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...It's a long way to go.
It's a long way to Parkville
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye, Salisbury,
Farewell, Bel Air!
It's a long long way to Parkville,
But my heart's right there!


In Maryland, Republicans managed to get a referendum on the ballot to undo the new Congressional map.  However, it sounds like a fool's errand.  Even if it passes, it doesn't throw re-redistricting to a court or independent body, it just lets Governor O'Malley and the state legislature have another crack at it.  O'Malley will still be governor in 2013 and he said that if it passes, he will make minimum changes to the map he masterminded last year.  Also, the state legislature will be just as Dem then (if not more) due to the fact that they gerrymandered the state legislature as well.  All in all, it seems like a supremely pointless effort on the part of the MD GOP as it will merely give O'Malley a mulligan in redistricting and he could theoretically make it even worse for them.

Therefore, I decided to do a theoretical re-redistricting even more effective than the new one.  As easy as it would be to do whatever I wanted, I wanted to make a more realistic map that would irk as few Dem constituencies as possible.  Here are the criteria I followed:

1. The city of Baltimore must have representation in three Congressional districts.
2. There must be two Congressional districts that are majority African-American by voting age population.
3. All Democratic districts must have the incumbent's hometown in it.
4. Small chunks of ultra-blue Baltimore and/or Prince George's County cannot be put into a district dominated by the Eastern Shore.
5. Water contiguity over the Chesapeake is allowed.
6.  Cutting up parts of the Eastern Shore is alright so long as it doesn't conflict with the other criteria.

More below the fold.

My map:

Here are zoom-ins on various areas to give you better views.

Baltimore Metro area:

Columbia and Annapolis areas:

The panhandle, all the way down to Montgomery County:

The southern parts of Maryland:

MD-01 (blue): Rep. Andy Harris (R-Cockeysville)
Was: 40% Obama/58% McCain
Now: 49.5% Obama/48.8% McCain; 51.7% Dem/48.3% GOP

This district can be made more Democratic without violating the criteria by giving it all of Annapolis and then stretching it to the blue suburbs west of Baltimore.  Hoyer's district came in handy to take in some of the red territory of the southwestern part of the Eastern Shore.  The result is a district that narrowly went for Obama.  Possible Dem candidates: Frank Kratovil, Senator James Mathias, Senator John Astle, Senator Robert Zirkin, Delegate Rudolph Cane, Delegate Norman Conway, Delegate David Rudolph, Delegate Mary-Dulany James, Delegate Jon Cardin, Delegate Dan Morhaim, Delegate Dana Stein, and Speaker Michael Busch.

MD-02 (green): Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville)
Was: 60% Obama/38% McCain
Now: 58.4% Obama/39.7% McCain; 62.3% Dem/37.7% GOP

This district trades coastal Harford County for Columbia.  It's also now quite cleaner than ever before.
Likely Democratic

MD-03 (magenta): Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Towson)
Was: 59% Obama/39% McCain
Now: 58.5% Obama/39.4% McCain; 60.8% Dem/39.2% GOP

This district takes in some red area in central Carroll County, northern Frederick County, and western Howard County, but compensates by taking in northern Montgomery County and a piece of Prince George's County.  This district also contains Parkville, where my girlfriend lives (hence the title of this diary).
Likely Democratic

MD-04 (red): Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Fort Washington)
Was: 85% Obama/14% McCain
Now: 76.1% Obama/22.9% McCain; 75.6% Dem/24.4% GOP; VAP: 33.2% White, 52.5% Black

Donna Edwards rolled some eyes when she complained that O'Malley's map got rid of her share of Montgomery County from her district (although she masked it as being an issue of dilution of minority voters).  She tried hard to fight it, but her complaints turned out to be a paper tiger.  This map sends her district into very red areas of Anne Arundel County and, by coincidence, gives her a single Montgomery County precinct.
Safe Democratic

MD-05 (gold): Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville)
Was: 65% Obama/33% McCain
Now: 61.0% Obama/37.7% McCain; 63.4% Dem/36.6% GOP; VAP: 57.3% White, 32.0% Black

Steny Hoyer's district crosses the Chesapeake to take in some red area in the southwest corner of the Eastern Shore.  It also still gives him College Park like he wants.
Safe Democratic

MD-06 (teal): Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Bartlett)
Was: 40% Obama/58% McCain
Now: 56.9% Obama/41.3% McCain; 56.9% Dem/43.1% GOP

This district screws Bartlett about as much as the new map does.  It cuts right into the blue core of Montgomery County.  Democrat John Delaney doesn't live here either, but that's no problem.
Lean Democratic

MD-07 (dark grey): Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore)
Was: 79% Obama/20% McCain
Now: 65.6% Obama/32.8% McCain; 63.2% Dem/36.8% GOP; VAP: 44.4% White, 50.0% Black (somewhere between 50.0% and 50.05%)

I pushed Cummings' district to the utter limit of what is legal.  The result is a district that takes in the African-American population of Baltimore (and a few of its western suburbs) and then stretches out to uber-red areas of Harford County, Baltimore County, and Carroll County.  In redistricting last year, although he saw his district weakened quite a bit, Cummings supported the map.  I take that as meaning that he's willing to weaken his district as much as possible to help other Democrats.
Safe Democratic

MD-08 (slate blue): Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Kensington)
Was: 74% Obama/25% McCain
Now: 69.1% Obama/29.5% McCain; 69.4% Dem/30.6% GOP; VAP: 54.1% White, 18.2% Black, 17.3% Hispanic, 8.4% Asian

When you're trying to gerrymander while keeping deviation from ideal population as low as possible, sometimes you do things you didn't intend to do.  Here, I had to keep the finger into Prince George's County and I didn't dilute the Dem vote here as much as I'd like (I wanted to take it down to 65% Obama), but it does the trick.  It takes in some of the reddish area of Montgomery County and red rural Frederick County.  I suppose if I had more patience, I could've strengthened MD-03 a bit more at the cost of a few percentage of Dem performance in MD-08.
Safe Democratic


I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.  I created a 7D-0R-1T map that doesn't upset any incumbents and as few Democratic constituencies as possible.  I hope that, if the new Congressional maps are rejected by referendum, O'Malley sticks it further to Republicans than he already did.  With this map, he easily can.  What do you think?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:17 AM PT: I just edited portions of the map to be even better.  Mike in MD said that Carroll County would be a nuisance to Cummings, so I decided to reduce his share, shore up Sarbanes a bit, and have Van Hollen take in all of Frederick County that is not in the 6th.

Here's the part of the map where the changes were made:


MD-03: 58.9% Obama/39.0% McCain; 61.5% Dem/38.5% GOP; VAP: 63.1% White, 21.1% Black, 7.7% Hispanic, 6.2% Asian

Sarbanes now has the lion's share of Carroll County, but loses his share of Frederick County.  He also loses a few red precincts of Howard County.  He also gains more of Montgomery County along the border with Prince George's County (where it is bluest).

MD-06: 57.1% Obama/41.2% McCain; 57.1% Dem/42.9% GOP; VAP: 65.8% White, 11.6% Black, 10.3% Hispanic, 10.5% Asian

This district becomes a bit more Democratic by losing a few swingy precincts of Montgomery County, losing a rural Frederick County precinct to the 8th, and picking up a few more of the bluer Montgomery County precincts.  Running here for any Republican will be as frightening as the Blair Witch Project (Burkittsville, the ostensible location of of that movie, is located in this district in southwest Frederick County).

MD-07: 67.0% Obama/31.4% McCain; 64.6% Dem/35.4% GOP; VAP: 42.9% White, 51.2% Black, 2.1% Hispanic, 2.5% Asian

Mike in MD had a point.  Carroll County would not be amenable to Cummings at all.  In order to make Cummings feel more comfortable, I gave him less of Carroll County and gave him more of Baltimore.

MD-08: 67.0% Obama/31.6% McCain; 67.1% Dem/32.9% GOP; VAP: 57.0% White, 17.1% Black, 15.8% Hispanic, 8.2% Asian

The 8th becomes a little less blue by taking all of rural Frederick County that is not in the 6th as well as taking in a few purple precincts in Montgomery County and a few red precincts in Howard County.

All of these changes make the map even better than what I had it and I think it's pretty close to ideal.


What will be the likely result of this map?

18%7 votes
50%19 votes
21%8 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
7%3 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawolf, MattTX, davybaby, FG, abgin, lordpet8, WisJohn

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 01:22:35 PM PDT

  •  Run Street-wide Strips Into Western MD (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, redrelic17

    Any new Congressional legislative redistricting should be running street-wide extensions out of the Baltimore and DC suburbs into those western MD regions to cut the heart out of the Republicans in the areas.  The right-wing does this all the time in the Southern states.  I recall one NC districting plan which connected small clumps of territory in NC's urban areas in the central part of the state via corridors which were the width of the Interstate highways connecting the cities.  They claimed it was to ensure an African-American majority in the district, which it did do.  It also hyper-concentrated the African-American vote so that the suburban districts were much safer Republican territory.  I say just create the districts and let the courts resolve the problems, which won't happen for three or four election cycles after the suit is brought, by which time a new census and new re-districting plan will be necessary.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 03:30:28 PM PDT

  •  This is really very well done (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, FG, CF of Aus

    You did a great job of making a better map (with MD-01 really turned into a winnable district) while satisfying the political requirements. Well done.

  •  Agree with MattTX... Do you think Gilchrest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Will join the Dems and run for the 1st in your scenario ? or the GOP I suppose ?

    Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, Thinks John Boehner is starting to be worried about holding the House...

    by CF of Aus on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 05:23:29 PM PDT

  •  I must learn to do... this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawolf, James Allen
    "Note: I resized the images in Photobucket so they all fit in the width of the diary, but the changes didn't show up when they were embedded.  Either the changes will be implemented later or they won't.  If not, just click on them to get the full view of the image."
    About the map, I see you divide the Eastern shore, I glad the people begin to think about it.

    I glad.

    I write not a redistricting diary since a lot of time, but I draw maps about Maryland finding the limits. Here is the link if you wish to remember it:

    •  what you can do is add this line: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      before the end of the link coding or whatever it is at the end of your photobucket link.  That will automatically reduce the size to fit within 600 pixels, or 500 pixels for comments if you specify.

      For the record, I like to use GIMP to edit my photos before I upload.  It's great for resizing, as well as editing to show things like water contiguity or split precincts.

      NC-06/NC-04; -9.00, -8.41; progress through pragmatism

      by sawolf on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:40:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent. It looks like the resizing of the jpgs (0+ / 0-)

    were finally implemented

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 08:34:02 PM PDT

  •  Compared to the actual map (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, okiedem

    this is an improvement; it shows that we can get at least seven Democratic districts without flat-out conceding the 1st.  But I just hope enough African Americans and liberals turnout for Cummings to offset the Comically Dedicated Racists of Carroll County he gets under this arrangement.  

    The basic character of most of the other districts is similar to what was ultimately passed, with some modifications; in reality they got the 8th down to about 63% Obama 2008 by giving it much of Carroll and none of Prince Georges.  3 still includes the unique Baltimore-to-Montgomery configuration, though differently structured, and 6 is in this map just part of a percentage point more Democratic, but still serves the same purpose and in my opinion does a better job here of keeping communities of interest whole.  (If the actual 6th performs as expected, though, any redraw will probably have to include most or all of Potomac, to take in an incumbent John Delaney's residence.)

    One thing this doesn't do is include some areas requested by individual incumbents, such as Ruppersburger's district including the Aberdeen Proving Grounds or Sarbanes' including Annapolis, but I frankly think too much deference was given to them in that accommodating those demands produced such a cartographic mess.

    36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

    by Mike in MD on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 11:22:24 PM PDT

    •  Oh for Pete's sake. (0+ / 0-)

      These people and their demands.  I didn't know about the Aberdeen and Annapolis ones.

      I also suppose that if Cummings is uncomfortable, they could reduce his share of Carroll County and give it to the 8th or something.  Or they could give it to the 3rd, the 3rd drops its share of Frederick County, the 8th picks up all of rural Frederick County not in the 6th.

      Hail to the king, baby.

      by KingofSpades on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 08:48:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about this? (0+ / 0-)


      The 3rd is now 58.9% Obama/39.0% McCain
      The 7th is now 51.2% Black (VAP) and 67.0% Obama/31.4% McCain
      The 6th is now 57.1% Obama/41.2% McCain
      The 8th is now 67.0% Obama/31.6% McCain

      I don't want to even bother trying to get Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Annapolis to where Sarbanes and Ruppersberger want it.  Maybe if I could split precincts.

      Hail to the king, baby.

      by KingofSpades on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:51:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also good, and a bit neater (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Frederick County here is split only two ways, instead of three, and done almost exactly as was done in reality (the 6th keeps the Democratic-leaning areas, and the Republican rural/small town ones go to the 8th.)  And the tongue of the 6th sticking into Montgomery (and accounting for about half the district's population) looks odd at first glance, but in fact is better than what they came up with.  That whole I-270 region (Rockville, Gaithersburg, Montgomery Village, Germantown) coheres pretty well as a single COI; in the actual map it was split for no good reason (politically and demographically this differs little from what was actually passed but coheres better.)

        As for Aberdeen and Annapolis, I say don't worry about that.  Ruppersburger wanted both ADP and Fort Meade in his district (as if he's the only MD member capable of looking after them?) and doing that while keeping his district safely Democratic could only be achieved by creating a geographic monstrosity.  Regarding Sarbanes, if he wants to represent Annapolis so badly then maybe he should move there; it would probably make the map a lot neater.

        The Republicans, of course, would cry foul over this anyway as overly gerrymandered, but screw them in light of the absurdities they produced in states such as Ohio and North Carolina.

        36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:18:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ^^I meant APG (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

          Also, as I've pointed out on here, redistricting in MD and probably many other states on Dave's Redistricting App is complicated by the lack of precinct splitting.  So many election districts shown as single precincts on DRA are in fact split into several precincts in reality that it's impossible to exactly reproduce parts of the actual maps on DRA, as I found when trying to draw in the state legislative districts.

          36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

          by Mike in MD on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:23:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Really, the mapping should be done by a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    nonpartisan commission.

    Everywhere in the country.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:41:47 AM PDT

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