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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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