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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. This series is both highly theoretical and very unlikely to ever occur.

Three states where redistricting was, on balance, kind to us! In Arizona, the Independent Redistricting Commission drafted a map that could actually make us a majority Democratic delegation. In Colorado, even though Republicans took one house of the legislature, a court picked the Democratic drawn map, which would send two Republican congressmen packing. And in Kansas, where the "moderate" and conservative wings of the state Republican party continue to hate each other, we could end up with a not-terrible map, with one Democratic-leaning district and one we could have an outside chance at! I, of course, tried to take that a little further with my Doubling.

Adopted maps in Arizona and Colorado. Kansas' redistricting process is still ongoing.

Previous Doubling Diaries: AL, GA, TN, IL, MD, WV, DC, New England, NE, MO, NC, MI, FL, SC, WI, LA, MS, UT, NV, OK, AK, WY, IN, NJ, VA, OH, HI, ND, SD, NM, VT, DE and ID


Arizona gets 18 districts.

The Dem Average is:

  • 2008 President
  • All statewide races in 2010

A very Republican-heavy sample, so ratings will be provided accordingly.

VAP: 37.1 White, 15.4 Hispanic, 42.5 Native
61.6 Obama, 63.2 Dem

Paul Gosar (R-Flagstaff) lives here; Native American plurality. All of the Native American areas of the state, plus Flagstaff. If the current Democratic primary replays itself, then Wenona Benally Baldenegro would have the advantage here, it's much more liberal and heavily Native. Gosar, the rogue dentist, who is already moving to Prescott to avoid oblivion, moves to the 3rd. Safe D, Native opportunity

VAP: 83.6 W, 11.4 H
33.9 Obama, 31.6 Dem

Open. Vast Republican nothingness, the most Republican in the state in fact. 1 of exactly 4 districts that doesn't enter Maricopa County at all. Safe R

VAP: 87 W, 7.6 H
34.8 Obama, 31.2 Dem

Open. Prescott and northern Maricopa County. Paul Gosar, who is already moving to Prescott for the current 2012 elections, will run here. And without Paul Babeu running, since this doesn't take in Pinal County at all, scandal or no, he can probably get by just fine here. Safe R

VAP: 78.3 W, 15.5 H
36.9 Obama, 35.7 Dem

Open. Parts of Maricopa, Gila and Pinal Counties, including a small slice of the city of Mesa. This is probably where Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu would run, if he's still delusional enough to run for Congress as a power-abusing closet case. Regardless, whatever Republican makes it out the primary will be fine here. Safe R

VAP: 59.1 W, 5.2 Black, 30.3 H
41.3 Obama, 39.2 Dem

Open. Maricopa and Pinal Counties, including the cities of Casa Grande and Avondale. The Hispanic population is exploding, so maybe this could be within reach for us within a decade. Safe R, for now

VAP: 38.4 W, 54.7 H
50.4 Obama, 50.8 Dem

Open; majority Hispanic. Basically the border district, based in Yuma County. This loses the heavily Hispanic and Democratic parts of Tuscon that made this district a sure thing for Raúl Grijalva. He wouldn't run here anyway, he'd be much more at home in the Hispanic-influence district in Tuscon. Maybe former State Senator Amanda Aguirre would run here. Adjusting for the 2010 elections and McCain's home state effect in 2008, this is Lean D, Hispanic pickup

VAP: 73.6 W, 19.9 H
38.6 Obama, 38.1 Dem

Open. Southeast corner of the state, Republican vote sink. Mostly based in Pima County, but Cochise being the only whole county represented, a countywide official could do well in a Republican primary. Safe R


VAP: 22.4 W, 11.6 B, 60.1 H
70.1 Obama, 72 Dem

Open; supermajority Hispanic. Phoenix. Ed Pastor, whose voting district literally borders this district, would run here. It's even safer for him than his current district, not that he needed it. Safe D, Hispanic hold

VAP: 31.2 W, 5.9 B, 57.9 H
55.5 Obama, 57.5 Dem

Open; majority Hispanic. Mostly Phoenix, but parts of Glendale and Peoria. Safe D, Hispanic pickup

VAP: 66.4 W, 18.6 H, 6.3 A
51.5 Obama, 49.5 Dem

Open. Mostly Tempe, but parts of Phoenix and Chandler. This represents, politically, the new AZ-09. This is probably where State Senate Minority Leader David Schapira (D-Tempe) would run. Lean D

VAP: 75.9 W, 12.1 H, 6.7 Asian
37.5 Obama, 34.6 Dem

Open. Gilbert and Chandler. Safe R

VAP: 64.1 W, 25.7 H
41.7 Obama, 40.1 Dem

Open; Jeff Flake (R-Mesa) is running for Senate. Mesa, as well as small parts of Tempe, Gilbert and Phoenix. I don't even know who's running to replace Flake, but they'll be fine here. Safe R

VAP: 63 W, 25 H
53.8 Obama, 52.9 Dem

Ed Pastor (D-Phoenix) and Ben Quayle (R-Phoenix) both live here, but Pastor runs in the 5th, as I've pointed out, and Quayle probably runs in either the 11th or the 12th. Phoenix, as well a piece of Scottsdale and a tiny slice of Glendale. With the Tempe-based 7th dominated by Tempe State Senator David Schapira, this is where Kyrsten Sinema and Andrei Cherny would duke it out. Adjusting for the lean of the numbers, whoever makes it out of the Democratic primary would probably be favored in the general election. Likely D

VAP: 83.3 W, 9.9 H
41.5 Obama, 38.9 Dem

David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) lives here. Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. Ben Quayle could run here, but would probably instead go for the 12th, where there is no incumbent. Schweikert will do just fine. Safe R

VAP: 71.4 W, 18.2 H
39.5 Obama, 38.7 Dem

Open. Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria. As I said, this is probably where Quayle runs. Safe R

VAP: 74.3 W, 16.7 H
39.5 Obama, 37.5 Dem

Trent Franks (R-Peoria) lives here. Maricopa County remainders, including the city of SURPRISE! Franks, the dumbfuck that he is, will do just fine. Safe R


VAP: 42.8 W, 47.3 H
61.1 Obama, 62 Dem

Raúl Grijalva (D-Tucson) lives here; plurality Hispanic. The Hispanic half of Tucson. Already majority Hispanic by total population, it will be VAP majority any minute. The Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus gets safer. Safe D, Hispanic hold

VAP: 74.5 W, 15.8 H
52.5 Obama, 51.1 Dem

Open; Gabrielle Giffords (D-Tucson) resigned in January. Tucson. More Democratic than the current AZ-08, whoever carries Giffords' torch would probably easily prevail in the general election.Likely D
So, the current 3-5 delegation (counting Giffords' open seat as a Democratic seat based on the the last election), this new 18-district map under Doubling ends up as an 8-10 map, with two new Hispanic members joining Pastor and Grijalva, as well as a very good chance for a new Native American representative. A very fair map.


Colorado gets 14 districts.

The Dem average is "All 2010 statewide races". Current Governor John Hickenlooper won in a 3-way race in 2010 with a small majority, but two Democratic statewide officials (SoS and Tresurer) lost re-election and the Republican Attorney General won comfortably, so the numbers are relatively Republican-leaning.

Denver area

VAP: 32.1 W, 14.7 B, 47.3 H
80.4 Obama, 77.1 Dem

Open; plurality Hispanic. Denver, as well as small parts of Adams and Arapahoe Counties. Hispanics would dominate the Democratic primary, and in a district this blue, that gives them the election. Safe D, Hispanic pickup

VAP: 75.8 W, 6.9 B, 11.3 H
70.9 Obama, 66.7 Dem

Diana DeGette (D-Denver) lives here. The other half of Denver, plus part of Arapahoe County, including Englewood and Cherry Hills Village. DeGette loses some safety that she didn't need. Safe D

VAP: 77.2 W, 16.8 H
56.7 Obama, 51.3 Dem

Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden) lives here. Two small parts of Denver and Jefferson County, dominated by the city of Lakewood. Perlmutter now has a district slightly less safe than his current one, but he has performed very well in his current district. Safe D with Perlmutter

VAP: 72.4 W, 8.2 B, 12.1 H, 5.2 A
53.9 Obama, 47.4 Dem

Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) lives here. Aurora and Centennial. Almost identical, politically, to the new CO-06, Coffman is still in trouble. State Rep. Joe Miklosi would probably run here, and give Coffman the run of his life. A 10-point swing from McCain to Obama, archconservative Coffman likely won't survive. Lean D

VAP: 77.3 W, 21.3 H
55.9 Obama, 49.5 Dem

Open. Swingy portions of Jefferson and Adams Counties. Without any obvious candidates springing to mind, and given the numbers, I'll say Lean D

VAP: 79.2 W, 16.1 H
54.8 Obama, 48.1 Dem

Open. Fort Collins and Greeley, in Larimer and Weld Counties. Former Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Fort Collins) if she wanted to run for Congress again, would fit this district very well. Likely D with Markey, Lean D otherwise

VAP: 73.7 W, 19.8 H
53.2 Obama, 46.2 Dem

Open. The bridge from Denver metro to Fort Collins, this crosses 5 counties, with no major cities, except part of Broomfield. The large disparity between Obama's and Dem's performance makes me want to call this Swing

VAP: 76.9 W, 12.3 H, 5.1 A
46.7 Obama, 39.6 Dem

Open. The Republican vote sink of Denver metro. Mike Coffman may want to parachute to this district to survive. Safe R


VAP: 67.3 W, 27.9 H
54.4 Obama, 51.2 Dem

Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) lives here. The southwestern corner of the state. State House Minority Leader Sal Pace (D-Pueblo) who is already running for the current CO-03, would like this district even better than the current one, which is 48.5% Obama. Tipton, the RSC member who barely won his current 47% Obama, district, would likely be doomed. Likely D

VAP: 83.5 W, 12.5 H
60 Obama, 54.6 Dem

Jared Polis (D-Boulder) lives here. Boulder and the liberal ski communities. Polis, the first  Congressman who was openly gay at the time of his election, loses 4 points of safety that he didn't need. Safe D

VAP: 83.8 W, 11.4 H
55.6 Obama, 52.4 Dem

Open. Grand Junction through the ski areas to the Boulder metro, as well as half of Broomfield. State Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont), who is currently on a likely suicide mission in the current CO-04, would jump at the chance to run here. Likely D

VAP: 79.3 W, 11.7 H
43.8 Obama, 39.4 Dem

Open. Part of Colorado Springs and into the southwest. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) lives just outside of the district in the 10th, where the other part of Colorado Springs is, could choose to run in either district, it doesn't matter much. Scott Tipton could choose to run here to avoid oblivion. Safe R

VAP: 74.6 W, 6.2 B, 12.4 H
35.1 Obama, 29.1 Dem

Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) lives here. Colorado Springs and east. See above, Lamborn could choose to run in either the 9th or 10th. The worst district in the state for the Dem average Safe R

VAP: 81.6 W, 14.3 H
35 Obama, 31.1 Dem

Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) lives here. The eastern third of the state. The worst district in the state for the President, Gardner would not mind this district at all. Safe R
So, with a current delegation that is 3-4, and a new map that could likely be called 3-2-2, this 14-district map goes is, by my measure, 9-4-1. Every Republican gets a district they could conceivably run in, and there's a new Hispanic district in the Denver area. If Republicans hadn't taken the state House, Democrats could have made a very effective gerrymander along these lines sigh


Kansas gets 8 districts.


VAP: 80.7 W, 16 H
25 Obama

Tim Huelskamp (R-Fowler) lives here. About half of the state's land area. Huelskamp, who represents probably 100% of this territory, will be fine. Safe R

VAP: 68.1 W, 11.4 B, 12.6 H, 5 A
48.8 Obama

Mike Pompeo (R-Wichita) lives here. Basically, just the city of Wichita. McCain won this district by less than 1000 votes. Mike Pompeo, who may be vulnerable in a primary on account of every Republican on Earth hates him, could also be vulnerable in such a close district in a non-Republican wave year. State Rep Raj Goyle (D), who despite his obviously foreign name in a state like Kansas was a very strong recruit, could try again. Swing

VAP: 90.6 W
33.1 Obama

Open. The area surrounding Wichita. Not much else to say. Safe R

VAP: 88.5 W, 5.1 H
36.9 Obama

Open. The southeast corner of the state. Cities of note include Emporia and Salina. Safe R

VAP: 92.4 W
35 Obama

Open. Northeast Kansas. Lynn Jenkins, the Great White Dope, may want to "carpetbag" here as her new home district of the 5 has become inhospitable. Safe R

Topeka to Kansas City

VAP: 79 W, 7.5 B, 7.2 H
56.3 Obama

Lynn Jenkins (R-Topeka) lives here, but like I mentioned above she would run in the neighboring 8th to survive. This is the most egregiously gerrymandered district of this entire diary, and I love it. It picks up all the Democratic areas between Junction City and Lawrence. We probably wouldn't want former Rep. Nancy Boyda to run here, since she was allergic to fundraising. But any half-decent Democrat would have no trouble at all winning here. Safe D

VAP: 67.9 W, 14.1 B, 13.4 H
58.3 Obama

Kevin Yoder (R-Overland Park) lives here, but would probably parachute to the 7th, this district is too blue. Kansas City, Overland Park and crawls up the eastern border of the state to Leavenworth and St. Joseph. No Democrat in Kansas would have an excuse losing this district. Safe D

VAP: 84.7 W, 5.2 H
41.4 Obama

Open, but Kevin Yoder probably runs here. Kansas City metro district, centered around Olathe. Safe R
So, the current Kansas delegation is 0-4, with one barely-Democratic district and another that only elected a Democrat once in a perfect storm. This map, on the other hand, is 2-5-1, with the two Dem districts being sure things, and one very competitive district. A great improvement.

These three states together are 19-19-2, bringing the House as a whole so far to 276-207-46.

Please comment!

Next up, New York!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DocGonzo, ptgkc, lordpet8, KingofSpades, walja

    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 Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 01:40:41 AM PDT

  •  3300 Reps (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The main question is how many people can be reasonably represented by a single representative. In the new America, when the Congress was designed and first run, the number was about 30,000 constituents to a rep. Today we have better communications and organization, as well as centuries of experience using this democratic republic, so that number could be 60,000, probably 60,000 eligible voters is a reasonable number. There's about 200 million eligible voters. That's about 3300 reps. That's the number that should represent a large country like ours.

    Of course, we'd have to change the rules for who's in Washington at the same time, which needs overhauling for the modern age, anyway. Voting should be allowed from a home district office, which should be in the post office. In fact reps should be required to spend at least 2/3 of all the weeks of the year in their district (and 2/3 of their appointment time with constituents). The Washington residences should be dormitories that the state maintains, not the elaborate private houses that put reps into the upper class (and keep them there).

    Yes, this allocation is highly theoretical and unlikely to ever occur. But it's the way to represent Americans, so we should at least know what we're missing.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 04:57:06 AM PDT

    •  My diaries have 2807 reps (0+ / 0-)

      each representing 110k people (apportioned by census, so not just eligible voters). It's quite a lot! To put it into perspective, NYC gets all of 74 Representatives under that system.

      Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

      by fearlessfred14 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:47:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Az District 10 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Looks rather close to Sinema's current district (which was 1/30 of the state, not 1/18, but still).  I imagine she'd do well in that primary.

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:37:25 AM PDT

  •  Don't know enough about the states (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to comment, but a few things

    1) if 15 is Lean D, do we have to run Amanda Aguirre there? she's a DINO to the max. it would be nice if we had someone else there.

    2) LOLOL at your KS-06

    3) Tim Huelskamp doesn't quite represent 100% of your KS-01, Kingman and Harper counties in the south are in KS-04 currently ;)

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

    by sapelcovits on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:43:10 AM PDT

  •  So, to give Native Americans a voice in Congress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Congressional districts need to be half as big as they are now, or maybe a third as big, to get one Native American district each from Arizona and New Mexico.

    •  It's also theoretically possible from Montana (0+ / 0-)

      Montana gets three districts, and I tried to make one that was as Native as possible and also super Democratic. I'll point that out when I finally diary the 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 Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:06:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your new Colorado 5th (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd look at Fmr. State Sen. Maryanne "Moe" Keller, State Sen. Betty Boyd, and possibly Fmr. State Sen. Joan FitzGerald.  Ideally, we could use someone to blunt the Republican southern end of that district, but I can't think of any elected Democrats in the area.  Former Republican legislator Norma Anderson is a leading moderate who is fed up with the social conservatives in the party, but I can't imagine she'd actually become a Dem.  

    On the whole map, Denver is still pretty packed and each district could easily absorb more GOP votes...the 1st going eastward and northward and the second moving south.  There are also decent parts of Colorado Springs (downtown, the west-side, minority areas of the south Springs).  Throw those into a district and stretch it west along US-24 into Manitou Springs and it's a toss-up/Tilt Dem district.  But it probably does not have enough people (It should be roughly the size of a Colorado Senate district).

    That said, the Grand Junction to Boulder district and the northwest Colorado-Boulder districts are beautiful.

    As for the 13th, the bench is largely Republican, and if it includes Berthoud, it has the odious Kevin Lundberg.  That said, it does contain and might be tailor-made for State Sen. Mary Hodge if the southern end outvotes Weld.

  •  KS-1 could elect Dennis McKinney (D-Greensburg) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapelcovits, HoosierD42, WisJohn

    The only Dem candidate that would stand a remote chance of winning KS-1 is former State Treasurer Dennis McKinney (D-Greensburg). Prior to being appointed state treasurer, McKinney was re-elected nine times from a state house district that included predominantly rural areas between Dodge City and Pratt.

    If any Republican could lose a 25% Obama district, it would be Huelskamp.

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