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Unlike Congressional redistricting, state legislative redistricting is not in the hands of the legislature in Missouri.  Rather, it is done by two bipartisan committees, one for each chamber.  However, due to the absence of a tiebreaker, the committees have deadlocked.  I presume Republicans were hoping that they could lure at least one Democrat over to avoid the courts and preserve their overblown majority.  One Republican member of the House redistricting comission even said: "My fear is if we don't get an agreement, some judge will say, 'OK, let's just go with four Democrats and four Republicans' and we Republicans will lose our 6-3 advantage."  At least he's forward about it and doesn't hide it behind BS jargon.  Anyway, the commissions deadlocked in August and the job goes to an appellate court appointed by the MO Supreme Court Chief Justice.  On this panel of judges are 3 Democratic Governor appointees and 3 Republican Governor appointees.  

This diary will focus on the redistricting of the State Senate, where Democrats have a horrendous 26-8 disadvantage.

More below the fold.

A small aside, first.... Apart from Democrats having a terrible year in MO in 2010 due to poor turnout, the Democrats' poor standing in the state legislature is due to their geographical concentration in St. Louis, Jefferson, and Jackson Counties.  Another issue is that the MO Democratic Party focuses all of its energies on statewide races and leaves state legislators to fend for themselves (this is from a second-hand source, so take it with a grain of salt).  There are Democratic footholds in scattered areas throughtout the state, but none outside of Columbia are big enough to support a cleanly-drawn Democratic Senate seat.

Since the appellate court won't have a map approved until December, I decided to see what a clean-drawn Senate map could do.  I did my best to avoid splitting counties and towns.  This was the result:

Photobucket

I'll list the districts not visible in the closer-up maps.

District 16 (lime): Safe R
District 17 (dark slate blue): Safe R
District 20 (black): Likely R
District 27 (spring green): Likely R
District 28 (plum): Likely R

Part 1: St. Louis Area
Photobucket

District 1: Safe D (52.8% AA of VAP)

District 2: Safe D (51.9% AA of VAP)

District 3: Lean R (has a Republican incumbent), but Tossup/Tilt D in an open seat scenario
50.1% Obama, 54.0% Dem

District 4: Likely D
60.6% Obama, 60.0% Dem

District 5: Safe D (54.1% AA of VAP)

District 6: Safe D
69.1% Obama, 75.2% Dem

District 7: Likely R
41.9% Obama, 41.9% Dem

District 8: Lean R
47.2% Obama, 49.6% Dem

District 10: Lean R
47.3% Obama, 49.1% Dem

District 11: Likely R
41.2% Obama, 43.3% Dem

Part 2: Further Inland
Photobucket

District 9: Lean D
52.1% Obama, 58.7% Dem

District 12: Likely R
42.5% Obama, 46.3% Dem

District 13: Likely R
40.4% Obama, 45.5% Dem

District 14: Safe R
34.3% Obama, 42.3% Dem

District 15: Lean D
54.2% Obama, 54.7% Dem

District 25: Safe R
36.2% Obama, 44.7% Dem

Part 3: Southern Missouri
Photobucket

District 18: Safe R
36.5% Obama, 41.6% Dem

District 19: Safe R
33.2% Obama, 38.8% Dem

District 21: Safe R
31.3% Obama, 33.7% Dem

District 22: Lean R
46.1% Obama, 46.6% Dem

District 23: Safe R
32.8% Obama, 35.9% Dem

District 24: Safe R
31.6% Obama, 31.4% Dem

District 26: Safe R
34.8% Obama, 42.3% Dem

Part 4: Kansas City Area
Photobucket

District 29: Lean R
44.9% Obama, 47.0% Dem

District 30: Lean D
53.2% Obama, 56.1% Dem

District 31: Lean/Likely R
41.9% Obama, 46.5% Dem

District 32: Tossup/Tilt D
50.0% Obama, 53.1% Dem

District 33: Safe D
65.8% Obama, 69.5% Dem

District 34: Safe D (majority-minority)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, let's tabulate these districts and see what we could get in a neutral year.

Safe D: 6 seats
Likely D: 1 seat
Lean D: 3 seats
Tossup: 2 seats (both Tilt Dem on paper)
Lean R: 4 seats
Likely R: 8 seats
Safe R: 10 seats

Missouri Democrats should therefore expect to have a floor of 10 seats in most years.

My conclusion is that I hope the appellate court unpacks Kansas City and St. Louis a bit more than I did.  I also hope they give a Senate district to Columbia.  What do you think?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IllinoyedR, andgarden, Skaje

    'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.' -Mahatma Gandhi

    by KingofSpades on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 11:01:13 PM PST

  •  wanna get your take (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ajr111240

    on Susan Montee. Do you think that she'll able to take down Kinder in '12? If she wins, she can possibly take on Blunt in '16. Alot of those freshman GOP senators that got elected in '10 were lucky. Blunt, Kirk, Rubio, and Johnson.

  •  also (0+ / 0-)

    can they hang on to Robin Carnahan's post? I wish she didn't retire.

  •  Thanks for this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ajr111240

    It is depressing to look at though. I started thinking of ways to improve it for Democrats, but unless there are east-west St. Louis and KC seats, there are not that many, other than trying to carve together some traditionally Democratic counties in the SE, or a Hannibal based NE seat, finding as many other traditionally Dem counties as possible, and then some readjusting around St. Joseph, and none of those three seats would be easy wins. I figured with trying to squeeze another seat out of KC, and two more out of St. Louis, counting all your Dem seats and tossups together, that could put Democrats at 18 in a good year, but not an easy task even then.
    Missouri may be the best example of how drawing nearly any non-Democratic gerrymander makes things nearly impossible for Democrats to win in a swing state (even though Missouri is trending GOP and may not be one soon) at state level races.

    "So there's a time for silence, and there's a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now." -Taylor Swift

    by SouthernINDem on Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 04:14:59 PM PST

    •  After 2008, Democrats had only 11. (0+ / 0-)

      I really hope the court unpacks more so Dems could at least prevent Republicans from having a veto-proof majority in the Senate (which would take 12 Dems).

      'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.' -Mahatma Gandhi

      by KingofSpades on Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 06:14:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Always wondered (0+ / 0-)

    and never understood elections. IF the US "lets the people vote".....then how can someone with MORE popular  votes  lose to someone that just has Electorial votes? That needs to be changed or stop calling our Gov. democratic !!

  •  Even if we won all of the "lean" R districts, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades

    we'd still only be at a tie. Ugh.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 09:49:27 AM PST

  •  hm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades

    the numbering would need to be altered due to the odds in 08/12/16/evens in 06/10/14 thing.. that's not big but

    Buchanan and Platte are pretty close to the ideal by themselves and it creates a bluer district than Platte/Clay and Buchanan/NWMO.

    Jasper/Newton are close to the ideal.

    The KCMO districts have their own odd histories to create one Brookside/Westport district and one East KC district.

    You could probably make one district that is a bowl from NE KC to SE Independence and the rest being Raytown/Grandview instead of two N-S districts (32 and 33).

    Also, Clay County is entitled to get one district entirely within it's bounds.

    Notes before I mention my map

    1) I tried to make it realistic to the norms of MO Senate redistricting, minimal county splitting outside of the big counties. A deviation up to 4000 or so, which is still legal for MO Senate Districts
    2) Some accounting for the political realities of some areas
    3) The numbering scheme does not matter apart from odd/even.

    My map went

    SD1 (SE STL County): 49.5/49.4 Obama (Obama by 54 votes). 53/47 Dem
    SD2 (West St. Charles): 58/41 McCain. 57/43 Rep
    SD3 (JeffCo surplus, SteG/StFran/Madison/Reynolds/Iron/Washington): 50/49 Obama. 55/45 Dem.
    SD4 (North STL): 89/11 Obama. 89/11 Dem. 63% AA.
    SD5 (South STL): 72/27 Obama, 73/27 Dem. 27% AA.
    SD6 (Pettis, Cooper, Moniteau, Miller, Cole): 64/35 McCain. 56/44 Rep. Deviation? 2 people
    SD7 (Macon County, SE to Warren County, with part of Franklin County): 59/39 McCain. 56/44 Rep
    SD8 (Blue Springs, Lee's Summit, Excelsior Springs): 56/43 McCain, 54/46 Rep
    SD9 (Eastern KC): 85/14 Obama. 86/14 Dem. 60% AA
    SD10 (Connects Northeast KC to Lee's Summit): 64/35 Obama. 65.5/34.5 Dem.
    SD11 (Independence/Raytown): 53/46 Obama. 57.5/42.5 Dem.
    SD12 (NW MO): 59.5/38 McCain. 60/40 Rep.
    SD13 (North County STLCO): 77/22 Obama. 82/18 Dem. 58% AA
    SD14 (Hazelwood to U-City): 81/18 Obama, 85/15 Dem. 57% AA.
    SD15 (Kirkwood. Chesterfield. Etc): 54/45 McCain. 56/44 Rep.
    SD16 (Hermann to Salem. Cuba to Waynesville): 64/35 McCain. 59/41 Rep
    SD17 (Southern Clay County): 50.5/48 Obama. 53/47 Dem
    SD18 (Lincoln County to Clark County, with Kirksville included): 56/42 Obama. 54/46 Rep.
    SD19 (Boone and Howard): 54/44 Obama. 55/45 Dem.
    SD20 (Stone. Taney. Douglas. Christian): 67.5/31 McCain. 66/34 Rep.
    SD21 (Warrensburg to Chilicothe): 55/43 McCain. 51.5/48.5 Dem.
    SD22 (Northern JeffCo): 50/48 Obama. 57/43 Dem.
    SD23 (Eastern St Charles): 51/48 McCain. 50.3/49.7 Rep.
    SD24 (Richmond Heights to Maryland Heights): 60/39.5 Obama. 62/38 Dem
    SD25 (Mississippi County to Shannon County): 62/36 McCain. 58/42 Rep
    SD26 (West County STLCO/Eastern Franklin County): 58/41 McCain. 57/43 Rep.
    SD27 (Perry. Bollinger. Cape Girardeau. Scott. Stoddard): 66/32.5 McCain. 65/35 Rep. Pop Dev of 22.
    SD28 (Wright. Webster. Parts of Greene. Polk): 65/33.5 McCain. 63/37 Rep.
    SD29 (St. Clair County to McDonald County): 66/32 McCain. 62/38 Rep
    SD30 (Springfield): 52.5/46 McCain. 54/46 Rep.
    SD31 (Cass to Morgan Counties): 59/39 McCain. 52/48 Rep.
    SD32 (Jasper/Newton): 67.5/31 McCain. 70/30 Rep. Pop Dev of 627
    SD33 (Ozark to Howell to Texas to Laclede to Dallas to Camden): 65/33 McCain. 60/40 Rep.
    SD34 (Buchanan/Platte): 51/47.5 McCain. 51/49 Rep. Pop Dev of 2378.

    and some maps




    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 03:21:36 PM PST

    •  Would this be a better map for Dems? (0+ / 0-)

      Also, isn't SD-18 56/42 McCain in your map, not 56/42 Obama?

      'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

      by KingofSpades on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 03:27:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also, I once visited ShowMeProgress (0+ / 0-)

      and saw a poster there of the same name.  Do you contribute to that site?

      'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

      by KingofSpades on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 03:52:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Map Part 2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades

    Part 1 wasn't recently updated, so Part 2 keeps the deviations below 1000, breaks a few county lines, and reinforces a few districts.




    Districts which saw some movement in percentages (All the Was' are from Plan Part 1)

    SD1: Obama 50/McCain 49. (Was 49.5/49.4)
    SD2: McCain 59/Obama 40.5. (Was 58/41)

    SD4: Obama 87.5/McCain 12 (Was 89/11). Now 59.5% AA
    SD5: Obama 79/McCain 20 (Was 72/27). Now 49% W/40% AA

    SD8: McCain 57/Obama 42 (Was 56/43)

    SD10: Obama 62/McCain 37 (Was 64/35). 64/36 Dem.
    SD11: Obama 54/McCain 45 (Was 53/46). 59/41 Dem.
    SD12: McCain 59/Obama 38 (Was 59.5/38)
    SD13: Obama 76/McCain 23 (Was 77/22). 57% AA
    SD14: Obama 79/McCain 20 (Was 81/18). 83/16 Dem. 49% AA
    SD15: McCain 52.5/Obama 47 (Was 54/45). 54/46 Rep.

    SD18: 56/42 McCain. I typoed it in the first summary.

    SD21: Now 52/48 Dem.

    SD23: Now 50/50. Reps lead the average by 40 votes.
    SD24: Obama 54/McCain 45. (Was 60/39.5). 56/44 Dem.

    SD28: McCain 65/Obama 33 (Was 65/33.5)
    SD29: Now 63/37 Rep

    SD31: McCain 59/Obama 40 (Was 59/39). 51/49 Rep

    SD33: McCain 65/Obama 33.5 (Was 65/33)
    SD34: McCain 51/Obama 48 (Was 51/47.5). 50.5/49.5 Rep

    So the totals are

    Reliably Dem: 7 (4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14)
    Lean Dem: 3 (19, 22, 24)
    Tossup: 5 (1, 3, 17, 23, 34)
    Lean Rep: 3 (15, 21, 30)
    Reliably Republican: 15 (2, 6, 7, 8, 12, 16, 18, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33)

    The cruel reality is that with the Dem areas being 80%+ Dem areas and being so densely packed, there's not a reliable way to have the Reliable/Lean Dem districts be remotely close to the Reliable/Lean Rep districts. Even with a 50/50 election.

    If it weren't for the Senators and Future Senators I like, I'd advocate Missouri going Unicameral.

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 05:05:00 PM PST

    •  Well done. (0+ / 0-)

      and yes, unicameral makes sense since the Senate is accidentally set up to underrepresent Democrats.

      'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

      by KingofSpades on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 05:08:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  plus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades

        Missouri's Capital has cramped office space, so opening up 34 more offices would help reduce the number of representatives in the two-layer office clusters. I'm not kidding. Missouri's capital wasn't really set up for 197 legislators, so they had to improvise a bit when they got to that number.

        I'm expecting the Legislature Map to be released in the next week since the judges kept everybody waiting for a few weeks too long.

        What I expect from the maps:

        they'll probably make the all-Clay County Senate district from the Republican areas and put the Democratic Southern Clay County in with 10 or 11. I'm not sure if that split would allow for 3 districts to be put in Jackson County, but the composition should still be 3D-1R.

        The STL districts are the most important for the Senate. So if they screw us, they'll pack the Dems into the 13th/14th and keep Republicans in 3 other districts. But in all reality, they can't really hold all 6 districts in the County and one should be drawn out.

        The impression i've heard repeatedly from Dems is that the Dem Chief Justice made some bad picks (in their POV) for the Judges handling redistricting, and that the Reps are sticking together and the Dems are disorganized. So i'm expecting them to do a status-quo map instead of doing anything too radical. The House map is a modified version of the 1991 map which was drawn by Republicans and a few Dems in the Citizens Committee. The Dems tried suggesting a few maps that would be fairly more beneficial to Dems but they knew that they couldn't move the Rs on the first committee.

        The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

        by RBH on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 06:06:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Chief Justice was an Ashcroft appointee (0+ / 0-)

          not a Dem one

          'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

          by KingofSpades on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 06:12:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What of the State House map? (0+ / 0-)

          Nothing really radical there, either?

          'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

          by KingofSpades on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 06:13:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  not expecting anything too radical (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades

            the House is 106/57 Rep right now. But it could be drawn with 70ish Dem seats. The problem is that the campaign finance system (no limits whatsoever) is so ridiculous that it'll take a lot of money to get back into the 70s in the House. You think Citizens United is bad? since August 2008 in Missouri, the state elections are done Texas-style. Under the premise that 6/7-digit contributions should only be reported instead of prohibited.

            The Republican map in the first committee paired a few rural Dems but was mainly focused on maintaining their unrealistic majority (they called it "Minimal changes").

            The Democratic map went from lots of ridiculous districts to increase the number of Dems to more modest districts to increase the number of Dems.

            The maps are here. Check out Skaggs-Davis for their first try, which was a display in creativity (and in pissing off Democratic legislators)

            The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

            by RBH on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 06:38:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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