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For any who may be reading this series for the first time: this is a thought experiment where I try to see what would happen if the size of the House of Representatives were doubled to 870 members from 435. And yes, I know Republicans have the trifecta in both of these states. This entire series is theoretical to begin with, gimme a break.

Louisiana and Mississippi are both states with sizable black populations, but they only get 1 majority district in each, partly due to natural concentration. Louisiana lost a district in the 2010 census, which caused the Republicans (with complicit Democrats) draw an abominable New Orleans-to-Baton Rouge district. So I wanted to see how far I could go in the other direction.

Links to the adopted plans in Louisiana and Mississippi

Previous Doubling Diaries: UT, NV, OK, AK, WY, IN, NJ, VA, OH, HI, ND, SD, NM, VT, DE and ID


Louisiana gets 13 districts

The "Dem Average" is:

  • President 2008
  • Senate 2008
  • U.S. House races 2008

VAP: 72.2 White, 18.5 Black
30.8 Obama, 42.6 Dem

Open; Jeff Landry (R-New Iberia) does not live here, but this district contains a vast majority of his current territory and would probably run here. This is Cajun Country! We'd be screwed unless Charlie Melancon (D), and probably even then too. Safe R

VAP: 78.1 W, 17.4 B
25.2 Obama, 34.5 Dem

Open; Steve Scalise (R-Jefferson) does not live here, but this district is very similar to his current one. All I have to say is Oof. Safe R

VAP: 48.6 W, 47.2 B
55.2 Obama, 58.4 Dem

Plurality white (majority black by total population). Rep Jeff Landry's home was drawn into this district, but as I said above he would run in the 1st. Charles Boustany's home of Lafayette is also potentially drawn into this district, the city is split in half. The district starts in New Iberia/Lafayette and snakes up to Alexandria, picking up every blue (or black) precinct along the way. The fact that a plurality white district in Louisiana voted for Obama by 12 points is a good sign for any black Democrat would may want to run here. Likely D, black opportunity

VAP: 42 W, 53.9 B
60 Obama, 64.6 Dem

Black Majority. John Fleming (R-Minden) lives here, but certainly would rather run in the 13th, even with the large swath of new territory. Mostly Monroe and Shreveport, this district will certainly elect a Black Democrat. Safe D, black pickup

VAP: 82 W, 12.3 B
23.4 Obama, 29.3 Dem

More Cajun country! Rep. Charles Boustany's home could possibly be in this district, but he'd run here regardless. It contains a lot of his territory and it's very, very red. Safe R

VAP: 74.2 W, 20 B
31.3 Obama, 37.4 Dem

Open. Leftovers in the central part of the state. Safe R

VAP: 74.1 W, 19.9 B
26.2 Obama, 32.5 Dem

Rep. Rodney Alexander (Traitor-Quitman) lives here, and would be just fine with this district, thank you very much. Safe R

VAP: 70.4 W, 25.6 B
29.9 Obama, 35.8 Dem

Open; as I said, John Fleming would probably rather run here than face certain defeat in his home district. Otherwise, ho hum. Safe R

New Orleans/Baton Rouge

VAP: 36.7 W, 50 B, 7.1 Hispanic
63.9 Obama, 67.5 Dem

Black majority; Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) either lives here or in the 3rd, but would run here. Parts of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Safe D

VAP: 54.3 W, 35.2 B, 6.9 H
57.3 Obama, 60.6 Dem

Rep. Steve Scalise lives here, but would run in the 5th like I said. Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany Parishes. A black Democrat would have a good chance in the primary and the general, but this could also be a district for former Lieutenant Governor and current Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu. Safe D, black opportunity

VAP: 70.4 W, 16.2 B, 9.9 H
27.9 Obama, 34.1 Dem

Open. New Orleans suburbs. Safe R

VAP: 43.4 W, 49 B
56 Obama, 57.9 Dem

Plurality black. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge) lives here, but would probably rather run in the 9th. Although a black Democrat could win running away in the primary, and be very favored in the general, this could also be a comeback district for <1 term Rep. Don Cazayoux (D)

VAP: 71.2 W, 23.3 B
35 Obama, 41.6 Dem

Open; as I said, Bill Cassidy would probably run here. Safe R
Louisiana goes from a 1-6 current delegation, to a 1-5 proposed map, to a 5-8 map under Doubling (assuming I'm the universal Special Master), including at least one new black representative and the potential for 3 others.


Mississippi gets 8 districts

1 (Blue)
VAP: 44.2 W, 51.7 B
58.9 Obama

Black majority. Open. Northwest part of the state (Clarksdale, Southaven). Safe D, black pickup

2 (Green)
VAP: 47.2 W, 49.3 B
56.2 Obama

Plurality black. Open; central MS. Republican Alan Nunnelee's home of Tupelo could potentially be in this district since I split it, but regardless he'd run the district containing the other half. If it were majority black I'd call it safe, but as it is I'd only call it Likely D, likely black pickup

3 (Purple)
VAP: 45.8 W, 50.2 B
54.5 Obama

Bennie Thompson (D-Bolton) and Gregg Harper (R-Pearl) both live here; Harper would run in the 7th and while Thompson would probably not be happy, he's too conservative for his current district and he didn't lift a finger to help Democrats in the state legislative races in 2011 and potentially lost us the State House. So I don't much care. Safe D

4 (Red)
VAP: 44.9 W, 51.6 B
55.9 Obama

Black majority. Open; Southwest part of the state. Safe D, black pickup

5 (Yellow)
VAP: 65.4 W, 26.2 B
40.6 Obama

Steve Palazzo (R-Biloxi) lives here. Biloxi, Pascagoula, Gulfport and Hattiesburg. This is a Gene Taylor comeback district: it's 8 points more blue than the current MS-04, so if Taylor wants, he could probably win here and be invincible in any non-2010esque year (he never got below 64% before 2010; yeesh that's a hard fall). Palazzo could either stay in the 5th and duke it out with Taylor and take his chances, or run in the 6th. Likely D if the seat is open and Taylor runs, Tossup if Taylor runs and Palazzo stays, Likely R if Taylor sits it out.

6 (Teal)
VAP: 84.6 W, 11.7 B
18.8 Obama

Open; Steve Palazzo could run here (assuming Taylor runs and he bails on the 5th), but he'd be vulnerable in the primary. This is the worst district for Obama that I've drawn so far. Safe R

7 (Black)
VAP: 72.9 W, 22.6 B
29 Obama

Open; Columbus and Philadelphia. Safe R

8 (Orange)
VAP: 81.8 W, 14.1 B
27.2 Obama

Northeast part of the state. As I said, Alan Nunnelee's home is either in the 2nd or in this district, but he runs here no matter what. Safe R
So from a 1-3 map to a 5-3 (assuming Taylor runs, which for the purposes of this series I will)! Awesome. Louisiana and Mississippi together make for 10-11, bringing the entire House so far to 88-73-15.

Please tip/rec, but especially comment!


Does Gene Taylor run again in my MS-05?

64%16 votes
36%9 votes

| 25 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

    by HoosierD42 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 at 02:48:23 PM PST

  •  Nice work! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoosierD42, Stephen Schmitz

    It looks like LA-3 shows a white liberal New Orleans district is possible. The Baton Rouge district is beautiful. The large congressional district size clearly hurts us in Baton Rouge. In MS-5 Obama outperforms the black % by 14, which is the most of any MS district.

  •  I always love this kind of thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Graly, HoosierD42, andgarden

    I dunno if you are concerned about the VRA, but your LA-08 has a little bit in common with the Cleo Fields district that the SCOTUS struck down in the 1990s.

    Political Director, Daily Kos

    by David Nir on Tue Jan 17, 2012 at 10:07:37 PM PST

    •  Cleo Fields (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That district went from Shreveport to Baton Rouge, I think the one here is far less gerrymandered. I think there is a case to be made that blacks in northern La are a community of interest. It is much harder to argue the same for blacks in shreveport and those in BR.

      21, Male, LA-02, LA-06 (former), TX-08 (home), SSP: sschmi4

      by Stephen Schmitz on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 07:37:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Haha yeah (0+ / 0-)

      the 7th and the 8th together are almost a carbon copy of it. Since the 7th is actually plurality white, I figured it wouldn't run afoul of the VRA and actually constituted a political gerrymander rather than a racial one. But not being a lawyer, I could be completely wrong, haha.

      23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

      by HoosierD42 on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 07:39:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gene Taylor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (D-Bay St. Louis), not (D-Biloxi).

  •  NOLA districts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Steve Scalise is from the east bank of Jefferson Parish, he would almost surely run in your 4th district, not the 5th.

    The 5th would turn into a huge fight between Mandeville Republicans (a few state senators and former Republican Party chairman Roger Villere would duke it out).

    I'd say state rep Helena Moreno would pounce on your 3rd district in a chinese second. She'd be a favorite to beat any black candidate that would get in, especially if no major white republican got in.

    Your 9th district is definitely not safe R. Cassidy is the strongest Republican in the delegation, so it would be difficult, but a strong candidate from Ascension Parish could definitely win here. These river parishes are very labor and democratic friendly, they just aren't friendly territory for Obama. If Cassidy runs for Senate next year, in an open seat in an off year, I'd say it's a tossup or lean R. I'd venture to guess most of this territory is represented by Democrats in the state legislature. And Don Cazayoux would run here as well, his base is in New Roads and Pointe Coupee parish.

    Your 6th district would be a fun one to watch. If I had to guess, I'd say moronic former state rep Michael Jackson would get in and split the black vote against a more establishment black candidate (probably Yvonne Dorsey). This would give an opening for a white democratic candidate who could court a lot of the moderate Republicans in this district (mid city, lakes around LSU, highland road area all filled with them).

    For the 7th, I think a black democrat is favored, although State Sen. Eric LaFleur would definitely want to look into it, being one of the few rising democratic stars in the state.

    I'd also hesitate to label the 1st as safe R, especially with Landry being the representative. If you could convince Norby Chabert to run as a D, I'd put it at lean D because of the strength of his family name in Houma-Thibodaux. His name escapes me but the democratic state rep from Houma that just retired in 2011 would also make things competitive here, especially in 2014 with Landrieu on the ballot statewide (and I pray to god she doesn't get retire).

    21, Male, LA-02, LA-06 (former), TX-08 (home), SSP: sschmi4

    by Stephen Schmitz on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 07:36:15 AM PST

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