I still haven't gotten to reply to some comments on my previous diary. I'd like to apologize for that, as I promised I would. Honestly, I've forgotten how exactly it was that I was going to reply, but let's just say that it was partially concession and partially hold my ground. I think demographics are on our side in the great state of Texas, I just don't think that we're doing our jobs as partisans and activists in registering and turning out those who will vote for us.
Anyway, despite all of that I'd like to move on to show you my latest masterpiece. Continue on below the fold to find what the future of Texas could look like if we did do a better job of turning Texas blue by turning out Texas.
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Looking statewide, I won't even bother with districts 1 (Blue, Louie Gohmert), 4 (Purple, Ralph Hall), 5 (Gold, Jeb Hensarling), 11 (Purple, Michael Conaway), 13 (Red, Mac Thornberry), 19 (Cyan, Randy Neugebauer), 31 (Purple, John Carter v. Bill Flores), 34 (anticipated representative Roger Williams v. Joe Barton). Only one of these (the 31st) is over 30% Obama, while a single other is at that threshold (the 1st).
Every other district is anchored in a major urban center, so we'll focus on those from now on.
16th (Red) Anticipated representative Beto O'Rourke gets a safely Democratic district at 65.0% Obama and 61.3% average Democratic performance (recall that this measure is the average of all gubernatorial elections and presidential election between 2002 and 2010). 77.6% Hispanic VAP and 65.7% SSVR (Spanish Surname Voter Registration, a more accurate depiction of Hispanic voting strength).
15th (Purple) Representative Hinojosa also gets a safely Democratic district that stretches from valley communities McAllen, Edinburg, Weslaco, Mercedes, Donna, and Harlingen to bay communities with rapid Hispanic growth like Beeville, Victoria, and Goliad. It's 76.8% Hispanic VAP and 68.6% SSVR, and has practically indistinguishable Obama and average Democratic performances (59.1% and 59.7%, respectively).
27th (Gold) Anticipated representative Filemon Vela gets the only likely Democratic seat that I drew. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you think about it (some here think the district he's running in currently can support someone more liberal, he'd, however, be a great fit for this more conservative minded Corpus inclusive district), he'd probably get a geographic primary challenge from Corpus (he's Brownsville-based). 55.4% Obama, 55.7% average, 71.0% Hispanic VAP, and 61.4% SSVR. I'd put my money on Fil in a primary, btw, as Corpus has been shrinking relative to Cameron County for at least a decade.
28th (Green) Henry Cuellar could be primaried by Ciro Rodriguez with this map as Laredo is vastly outweighed by San Antonio's southside. Cuellar won his primaries over Rodriguez narrowly because of his strength in both Laredo and the Valley, which has been removed. Either way the district is safely Democratic at 58.1% Obama, 57.8% average, 66.5% Hispanic, and 55.0% SSVR.
33rd (Cyan) I actually want to call this one likely Democratic, but let's be honest with ourselves: No Republican, not even in a complete wave on par with 2010, is going to win a district that is more Democratic than the one that washed in deadwood Blake Farenthold by only a few hundred votes. Not going to happen... Safely Democratic at 57.1% Obama, 55.9% average, 69.9% Hispanic, and 58.6% SSVR. As for possible Democratic Representatives for such a district, my money would actually be on one of these three: San Marcos mayor David Guerrero, State Representative Sergio Munoz, Jr. of Mission, or State Representative Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City. Another intriguing option would be General Ricardo Sanchez who is from Rio Grande City. I'd put my money on Munoz, Jr., but my heart would be with David Guerrero.
Don't worry about the 21st (Yellow, Quico Canseco v. Lamar Smith). It's way too red to bother talking about.
20th (Red) This is actually more Democratic than the district that the court drew for the interim maps, and no-one in their right mind would classify anticipated Representative Joaquin Castro as anything but safely Democratic at 59.5% Obama, 55.9% average, 63.8% Hispanic VAP, and 52.6% SSVR.
23rd (Blue) Check my signature. I'm obviously biased on this one, but let me clarify that this is in no way representative thinking of anyone else period related to the campaign in any way whatsoever. I cannot stress this point enough. Anyway, under such a map we wouldn't be having a battle between Canseco and Pete, nor would we have had a primary (or runoff) with Ciro (he'd have run in the 28th because it has the Southside and his house, whereas this district has the west wide). Safely Democratic at 58.8% Obama, 57.8% average, 71.9% Hispanic VAP, and 63.7% SSVR.
10th (Blue) Lloyd Doggett would kick, absolutely destroy, Michael McCaul in this district. Not only is the district quickly trending blue, but McCaul would be the absolutely worst Republican candidate to try to keep it in the red column. You know who could possibly, very very slim change, keep it red for maybe a cycle before it finally slips out of reach? Very moderate Republican State Representative Paul Workman (he's good on social issues). Yeah, maybe, and I'm still going to put this one at safely Democratic because its a 60.4% Obama district. Slightly lower average at 52.6%, but the truth is somewhere in the middle. Turnout here isn't boost-able (already the highest in the state by far), but the district is trending blue from in-movers. VAP demographics are 69.7% white, 17.7% Hispanic (though only 10.8% SSVR), and 7.1% Asian.
25th (Red) This district is also safely Democratic at 62.0% Obama and 55.5% average. I'd classify this as a coalition district with whites comprising 41.6% (here with the tendency, actually, to help elect minorities of all kinds), African Americans 12.0%, and Hispanics 40.8% (though only 22.2% SSVR). The Democratic primary would be pretty evenly balanced between Hispanics, Anglos (many of the Anglos in this district are UT students who live on E. Cesar Chavez where there is student based housing - yes, about 5 miles away from campus - or conservative/moderate Republicans in diversifying Pflugerville), and African Americans. There are so many potential candidates here: State Representatives Dawnna Dukes, Mark Strama, or Eddie Rodriguez, State Senator Kirk Watson, Austin City Councilmembers Sheryl Cole or Mike Martinez. My personal favorite would be former State Representative Diana Maldonado who lost her seat in Round Rock in 2010.
Let's ignore districts 3 (Cyan, Sam Johnson), 12 (Blue, Kay Granger), 24 (Pete Sessions v. Kenny Marchant), and 26 (Gold, Michael Burgess). They're all super Republican.
6th (Cyan) Marc Veasay takes over Joe Barton's old district number, but dramatically redrawn. There's no way a Republican could win here as the Democrats have a very high floor, so safely Democratic at 63.9% Obama and 57.9% average. African Americans would be ensured of electing their choice of representative with these VAP demographics: 36.1% white, 35.9% African American, and 21.3 Hispanic (10.1% SSVR).
30th (Gold) Eddie Bernice Johnson gets a district less African American, but still ensured to win reelection as this is surely an African American ability to elect. Even if you don't count it as such, the 6th replaces it and so no harm is done with respect to protection under the VRA. The district is safely Democratic at 61.5% Obama and 55.9% average. Be mindful that even though it seems like it could possibly be competitive, that is a very firm floor for Democrats as these are the VAP demographics: 41.2% white, 27.4% African American, 22.9% Hispanic (8.8% SSVR), and 7.0% Asian.
32nd (Blue) Taj Clayton and Barbara Mallory Caraway (whose former State House district overlaps significantly here) have somewhere to duke it out without the interference of incumbent Eddie Bernice. My money is on Taj because of his post-racial appeal. The district is somewhat of a Hispanic opportunity district with these VAP demographics, but my money is that an African American is elected under such lines for awhile: 36.7% white, 19.7% African American, and 38.6% Hispanic (15.7% SSVR). This district also has a scary, but high, floor for Democrats, but that shouldn't distract from the fact that at 58.2% Obama and 52.4% average that the district is safely Democratic.
35th (Red) Rising star State Representative Rafael Anchia (the Castro of DFW) would have first dibs on this safely Democratic Hispanic opportunity district at 59.4% Obama and 57.4% average Democratic performance. The demographics are a bit deceiving, but rest assured that despite the low SSVR (34.7%) levels, because none of the whites (25.4%) in this district are Democrats and there aren't enough African Americans (10.9%) to be competitive with Hispanics (59.4%) especially if a registration drive took place.
Let's forget about districts 2 (Green, Ted Poe v. John Culberson), 8 (Cyan, Kevin Brady), 22 (Blue, Pete Olson), and 36 (Red, batshit crazy insane anticipated Representative Steve Stockman).
7th (Red) Wonderful State Representative Jessica Farrar would be perfect for a district which roughly matches her state house district's demographics at 27.3% White, 15.7% African American, and 50.5% Hispanic (though only 25.5% SSVR, so a competitive primary with an African American isn't totally out of the question). Safely Democratic at 61.8% Obama and 59.0% average.
9th (Cyan) Al Green keeps his diverse district guaranteed to elect an African American at 24.1% white, 28.1% African American, 28.1% Hispanic (15.6% SSVR), and 18.0% Asian. By 2040 Texas will probably have an Asian representative elected from a district in this area, but for now that's out of the question. Safely Democratic at 62.2% Obama and 56.0% average, which is, remember, an absolute floor.
14th (Green) There are many Democrats who could run here. Nick Lampson would probably jump at the opportunity, but Craig Eiland is another great choice if he didn't (well, Lampson could be the incumbent if he wins this November). An African American would also likely to be elected from this district should neither of those decide to jump at it because of the eye-popping African American 33.1%, while whites are still at 44.7%, while Hispanics are at a paltry 16.9% and 8.9% SSVR. The district is safely Democratic at 57.3% Obama who, rare in the districts we're favored in, underperformed the average 59.4%.
18th (Purple) Sheila Jackson Lee has the most Democratic district in the state at 68.3% Obama and 64.0% average. The VAP demographics are 26.3% White, 30.6% African American, and 35.5% Hispanic (though only 15.7% SSVR).
29th (Gold) Gene Green keeps his Hispanic ability district at 62.3% Hispanic and 41.9% SSVR. No other groups comes close, not whites (20.1%) nor African Americans (14.0%). The district is safely Democratic at 60.3% Obama and 60.7% average.
17th (Cyan) The crown jewel of my map is the 19th district which Democrats could possibly win. For now a Chet Edwards like figure would be required to win it, but within ten years it'd be a tossup for anyone. It's not very white (only 55.6%), and it has significant portions of African Americans (18.5%) and Hispanics (21.1%, and who are actually comparatively registered at decent levels as the SSVR is 12.4%). The district is rapidly trending in our direction with the growth of the Killeen area and the diversification that is being seen there. It takes in the Democratic cores of Waco, Corsicana, Bryan, and Temple as well pushing the Obama performance to 44.1% and the average to 43.5%.
There's another way to draw this district which makes the Obama percentage jump to 46.0%, but sinks the average to 42.0%. All that changes is that it takes in most of Georgetown and parts of Round Rock instead of Bryan and Corsicana. The demographics have the same level of whites, but less African Americans and more Hispanics (bad trade off for Democrats, and explains the President vis-a-vis lower profile gubernatorial races). I prefer the version I've published.
Edit: 17th (Cyan) Here's a better version, that I actually like much more. The district is actually minority majority in total population: 47.0% White, 22.3% African American, 25.6% Hispanic, and 5.1% Other. Very close to minority majority in the VAP numbers: 51.7% White, 21.7% African American, 22.0% Hispanic (though only 12.2% SSVR), and 4.6% Other. Obama got 47.4% here, and the average Democratic performance is 46.4%.
The other districts which had to change (the 1st, 5th, 8th, 31st, and 34th are the same as they were in partisanship: dried blood red).
That's 18 of of 36 districts that we're almost guaranteed to win. Half. And another district that we could actually win! 19 out of 36. On all my previous maps I never bothered to see if I could make a district that could elect a Democrat out of the remnants of Chet Edwards, but I'm sure glad I toyed around with the idea.
By the way, the map is certainly compliant with the VRA. There are 8 Hispanic ability districts (15, 16, 20, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 33), 4 Hispanic opportunity or coalition districts of various levels of efficacy (7, 25, 32, 35), 4 African American ability districts (6, 9, 14, and 18), and 3 African American opportunity, coalition, or crossover districts of various levels of efficacy (25, 30, and 35).
Edit: I'm going to use this diary as an addition to my running series on Drawing a Durable Majority.
7 Safe, 3 Likely, 3 Tossup, 5 Non-Winnable
15 Safe, 5 Likely, 2 Lean, 3 Tossup, 1 Winnable, 1 Non-Winnable
At Large and The South
See comments for changes to Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia
26 Safe, 7 Likely, 2 Lean, 9 Tossup, 11 Winnable, 35 Non-Winnable
See comments for changes to certain districts
28 Safe, 8 Likely, 4 Lean, 3 Tossup, 5 Winnable, 5 Non-Winnable
Uses the changed 17th
17 Safe, 1 Likely, 1 Winnable, 17 Non-Winnable
101 Safe, 24 Likely, 8 Lean, 18 Tossup, 18 Winnable, 63 Non-Winnable