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)
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
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
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