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That's a lie. Nick Lampson won't be. I've spent the last week and a half drawing a congressional map which I believe would satisfy all the major players in Texas and even most of the minor ones. The diary below represents the culmination of that effort. Every district hews closely to its current lines and the four new districts are split evenly between the parties. If only I could find some way to get this map to the litigants as I believe all parties would accept it almost carte blanche (there'd have to be some precinct splits to even out population, but that isn't doable in Dave's Application), but that isn't likely to happen. Please feel free to contact me directly about this map.

P.S. I know there's probably Texas fatigue among the Daily Kos Elections crowd, but I really hope you'll give this diary a full read.




This diary has been posted to DK Elections, an official Daily Kos sub-site. Please read the DKE Mission Statement. Our focus is on electoral politics rather than policy or preference. Welcome aboard!



District 1

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains practically all of its current form (it lost a section of Smith County, but kept all of Tyler) and Democrats still won't be able to compete here as McCain won 69.0%-31.0% (Two Party Vote). SSVR (Spanish Surname Voter Registration) is 4.3%, Hispanics comprise 11.8% VAP, and African Americans comprise 17.6% VAP. Whites are 68.5% VAP and 64.8% AP (All Population).

District 4

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district also maintains its current form, but does lose Sherman in Grayson County. McCain won here 70.4%-29.6%. SSVR is 3.9%, Hispanics comprise 10.0% VAP, and African American comprise 11.3% VAP. Whites are 75.8% VAP and 72.5% AP.

District 11

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its major population bases of Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, and Big Spring, but loses Fredericksburg to the new 34th. This district also does not reunite Abilene with San Angelo, so it precludes the admittedly already remote possibility of a Stenholm comeback bid. McCain won here 75.7%-24.3%. SSVR is 26.3% and African Americans comprise 4.2% VAP.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: Whites are 58.0% VAP and 53.3% AP. Hispanics comprise 35.8% VAP and 40.5% AP. This gives them some potential for growth over the decade, but the chances of a win here are remote.

District 13

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its major population bases of Amarillo and Wichita Falls, but is also forced to add the Sherman to make up both absolute population loss in rural counties and relative population loss throughout the panhandle. McCain won here 76.3%-23.5%. SSVR is 11.8%, Hispanics comprise 19.5%, and African Americans comprise 5.5%. Whites are 71.4% VAP and 67.1% AP.

Cause for Republican Concern: Someone from the new population base of Sherman could initiate a primary campaign against incumbent Republican Representative Thornberry.

District 16

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is immovable due to the geography. Obama won here 65.1%-34.9%. SSVR is 65.9%, Hispanics comprise 77.7% VAP and 80.2% AP, and Anglos comprise 17.0% VAP.

District 17

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains is major population bases of Waco, Bryan-College Station, and Cleburne. McCain won here 66.4%-33.6%. SSVR is 10.0%, Hispanics comprise 18.2% VAP, and African Americans comprise 9.9% VAP.

Cause for Republican Concern: The map enacted by the Texas Legislature added largely Republican counties to the northeast presumably to ward off a comeback bid of Former Democratic Representative Chet Edwards. This map eschews that tactic and instead realizes that the political data augur against an Edwards run no matter where the lines are drawn.

District 19

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its major population bases of Lubbock and Amarillo, but is also forced to add Wise County and Parker County to make up both absolute population loss in rural counties and relative population throughout the panhandle and high plains. McCain won here 72.9%-27.1%. SSVR is 16.1%, Hispanics comprise 22.1%, and African Americans comprise 5.2%. Whites are 69.9% VAP and 65.8% AP.

Cause for Republican Concern: Someone(s) from the new population bases of Wise County and/or Parker County could initiate a primary campaign against incumbent Republican Representative Neugebauer.


District 2

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district largely maintains its current form, but adds Orange County. McCain won here 60.0%-40.0%. SSVR is 9.4%.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: Hispanics comprise 18.3% VAP and African Americans comprise 20.3% VAP. Whites comprise 57.5% VAP and 53.7% AP. These numbers will allow for electoral growth throughout the decade, but racially polarized voting will protect Republicans against a Democratic win.

District 7

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its current shape, but loses extremely Hispanic precincts in favor of White voters pushing the district back to majority White. McCain won here 60.5%-39.5%. SSVR is 12.7%, Hispanics comprise 28.2% VAP, and African Americans 7.9% VAP.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: Whites comprise 54.3% VAP and 50.3% AP. These numbers will allow for electoral growth throughout the decade, but racially polarize voting and low Hispanic citizenship, registration, and turnout will protect Republicans against a Democratic win.

District 8

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its current population bases of Montgomery County and Walker County. McCain won here 74.7%-25.3%. SSVR is 6.3%, Hispanics comprise 15.3% VAP, and African Americans comprise 7.3% VAP. Whites comprise 74.4% VAP and 71.6% AP.

District 9

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a heavily minority safely Democratic district. Obama won here 75.0%-25.0%.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: This district is plurality Hispanic at 39.5% VAP.

Why African Americans Will Be Happy: This district remains an opportunity/coalition district with African American comprising 32.5% VAP. SSVR is only 16.5% and low Hispanic citizenship, registration, and turnout will protect incumbent African American Democratic Representative Green against a successful primary challenge from a Hispanic.

Cause for African American Concern: Common primary challenges within African American VRA (Voting Rights Act) districts citing a "change in the guard" could split the African American vote and allow a Hispanic challenger to win.

Cause for Hispanic Concern: These African American challengers often gain the support of high turnout White voters (13.3% VAP), which could make up the difference and prevent a Hispanic win.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district successfully packs Democratic voters into a racially diverse district which protects neighboring incumbents in the 7th and 22nd against Democratic challengers.

District 10

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its current form within Harris County, taking in heavily Republican precincts in the northwest corner including Tomball. Further information will be given in the Austin subsection.

District 14

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its current form, but sheds most of Ron Paul's base outside of the Houston Metropolitan Area. McCain won here 65.5%-34.5%. SSVR is 13.4%, Hispanics comprise 21.6% VAP, and African Americans comprise 10.0% VAP. Whites comprise 62.4% VAP and 58.8% AP.

District 18

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a heavily minority safely Democratic district. Obama won here 80.0%-20.0%.

Why African Americans Will Be Happy: African Americans Comprise 40.4% VAP. Hispanics are the next largest voting block at 30.1% VAP, but low citizenship, registration, and turnout will protect African American incumbent Democratic Representative Lee.

District 22

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its current population bases of Rosenberg, Pearland, and Deer Park. McCain won here 59.1%-40.1%. SSVR is 15.7%.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is 47.2% White VAP and 43.6% White AP. Hispanics are 24.3% VAP, African Americans 13.5% VAP, and Asians 13.4% VAP. This will allow for large electoral growth throughout the decade.

Why Republicans Shouldn't Care: This is the most reliable way to crack the minority communities while respecting the current lines.

Easy Fix: Give the rest of Fort Bend County to the 22nd and allow the 14th to encroach further in Harris County.

District 29

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a heavily Democratic district based in Pasadena where Obama won 63.0%-37.0%.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: The Hispanic VAP is boosted to 71.6%, which will allow the candidate of their choice to defeat in a Democratic primary White incumbent Representative Green.

District 36

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district is one of the four new district and one of two new Republican districts. It is based in northwest Harris County. McCain won here 63.4%-36.6%. SSVR is 14.4%.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is 52.0% White VAP and 47.2% White AP. Hispanics are 26.5% VAP, African Americans 13.0% VAP, and Asians 7.0% VAP. This will allow for large growth throughout the decade.

Why Republicans Shouldn't Care: This is the most reliable way to crack the minority communities while respecting the current lines. Also, the district is extremely Republican. Low Hispanic citizenship, registration, and turnout will protect them against a Democratic win.


District 3

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps its major population bases of Garland, Plano, and McKinney. McCain won here 59.8%-40.2%. SSVR is 9.0%.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is 57.0% VAP White and 52.9% White AP. No minority group is dominate, but Hispanics are 21.6% VAP, African Americans 10.0% VAP, and Asians 9.6% VAP. This will allow for electoral growth over the decade, but racially polarized voting will ensure continued Republican victory.

District 5

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps its major population bases of Mesquite, Athens, Palestine, and Jacksonville. McCain won here 63.2%-36.8%. SSVR is 8.3%, Hispanics comprise 19.9% VAP, and African Americans comprise 14.3% VAP. Whites are 62.6% VAP and 57.6% AP.

District 6

Why Joe Barton Will Be Happy: This district keeps its major population base of Arlington, for which he has made a huge stink during the San Antonio hearings.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps its other major population bases of Corsicana, Waxahachie, and Crockett. McCain won here 61.0%-39.0%. SSVI is 9.4%.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: Hispanics are 19.4% VAP and African Americans are 15.4% VAP. Whites are 58.7% VAP and 54.1% AP. This will allow for electoral growth throughout the decade, but for the same reasons as similar districts above this will not lead to a Republican loss.

District 12

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps its major population base of Fort Worth and loses its outlying counties due to population growth. McCain won here 58.9%-41.1%. SSVI is 12.0%, Hispanics are 22.0% VAP, African Americans are 9.8% VAP. Whites are 62.5% VAP and 57.5% AP.

District 24

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps is major population bases of Grapevine, Carrollton, Colleyville, Bedford, and Southlake and loses its heavily minority southern section for Lewisville to the north. McCain won here 59.7%-40.3%. SSVI is 8.9%.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: Hispanics are 19.4% VAP, African Americans are 9.6% VAP, and Asians are 11.3% VAP. Whites are 57.7% VAP and 53.8% AP. THis will allow for electoral growth throughout the decade, but for the same reasons as similar districts above this will not lead to a Republican loss.

District 26

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps its major population bases of Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Keller, Flower Mound, Denton, and Gainesville. McCain won here 65.7%-34.3%. SSVI is 6.8%, Hispanics comprise 14.0% VAP, and African Americans comprise 6.8% VAP.

District 30

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a heavily Democratic one where Obama won 77.0%-23.0%. African Americans are 41.9% VAP and will dominate the district.

District 32

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps its major population bases of Highland Park, University Park, and Richardson. McCain won here 57.3%-42.7%. SSVI is 5.8%, Hispanics comprise 16.7% VAP, African Americans are 10.5% VAP, and Asians are 9.1% VAP. Whites are 61.9% VAP and 58.4% AP.

District 35

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is one of two new districts that will lean towards the Democrats. Obama won here 65.9%-34.1%.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: Hispanics comprise a majority of the VAP at 54.2%, which gives them a good opportunity to win a new district.

Why African Americans Will Be Happy: SSVI is only 28.8%. African American precincts are not stranded in neighboring Republican held districts, which they've warned the court against doing in the new interim maps, which boosts their percentage in the district to 18.1%. This gives them an opportunity to elect due to low Hispanic citizenship, registration, and turnout.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This new district is one that they've already conceded to Democrats, but this does an exceptional job of packing Democratic voters into a single district protecting their neighboring incumbents.


District 15

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a Democratic district, albeit slightly weakened, which is based in Edinburgh, Weslaco, Harlingen, and San Benito.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a Hispanic district at 71.2% VAP and 61.6% SSVI.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: Obama won here only 54.5%-45.6%, which is within reach during good years for them.

District 27

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a Democratic district and keeps its major population bases of Corpus Christi and Brownsville.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a Hispanic district at 68.1% VAP and 58.3% SSVI.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: Obama won here only 53.2%-46.8%, which is low enough for Blake Farenthold to win reelection. Corpus Christi is maintained as the population core as opposed to Brownsville.

District 28

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a Democratic district and keeps its major population bases of McAllen, Mission, and Pharr, but loses Laredo and gains Victoria in the north.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a Hispanic district at 74.1% VAP and 64.2% SSVI.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: Obama won here only 54.3%-46.7%, which is within reach during good years for them.

District 36

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is created as a new Democratic district where Obama won 63.0%-37.0% and is based in Laredo.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: This district is a new Hispanic district at 60.0% VAP and 50.3% SSVI.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: I'll explain this under the Austin subsection.


District 10

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district keeps its major population bases in Houston as discussed above, but also keeps its major population bases in the Austin area: Pflugerville and Northwest Austin's 360/183 corridor. McCain won here 57.6%-42.4%. SSVI 9.6%, Hispanics comprise 17.1% VAP, African Americans comprise 8.6% VAP (mostly in the communities between Austin and Houston), and Asians comprise 5.8% VAP. Whites are 66.9% VAP and 63.5% AP.

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is still undoubtedly shifting towards their party, and it is the only district doing in the state not on the back of increasing minority share. Whites here are actually becoming more liberal due to influx from California (a product of Austin's "hipness").

District 20

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district is maintained as a Hispanic and extremely Democratic district comprised of the core of San Antonio. Obama won 66.5%-33.5%. SSVI is 57.5%, Hispanics are 67.6% VAP, Whites are 20.0% VAP, and African Americans are 9.1% VAP.

District 21

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district is used to help split the rest of Austin's liberal whites, but does so while still staying at 58.4%-41.6% McCain. SSVI is 15.0% and Hispanics comprise 22.9% - the rest are negligible. Whites are 67.3% VAP and 63.9% AP.

District 23

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: This district shifts slightly in their favor to 53.8%-46.2% Obama. This should usually elect a Democrat.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: SSVI is 58.0% and Hispanics are 69.2% VAP. This district has been shown to elect the Hispanic candidate of choice 3 out of 10 times (the "benchmark" performance of this district), but this should do so more reliably.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district represents something of a trade-off for Republicans. They still stand a chance at winning here, albeit less, but they also stand a chance now of winning multiple other Hispanic districts as shown above. the base of current incumbent Republican Representative Quico Canseco has also been removed. This wouldn't normally be considered a positive, but should be considered so here and is discussed below.

District 25

Why Democrats Will Be Happy: Most of ultra-liberal Austin is kept whole within a single district where Obama won 69.0%-31.0%.

Why Hispanics Will Be Happy: The district is 46.7% Hispanic VAP, 37.4% White VAP (31.9% AP), and African American 11.2% VAP.

Why Lloyd Doggett Will Be Happy: SSVI is only 28.4%. Given low Hispanic citizenship, registration, and turnout, and the fact that voting is not racially polarize within Travis County this is a district which he can still win.

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: Despite being a district that Doggett can win, Republicans stand a good chance at finally being able to rid the Texas delegation of White Democrats - something that they've been trying to do for political imagery purposes for years. I'll note as well that this isn't synonymous with racial hatred among GOP elites. They're also trying their damnedest to gain GOP elected Hispanics (Bill Flores and Quico Canseco immediately spring to mind).

District 31

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district maintains its current population bases of Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, and now takes in all (instead of part) of the Centroplex counties. It lost Round Rock to the neighboring 10th. McCain won here 59.2%-40.8%. SSVI is 10.4%, Hispanics comprise 17.2% VAP, and African Americans comprise 11.7% VAP. Whites are 65.1% VAP and 61.0% AP.

District 33

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: (continued from above) ... This district is used to absorb the most highly Democratic precincts in the Austin area which would have made the 10th and 21st unacceptably more Democratic. It is my belief that this would not be considered illegal because the precincts which it absorbs are highly white. Therefore, the Hispanic majority of the district is sufficiently compact in Laredo and Del Rio to warrant using the rest of the district in a legally permissible gerrymander for partisan (and not racial) purposes. All substantially Hispanic precincts have been placed in the neighboring 25th district.

District 34

Why Republicans Will Be Happy: This district is one of two new districts drawn for Republicans and is actually drawn for a Republican incumbent: Quico Canseco. The only population bases of note outside Bexar County are Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Brownwood (where my family is from), and Stephenville (perhaps to a lesser extent Brady). Just under half of the entire population is in northwest Bexar County, which is Canseco's electoral base and which has provided him his winning edge during winning campaigns in the 23rd. He would be a near lock for election in the Republican primary and general election. McCain won here 69.1%-30.1%. SSVI is 16.6% and Hispanics comprise 25.2% VAP - the rest are negligible. Whites are 68.3% VAP and 64.7% AP.

















































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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

    by wwmiv on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 01:20:22 PM PST

  •  I wouldn't be happy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, bumiputera

    The current map is a mega Republican gerrymander.

    Most of the population growth was from minorities, so adding one, two, or three minority seats does not really make things better - it's still a mega Republican gerrymander.

    I honestly think it would be better for groups like NAACP, LULAC, etc not to support a "compromise," even if they get as much or more than they can expect as politically realistic. Because if they do support a "compromise," it creates the impression that these groups support a Republican gerrymander that cracks Democrats and minority voters hither and thither.

    E.G. I think it would be better if they maintained a united front and got maybe only 1 new VRA district from a court drawn map, rather than a seemingly more favorable "compromise" map that adds two minority seats (perhaps while also eliminating Doggett - although your particular map definitely doesn't do that). That way there is no impression that it is somehow OK, and that the GOP is actually being reasonable. And either way, the Republicans are going to redraw in about a year anyway.

    Sending a South Texas into white parts of Austin is certainly a creative solution to the Republican's Austin problem, although I don't know whether it is legal. The more significant thing though seems to me to be that you drew a new South Texas Hispanic district (and an Austin quasi-Hispanic influence district), demonstrating that the entire idea of adding a Hispanic seat in Austin (but not South Texas) is motivated not by a desire to create an additional Hispanic opportunity, but by a desire to crack Austin in a way that also (perhaps) gets rid of Doggett.

  •  I moved to Lufkin 30 Years Ago... (0+ / 0-)

    It was part of the 2nd District then but was huge and included most of your 1st District.  Back then, it was a solid Democrtic stronghold and all local office holders were Democrats.  In those days, the important election was Primary Day because whoever won the Democratic Primary won the election in the Fall.

    The District was heavy with Yellow Dog Democrats.  But, they were very Conservative Democrats and gradually died off or changed parties as the Nancy Pelosies gained power in the Party.  Back then Zell Miller types were in the majority.

    Oh, how times have changed.

  •  Retrogressive (0+ / 0-)

    I think Hispanics could legitimately argue that the 28th is regressive, but if you branded the 28th as the 36th and vice-versa that issue could be solved. Neither the 15th or 27th are beneath their benchmark performance, so those are clearly not retrogressive.

    22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

    by wwmiv on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 05:11:48 PM PST

  •  What I like about this map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn

    It incentivizes Democrats to register the shit out of the Valley.

    What I don't like about this map: potentially having up to 3 republicans representing overwhelmingly Hispanic parts of south Texas.

  •  I really just cannot wait (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, MeToo, gabjoh

    the 20-30 years for Texas to finally become (at least) a swing state.

    24, 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 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 07:10:03 PM PST

  •  just a small typo (0+ / 0-)

    District 2 when I think you meant 3 in with 5 and 6....
    Not from Texas, but this looks like a lot of work- love your explanations, very concise.

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:24:59 PM PST

  •  No settlement (0+ / 0-)

    If I were the Dems or any of the civil rights groups, I would just let the DC Circuit Court reject the GOP map and let them draw the districts.

    No need to help bail out the GOP with an earlier primary, either.  Let the GOP wrap up their nomination primary in July with a Texas primary then if need be.

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