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New Mexico's congressional districts were implemented by a court and as such were fairly non-partisan.  That map was only minimally different from the current one and should result in a reasonably stable 2-1 split in favor of Democrats.  This diary will look at what each of the parties could do if it had unilateral control over redistricting and wanted to gerrymander the state.  Note, the Dem 2-1 map uses touch-point contiguity once.

Democratic 2-1


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In this map the 2nd district becomes a very Republican vote sink comprising the more conservative parts of southern New Mexico and the Texas border.  At R+15 Democrats aren't winning this short of live dead boy/dead girl territory.

The 1st district, which is currently open with Martin Heinrich running for senate, is made safely Democratic at 65% Obama as well as 58% Hispanic which should be enough to ensure a Hispanic candidate wins the Dem nomination.

The 3rd district remains based in northern New Mexico and now includes parts of Albuquerque.  It would be safe for incumbent Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in both the primary and general.

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This map would result in an almost guaranteed 2-1 Democratic split.

Republican 2-1


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The 1st district in this map becomes a staunchly Republican R+6 district located in the more conservative parts of northeastern New Mexico and Albuquerque.  Republicans wouldn't have much trouble picking up this seat, although it would probably trend Democratic as the rest of the state does.  Still, it is nearly 60% white and 11% more Republican than the state based on the 2010 elections, so it should be a likely Republican seat.

The 2nd district is mostly similar to GOP Rep. Steve Pearce's current district.  It becomes a bit more Republican though at R+5, yet it is plurality VAP Hispanic.  Still, this seat would favor Republicans and probably continue to do so later in the decade due to lower citizenship rates among Hispanics.

The 3rd district is the Dem vote sink and in this map is packed to a dark blue D+23 and is now majority Hispanic and just below 30% white.  Ben Ray Lujan wouldn't have much trouble winning the primary or general here either.

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Democratic 3-0


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This is the sort of map I would want passed if Democrats held the trifecta due to how quickly New Mexico is trending Democratic.  All 3 districts are at least D+3 and Dem majority on average.

The 1st district takes in northwestern New Mexico as well as western Albuquerque.  Hispanics are a plurality at 40% while Native Americans make up a substantial 17% here.  Democrats would be favored to retain the seat.

The 2nd district comprises central and southwestern New Mexico, as well as eastern Albuquerque.  As with the other two seats, it is still majority minority, although unlike the 1st it is plurality white.  Still, Dems should be able to win this district given Obama's 14% win here.

The 3rd district is composed of eastern and north-central/northeastern New Mexico.  It is the weakest by Obama numbers, but the strongest by the Dem average in 2010, so Democrats would most likely to win the seat given its relatively blue nature.  The seat is also nearly Hispanic plurality and would have a good chance of sending a Hispanic candidate to congress.

So there you have it; New Mexico could easily support a 2-1 split in favor of either party depending on which one controlled redistricting, although Democrats could quite neatly devise a map where they were favored in all 3 seats.

Originally posted to sawolf on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 08:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by New Mexico Kossaks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I love how clean the 3-0 map is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, HoosierD42

    Incumbents would have probably resisted it if we had the trifecta, since they're usually looking after themselves first.

    29, (new) MA-7, Unenrolled

    by Marcus Graly on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 09:48:52 AM PDT

    •  That blue district... (0+ / 0-)

      ... in the NW of the state?  I could imagine a Native American getting elected from that district.  There's a lot of Indians therein.

      But it ain't likely to happen with the current Governor's approval needed.

      Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden 8/10/09)

      by Land of Enchantment on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:12:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heather Wilson (0+ / 0-)

    Back in 2000, Republicans got a very favorable redistricting while Gary "I didn't get elected to get along with the legislature" Johnson was governor.  Which meant Heather Wilson won that seat.  Even with Dems getting like 56% of the votes cast for Congress members, Republicans held 2 of the state's 3 seats.

    We'll see how it does this time around, with another Republican in the governor's seat.

    Republished to New Mexico Kossacks.

    Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden 8/10/09)

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Mar 14, 2012 at 10:08:43 AM PDT

  •  Hey what are the actual numbers... (0+ / 0-)

    I'd like to know what you have for the Republican gerrymander.

    Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

    by NMLib on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 10:27:29 PM PDT

    •  Whoops I left that table out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NMLib

      I'll upload it now.

      •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

        Man that's an effective Republican gerrymander, that's even better than the one I did, I didn't think it was possible to cram even more blue territory into the Democratic sinkhole.

        With the 3-0 Dem seats, I'd be pretty nervous, the Republicans could very easily compete in all three, and even in a neutral year, they'd probably had a good chance of taking one or two of them (and in a bad year, they could take them all, Martin Heinrich would have lost under those lines, and there's no way that Ben Ray Lujan would ever agree to them)

        The first Dem Gerrymander is itself insane though, man that's a crazy Republican sinkhole.

        Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

        by NMLib on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 10:05:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah the optimal Dem plan is probably (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NMLib

          a 2-0-1 whereby the two Dem seats are about 59% Obama and the swing district is about 53% Obama.  Steve Pearce would probably be a little too conservative for a PVI even district, though a more moderate Republican could certainly compete there.

          It would have been really interesting to see the map Dems would have drawn had they held the trifecta and Harry Teague not lost.

          •  To be honest... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sawolf

            They may have only marginally improved Teague's district, at bare minimum, they would never weaken Lujan's House seat (soon-to-be former Speaker Ben Lujan Sr. would never let it happen). Really, in the Albuquerque area, the Obama numbers can be deceptive, Obama really outperformed there (you probably noticed it while doing redistricting), and if you had made NM-02 too blue (which would require adding in new areas) Teague would almost certainly get a primary challenge.

            It's one of those things that would have been a real balancing act.

            Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

            by NMLib on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 12:40:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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