to elect a Republican congressman.

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District 8: Jim Moran (D-Arlington)

70/30 Obama
67/33 Democratic

The 8th takes a much uglier shape in this map, but becomes majority-minority and slightly more Democratic.  This is the only district in No. Va. that is safe for Democrats.

Photobucket

District 9: Morgan Griffith (R-Salem)

63/37 McCain
59/41 Republican

94% White, 4% Black, 1% Hispanic, 1% Asian

Morgan Griffith actually lives in the 6th, but just barely - Salem is about a mile outside of this district.  Ironically, Democrats would probably have the best chance of taking the 9th, the most conservative district, out of all GOP districts in Virginia - that is, if Rick Boucher were running again.  However, he's probably the only Democrat who would have a good shot here.

Photobucket

District 10: Frank Wolf (R-Vienna)

50/50 McCain
52/48 Republican

77% White, 8% Hispanic, 7% Asian, 6% Black

Frank Wolf should have no problem winning in this ugly baconmander district, since he won handily in 2008 year in a 53-47 Obama district.

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District 11: Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax)

51/49 McCain
55/45 Republican

Gerry Connolly just barely held on in what was previously a 57% Obama district in 2010, and under-performed Obama in 2008.  Mathematically, Connolly stands almost no chance in a district that is made 8 points more Republican.

Originally posted to psychicpanda on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 05:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This won't happen - I hope. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thematt523, flhiii88, VA Breeze

    Your districts are crazy. Yeah the GOP would if they could but I don't think the districts could past muster with the DOJ and don't forget the Democrats still control the state senate until November's election (not confident they will after November).

    This would be horrible for me. I'm not a huge Gerry Connolly fan but at least he's our shmuck.  These maps would really dilute the representation for Fairfax and Prince William counties, perhaps enough to cause quite a voter backlash in statewide elections.

  •  Virginia has 11 seats, not 13 (0+ / 0-)

    plus I think we could beat Cantor (he got less than 60% in a stellar GOP year against a nobody) and win Connolly's seat with someone who has more appeal to the rural parts of the district. This is a brutal map, though. Excellent job.

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), working in MA-08 for the summer, hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:05:31 PM PDT

  •  I think 3 Dem seats is a minimum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thematt523

    Otherwise the map would probably have VRA concerns or it would by a dummymander

  •  once it came out that Texas Republicans used our (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alibguy, JamieG from Md, Inoljt

    maps drawn to show how well they could do, I've decided to post no more Republican maps.  In fact, I think I'll go back and delete mine from photobucket.

    I was with the unions before it was cool. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:49:34 PM PDT

  •  That you consider (0+ / 0-)

    Rigell

    who at least seems like a nice guy and not a bitter partisan

    in this way makes me question all of your analysis.

    He is a teapartier who holds a very conservative, "end of days"
    "christian" perspective. Forget any environmental protections, etc.

    Nye won with Obama in 2008 then lost in 2010. Rigell should have a much tougher time in 2012. He already has a declared opponent who is a moderate, a better fit for the area.

    There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

    by VA Breeze on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:14:19 PM PDT

  •  Total Dummymander (0+ / 0-)

    This would turn into a total dummymander and blow up in the GOP's face.

    Your 1st District looks ok overall, but it would be trending Democratic throughout the decade.

    Your 2nd is only marginally more Republican than the existing 2nd, but contains a lot less of the Virginia Beach core of the old district. That would create a controversy even among Republicans. And Rigell isn't just a nice guy, he's very partisan and extreme. He's highly vulnerable in 2012.

    Your 4th would also generate a lot of controversy within the GOP, I can't see them passing a plan that forces Hurt to move out of his district. Which reminds me, how sure are you that Rigell lives in the portions of Virginia Beach that remain in the 2nd in your plan?

    The 5th would be an open seat, I doubt Hurt would move, and I suspect Perriello could win this more suburban, less rural district. And I think you actually have Eric Cantor living here, which would create a potentially interesting fight.

    I don't think the 7th contains Eric Cantor's home anymore, and drawing the 6th to exclude most of the Valley would be opposed by local Republicans who want Goodlatte representing the Valley.

    In the big picture, I think this would be opposed by at least four House Republican incumbents. It forces two or three of them to move. And it sets up a lot of districts that are only marginally Republican and would be very vulnerable throughout the rest of the decade. Dummymander.

  •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

    I would say this is a nice exercise in what's possible, not probable. I've done these kind of things with VA to see if three majority-minority districts can be drawn, to examine if a 6-5 Dem map can be created, etc.

    As for what's actually going on, the Dem State Senate is still holding out for a 7-4 map while the GOP House of Delegates has drawn an incumbent protection map at 8-3. The problem is, if the Dems lose the State Senate in November, the GOP will likely get their 8-3 map (which is really trending 7-4 anyway but staves off the 10th district's eventual blue turn for a few more years, at least until Frank Wolf retires).

    Solid Liberal Democrat, Democrat, born and raised in VA-06, went to school in VA-05, back in VA-06 for the time being.

    by GeoffreyVS on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 09:18:36 AM PDT

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