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As many of you are already aware, New Mexico's redistricting is going to be decided by the courts, meaning that the map is not likely to change a whole lot (whatever the details, there will be an Albuquerque-based swing district (which is likely to be Democratic-leaning); a southern, largely Republican district; and a northern, largely Democratic district. But let's assume that somehow or another, Republicans took control of the legislature, what kind of map would the Republicans draw?

Now, in order for Republicans (or Democrats for that matter) to really maximize their numbers, there is no choice but to split up Albuquerque, as the city itself is more Democratic than not, but has a very Republican base in the northeast quadrant of the city (it's also a very high turnout base as well, it's why Republicans can still win Albuquerque proper).

Now before getting to the maps, there's one other thing I need to point out, the Obama numbers can be very deceptive, particularly in the northern part of the state. When you see the two Republican districts, you'll know exactly what I mean. Also one thing I'm very proud of is that I was able to get the population deviation below 50 for each district, I had to do a lot of playing around to get it that close.  Now then, to the carnage, let's see what Republicans can do to New Mexico:

First of all, statewide:

And a close-up of NM-03 (and Bernalillo County)

(Note: All demographic percentages are voting age population)

NM-01 (Blue)

Pop. 686,403 (dev. +10)
Demographics: White 57.4%; Hispanic 34.9%; Native American 2.5%
Presidential: Obama 49.4%; McCain 50.6% (M+1.2%)
By Party: Democrats 42.3%; Republicans 57.7% (R+15.4%)

Notes: NM-01 retains a link to Albuquerque, as it absorbs the northeast quadrant of the city as well as most of eastern Bernalillo County. It also takes most of the eastern part of the state (which contains a large portion of the most Republican parts of the state), as well as Republican strongholds like Roswell. The district also contains a few Democratic-leaning areas such as Socorro, but these areas are very much drowned out by the Republican-lean.

Ranking: Safe Republican

NM-02 (Green)

Pop. 686,423 (dev. +30)
Demographics: White 44.3%; Hispanic 42.9%; Native American 9.1%
Presidential: Obama 48.9%; McCain 51.0% (M+2.1%)
By Party: Democrats 44.2%; Republicans 55.8% (R+11.6%)

Notes: One thing you might notice about my NM-02 is that this would have been McCain's best district, but this is actually less Republican overall than NM-01; and that's because this district is mostly southern New Mexico, where Obama's performance wasn't nearly as impressive compared to the rest of the state. It also splits a lot of counties in order to get the population up without weakening the Republican split. One potential problem (for Republicans) is that a district like this would still be in reach of someone like Harry Teague, but even then, it's doubtful this district would fall

Ranking: Leans Republican w/Teague running; Safe Republican otherwise

NM-03 (Purple)

Pop. 686,353 (Dev. -40)
Demographics: White 34.1%; Hispanic 49.1%; Native American 12.2%
Presidential: Obama 73.5%; McCain 26.5% (O+47%)
By Party: Democrats 67.2%; Republicans 32.8% (D+34.4%)

Notes: Well, given that Obama won the state by 15 points and that it tends to have a Democratic lean at the state level, there had to be one district to cram as many Democrats as possible, and this is it. Over 55% of the population is based in Albuquerque, and this creates major turmoil for incumbent Democrat Ben Ray Lujan, as his base would be severely weakened in a primary election (there are plenty of Albuquerque-based politicians who would gladly run in this district). It's a pretty atrocious district too, as the district has no whole counties within it. It's effective though, as it gives Republicans two safe districts in a state that Barack Obama won by 15 points.

Ranking: Safe Democratic

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

    by NMLib on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 02:27:01 PM PST

  •  Wow that's some crazy packing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NMLib

    I haven't tried NM yet because I'm not sure what exactly the VRA requires there w/r/t Hispanic voters, but the fact that you could get a D+20 district and 2 McCain districts out of a state Obama won with 57% and few black voters is pretty incredible.

    •  Honestly, I doubt you'll have much to worry about (0+ / 0-)

      Even right now, only one district (NM-02) is even plurality Hispanic by VAP (all three districts are minority-majority by VAP right now, but NM-01 and NM-02 are only barely such, and NM-03 just happens to have a very large Native American population, so none of the districts really do that much for Hispanic representation).

      The big thing also is that the Hispanic population in New Mexico simply doesn't have the same problems with voting and representation that other states with large number of Hispanics have.

      And yeah, this map took a lot of doing, and even then it's still possible to make Republicans even stronger by trading Chaves County (Roswell) with Lea County (Hobbs), it would make NM-02 more Republican and make it next to impossible for Harry Teague to launch a comeback.

      Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

      by NMLib on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 07:50:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting fantasy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Englishlefty

        Never.Going.To.Happen.  You'd have to do a Republican gerrymander of the state house (marginally possible) and state senate to do so, plus have a Republican Governor.  NM does occasionally elect R governors, but only with bad D candidates.  And control of the state house and senate, especially at the same time?  Fuggedaboudit.

        The bottom 1% are the most egregious victims of Wall Street's class war. We 99% must not abandon them.

        by NM Ward Chair on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 09:20:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes I understand, hence the disclaimer... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Englishlefty
          As many of you are already aware, New Mexico's redistricting is going to be decided by the courts, meaning that the map is not likely to change a whole lot (whatever the details, there will be an Albuquerque-based swing district (which is likely to be Democratic-leaning); a southern, largely Republican district; and a northern, largely Democratic district. But let's assume that somehow or another, Republicans took control of the legislature, what kind of map would the Republicans draw?

          Plus, I think you assume I would want this map to happen, I absolutely do not, I would prefer a Democratic gerrymander which gives us two safe districts (although I'd bet some money that I'd be represented by a Republican if Democrats are being smart, given that I'm in the uber-Republican Northeast Heights. Sigh

          Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

          by NMLib on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 09:30:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I thought this was an exercise in (0+ / 0-)

            redistricting what if.  There are a couple things that make this map even less likely.  First, it breaks up an obvious community of interest, the city of Albuquerque.  Second, the districts are not in the least compact.  

            The map passed by the NM Senate actually has one reasonably safe D district, NM-01, and an extremely safe D district, NM-03.  NM-02 is safe R.  It's basically a status quo map which turns NM-01 more blue.  The NM House never passed a Congressional map at all, which puts the whole shebang up in the air.  However, there's no reason to believe that NM-01 will be any less than leans D, and it might be a whole lot safer than you think.

            It would have been possible to draw three marginally safe D districts(!)  However, NM House speaker Ben Lujan didn't want to dilute his son Ben Ray's true blue NM-03 district.  Some southern NM House Dems objected to locking in R Steve Pearce in NM-02, so they voted against the NM Senate's plan.  However, as you correctly point out, it is all up to the judge.

            The bottom 1% are the most egregious victims of Wall Street's class war. We 99% must not abandon them.

            by NM Ward Chair on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 09:50:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's sort of the thing though (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Englishlefty

              Heather Wilson may have held the current permutation of Albuquerque-based NM-01, but it is moving away from the Republicans (even compared to the rest of the state) and any Republican gerrymander would have to split Albuquerque, otherwise they'd have real trouble holding that district.

              Democrats might not be willing to split the city, but I could easily Republicans split the city if given the opportunity (I grant they'd probably try to be a bit more subtle about it than me, but I doubt it would change)

              Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

              by NMLib on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 09:58:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  If you want a more realistic map... (0+ / 0-)

          Close up on Bernalillo County:

          Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

          by NMLib on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 09:45:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Worst case scenario never hurts (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NM Ward Chair, NMLib

            Not an expert but I don't think there's an ice cream in hell that the map posited at the top could come to pass.  However it is useful to play some of these what-if games to be ready for whatever craziness might get thrown our way even with the courts involved.  It would be quite interesting to see if the citizens of the Heights could stomach being rep'd by Pearce.  I don't see Teague making a comeback any time soon.

            "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

            by emobile on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:26:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hobbs is in my second (0+ / 0-)

              So it's doubtful that they'd have the pleasure (lol). If I did my alternative then there's a good chance Pearce would face a primary challenge.

              Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

              by NMLib on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:05:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The NM Senate Dems plan is acyually more likely (0+ / 0-)

              It keeps most of Bernalillo Co. intact, except the Isleta reservation and Tohajilee, but adds more concentrated population centers in Corrales, Bernalillo, and Placitas.  That makes good sense from a "communities of interest" perspective, one of the redistricting principles.  The judge might make different choices, but adding lots of rural voters to a basically urban Bernalillo Co. district is not as likely.

              NM Senate Dems knew the Governatrix wouldn't sign off on any redistricting plans, so they were careful to make sure that they played fair with drawing the districts.

              The bottom 1% are the most egregious victims of Wall Street's class war. We 99% must not abandon them.

              by NM Ward Chair on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 12:46:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, there's one thing that Senate Democrats did (0+ / 0-)

                That was kinda dumb, they needlessly put Portales in a different district from the rest of Roosevelt County, and I can't imagine for the life of me why they'd do it.

                Alternatively, the I could easily see a court create a district that is simply Albuquerque and Rio Rancho (with the third district absorbing the rest of Bernalillo County).

                Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

                by NMLib on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:47:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Too big (0+ / 0-)

                  You'd have to split RR or ABQ.  I'd be surprised if the judge didn't produce a more-or-less status quo map, removing some rural areas from CD-1, which has to shed votes.

                  The bottom 1% are the most egregious victims of Wall Street's class war. We 99% must not abandon them.

                  by NM Ward Chair on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 05:23:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The opposite is true (0+ / 0-)

                    Combined, Albuquerque and Rio Rancho have a population of about 634K, the ideal congressional district is over 686K, so it makes a lot more sense to combine Albuquerque proper, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo (town), Corrales, and maybe keep a few more rural precincts for the population.

                    I've already made a map in Dave's Redistricting App (as well as double-checked the census numbers).

                    Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

                    by NMLib on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:02:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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