I intend to revisit the subject of D.C. voting rights soon, but I wanted to take a quick sidebar and post up some congressional maps of Puerto Rico. If the island territory were admitted to the Union, as it very well may be pending the results of a two-question referendum set to appear on Puerto Rico residents' November ballots, it would have five congressional districts. I wanted to draw what they might look like.
This analysis won't be very in-depth. For most of my other redistricting ventures, I've had election data to work with; for the rest, I've had enough knowledge of local voting patterns to at least not sound like a total idiot in discussing my thoughts on each district.
So, this diary will be a quick read. Enjoy.
Here we are, five congressional districts for Puerto Rico. (Do you think it will be called "Puerto Rico" no matter what? I like "Boriquen" better, I think. Oh well.) If Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state mid-decade, Congress could either decide to add five new voting members to the House until 2022, add five new voting members to the House permanently, or require states with congressional districts apportioned 431st through 435th to eliminate a seat in a mandatory mid-decade round of redistricting. I'm not sure what they would do, and I won't deal with that in this analysis.
PR-01 (blue) is anchored by San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, and Guaynabo, perhaps the capital's wealthiest and most developed suburb and the location of the resident commissioner's residence. The incumbent here would be Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, a PNP member who caucuses with the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives.
PR-02 (green) is anchored by Carolina, the third largest city in Puerto Rico and the site of the island's major international airport. It extends across the eastern part of Puerto Rico.
PR-03 (purple) is anchored by Bayamón, the second largest city in Puerto Rico. This district covers a lot of the San Juan metropolitan area's western suburbs, which I understand to be somewhat poorer and grittier than the likes of Guaynabo and Carolina.
PR-04 (red) is anchored by Ponce, the most populous Puerto Rican city outside the San Juan metropolitan area and the metropolis for the southern plain of the island. The district respects the community of interest of its region as well as possible, though it steals the Mayagüez suburb of Hormigueros in the west to make population.
PR-05 (yellow) is anchored by Mayagüez, a college town on the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico in the east and the Dominican Republic in the west. It also extends deep into the heart of the island along the spine of the Central Mountain Range, as well as taking up the rest of Puerto Rico's populous northern coast.
I wish I had more to tell y'all, but it's really hard to say how party politics shake out in Puerto Rico if it becomes a state, and Pierluisi is the only congressional incumbent here to mention. Maybe someone who knows more than me about Puerto Rican politics can give his or her thoughts as to who might run where, which party might be favored in which district, etc. I would like to avoid this diary becoming a forum for discussing Puerto Rico's prospects for statehood; as much as I enjoy the topic, we do that a lot elsewhere.