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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.

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!

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

New York
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

8 Safe

101 Safe, 24 Likely, 8 Lean, 18 Tossup, 18 Winnable, 63 Non-Winnable

Originally posted to W. Mayes on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by Southern Action.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

    by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:10:54 AM PDT

  •  Great job (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, MidwestTreeHugger

    and efficient work of wringing out Dem strength wherever it is.  My question is what is the partisan lean of your 14th?  Is it bluer than the interim map?

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:22:49 AM PDT

  •  It's a shame we probably won't be able (5+ / 0-)

    to draw a map like this for another 20 years, maybe. And of course, by then Texas may have grown another 4-7 seats.

    Great job.

    24, Practical Progressive Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg/Simpson for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

    by HoosierD42 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 01:04:30 AM PDT

  •  I had noticed the blue trend in Bell County. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What's that about? Is it just minority population growth?

    •  Killeen/Fort Hood (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chachy, txcatlin

      It's not a blue trend in Bell County as a whole, but rather specifically in the Killeen/Fort Hood area.

      There was a lot of population growth there (related to the Iraq war). A lot of that population growth was from minorities - significantly, a lot of African Americans as well as Hispanics.

      On the other hand, the evidence that it is really a "trend" is somewhat weak. The only election in which the trend is really visible is the 2008 election, and while there are demographic underpinnings some of the "trend" may be due to Iraq war blowback against the GOP.

  •  Wow. This is really good. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alibguy, GoUBears, WisJohn, txcatlin

    My best Texas map is 19-17 D and is much more gerrymandered than this. I'm pretty sure it is compliant with the VRA. But to draw an 18-18 map of Texas with this little amount of gerrymandering is very impressive.


    P.S. The main difference my map had is that it had an insanely gerrymandered district in East Texas that picked up all the Democratic areas in places like Tyler, Longview, Texarkana, Nacogdoches, etc. and then went down to Beaumont and Galveston. Is there any way for this map to include something like that? I ask this because I feel that a lot of Democratic votes are wasted in East Texas, and one of my top priorities when I draw a gerrymander is to avoid wasting Democratic votes.

    If that's not possible, that's okay. This is still an amazing map.

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), new ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 06:37:58 AM PDT

  •  My turn to play the pessimist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I basically agree with your characterizations of all the other districts, but I don't think TX-17 as drawn is really winnable.

    I also don't think that your TX-17 would necessarily trend D. It will probably stay about the same, and could even trend a bit more Republican.

    This is one of the few areas of TX where Dems have further to fall among white rural voters. Rural white voters in that area are among the most traditionally Democratic of anywhere in TX, which is why Chet Edwards was ever able to win in the first place. They took a hard turn to the GOP in 2010, and are staying in the GOP column. Furthermore, demographic change is slower than in the rest of TX.

    I do think that it is possible to draw a winnable district out of Killeen/Temple/Waco/Bryan/College Station, but it requires less clean lines than you gave it. Also, it should preferably include a bit of south Dallas or East Austin in order to really make it lean/safe D.

    Below is a 50/50 district (which voted for Obama by a handful of votes). This is 45.8% White, 21.6% Black, and 26.8% Hispanic. It could be made a bit cleaner and drop back to 48% Obama or so and maybe be winnable, but 43%/44% Dem is not going to cut it. And again, 50,000 to 100,000 people from South Dallas or East Austin tacked on would be enough to make it at least lean D.

    •  The thing is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MattTX, txcatlin

      Is that you wouldn't even have to come close to winning whites to win the district.

      The demographics are 18.5% AA, 21.1% Hispanic (12.4% SSVR), 55.6% White, and 4.8% others.

      Let's assume an actual voting population of about this:

      18% AA
      10% Hispanic
      3% Other
      69% White

      Democrats win 90% of the African American vote, 65% of the Hispanic vote, 60% of the others as usual. That automatically gets them 24.5% of the vote.

      If they can win only 25% of the white vote, very similar to statewide percentages, a Democrat would net 41.75% overall.

      But even you mentioned that these are among the most traditionally, and resiliently, Democratic whites in the state. Winning 30% or even 35% wouldn't be too difficult and is not outside the realm of possibility. That would give them Democrat 45.2% or 48.65%. Going up to only 37% gets them 50.03%.

      22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

      by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:32:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm pessimistic about... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the ability of Dems to get 30%, 35%, 37%, or what have you percent of the white vote. I'd put the ceiling at about 25%, and can imagine it falling to 20% or even 15%.

        Back of the envelope math says that in the pre-redistricting TX-17, the electorate tended to be about 9% Hispanic, 9% Black, 1% Asian/Other, and 81% White. Let's assume that Chet Edwards won 95% of African American voters, 80% of Hispanic voters, and 75% of Asian/Other voters. Obviously these estimates will have some error, but suspend your disbelief for a moment and let's say that even if they are not exactly right, they are in the right general ballpark.

        With the above assumptions, that means:

        Chet Edwards won about 50% of white voters in 2006.

        Chet Edwards won about 45% of white voters in 2008.

        Chet Edwards won about 25% of white voters in 2010.

        There's two ways that you can look at what happened between 2006 and 2010.

        a) Interpretation # 1 - Democrats (or at least Chet Edwards) won as much as 50%/45% of white voters in this area of rural/small town Texas as recently as 2006 and 2008. Surely some Democrat can manage to claw back up to 37% support among white voters, or what have you.

        b) Interpretation # 2 - From 2006 to 2010, White rural Democratic support plummeted, as white voters re-alligned fully to the GOP. It ain't coming back. Humpty Dumpty is not going to be put back together again. If anything, it could fall further now that Chet Edwards is no longer around making white rural voters feel like it is semi-socially respectable to vote Democratic.

        I have to go with Interpretation # 2. The idea that Democrats are going to win back white voters in that part of rural Texas on the grounds that it is traditionally Democratic is not much more plausible than the notion that Republicans are going to make a comeback in Vermont on the grounds that it is traditionally Republican.

        I do think that Democrats will continue to do relatively well for state offices like Governor (Bill White even won Falls County in 2010!!!), and it's not out of the question that a State Rep seat could be won in this area. But any sort of Federal office is a totally different story. On the Presidential and Senate levels, voting Democratic is a non-starter. The obstacle is a bit less for Congress, but there is still a very big hill to climb.

        •  Back of envelope (0+ / 0-)

          My only qualm with your math is that the AA portion seems way to low. I can't imagine that it would go beneath 14%.

          If you had it at 9%, that's actually lower effective turnout than for Hispanics (whom we should really benchmark by the SSVR numbers, not the VAP numbers). That isn't going to happen. Other than that, I generally agree with you. But that 5% AA difference makes about 4% difference in the overall vote.

          What are your thoughts on the newer version of the district?

          22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

          by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:49:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The 9% number is for... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the actual district that existed from 2004 to 2010 (the one that voted about 1/3 for Kerry and 1/3 for Obama).

            I was only referring to that district to make an estimate of what % white support Chet Edwards got in the same general geographic area.

            About the newer version of the district - I assume you are referring to the real-life current district with the arm in Pflugerville. If Chet Edwards were the current incumbent and were running in that district, I could definitely see him holding it. He would still have to campaign, but fundamentally the blood-red Fort Worth Exurbs are excised and replaced with Demifying North Austin.

            That said, he is not the incumbent, and if he were (or even if there were any chance of him trying to make any sort of comeback), the GOP most certainly never would have drawn TX-17 that way. Even though TX-17 was knocked up to something like 41% Obama, Bill Flores is a relatively run-of-the-mill TX Republican and I don't see him having any trouble getting re-elected as long as he wants to be.

            •  Ah (0+ / 0-)

              No wonder about the 9%, but if the AA percentage were higher because of the addition of Fort Hood areas don't you think it might be easier to compete?

              I agree with you about the actually drawn district, but I was referring to the second version of the 17th in my diary.

              22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

              by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:02:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's definitely easier (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                There's no question that it's easier to compete in the district that you drew than in the 2004-2010 real life TX-17.

                The 2004-2010 real life TX-17 was about R+20.

                The district that you drew is about R+10 (with a history of being more friendly to non-national Dems and specifically to Chet Edwards).

                That said, at the end of the day it's an R+10 district. In practice an R+10 is a steep hill to climb, even if not strictly impossible. And Chet Edwards is not coming back.

                •  2nd Version (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The 2nd version is only R+6.

                  22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

                  by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:14:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ah, didn't see (0+ / 0-)

                    I didn't see that you re-did it.

                    I would say that Chet Edwards would have no trouble holding that if he were the incumbent.

                    I would say he would be favored in an open seat situation (not against Bill Flores)

                    If he were to re-challenge Bill Flores, I don't know. Tossup?

                    A generic open seat race would be lean GOP, but definitely competitive.

                    And I would say it would be pretty competitive by 2020 under any circumstances.

                    One thing though - you can get the same partisan stats without having to go to Tyler.

                    This district below is 47.1% Obama, 45.9% Dem average. 49.5% White, 19.7% AA, 25.0% Hispanic. I think it also satisfies the compactness fetish.

                    If we are allowed to violate the sanctity of the Williamson County line and pick up Taylor without breaking any unwritten rules, that can easily be increased to 48% Obama.

                    •  I do like that map (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MattTX, txcatlin

                      And I like the comment abut compactness, which I do have a fetish for. ;)

                      I think the Tyler version, which by the way I slightly tweaked so its now 47.4% Obama and 46.4% average (was 47.1% like yours), more because it includes a hell of alot more AAs (which are more stable in the partisan allegiances.

                      22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

                      by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:57:51 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Here (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Here was the middle stage version:

                        Posted for the sake of openness. The only changes were a switch of a few precincts up by Tyler.

                        22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

                        by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:02:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Just for kicks (0+ / 0-)

                        Here it is with a choice 65,000 person donation from Travis County.

                        Up to 54.0% Obama, 51.2% Dem Average. 44.2% White, 21.0% AA, 24.0% Hispanic.

                        May require lowering your compactness fetish standards, but I'd say this would be lean Dem even without Chet Edwards...

                        •  I'll toy around with that idea (0+ / 0-)

                          The only reason I wasn't doing so until now is because it would knock the 25th and the 10th down a few points into perhaps only likely Democratic territory.

                          22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

                          by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:10:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Before 2010 (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wwmiv, KingofSpades, Chachy, bumiputera

                            And before the GOP wave became apparent, I had started to wonder what the Republicans would do in redistricting (assuming that Chet Edwards was re-elected).

                            I figured they would have a few goals in the Central Texas area (if they were smart).

                            1) Screw Chet Edwards.
                            2) Screw Lloyd Doggett.
                            3) Create an Austin-based VRA seat in the process to cover themselves legally.

                            If they had been smart (ha!!!), under those circumstances, they would have done something like this:

                            That's 29.5% White, 20.2% Black, and 45.3% Hispanic. 67.2% Obama, 63.8% Dem Average.

                            Half of the district's population would have been in Austin (Travis County, plus the handful of precincts in surrounding counties). That would have been Doggett Country in the primary. The other half of the district would have been split between Killeen, Temple, Waco, Bryan, and Edwards-friendly rural areas.

                            It would have been terrible. And this sort of district might well have attracted an African American and/or Hispanic candidate as well, making the internecine Democratic warfare even worse.

                            In the end Doggett probably would have won the primary by a hair since he is more liberal and D primary turnout would have probably been a bit higher in Austin than in the rest of the district. But it would have been a brutal fight, and of course the reward in the end for the GOP would have been finally getting rid of Edwards. And then in 2020 they would have been able to re-draw the district is a straight out Austin-minority vote sink.

                            They could have added that district plus a Hispanic district in DFW, and maybe one more in the Valley, and they would have had a decade-long gerrymander sail through pre-clearance. The remainder of Austin could have been safely divided among multiple GOP incumbents.

                            Another related option would have been similarly to draw Chet Edwards into a new DFW Fort Worth-based VRA district.

                            But of course Chet Edwards lost in 2010, and as it turned out the Republicans did not redistrict in a legally-intelligent way in any case... And so that never happened...

    •  Trend (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MattTX

      Now for me to combat the idea that this area couldn't possibly trend Democratic.

      1. Given that the Hispanic communities in this district are overwhelmingly military, you can easily infer that the citizenship levels among them will be much higher than the state as a whole, meaning that the difference between the SSVR and the VAP can be narrowed substantially. I'd say it could be possible to raise the SSVR to 18% and have Hispanic turnout of 15%

      Practically all of that extra 5% boost would be taken out of the Anglo portion of the electorate, meaning that a Democrat would only have to take 33% of the white vote to net 50.52% on election day.

      2. The total population numbers are substantially more minority than the VAP numbers, and practically all of those kids are citizens. 50.7% White, 19.3% AA, 24.7% Hispanic, and 5.3% Other.

      It is feasible to have an electorate in 10 years that is 19% African American, 17% Hispanic, 4% Other, and 60% white. A Democrat would only have to win 29% of the white vote in order to get 50.56% on election day.

      Going further, if somehow you actually had a breakdown that matched exactly the VAP numbers you'd only have to win 31% of whites to get 50.48%.

      If you somehow, in ten years, had the voting population mirror exactly the total population numbers of now (yes, I realize that there are problems with both of these I'm just doing this for expositional purposes) you'd only have to get 27% of the white vote in order to net 50.29% on election day.

      And all of that is assuming stable Hispanic and African American performances for Democrats (something I admittedly think is likely here as even despite being minorities who are typically heavily Democratic, being military might militate against further leftward drift).

      22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

      by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:47:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rebuttal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wwmiv, Chachy

        1) Only about 25% of the Hispanics in the district live in the Killeen-Copperas Cove area (and hence are more likely to be military, though keep in mind that many are not).

        There are other problems associated with turning out the military vote that offset any possible citizenship-rate advantage. Soldiers and their families tend to be young (which means low turnout rates) and they obviously move a lot (which means many will vote absentee outside TX-17, if they vote at all). These same problems apply also to African American and Asian voters in the Killeen area.

        Hispanics in the rest of the district - Waco, Temple, Bryan, etc - tend to be newer immigrants and hence have citizenship rates below the statewide average. They are similar to Dallas and Houston Hispanics in that respect.

        2) I certainly don't disagree that this district (like the rest of TX) will become less white and more Hispanic over time. But without actually looking at specific numbers, the demographic change is much slower than in Dallas/Houston, etc. My recollection is that (under the old lines) the white population share in TX-17 only dropped by a bit under 5% from 2000 to 2010. So I think it's plausible that Hispanic turnout could increase to something like 15%-16% of the electorate by 2020, and that would help. But that would not be enough, especially if rural white Dem support drops by another 5% or so, which seems quite plausible to me.

        Overall I am a lot more optimistic about future Dem chances with suburban white voters in places like Collin County than about future Dem chances with rural white voters in places like Robertson County.

        •  And couldn't many servicemen be non-citizens? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I know a substantial number of documented immigrants join the military to get fast-tracked to citizenship, and the military may also disproportionately include less established immigrants who don't have the connections to get other work.

          Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

          by fearlessfred14 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 08:19:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Very nice map (4+ / 0-)

    I'm amazed that you were able to get 4 safe Dem seats that cleanly in Dallas/Forth Worth.  I also love what you did with south Texas, hopefully that district would dump Cuellar for Rodriguez.

    Also a suggestion for next time, you might want to turn on the district number labels since you only used a limited number of colors and that can make it kind of confusing.

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

    by sawolf on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:48:18 AM PDT

    •  Ah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoosierD42, txcatlin

      That's true. The district numbers correspond with current district numbers. The only big difference is that the facially the 31st looks like the old 10th.

      22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

      by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:54:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which reminds me (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, txcatlin

        are the AA districts in Houston and Dallas VRA protected?

        Hail to the king, baby.

        by KingofSpades on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 01:53:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and No (3+ / 0-)

          The running theory is that the state has to draw districts that can elect African American representatives, but its impossible to draw any that are minority majority. As a result, the state simply packs as many black precincts together to create vote sinks. Because of this, there's never been an opportunity to take the state to court for dismantling an African American district, so we have no way of knowing if they are, in fact, protected.

          In other words, as long as the state draws district which can elect an African American, and in theory they must draw three of them, then the state would be fine legally, but we don't really know that until they are taken to court on it.

          One of the most important things to consider when talking about ability to elect in Texas is the context of the district. Take, for instance, the 9th's VAP demos:

          24.1% white, 28.1% African American, 28.1% Hispanic (15.6% SSVR), and 18.0% Asian.

          All of the AAs are Democrats, but only about 3/5 of the Hispanics and Asians are. But remember that Hispanics' percentage of the electorate is going to be lower than the SSVR level by about 10-15%. So we're really saying here that about 3/5 of 14% are Democrats, which means that about 8% of the district are Hispanic Democrats.  Asians have such pitifully low citizenship numbers and turnout at such low levels that you should really only talk about them as if they are half the level they actually are, so about 3/5 of 9, or 6%, are Democrats. Only about 1/4 of the whites in the district are likely to be Democrats, so that's another 6%.

          So in a Democratic primary we have this (out of total population, not percentage of Democrats):

          28% AA
          8% Hispanic
          6% Asian
          6% White

          In percentage of Democrats:

          58% AA
          17% Hispanic
          13% Asian
          13% White

          In other words, African American are a complete lock to elect their candidate of choice in a Democratic primary.

          In the general election you’ve got a breakdown that looks something like this:

          28% AA Democrats
          8% voting Hispanic Democrats
          6% voting Hispanic Republicans
          (14% non-eligible Hispanic)
          6% voting Asian Democrats
          3% voting Asian Republicans
          (9% non-eligible Asians)
          6% White Democrats
          18% White Republicans

          In percentage of voting population (remove the Asians and Hispanics that don’t vote), that looks more like this:

          37% AA Democrats
          11% Hispanic Democrats
          8% Asian Democrats
          8% White Democrats

          8% Hispanic Republicans
          4% Asian Republicans
          24% White Republicans

          In other words, African Americans will make up about 40% of the electorate on any given day, and with about 25% elsewhere in the electorate that will support their candidate given hell or high water. A district where the candidate will win 65% routinely is definitely an ability to elect district.

          22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

          by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:43:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wwmiv, KingofSpades, txcatlin, bumiputera

          It's true that they are not 50% African American, but they have long been 50%+ minority and effectively AA-controlled.

          Even Tom DeLay knew enough not to try and argue that those districts were not VRA.

          •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, MattTX, txcatlin

            Although that is certainly the case, we don't have verification from the courts (though they'd certainly agree that a 30% AA district that is minority majority is ability and protected).

            22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

            by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:52:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's the sort of thing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wwmiv, James Allen

              I think it's the sort of argument that sounds more plausible talking about on a blog post in the abstract than in an actual real-life court case. And to a certain extent, it follows from overly literal readings of (some) dicta in previous court cases that refer specifically to 50%+1 red lines.

              For example, I am sure we could find a Rdelbov somewhere who would defend that argument until he was blue in the face.

              But no actual court would seriously adopt that argument, unless it were the Supreme Court deciding to do away with the VRA altogether.

              •  I could not (0+ / 0-)

                have said it better myself.

                22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

                by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:10:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  hints? (0+ / 0-)
    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.
    Any hints, at least, about where you were going to stand your ground and where you were going to concede? I was really interested in that discussion...
    •  No? Nothing? (0+ / 0-)

      Ah well. As god is my witness, wwmiv, i will get you to respond to my texas predictions one of these days! :)

      •  Shoot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        Honestly I think the demographic change will bring Texas to a more competitive position, but I think that the change is going to take a bit longer than some people realize and that there are complicating factors that have the potential to arrest the trend to or militate against a more competitive Texas.

        My main argument was that Texas really hasn't yet trended towards the Democrats at any level and that we're really just stuck arguing that the potential is there for it to happen. We have no evidence whatsoever that is has already begun or will begin soon.

        22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

        by wwmiv on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 08:56:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  For Matt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, KingofSpades

    Working off the Austin idea, I've done this:

    Obviously the 1st, 5th, 31st, and 34th are changed, but none of that matters as they're all too Republican to be able to compete in.

    Instead of having three safe seats and a "winnable" seat, we have 1 Safe, 1 Likely, 1 Lean, and a Tossup. The 25th is no longer a Hispanic opportunity district, and the 33rd is arguably now only an opportunity district instead of an ability district (which means that it probably runs afoul of the VRA in that that would mean no additional ability districts were created, although you could argue that DFW's 35th counts despite the low SSVR levels - in which case it'd be fine - or you could argue that because the 23rd was bumped to ability from opportunity that it is kosher to add another opportunity elsewhere and the 33rd is a better opportunity than the 23rd's benchmark).

    10th (Blue): 57.2% Obama, 51.4% average, 59.5% white, 31.5% Hispanic (18.6% SSVR). Likely Democratic.

    17th (Red): 51.4% Obama, 48.0% average, 19.4% AA, 24.5% Hispanic (14.3 SSVR), and 50.4% white. Tossup.

    25th (Cyan - Austin): 60.4% Obama, 52.1% average, 60.5% White, 23.2% Hispanic (12.1% SSVR), 7.5% Asian, and 6.9% AA. Safe Democratic.

    33rd (Cyan - Fajita Strip): 52.6% Obama, 53.2% average, 69.3% Hispanic (58.2% SSVR). Lean Democratic.

    I really don't like sacrificing safe districts to create a bunch of lean districts as it would be a dummymander. For that reason alone I prefer the 17th as a "winnable" opportunity instead of a tossup.  

    22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

    by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:32:48 PM PDT

    •  Redone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MattTX, KingofSpades

      This is better:

      10th (Blue): 59.1% Obama, 52.9% average, 57.2% white, 32.2% Hispanic (18.7% SSVR). Safe Democratic.

      17th (Red): 49.7% Obama, 46.5% Average, 51.4% white, 24.2% Hispanic (14.5% SSVR), 18.7% AA. Lean Republican, but definitely closer to tossup than the versions in the diary and quickly trending our way.

      25th (Cyan - Austin): 59.8% Obama, 51.6% average, 60.8% white, 23.2% Hispanic (12.0% SSVR), 7.3% Asian, 6.8% AA. Somewhere between safe and likely Democratic, though I'd position is closer to likely than safe at the moment and closer to safe than likely a few cycles from now.

      33rd (Cyan - Fajita Strip): 56.2% Obama, 56.1% average, 70.7% Hispanic (59.9% SSVR). Likely Democratic, but quickly moving towards safe.

      22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

      by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:48:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MattTX, KingofSpades

    I know it really is over and over and over again with me... This is much better:

    10th (Blue): 58.6% Obama, 52.9% average, 56.2% white, 32.5% Hispanic (18.2% SSVR). Safe Democratic (trading minority strength for half a point of Obama and nothing off the average is a good trade).

    33rd (Cyan - Fajita Strip): 57.1% Obama, 55.9% Average 69.9% Hispanic (58.6% SSVR). Moves San Marcos back in the district, which means the mayor could run here).

    22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

    by wwmiv on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:54:58 PM PDT

  •  I have a question. (0+ / 0-)

    Why does the red panhandle/Amarillo district have to go into the DFW exurbs? Couldn't you re-draw that one, the Lubbock one and the Abilene one to make an exurbs district, an Amarillo district, and a Lubbock district?

    Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -6.00, -3.54, I finally got a chance to do something my parents have done for years- vote against Tommy Thompson!!!! Tammy Baldwin for US Senate!!!!!

    by WisJohn on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:04:00 PM PDT

    •  Any way (0+ / 0-)

      Any way you draw it one of Amarillo/Wichita Falls, Lubbock/Abilene, and San Angelo/Midland/Odessa will have to take in parts of Fort Worth exurbs simply because of population distribution.

      Also, these are the most logical connections of cities in the panhandle and there really isn't enough population in the exurbs to anchor a district on its own.

      22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

      by wwmiv on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:51:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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