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North Carolina Republicans have released a map that makes 10 Republican Districts and 3 Democratic Districts.  This is a reverse of that, a fantasy map of course, which forms 10 Democratic Districts and 3 Republican.  It would likely oust 3 Republican incumbents (most likely Walter Jones, Howard Coble and Sue Myrick).  It is more aggressive than my first North Carolina map, which was 9D-4R.

Behold:

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Edit: Gah!  Eastern NC was cut off...

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____________

(all racial data is VAP)

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District 1: G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson)

68/32 Obama
70/30 Democratic

50% Black, 41% White, 6% Hispanic

Unlike the 1st district in my last map, I believe this one is VRA compliant.  It includes all VAP mandated counties.  This district loses much of it's current Democratic strength in Northeastern NC and replaces it with some AA precincts in Southeastern NC and precincts from Greensboro and Durham.  I also managed to make a Democratic district the most partisan district in the state - and still in a Democratic gerrymander.  Safe D.

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District 2: Renee Ellmers (R-Dunn)

68/31 McCain
65/35 Republican

80% White, 11% Black, 7% Hispanic

This is a Republican vote sink and a very ugly-shaped district.  Contiguous at a single-point in many areas.  The only GOP incumbent who lives here is Renee Ellmers, but really this district takes in the most heavily GOP areas from three districts - Walter Jones' 2nd, Ellmers' 3rd, and Howard Coble's 6th.  Safe R.

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District 3: Walter Jones (R-Farmville)

50/50 Obama
53/47 Democratic

63% White, 31% Black, 4% Hispanic

This district only went for Obama by two-tenths of a percent (49.7-49.5) but it is actually very heavily Democratic.  The only Republican who would have good odds of winning here is Walter Jones, who is basically a Democrat (pro-taxes on walthy, pro-Medicare, anti-war), but I wouldn't bet on him surviving a tough primary.  Bev Perdue probably got 60% here and Mike Easley maybe 65%.  Lean R for Walter Jones, Likely D for everyone else.

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District 4: David Price (D-Chapel Hill)

59/40 Obama
56/44 Democratic

67% White, 17% Black, 9% Hispanic, 6% Asian

This district becomes a few points more Republican, but is still Safe D.

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District 5: OPEN

68/31 McCain
67/33 Republican

89% White, 5% Black, 4% Hispanic

This is one of two Republican vote sinks in Western NC.  It displaces current 5th district Rep. Virginia Foxx, which screws Republicans over even more.  (Touch-point contiguity southwest of Lexington.)  Safe R.

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District 6: Howard Coble (R-Greensboro)

55/44 Obama
53/47 Democratic

63% White, 31% Black, 4% Hispanic

Howard Coble is in the worst position of all GOP incumbents with this map.  Almost none of his old 6th district is in the new 6th district, and it's 20 points more Democratic than before.  The 6th follows the I-40 corridor through Central NC, taking in all of Winston-Salem, leftovers of Greensboro, and the Duke University area of Durham.  Likely D.

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District 7: Mike McIntyre (D-Lumberton)

56/43 McCain
53/47 Republican

69% White, 16% Black, 7% Native, 6% Hispanic

Mike McIntyre is one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, but is still apparently liberal enough to make the Republicans spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to beat (which they haven't).  Barring another 2010 wave year, he will be safe here.  He won with about 70% in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 - and his district only becomes 4 points more Republican.  It also splits Wilmington which diminishes the possibility of a strong primary/general challenge from that part of the district.

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District 8: Larry Kissell (D-Biscoe)

51/49 Obama
51/49 Democratic

60% White, 27% Black, 8% Hispanic

Larry Kissell is a tough incumbent to draw a safe district for in any situation, but given that this district doesn't change much from it's pre-2010 form, he should be able to win here.  Lean D.

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District 9: Sue Myrick (R-Charlotte)

56/44 Obama
50/50 Republican

63% White, 21% Black, 9% Hispanic, 5% Asian

Charlotte has historically been a very Republican city, but has been trending progressive in recent years.  Mecklenburg County was one of the few in the U.S. that went for Bush in '00 and Kerry in '04.  Sue Myrick is a popular former mayor of Charlotte and has a fair chance of winning here, but she is a staunch conservative and if a good Democrat could point that out, this district is certainly winnable.  Tilt D for now, but Likely D by the end of the decade.

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District 10: Patrick McHenry (R-Cherryville)

66/33 McCain
65/35 Republican

87% White, 7% Black, 4% Hispanic

I think Patrick McHenry's little town of Cherryville has actually been moved out of this district - but just barely.  Other than that, Patrick McHenry is safe here - which is kind of unfortunate because he's my least favorite NC Republican.

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District 11: Heath Shuler (D-Waynesville) vs. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk)

52/48 McCain
53/47 Republican

90% White, 3% Black, 4% Hispanic

This is my favorite district in this map.  It is by far the most compact (no county splits!) and it only includes mountain counties (I love the NC mountains!).  The election stats haven't changed at all, and Virginia Foxx would not run here - so Heath Shuler is safe in this district.

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District 12: Mel Watt (D-Charlotte)

64/35 Obama
63/37 Democratic

49% White, 36% Black, 11% Hispanic, 3% Asian

Drawing this district majority-minority was my greatest feat in making this map.  It includes the least-white precincts from Mecklenburg county and the city of High Point, and then criss-crosses through the western half of the state, taking in small towns that vote Democratic.  Unfortunately it's congressman, Mel Watt, is owned by the Bank of America.  But at least he is a Democrat.  Safe D, in any case.

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District 13: Brad Miller (D-Raleigh)

57/42 Obama
54/46 Democratic

64% White, 23% Black, 9% Hispanic, 3% Asian

This district becomes more Raleigh centered and takes in some Democratic areas of Johnston County (Clayton and Smithfield).  Safe D.

____________

That's it.  Too bad this map is not real.  Instead we have a horrid GOP gerrymander.  Oh well.

Thoughts?

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's a very interesting concept (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawolf

    and a cool map, though I think it could be a dummymander. Also your 1st district might get struck down as a racial gerrymander. Still a nice map though.

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

    by sapelcovits on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 11:24:09 PM PST

  •  Oh my goodness. Lovely. Where to start. (0+ / 0-)

    Let's start with the most basic--NC-12. Why did you feel the need to make it minority majority? It is not a VRA district. In fact, the Republicans got in trouble with their first map because it was black majority (or close enough) and therefore viewed as a racial gerrymander. I think the reason Democrats drew it back in the 90's is because that was the only way to create a Democratic voting district back when Mecklenburg, Forsyth, and Guilford were much more Republican. Clearly not so anymore, and thus the nearly-minority-majority is a big waste of Democratic votes. Which would be why Republicans were so happy to preserve it. The only problem with eliminating it is that Mel Watt would certainly not be very happy, but, we'll cross that bridge when we get there (if we ever do).

    Anyway, so there is no need to make that minority-majority district. That will actually solve a lot of your problems as you can now shore up some of your other districts, starting with the 9th. While the 9th in your form will certainly be more of a challenge for Myrick, I think it is the Democrats who have a "fair chance" rather than Myrick. If you consider that the district already has a 50% GOP average, and that Myrick is likely to overperform that... After all McCrory got 49% of the vote in Mecklenburg County in 2008 (and this was 2008!), and you have essentially removed areas that voted probably 85-90% for Perdue, I suspect that he got well, well over 55% in your district. In fact, let's make that over 60%. So, all I'm saying is, a few extra Democrats released by your 12th will do a lot to remove her from office.

    Now to your 11th district, which I love. In fact, I have drawn this district many a time myself. I always, always include it in fair maps, as I think it is a wonderful community of interest as an all-mountain district. And Heath Shuler will perform very well in Watauga, Ashe, and Alleghany counties. (I'm from Boone.) Most people do not know, but Ashe and Alleghany can actually be quite friendly to the right kind of Democrat. Alleghany voted for Perdue in 2008 (and for every other Democratic gubernatorial nominee in recent memory) while Ashe voted for Easley in 2004 and even voted for the Democratic incumbent in the state senate election in 2010 (But he lost the rest of the district.) Perhaps Shuler will also be able to make some inroads into Mitchell and Avery counties... If not, I say we send them to Tennessee (where they belong).

    Your districts for Price and Miller are both great, and your district for Kissell is also basically fine, although perhaps with unpacking the 12th you could do a little more to shore him up. I think McIntyre would be favored to hold your 7th, but he wouldn't like it.... Still, if you must. =]

    But now we get to another problem, which is your district for Jones. You have certainly done an amazing job with it, but, as you note, Jones would probably still be the slight favorite here. Kudos, however, to the fact that you made him take on area that is out of his areas of name-recognition/adoration, which make him more vulnerable to a primary challenge, which, if successful, would very likely hand his district to the Democrats.

    Because Jones is so difficult to beat and doing so requires making McIntyre more uncomfortable (and quite possibly encouraging to vote more like a Republican), I think you may have better luck making the tenth Democratic district in central NC. I would change your 1st district a little bit so that it removes every possible black voter in eastern NC, so that Jones can have as conservative a district as possible. This would also free up some more black voters in central NC for your new Democratic district, or for your new 12th, however that turns out.

    I have tried this scenario myself, and gotten the following results: Make your 9th the new 12th, but add the black voters back in. It is only 36% black or so, but if Anthony Foxx can win 67% of the vote in Charlotte, Mel Watt will be fine. This also leaves room for Kissell to reach back into Charlotte. Then you can take his district out of Fayetteville, and use that city as a base for your new Democratic district. I haven't perfected it yet, and I also haven't tried it with that configuration of the 11th, which should help things quite a bit compared to what I was doing. I'll go back to the drawing board and see what I come up with.

    By the way, are you from NC? Where?

    •  The other problem with eliminating the (0+ / 0-)

      Wattmander would be retrogression in Guilford County, no?

      Anyway, while Mel Watt probably wants a Democratic district with lots of his current constituents, he at least had the sense to attack the GOP redistricting, which is a lot more than can be said for many in similar positions.

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

      by sapelcovits on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 11:41:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, it's hard to say. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Englishlefty

        Guilford is covered under Section 5 of the VRA, yes. So districts that enter into Guilford County will always need preclearance. However, that does not mean they have to be minority-majority. In fact, the Supreme Court has, in this case, ruled on the side of "don't go too far" rather than "not far enough." Basically, the Supreme Court has tried harder to prevent a racial packing gerrymander than a racial cracking gerrymander. On the other hand, that could just be because the district has always been closer to packing and cracking. So we just haven't seen what the other end of the spectrum--where dilution goes too far--would look like because mapmakers have never explored it.

        I drew a district that encompassed all of Guilford County and then made no effort to gather any other heavily black areas. The district ended up being 24.9% black VAP. While that certainly is a decline from over 40% black like the current 12th is, I think it is certainly a sizable minority population. The current 13th covers some section 5 counties (Rockingham, Caswell, Person, Granville, and Guilford) and even though it is 27% black, the courts are okay with that...

        •  Well it's not necessarily about (0+ / 0-)

          a threshold of being minority-majority, so much as retrogression. I don't know what % would cross the line, but I'm sure enough dilution of minority voting power would be unacceptable.

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

          by sapelcovits on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 09:38:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that's basically what I said to psychicpanda. (0+ / 0-)

            But i think there is a case to be made that sizable minority populations in several better-COI districts would be preferable. It's at least a battle worth fighting.

    •  I agree on most points (0+ / 0-)

      However I think the 1st district gets struck down as a racial gerrymander.  It's quite similar to the one enacted in 1992 that was eventually struck down in court.

      Other than that bfen hits the nail on the head, especially regarding the 9th and 12th where I think Myrick would be at least a Lean if not Likely favorite.

      This map is very interesting though.  I've never tried to get 9-4 let alone 10-3 because I've always found a safe 8-5 to be the way to go.  I'll have to take a crack at adding a 9th seat sometime though since NC is my favorite to draw, go figure.

    •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      for the analysis.  Are you saying the 12th only has to have a high enough black percentage for them to elect a black representative in the primary - it does not have to be majority minority?  I have not looked over the VRA extensively.  However I think you do need a district that catches the small foothills towns (Hickory, Shelby, Gastonia, Statesville, etc.) because otherwise you have to make one of your safe Democratic districts 2-3 points more Republican (probably the Triad one - and that makes it toss-up/lean Republican).

      I've lived in Wilmington and Fayetteville, NC, by the way, and I have been all over the state.  Great state. :)

      •  There are no well-defined rules (0+ / 0-)

        in this area. So, I couldn't tell you where the limit is. We don't know and it is up to the court's discretion.

        Basically, the issue is, as I understand it, not a certain baseline, but how much the districts change from one draw to another. So when the GOP added a lot more black voters to the 12th in their first map, it could very well have been ruled an illegal packing racial gerrymander. However, if the minority % is diluted too much, the courts might rule that you are cracking the black vote too much. However, there is definitely a case to be made that spreading those voters around so there are sizable minority populations in several districts would be preferable to the current very un-compact district. We'd just have to see how it all played out in the courts. Certainly worth a try, though.

        There is definitely historical precedent for section 5 counties (like Guilford) being covered in a district that is only about a quarter African-American, though.

  •  Thank you for putting me in (0+ / 0-)

    District 1. I was worried I'd be in one of the Republican sinks. But sadly, IRL, I'm districted from municipal to federal in solid GOP territory.

    Have you heard the current State of the Skies? Also, I'm on Facebook if you can't get enough of my weathery posts.

    by weatherdude on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 11:49:35 PM PST

  •  This is deranged... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bcre8ve, David Nir, jncca

    And pretty incredible. On the one hand, it's probably the most hideous, vomitrocious gerrymander I've ever seen. On the other hand, fuck you, North Carolina Republicans.

    I realize it's not mandated by VRA at all, but dumping Rep. McHenry's hometown in a minority-majority district is fucking hilarious.

    Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 12:22:08 AM PST

  •  Yuck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xenocrypt

    At least 7 uses of touch point contiguity.  Not a fan and not sure all of them would be legal.

  •  My favorite(?) (0+ / 0-)

    is in Cabarrus County, where 12 and 8 criss-cross each other.  I feel like that's legally (as elucas730 might have meant) and maybe even mathematically questionable.

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

    by Xenocrypt on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 10:56:48 AM PST

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know if I can explain it right, but I think there are certain cases where touch point contiguity are ok, but I don't think you can have a case where two districts can "criss-cross" (to use your term) each other.  It's like one district goes over the other, and I don't think both of them can be considered contiguous.

      There are a bunch of these instances in this map:
      8th and 12th in Cabarrus County
      6th and 12th in Forsyth County
      2nd and 4th in Harnett County (twice)
      1st and 2nd in Wayne County
      1st and 3rd in Nash County (twice?)

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