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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.

So, the South Carolina Primary is today, and Wisconsinites this week turned in at least 1,000,000 million signatures to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker. So, since I had maps drawn and ready, I thought I'd churn out a diary real quick. Fun fact; I lived in South Carolina, Anderson, from the ages of 3 to 9.

Links to adopted plans in South Carolina and Wisconsin

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

South Carolina

South Carolina gets 13 districts.

The races included in the "Dem Average" are:

  • President 2008
  • All statewide races 2010 (Governor, LG, AG, SoS, Treas., etc.)


VAP: 45.7 White, 50.2 Black
60 Obama, 58 Dem

Open; black majority. North central, centered in Sumter. Safe D, black pickup

VAP: 44.4 W, 50.2 B
62.7 Obama, 60.5 Dem

Black majority. South central, centered in Orangeburg, Hendersonville, Walterboro (part), Beaufort (part) and into the minority-heavy areas of Charleston. Tim Scott (R-Charleston), one of two black Republicans in the House, may live in this district, he also may live in the 4th. But he would definitely not run here. Safe D, black pickup

VAP: 60.3 W, 30.6 B, 5.7 Hispanic
53.3 Obama, 49.2 Dem

As I said, Tim Scott either lives in this district or in the 3rd. I don't think he'd want to run here either, though. This district is based in Charleston, snaking up the coast a little to grab Democratic voters. Obama did overperform a little in South Carolina, and Vincent Sheheen also performed better than expected, so they may skew the numbers a little. But if South Carolina Democrats run a good candidate and a great campaign, they could and would win this district. Lean D

VAP: 80.9 W, 10 B, 6.9 H
39.7 Obama, 32.7 Dem

Yet another district containing part of Charleston, and another district where Tim Scott's home may be. But unlike the 3rd and 4th, Scott would want to run here. It's a coastal, vacation district, taking in both Hilton Head Island and part of Myrtle Beach. It's 2 points more Republican than the current SC-01. Safe R

VAP: 75.8 W, 16.9 B
37 Obama, 33.8 Dem

Open. No major population centers, inner coast and Charleston suburbs. Safe R

VAP: 71.3 W, 21.5 B
39.8 Obama, 37.8 Dem

Joe "You Lie!" Wilson (R-West Columbia) lives here. Aiken, McCormick and part of the capital of Columbia. Wilson gets 5 points safer. Safe R


VAP: 40.7 W, 51.2 B
69.1 Obama, 67.2 Dem

Jim Clyburn, Assistant Minority Leader of the House (D-Columbia) lives here. He gets the safest of the Democratic seats in South Carolina, out of a) respect for his position and seniority, and b) because he'd probably complain the most about losing black voters (going from 57% to 51%) Other than the City of Columbia, Clyburn doesn't represent anyone in this district, but that won't matter, since 86.5% of the district is in Richland County. Safe D

VAP: 63.5 W, 31.3 B
45.5 Obama, 44 Dem

Mick Mulvaney (R-Indian Land) lives here. Former Budget Committee Chair John Spratt's home of York is not located in this district, but it's very similar to the current 5th, so if Spratt wanted a comeback, he could give it a try. Tossup with Spratt, Likely R otherwise

VAP: 54.8 W, 35.3 B, 7.5 H
54 Obama, 51.9 Dem

I'm pretty happy with this district. It takes in the homes of Trey Gowdy (R-Spartanburg) and Jeff Duncan (R-Laurens), and Obama won it by 10 points! I hope this district would inspire SC Democrats to organize on the heels of their better-than-expected performance in 2010. Assuming neither Gowdy or Duncan run here (which I would bet money they don't), this is Lean D

VAP: 80.5 W, 12.2 B
32.7 Obama, 30.6 Dem

Open; either Gowdy or Duncan could conceivably run here instead of in the 8th. Safe R

VAP: 83.2 W, 9.4 B
30.3 Obama, 27.4 Dem

Open; I think this is where Trey Gowdy runs instead of the 8th or 9th. And he'd be just fine Safe R

VAP: 81.4 W, 13.3 B
29.7 Obama, 30 Dem

Open; I think Jeff Duncan runs here. Worst Obama percentage in the state. Again, Safe R

VAP: 84.3 W, 11 B
30.8 Obama, 30.9 Dem

Open; my poor former home of Anderson. The whitest district in the state. Safe R
So, from a 1-5 map that we currently have, to a 1-6 proposed map in reality. In my series, where reality holds no sway, we get a 5-8 map! (Assuming John Spratt does not run, which I don't think he will.) This includes 2 new Black Democrats, with 3 districts where blacks make up 30% of the voters. So, including Tim Scott, this has the potential for 4 black representatives in the next House.


Wisconsin gets 16 districts.

Races included in the Dem average:

  • Governor 2010
  • Senate 2010


VAP: 37.8 W, 51.5 B
85.1 Obama, 83 Dem

Majority black. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) more than likely lives here. Regardless, she'll run here. She gets 10 points safer, not that she needed it. Safe D

VAP: 70 W, 21.3 H
59.1 Obama, 53 Dem

Open. Southern Milwaukee. Safe D

VAP: 80.1 W, 8 B, 9.2 H
55.8 Obama, 45.8 Dem

Open. Racine and Kenosha. This contains a lot of Paul Ryan's territory, but not his home in Janesville. He would probably rather run here than his home district, which is now the 6th, but the 4 extra points of Obama performance may sink him in the politically polarized Wisconsin. Tossup with Ryan, Lean D without

VAP: 84.2 W, 7.7 B
47.5 Obama, 40.9 Dem

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menonmonee Falls) lives here. Outer Milwaukee and part of Waukesha county. Sensenbrenner gets less safe, but he will probably survive here. Safe R

VAP: 93.2 W
38.6 Obama, 29.4 Dem

Open; Paul Ryan may want to run here instead of the 3rd or 6th, but he only represents a small part of it. However, he's finally have a constituency he's ideologically consistent with. Waukesha and Jefferson Counties, the embodiment of the Circle of Ignorance. Safe R

VAP: 90 W, 5.6 H
60.8 Obama, 51.6 Dem

Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) lives here. Janesville and Madison suburbs. This, along with the 7th and the 11th, make for attractive potential seats for State Reps. Kelda Roys and Mark Pocan, who are currently both running for the open 2nd. Although they'd probably both rather run in the 7th, one of them could take one for the team and they could both go to Congress under this map. This district is Safe D

VAP: 81.8 W, 5.2 B, 5.5 H, 5.7 Asian
75.5 Obama, 73.1 Dem

Open; current Rep. Tammy Baldwin is running for Senate. As I said, Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys would both probably rather run here than either the 6th or 11th, but they'd be strongly favored in the general election in any of them. But the People's Republic of Madison is the best district in the state for Dems other than the majority black 1st. Safe D

VAP: 94.4 W
38 Obama, 28.4 Dem

Open; another Circle of Ignorance district. The worst in the state for the President. Safe R


VAP: 92.8 W
50.5 Obama, 39.1 Dem

Tom Petri (R- Fon du Lac) lives here. Fond du Lac, Oshkosh and Sheboygan. Ever so slightly leaning towards Obama, it's just about exactly the same as Petri's current district and it's safe for him as long as he wants it, most likely. Safe R with Petri, Lean R without

VAP: 92.9 W
54.5 Obama, 43.8 Dem

Open; Appleton, Neenah and Manitowac. Given the political polarization in Wisconsin, I'm going to lean on the Obama numbers more than the very Republican-skewed Dem average numbers and call this Swing

VAP: 90.4 W
54.2 Obama, 43.5 Dem

Reid Ribble (R-Sherwood) does not live here, and he doesn't live in his current district either, but this contains much of his territory. Green Bay, the Door Peninsula and Marinette. Very similar to Ribble's current district, partisanly speaking. In a non-2010 year, I'd call this Swing


VAP: 94 W
55.6 Obama, 44.6 Dem

Sean Duffy (R-Weston) lives in this district; Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Wausau. Ever so slightly more safe for Duffy, but he's made a lot of gaffes in his one term so I think he's doomed. State Sen. Julie Lassa (D) also lives here. Lean D

VAP: 93.8 W
59.1 Obama, 48.2 Dem

Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) lives here; La Crosse and Eau Claire. Safe D

VAP: 95.7 W
60.9 Obama, 50.9 Dem

Open; As I said a couple times already, if Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys both want to go to Congress, one of them will run here instead of primarying each other in the 7th. I think Roys's Assembly district overlaps with this district more than a little. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach's district also has more than a little overlap. Outer Madison suburbs. Safe D

VAP: 92.4 W
54 Obama, 43.9 Dem

Open; No major cities, large swath of rural territory. With Wisconsin Democrats as organized as they are, I think they have the upper hand. Maybe Sen. Jim Holperin (D) could look to move up. Swing

VAP: 95.8 W
53.1 Obama, 44.3 Dem

Open; again, very rural, no major cities. Again, I believe Democrats will easily outorganize Republicans and could win in 2012. They'd have to fight after that though. State Sen Kathleen Vinehout (D) represents part of this district. Swing
So, the current Wisconsin delegation is 3-5, with the redistricting map passed by the Fitzwalkerstan Regime mostly locking in those gains. This map, by contrast, is 8-4-4, with most of the Swing districts probably breaking for Democrats in the current climate. These may be optimistic, but I think the 2011 Great Awakening in Wisconsin shifted the state a few points to the left for the foreseeable future.

South Carolina and Wisconsin together are 13-12-4, making for a 101-85-19 House so far.

Please let me know what you think!


How many of the Swing districts do Democrats win in Wisconsin?

17%3 votes
29%5 votes
17%3 votes
17%3 votes
17%3 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

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

    by HoosierD42 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 03:38:40 PM PST

  •  Vincent Sheheen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, HoosierD42, lordpet8

    lives in your SC 7th and almost all of his State Senate district is contained in the district. It is slightly more Democratic than his St. Sen district and if he ran for Congress there, it would definitely be a Toss-up.

  •  As with your other diaries, overoptimistic for Ds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoosierD42, thetadelta

    In particular, I dislike how you focus on local Dem strength when Obama does poorly, but when Obama does decently you give his numbers a lot of weight.

    •  That's rather reductive reasoning. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You see, not every state is the same. I didn't give the Dem/Rep average a lot of weight in Wisconsin because it was only two races, both in 2010, which was a historically bad year for Democrats, one we're not likely to see again. And there are states, like West Virginia or Arkansas for example, where just going by the Obama percentage would be wildly deceptive because local Democratic strength outpaces federal Democratic strength by far.

      In Wisconsin, we saw the largest protests in the state's history over a Republican agenda attacking an issue that I and apparently many people in the state believe is part of the soul of the state of Wisconsin, union rights. I don't think it's overly optimistic to say that they have the upper head when it comes to organizing their voters.

      And guess what? I'm a Democrat. I'm not going to say I'm not biased, because I am. So challenge me on the merits of my race ratings instead of making vague specious arguments about how I'm gaming things.

      23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

      by HoosierD42 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 08:27:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        States like WI and WV Dems significantly overperform the presidential numbers.

        '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 Jan 21, 2012 at 08:38:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  WI is the opposite of that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoosierD42, KingofSpades, WisJohn

          because Obama was actually a very good candidate for this state. Rural independents tended to see him as a fellow Midwesterner rather than an "other" as in WV, and liked his economic message. But the Wisconsin "Average" is really a high water mark for Republicans here given that it is exclusively 2010. I like to use the average of the 2008 and 2010 numbers to get partisan tendencies here.

          Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02

          by fearlessfred14 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 08:51:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I meant WV and KY (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoosierD42, fearlessfred14

          '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 Jan 21, 2012 at 09:07:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  But 2008 was a historically good year for Ds (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fearlessfred14, HoosierD42

        And Obama's numbers were only one race as opposed to two. Also, Obama's and D margins overall in 2008 were about the same as R margins in 2010, so it's difficult to make the case that the former year is relatively typical but the latter is unprecedented. Rs did unusually well in WI in 2010, yes, but conversely Obama did unusually well in WI in 2008.

        Pretty much all of the Obama 2008/Republican 2010 in WI I think you've rated too pro-Dem. I think averaging them makes for a pretty good unbiased PVI.

        CD/Average D/Your candidateless ratings

        WI-03: 50.8% (Lean D)
        WI-12: 44.8% (Lean R)
        WI-13  49.15% (Swing)
        WI-04  48.85% (Swing)
        WI-08  50.1% (Lean D)
        WI-09  53.65% (Safe D)
        WI-15  48.95% (Swing)
        WI-16  48.7% (Swing)

        In these rankings, R+1ish districts are all swing, but D+1ish districts are all Lean D. The R+5.2 district is only "Lean R", but the D+3.65 district is "Safe D".  

        Maybe the Wisconsin protests will make a difference, but seeing as that's a state rather than federal issue it shouldn't make that much of a difference on Presidential races, and certainly won't for the whole decade.

        •  In the current political climate (0+ / 0-)

          I think any district Obama won in Wisconsin would go D under this map. Would that always be the case? Of course not. But I guess I should point out that I'm only thinking ahead to the next election when I rate these things.

          23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

          by HoosierD42 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 08:11:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really hope 2012 is that blue in Wisconsin (0+ / 0-)

            Because the way the R trifecta drew the maps, it would be an utter bloodbath. We'd end up with the trifecta and a 2/3 supermajority in the Senate, as well as a 6-2 congressional delegation (with Ryan, Ribble, and Duffy all losing). But that's a hope, not an expectation. Really, I wouldn't consider a district with a Republican PVI in 2008 (meaning under 53% Obama) to be even Lean D. And a district like your WI-12 would be Likely R, though I notice you don't use that category.

            Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02

            by fearlessfred14 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:57:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You're mistaking PVI (0+ / 0-)

          PVI doesn't measure variance from 50%, it measures from the national climate. If the national Dem average is 40% it takes a D+10 to reach 50%. Cook uses the average of the past two presidential elections compared to the national vote share.

          Back of the envelope PVIs using the Obama numbers (natl. avg. 52.9%), because I'm not figuring out Kerry numbers while consumed with insomnia.

          WI-03: D+3 (Lean D)
          WI-12: R+3 (Lean R)
          WI-13: D+1 (Swing)
          WI-14: D+1 (Swing)
          WI-08: D+3 (Lean D)
          WI-09: D+6 (Safe D)
          WI-15: D+1 (Swing)
          WI-16: D+0 (Swing)

          The ratings seem pretty fair. D+6 as safe D may be overstating the case a little. But the rough outline of plus or minus 3 being swing, plus or minus 6 being lean or likely and past that being relatively safe outside local factors is fair.

          It's a brand new rock.

          by RevolutionRock on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 12:47:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Reid Ribble doesn't live in De Pere (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoosierD42, WisJohn

    He moved back to Sherwood. Link.

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 08:42:52 PM PST

  •  Nice job on Wisconsin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoosierD42, WisJohn

    Amazingly enough, you managed to get most of the communities of interest in their proper districts (not easy because they are partly class-based). As for the numbers, you really don't have an average in Wisconsin, but rather the two extremes (my senate diary covers this). Obama really cruised here, so his numbers are about the best most Dems around here can do against a credible opponent, while Walker/Johnson's numbers were about the best Team Red can expect, so long as we run someone serious and reasonably scandal-free.

    My take on the seats:

    WI-01: Gwen Moore for sure. Thanks for putting Shorewood and Whitefish Bay in a Democratic district.

    WI-02: I could see Sen. Chris Larson taking this seat, though I'm rather ignorant of Milwaukee politics

    WI-03: Rob Zerban lives here, but in an open seat situation he could be shouldered out by Assembly Minority Leader Barca or Sen. Robert Wirch (both fellow Kenoshans). I don't think Ryan will run here, especially not if Wanggaard loses this summer.

    WI-04: Probably Sensenbrenner, though he won't be happy about it.

    WI-05: Ryan might well move to Waukesha and run here so his constituents don't scare him off the national stage.

    WI-06: Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller probably runs here, though he'd have to move a bit (he's barely outside the district). Pocan and Roys really aren't as well positioned to run here.

    WI-07: Pocan and Roys are the best positioned for this seat for sure, but this district is teeming with prominent progressives. Democrats would probably prefer to add Monona to WI-06 and Middleton to WI-11 to avoid packing so much bench into the same district.

    WI-08: Duffy just moved here from Ashland, and he's won't be all that popular in this district, but you haven't given Republicans that great of an alternative either. On the other hand, Lassa didn't do that well last time around in a bluer district than this, though with nearly all her constituents and less new ones she might have a good chance. This district should really be Swing, because it's about dead even and both sides have recruitment issues.

    WI-09: Kind's 2010 challenger lives here and gave him a good fight, but former Sen. Dan Kapanke got himself decisively recalled last year. Kind keeps this one.

    WI-10: I feel unclean even typing this, but this is a great seat in the likely event that Sen. Glenn Grothman wants to leave Madison. He makes Ryan look like a liberal and "fat ass" Sensenbrenner look like a gentleman.

    WI-11: Erpenbach doesn't live in this WI-11 (see notes re: WI-07 and Middleton), but could run here. Otherwise a less prominent candidate like Fred Clark would run here on the Democratic side, though Kelda Roys might well run here rather than against Pocan. Republicans have two credible candidates here, Sen. Dale Schultz and Rep. Keith Ripp, either of whom could conceivably win in a red year (it would be Lean D for them). Their current districts are every bit as blue as this one, and almost entirely contained in it. Of note, both voted against Walker's union-busting bill.

    WI-12: Petri keeps this as long as he wants (it's as Republican as his current district), then it's Likely R barring realignment in the Fox Valley.

    WI-13: Recruitment will be key in this swing district, as Sen. Ellis is really too old to move up into this district (he'd still win it if he ran most likely).

    WI-14: Barely an R+ district, it probably won't return Kagen, but a stronger Democrat could win here. Ribble probably keeps this in a neutral year, but it's still swing.

    WI-15: Holperin's a freshman, but he'd be a strong contender for this seat, especially if the local Republicans nominate someone Bachmannesque like Kim Simac. This area is economically populist, but is about as socially conservative and libertarian as you'd expect given its ultra-rural nature. Gun control in particular is a nonstarter here.

    WI-16: Clean as it looks, I'm not sure that either party or a court would combine Superior and the outermost Twin Cities suburbs, or split the Lake Superior shore (even the 33-seat Senate map keeps it whole). Still, if this district were drawn, it would pit suburban Republicans like Sen. Sheila Harsdorf against Douglas County Democrats like Sen. Bob Jauch. I should note that, as with WI-15, Democrats in these areas tend to have rather strong environmental records.

    Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02

    by fearlessfred14 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 08:46:43 PM PST

  •  Re: 5 and 9 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    5: Western Jefferson County is not the Circle of Ignorance. It votes more like Madison than Waukesha.

    9: Winona is in Minnesota. Please change that.

    19, male, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -7.88, -4.26, With all the crap Scooter is doing, I should move, but that would be one less vote to end the FitzWalkerstanian police state by recalling Scott Walker!!!!

    by WisJohn on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 09:34:51 PM PST

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