I’m a huge proponent of algorithmic redistricting as it pertains to the state legislatures
(and if I can get the technology, I want to make interstate algorithmic CDs). The idea is that this map removes all arbitrary boundaries such as city or county lines and does it from a mathematical perspective based on density. I decided to do Texas because despite the large number of seats (150), the large population makes it easier to draw districts (167K a district). I also have a decent knowledge of the whos who of Texas politics. This are districts 1-50, based in the Houston area, and rural East Texas. I think that it is unlikely the dems will ever get to the near majority they had in 09-10, because of the loss of the rural districts (like the Laney or McReynolds seats) but the dems still can make some gains since the districts trending most GOP are ones that are already republican.
So here is a district-by-district analysis:
Racial Statistics: 44.2 Hisp, 23.7 Wh, 19.8 Bl, 10.5 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: Not sure whose district this is. I remember there being a white democrat last session representing this area but I think he retired. This should probably be a safe D district though.
Racial Statistics: 47 Hisp, 37.3 Wh, 8.3 Asn, 5.9 Bl, 1.3 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This district I think is Gary Elkins’. The district has a high Hispanic %, but only 17 percent of the district’s registered voters are Hispanic, so this should be a safe R barring a massive realignment.
Racial Statistics: 53.5 Hisp, 26.6 Wh, 17.2 Bl, 1.6 Asn, 0.9 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: I think this is Dwayne Bohac’s district. He’d obviously be f---ed under these lines and his only option would be to carpetbag and primary another republican.
Racial Statistics: 45.2 Wh, 37.5 Hisp, 8.1 Bl, 7.5 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 0.1 Nat
Notes: This district contains some of the wealthiest parts of the Houston area and has been voting republican for at least the past sixty years. The incumbent here was Beverly Wooley, but she retired. Not sure who replaced her, but this is a safe republican district
Racial Statistics: 42.4 Wh, 36.8 Hisp, 11.4 Bl, 7.3 Asn, 1.9 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This is the southwest corner of Harris County where there are a lot of new subdivisions going up. This is Bill Caliguri’s district and is safe republican.
Racial Statistics: 65.6 Wh, 22.2 Hisp, 7 Bl, 3.4 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.4 Nat
Notes: This is one of the few majority white districts in the Houston area. Never been in this district before but here’s what someone on a message board I frequent said “The ‘White Flight havens’ on Houston's periphery have always creeped me out. I tend to think if you want to have 90%+ of your neighbors be non-Hispanic whites, you need to find somewhere other than Houston to live (Utah or Minnesota, perhaps). I'm occasionally in Cypress visiting family friends who are a Santorum-Palin GOP's wet dream: wife never attended college, they go to an evangelical church twice a week, husband collects bumper stickers that are the Right's equivalent of snark ("Somewhere in Kenya, a village is missing its idiot"). And the cookie cutter houses around the cul de sac are full of cookie cutter neighbors; an F-150 and an Expedition in every driveway (preferably with a Browning deer or Semper Fi sticker) and Fox News on every plasma TV. This is Allen Fletcher’s district and is obviously Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 41.5 Hisp, 26.9 Bl, 15.8 Asn, 14 Wh, 1.6 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This is Huey Vo’s seat. This is one of the few parts of Texas that have trended to the democrats. Vo unseated an eleven term state rep (Talmadge Heflin) who was chair of the appropriations committee. This district has been made even more dem than the old one and should be a safe seat.
Racial Statistics: 30.4 Wh, 29 Hispanic, 21.9 Bl, 16.4 Asn, 2.1 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This probably takes the cake as most racially diverse district in Texas. This was held by a white woman democrat with a French sounding name who was unseated in 2010 (can’t remember either of there names). This is a fairly polarized district that is pretty much a base turnout district. It’d probably be a marginal seat.
Racial Statistics: 42.9 Wh, 27 Asn, 15.8 Hisp, 11.8 Bl, 2.3 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: I can’t remember who held this district but this was the old HD 26 held by a republican who retired in 2012. This is probably the most Asian district in Texas but is safe republican.
Racial Statistics: 68 Wh, 22.9 Hisp, 6 Bl, 1.4 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 0.4 Nat
Notes: This is a Conroe based district and takes in the more rural part of Montgomery county. It’s not nearly as wealthy as the Woodlands but is just as republican. This is Brandon Creighton’s district. Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 38.7 Wh, 26.3 Hisp, 18.2 Bl, 14.6 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This is also another new district. The ultra republican areas around Cinco ranch is tempered somewhat by Mission Bend. This should be a likely R district.
Racial Statistics: 65.1 Hisp, 20.6 Bl, 10.7 Wh, 2.8 Asn, 0.7 Oth, 0.1 Nat
Notes: This is based in the Aldine area which is sort of an inner ring suburb north of Houston. This area has probably seen a lot of white flight in the past 30 years or so and is a safe D seat.
Racial Statistics: 50.2 Wh, 25.7 Hisp, 11.6 Bl, 10.5 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: This is Patricia Harless’ district that has been made safer by being extended out into the Klein area. Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 36.4 Hisp, 30.4 Wh, 28.5 Bl, 2.8 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: This is another polarized district. Part of it is inner ring areas close to Bush airport that have had a lot of white flight while other parts of it are newer areas closer to the Montgomery county line which are more GOP.
Racial Statistics: 44.2 Hisp, 28.2 Bl, 17.8 Wh, 8.6 Asn, 1.2 Oth, 0.1 Nat
Notes: This is a part of Houston that probably only recently became dem leaning. This I think is an open seat and should go to a democrat.
Racial Statistics: 66.9 Wh, 18.5 Hisp, 6.5 Bl, 5.9 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: see HD 6 for an explanation of this district. This is Debbie Riddle’s district who is known for making a lot of asinine statements. Still Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 50.7 Wh, 28.8 Hisp, 17.1 Bl, 1.7 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 0.4 Nat
Notes: This is Craig Eiland’s district. Eiland is one of the most powerful democrats in the legislature. His district is extended eastwards into the Lake Jackson area of Brazoria county. Those areas have never been part of his district and may present problems. But his district’s PVI is no different than his old one. I expect him to continue having tough races, but his moderate image and the ancestral lean of the district should carry him through.
Racial Statistics: 55.2 Wh, 23.9 Hisp, 16.3 Bl, 2.7 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: This is the Kingwood area of NE Harris County and is full of a lot of McMansions and what not. This is Dan Huberty’s district and is safe R.
Racial Statistics: 45 Hisp, 34.1 Wh, 17.5 Bl, 2 Asn, 1.1 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This is a polarized district taking in some Hispanic areas near the ship channel and some more redneck areas further east. This is an open seat and whoever wins is dependent on who shows up
Racial Statistics: 48.7 Hisp, 41.4 Bl, 8.3 Wh, 0.7 Asn, 0.7 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This takes in the heavily black North Forest area. Senfronia Thompson has represented this area since the 70s. Safe D.
Racial Statistics: 77 Hisp, 14.1 Bl, 6.3 Wh, 2 Asn, 0.4 Oth, 0.1 Nat
Notes: This was Rick Noriega’s district (the guy who ran against Cornyn in 2008) and has since been held by Carol Alvarado. For a heavily Hispanic district, this district is more dem than I thought it would be. Safe D.
Racial Statistics: 39.8 Wh, 36.4 Bl, 13.2 Hisp, 8.8 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This is an amalgamation of some white liberal (by Houston standards) areas in the NW part and some inner city black areas further to the SE. Not sure whose district this is, but it should be safe D.
Racial Statistics: 38.2 Hisp, 25.8 Wh, 24.7 Bl, 9.5 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This takes in some of Harris County (including Hobby Airport) and the far northern part of Brazoria County (which is the least GOP part of the county). It should go democrat.
Racial Statistics: 45.6 Wh, 33.8 Hisp, 9.7 Bl, 9 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This takes in some exurban areas of southern Harris County and a part of NW Galveston county. Not sure whose district this is, but it should be safe Republican.
Racial Statistics: 63.5 Wh, 24.6 Hisp, 6.8 Bl, 3.3 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: This district and most of SE Harris, Brazoria and north Galveston are areas that I’ve assumed are full of what you call “suburban rednecks.” People from East Texas who want to live a semi-rural lifestyle, but want to live close enough to the big city for the amenities. I think of Steve Stockman, a resident of this district, as the personification of this area. This is Dennis Bonnen’s district and is Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 71.5 Wh, 19.5 Hisp, 6.2 Bl, 1.2 Oth, 1.1 Asn, 0.5 Nat
Notes: This is the first district I’ve listed so far that is quintessentially East Texas. Not sure whose district this is, but obviously safe R.
Racial Statistics: 41.9 Bl, 24.2 Hisp, 20.2 Wh, 11.7 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: Most people probably think of Fort Bend County as Tom DeLay country and a garden variety southern suburban/exurban area with ultraconservative politics. The county outside this district may fit this description, but this district fits in more with the part of Harris county it borders. This is Ron Reynolds’ district and is safe dem.
Racial Statistics: 77 Hisp, 15.4 Wh, 6.4 Bl, 0.5 Asn, 0.5 Oth, 0.2 Nat
Notes: This is the ship channel area. I’ve driven through this area to get on a cruise and this is sort of a rough-and-tumble area with a lot of chemical plants and air pollution. Sort of the Houston equivalent of the South Gate/Huntington Park area in LA. Not sure whose district this is, but it should elect a dem.
Racial Statistics: 50.8 Wh, 38.2 Hisp, 7.7 Bl, 1.9 Asn, 1.2 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: My general impression of this area is one that the whites from HD 32 moved to. I think this is John Davis’ district and is safe R.
Racial Statistics: 62.6 Wh, 21.8 Hisp, 8 Bl, 5.6 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: This seems to be a cross between HD 33 (white flight from the industrial parts of Harris county) and HD 29 (rural east Texas migrants). This was Larry Taylor’s district (whose name you might remember for making an anti-Semitic remark) but he’s since moved on to the state senate. Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 42.9 Wh, 31.7 Bl, 20.5 Hisp, 3.5 Asn, 1.1 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: This district is heavily working class with a decently sized union membership. Probably somewhat racially polarized too. This is Joe Deshotel’s district who is one of the more moderate black democrats in the legislature. He should be safe in this ancestrally dem district.
Racial Statistics: 60.3 Wh, 23.1 Bl, 13.1 Hisp, 1.9 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 0.3 Nat
Notes: This runs from the Bolivar Peninsula to Beaumont. Basically a whiter (and thus more republican) version of HD 35. This is Allen Ritter’s district. He was a democrat until 2010 when he switched parties. Despite his party switch, he’s continued to vote as a conservadem. He should be safe here and this is a district where the Empower Texan types don’t hold much sway (so he should be safe in the primary).
Racial Statistics: 83.8 Wh, 8.7 Bl, 5.1 Hisp, 1.2 Oth, 0.7 Asn, 0.4 Nat
Notes: This is a part of Texas that voted dem long after the Civil Rights Act and I think Mondale did pretty well in this area. But unlike the rest of Texas, there is no safety net and this district has shifted hard GOP. Not sure whose district this is. Safe R
Racial Statistics: 68.2 Wh, 15.4 Bl, 14 Hisp, 1.1 Oth, 0.7 Nat, 0.7 Asn
Notes: This used to be Jim McReynolds district who was one of the remaining WD 40s in Texas (white democrats over 40). Despite the proclivities of this district, he managed to lose to a black republican by the name of James White. Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 63.4 Wh, 19.4 Bl, 15.1 Hisp, 1.2 Oth, 0.6 Asn, 0.3 Nat
Notes: Another garden variety mostly rural East Texas district. Not sure whose district this is, but obviously Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 65.5 Wh, 16.7 Bl, 15.5 Hisp, 1.3 Oth, 0.7 Asn, 0.3 Nat
Notes: I’m not sure whose district this is. I think it might be Chuck Hopson’s who is a D-to-R turncoat. Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 70.5 Wh, 14.2 Bl, 12 Hisp, 1.5 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 0.4 Nat
Notes: This was Leo Berman’s district who was one of the more well-known Texas State Reps for proposing birther bills and trying to make Obamacare a felony. He lost renomination in 2012, but that may have had more to do with age (77) than ideology. Tyler has always been a right-wing oil town, which if you look at old congressional maps, was always placed outside of Wright Patman’s district. Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 59.5 Wh, 22.4 Bl, 15.8 Hisp, 1.3 Oth, 0.6 Asn, 0.4 Nat
Notes: This takes in the small East Texas cities of Marshall and Longview. Not sure whose district this is, but safe R.
Racial Statistics: 67.1 Wh, 18.9 Hisp, 12 Bl, 1.2 Oth, 0.5 Nat, 0.4 Asn
Notes: Takes in the (relatively) less republican north side of Tyler, along with some rural areas to the north. Safe R
Racial Statistics: 67.6 Wh, 20.2 Hisp, 7.5 Bl, 2.2 Asn, 1.9 Oth, 0.6 Nat
Notes: This takes in heavily GOP Cooke county and heavily GOP rural county, tempered by Denton, which is a college town. Not sure whose district this is but it should elect a republican.
Racial Statistics: 77.4 Wh, 12.3 Hisp, 6.2 Bl, 2 Oth, 1.2 Nat, 0.9 Asn
Notes: This district is similar to the old HD 62 (can’t remember who the incumbent is). It’s based in the Sherman/Denison area (birthplace of Eisenhower) but also takes in a part of far northern Collin County, which is just starting to be developed. Safe R.
Racial Statistics: 74.8 Wh, 12 Hisp, 9.7 Bl, 1.8 Oth, 0.9 Asn, 0.8 Nat
Notes: This is based in the rural East Texas and some small cities like Greenville or Paris. This was Sam Rayburn’s old stomping grounds but is since shifted hard to the republicans.
Racial Statistics: 76.7 Wh, 14 Hisp, 5.8 Bl, 1.5 Oth, 1.4 Asn, 0.6 Nat
Notes: This is based in Rockwall County and some other rural areas east on I-30. This is an open seat since Rockwall used to be part of HD 89. Safe R
Racial Statistics: 67 Wh, 18.7 Hisp, 12.1 Bl, 1.1 Oth, 0.6 Asn, 0.4 Nat
Notes: Going south on I-45, this is where the metroplex ends and where East Texas (or at least rural Texas) begins. Not sure whose district this is, but it’s Safe R.