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With Missouri turning increasingly red, this is not going to happen, even in 2020. It used to be that portions of rural southeast and northern Missouri were Democratic enough that we could count on picking up a few votes there to offset huge Republican margins elsewhere in the state. It also used to be that St. Louis County, as opposed to St. Louis City, was a swing county and usually the winner of that country won statewide. Now, St. Louis County leans Democrat, but the rural portions of the state are red and getting redder. The overall shift has been to the right. At the same time, Democrats in Missouri suffer from naturally being packed into St. Louis City and County, Kansas City, and to a lesser degree, Boone County (where Columbia is). The natural packing leaves them at a disadvantage during redistricting.

In 2010 the Democrats got screwed because the state lost a congressional seat and also there’s a divide between black and white Democrats. Specifically, black Democrats seem willing to sacrifice parts of the Democratic agenda if it ensures a stronger (only within the Democratic caucus) presence of African Americans in the party. For instance, it’s possible Russ Carnahan, the only white Democrat in the Congressional delegation, could have had a seat where he had a fighting chance instead of his seat being the one that the state lost, effectively. Missouri still does elect Democrats such as Jay Nixon and Claire McCaskill. So the current 2-6 delegation is a Republican gerrymander. 3-5 is a reasonable aim.

This gerrymander tests the strength of Democrats and breaks several rules. For one, St. Louis County is split 3-ways. The 1st district is not majority African American, and although Lacey Clay will tell you otherwise, his current district isn’t majority black anyway.  The current 5th district also isn’t majority black, although I don’t think there are claims that it should be. But this map does split Jackson County, where Kansas City is based. Let’s take a look:

1st District (Blue)

This is still the bluest district in the state and Lacy Clay, as much as we might want to get rid of him, is probably safe. The democratic electorate I’m sure is still majority black, so he wouldn’t have a primary problem either. I actually tried to take some care to put many black precincts in this district. Very blue northern St. Louis City and County drowns out the red parts of St. Charles County, where Todd Aiken is from.

51% White
42% Black
Avg Dem: 72.9%
2008 Obama vote: 69.8%

Safe D

2nd District (Green)

This district now takes in most of St. Louis County, including very blue parts in the eastern third of the county. It then goes to the northwest to take in the rest of St. Charles County and two more red counties. The challenge for Democrats is to not nominate a very liberal candidate who may hail from, say, very liberal University City. A moderate Democrat from the central part of St. Louis County should have a decent shot. This is a very polarized district, and I’m counting on the strength of local Dems relative to Obama. I could swap in more territory from the 1st but I wanted to keep the maps fairly clean. Republican Ann Wagner might have a shot here.

Avg Dem: 51.8%
2008 Obama vote: 49.6% (McCain was 49.2%)

Lean D with Moderate Dem
Toss Up with Liberal Dem

3rd District (Purple)

Russ Carnahan can be happy again in this district. Although he’s had a few close races, he should be fairly safe here. District contains southern St. Louis City and drops south to capture the relatively Democratic rural counties near St. Louis.

Avg Dem: 58.8%
2008 Obama vote; 53.8%

Safe D

4th District (Red)

Heading west, the 4th now includes Independence, Boone County, and relatively Democratic areas north of Jackson County. Kansas City is not in this district. Like the 2nd district, I’m counting on Democrats nominating someone with a more moderate profile. Vicky Hartzler doesn’t live in this district and the 5th is too liberal for her. She’s gone. Kay Barnes would probably do well here.

Avg Dem: 54%
2008 Obama vote: 50.8%

Likely D with Moderate Dem
Toss Up/Tilt D with Liberal Dem

5th District (Yellow)

This district contains all of Kansas City and drowns out a lot of red votes coming from areas south and southeast of the city. Emmanuel Cleaver might have a primary problem here but the district is blue enough to have a true liberal and the Democratic electorate is possibly plurality minority. It’s the most Hispanic in the state.

69% White
20% Black
7% Hispanic
Avg Dem: 61.4%
2008 Obama vote: 61.4%

Safe D

6th District (Teal)

Wow….5 districts that are amenable to Democrats! So the remainders are huge Republican vote sinks. The 6th contains northern Missouri as well as Jefferson City. Blaine Luetkemeyer v Sam Graves primary.

Avg Dem: 43.6%
2008 Obama vote: 39.2%

Safe R

7th District (Gray)

Blood-red southwest Missouri. Billy Long is safe.

Avg Dem: 37.2%
2008 Obama vote: 35.4%

Safe R

8th District (Slate Blue)

Blood-red southeast and southern Missouri. The most Republican district in the state. Jo Ann’s successor is safe.

Avg Dem: 38.6%
2008 Obama vote: 34.2%

Safe R

The delegation would end up being 5-3 or 4-4 depending on the strength of Ann Wagner and how liberal the Democratic candidate would be in MO-02.


Swapping areas between CD1&2, CD1 is now 66% Obama and 37% African American. CD2 is now 54% Obama and 46% McCain.

Swapping areas between CD4&5, where CD4 now has some of KC west of US71, CD4 is now 53% Obama and CD5 is 55% Obama.

I still think it's a 5-3 map now, with CD2 and CD4 at Lean D and CD5 at Likely D. CD1 stays at Safe D.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Your ratings are way too D friendly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje, General Goose, jncca, Englishlefty

    remember that Missouri took a hard right turn in 2012 and your 2nd and 4th districts wouldn't even see Obama come close to beating Romney. Also ignore the average data as it's not accurate (it relies heavily on the 2008 House races IIRC) and Obama really overperformed in the St. Louis county suburbs while underperforming significantly in most of all of the rural counties. The best bet is to try to draw a 3-4-1 map with the 4th being swingy, but you want to draw it to the south so that Graves, a strong incumbent, can't win it for Republicans. I'd just concede the 2nd to shore up the 3rd as it might not have even gone for Obama in 2012 and Carnahan certainly couldn't have won it. When I drew the state I had the 4th dip down to take in Springfield and become much too Dem for a hard righter like Hartzler to win even if Obama didn't win over Romney by a huge margin.

    •  MO swung hard to the right in 2012, but (0+ / 0-)

      like IN, Obama basically ignored it.

      Old school southern conservative Democrat. NC-09 (home) LA-06 (school).

      by MilesC on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:26:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It didn't swing that hard to the right (0+ / 0-)

        MO basically matched the national pattern; Obama decline just over 2 points there.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 11:28:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The VRA district rules are killing us... (0+ / 0-)

    Some of these establishment Black politicians have been in office for too long. They are more of a detriment to the people they claim to represent than a help.

    Maybe, the portion of the VRA when it comes to Minority districts needs to be revoked...and a nation-wide re-redistricting needs to happen. Packing is only going to kill us...and it's not getting better because the areas where Dems are gaining are those same packed districts.

    •  Urgh (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, GoUBears, Englishlefty, NMLib

      Two things:

      1) This is a GOP gerrymander.  Even if the VRA had been abolished last decade, Republicans would have drew the exact same map.  Not because they had to, but because they could.  It's not the VRA's fault.

      2) Plenty of establishment politicians, of all races, have been in office too long, and are a detriment to the people they claim to represent.  Why the judgment on African-American politicians?

    •  Until Democrats show a better willingness to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, Skaje, Englishlefty

      fundraise for minority candidates, the "establishment Black politicians" have a powerful argument. The big Democratic fundraising networks have done a very bad job of showing POC polls that they will donate towards their elections. Yes there are examples of exceptions to the rules (Obama, Donna Edwards, Duval Patrick), but at local levels where most politicians come up the ladder, the support isn't there. Many people view these districts as the remedy.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

      by dopper0189 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 01:03:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OTOH (0+ / 0-)

        Black politicians scream with hell hath woman scorned fury woman when the establishment supports a black candidate because those candidates "are not authentic". They can't have it both ways.

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:31:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. That would be like saying Alan West (0+ / 0-)

          represents mainstream black politics. The black establishment is looking for funding for people who started out wining a local city counsel job, then became a state rep, a state senator, and now wants to run for the US House. Someone who came up that way had to prove they understood the needs of their constituents. Someone who just has black skin but never represented these types of constituents is something of a crap shoot.

          The "authentic" label is a clumsy way of saying they want someone who has a record of fighting for the needs of POC. Being elected and reelected by POC is the best way to proove one's chops in this regards.

          -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

          by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:05:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  On the plus side (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, Englishlefty

      When the Supreme Court strikes down the VRA (and Thurgood Marshall spins so hard in his grave the Earth rotates backwards for a few days), we can look at this as one of the few potential upsides. Sure, black people won't be able to vote anymore, but at least they'll have districts where they can build a coalition with white liberals, educated professionals, students and the remnants of the Blue Dogs so that they can maybe have a conservative white Democrat represent them, instead of a hard-right conservative white Republican.   /bitter sarcasm

      Kansan by birth, Californian by choice and Gay by the Grace of God.

      by arealmc on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 02:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got to take massive exception to this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    General Goose, Englishlefty, NMLib
    Specifically, black Democrats seem willing to sacrifice parts of the Democratic agenda if it ensures a stronger (only within the Democratic caucus) presence of African Americans in the party.
    because that is a huge blanket statement basically claiming African-Americans are selfish and care about their own advancement instead of the Democratic Party.  It's not news that SOME African-Americans do prize personal advancement over the interests of the party, but plenty of white Democrats do as well.  There was an entire generation of white Democrats in the South (when they still had power) that tried to gerrymander seats designed to elect white Democrats.  More recently, Arkansas Democrats (still very dominated by white politicians) drew a congressional map in the hopes of having three winnable white Blue Dog districts, rather than simply concede a seat and draw something that might actually elect an African-American.

    I've gotten tired of endlessly hearing about how this or that is the fault of African-Americans, they being the single most loyal voting group within the party.  The Democratic Party wouldn't be cracking 45% of the presidential vote if they split 50-50.  And we just expect them to not care about their own levels of representation, despite a history of very brutal suppression and exclusion from politics.

    Anyway.  I like the rest of your map, though it's a bit over-ambitious basing it on 2008 Obama.  If Democrats had the power they might have actually been able to do something like this, with some changes to shore up a few seats.

    •  as this is a diary on Missouri... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GloFish, Skaje, jncca comments are limited to the African American legislators in Missouri, Lacy Clay and Emmanuel Cleaver. There were plenty of news reports out at that time that back up what I said. Sorry if you thought I was broadening my "blanket statement" is in reference to the diary topic.

      •  That's a fair response (0+ / 0-)

        Lacy Clay and Emmanuel Cleaver are hardly my favorite congressmen.  I understand now what you meant.  I'm just a little touchy on the issue because there's been a lot of unfortunate generalizations on Dailykos Elections about African-Americans, the VRA, and how districts are drawn.  And in Missouri, I am aware that some of the Kansas City and Saint Louis Democratic legislators (who happen to be African-American), acting under advisement of Clay and Cleaver supported the override of Gov. Nixon's veto of the gerrymander.   In the end it didn't matter because Republicans had 2/3 in both chambers anyway, but there's that.

        •  I appreciate your points (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You're right....even if the African American legislators hadn't gone along with the map, Republican's could override the veto. Nothing would have changed. This was just a hypothetical  and I know it's not going to happen anytime soon.

          And based on comments, perhaps CD 2 should be shored up by making the map a bit uglier taking CD1 down a few Dem points and CD 2 up a few

        •  Republicans actually didn't have 2/3rds (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in the state House and specifically relied on those legislators to pass the map, which was really more about preventing an Ike Skelton comeback than anything it would appear.

          •  I stand corrected (0+ / 0-)

            I looked up the composition of the Missouri House and saw that it's 53 Democrats to 110 Republicans, which just barely gives Republicans the 2/3.  I didn't think to check what it was in 2011, which was 58 to 105.

  •  Dummymander, sorry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jncca, Inoljt

    Obama tanked badly in MO from 2008 to 2012.  Knowing that, it's not a good idea to create a 49% Obama 2008 district, or even a 51% Obama 2008 district, and expect it to still be Democratic post-2012.

  •  Why is Northern Missouri so Republican? (0+ / 0-)

    While nearby Iowa is Democratic-leaning?  And when you look at a county map, it looks like a rapid transition when you cross the state line.  Anyone who lives there can explain why that is?

    •  I think if you take a look at the map of IA (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, Englishlefty, dufffbeer

      many of the southern counties that border Missouri are actually pretty conservative. You have to go north a few counties (and from Des Moines on east) to see them turn blue. Why this happened I have no idea

    •  I lived in MO for 13 years, maybe I can answer (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, Skaje, KingofSpades, dufffbeer

      your question to some degree. A lot of it dates back to the Civil War. Missouri had divided loyalties, with many residents supporting the Confederacy and many others supporting the Union. Missourians fought on both sides.

      North Missouri was generally Unionist, except for some of the counties along the Mississippi River. The areas along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers were generally pro-Southern, inclduing what it now Kansas City. St. Louis,  was generally Unionist. Southeast Missouri was generally pro-Southern. Southwest Missouri was staunchly Unionist. The counties along the Kansas border north of the Ozarks were divided, but generally pro-Southern.

      These divisions shaped Missouri politics after the war, with the Unionists becoming Republicans the the pro-Southern folks becoming Democrats. The divisions don't mean as much today, but the Republican areas, such as the Ozarks and North Missouri remained Republican and many the the formerly Democratic areas have moved into the GOP column. This is a trend that has been repeated over most of the South and Border states to which Missouri has been no exception.

      Guns are never the principle in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

      by MadGeorgiaDem on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:56:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jay Nixon, black democratic legislators and redist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, paradise50, jncca

    While I understand Skaje's sensitivity regarding broad generalizations about African Americans and redistricting, it is, unfortunately true in this case that not only Clay and Cleaver, but also black democrats in the Missouri legislature colluded with the republicans to produce the current map.  During the process, my current state senator, Jamillah Nasheed proclaimed "I'm black before I'm a democrat" in defending this rather blatant process of carving up the map in its current form.  Those who were really paying attention here in Missouri know that Gov. Jay Nixon  also threw his party under the bus during this process.  The plan was not passed until the final days of the legislature, meaning that he could have simply left it on his desk (a "pocket veto" for my fellow political nerds) and the legislature would have expired before the veto could be acted on, throwing the process to the courts, which would have almost certainly given us at least a somewhat more favorable map (it certainly couldn't have been worse).
    Instead, he vetoed it immediately, giving the legislature plenty of time to override it by rounding up just enough black democrats to give them the votes they needed.  Without those black democrats, they would have come up short.

  •  VRA (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me like slicing and dicing St. Louis would be in direct violation of the VRA, no?

    I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat

    by OGGoldy on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:57:59 PM PDT

    •  S2, yes (0+ / 0-)

      It is a clear retrogression for both cities, not just St. Louis.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:36:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but STL was sliced pre-2011 (0+ / 0-)

      Russ Carnahan had southern St. Louis in his district...St. Louis city isn't any more sliced in this version compared to prior, approved maps. Now, St. Louis County is certainly sliced more, as the northern (and more heavily African American) parts of the county get split between CDs 1 and 2. The map redo does slice KC.

  •  I would try not to waste (0+ / 0-)

    St. Joseph in any Republican district.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 11:27:50 AM PDT

  •  In every map prior to this one (0+ / 0-)

    St. Louis City was divided between two districts (1st and third) and St. Louis County was divided between  three districts (1st, 2nd, and third).  This was the case in every map going back at least to the 70's

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