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One of my interest is in the ideas of reforming the rotten boroughs system. Maybe this is the reason why there can often be a discrepancy between popular vote and seats won. So the idea is that each district would have 297-298 thousand people who voted (two party) in 2008 and would be harder to gerrymander. I'll start off with the northeast (although not RI since there's no partisan data). Another note is that the districts will cross state boundaries to achieve population equality and the state preceding the next one will always have a district entering the other (meaning there would be a district taking in some of MA and VT). Also, the number of districts restart after 55 so a district 65 would have the same color as District 10. Questions and concerns are welcome.

Maine
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District 1 (Blue)
Racial Statistics: 95.4 Wh, 1.4 Oth, 1 Hisp, 1 Nat, 0.7 Asn, 0.5 Bl
Incumbent: Chellie Pingree D-North Haven
PVI: D+1.6
Comments: This is the far northern part of Maine. Very rural and very white. Although it’s less dem than the other district entirely within Maine, it has more downballot ancestry/strength. And its not like its shifted republican either. It’s just been more politically stable. On paper, the republicans could win it. But the republicans don’t have the talent to win D+ seats anymore, especially in the age of the tea party. Pingree lives here, but she would probably move to Portland and run in CD 2. This was Michaud’s district, but he’s running for governor and a possible successor would be Emily Cain, who is already a veteran of the legislature at 33. I’d say this is a lean D seat.

District 2 (Green)
Racial Statistics: 92.9 Wh, 2.1 Bl, 1.7 Oth, 1.6 Hisp, 1.4 Asn, 0.3 Nat
Incumbent: None
PVI: D+8.2
Comments: This is the more urban part of Maine, taking in Portland, as well as Androscoggin County, which before the 1960s was the only dem part of the state. Although her residence is not in this district, this is mostly Pingree’s seat and she would likely run here. Likely/Safe D.

New Hampshire
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District 3 (Dark Magenta)
Racial Statistics: 94.2 Wh, 1.8 Hisp, 1.8 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 0.7 Bl, 0.1 Nat
Incumbent: None
PVI: D+2.5
Comments: This is an interstate Maine-New Hampshire seat. The New Hampshire portion is marginal while the Maine portion is a little more dem. As a result, you get a Dem PVI district. It should go to a democrat all things being equal. Since this would be an open seat, its possible that Porter would run here in search of a safer seat.

District 4 (Red)
Racial Statistics: 89.9 Wh, 4.2 Hisp, 2.6 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 1.5 Bl, 0.2 Nat
Incumbent: C.S. Porter D-Rochester
PVI: R+0.5
Comments: This is the only R+ district in New England and anchored in Hillsborough County. What’s odd is that New England has moved on a leftward trajectory in the past sixty or so years. But Hillsborough County is another animal. It actually almost went for Stevenson in 1952 when he was losing by 10-11 points. Compare to now when it has an RPVI. Porter is thought to be a weak incumbent and under this map, may run in the 3rd.

District 5 (Gold)
Racial Statistics: 95.1 Wh, 1.4 Oth, 1.3 Hisp, 1.2 Asn, 0.6 Bl, 0.4 Nat
Incumbent: A.M. Kuster D-Hopkinton
PVI: D+6
Comments: This takes in the northern part of New Hampshire which is the more liberal part of the state. Add that it takes in some of Vermont to reach the required number of voters, and you have yourself a D+6 seat. Kuster would be fairly safe in such a district.

Vermont
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District 6 (Teal)
Incumbent: Peter Welch D-Hartland
Racial Statistics: 93.2 Wh, 1.9 Hisp, 1.7 Oth, 1.5 Asn, 1.4 Bl, 0.3 Nat
PVI: D+17.2
Comments: This is most of Vermont (minus the NE part) as well as some of Western Massachusetts. Welch will turn 70 sometime this decade and may retire at some point. Either way, this is quite possibly the most left wing rural congressional district in the country and would be Safe D either way.  The stereotype of this area are expats from the Boston and New York area who wanted a more rural lifestyle. This song sort of epitomizes this district: http://www.youtube.com/...

Massachusetts
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District 7 (Dark Gray)
Incumbent: Richard Neal D-Springfield
Racial Statistics: 73.7 Wh, 15.9 Hisp, 6 Bl, 2.5 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+14.4
Comments: A good chunk of the district is in western Massachusetts which is similar to Vermont. The rest is in Springfield which is a garden variety; mid size, heavily white ethnic (and Puerto Rican) New England city. Neal, a former mayor, has a good shot of eventually becoming Ways and Means chairman and fits the district pretty well. Safe D.

District 8 (Slate Blue)
Incumbent: James McGovern D-Worcester
Racial Statistics: 80.1 Wh, 10.4 Hisp, 4.1 Bl, 3.3 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+4.7
Comments: This is the Blackstone Valley and contains the city of Worcester. It’s notably less liberal than the areas further west, though it still has a dem PVI. McGovern is probably too far left for this district but as long as the dems are in the minority and the republicans continue parroting tea party talking points, he should be fine. Could possibly be Rules ranking member/chairman when Slaughter retires (likely in 2014 or 2016).

District 9 (Cyan)
Incumbent: None
Racial Statistics: 84.5 Wh, 5.6 Asn, 4.8 Hisp, 3.1 Oth, 1.9 Bl, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+5.3
Comments: Some of this is exurban or even rural and others are the wealthy SW Boston suburbs. No incumbent lives here so in this hypothetical situation, the republicans would make a go for it. I think Scott Brown lives here FWIW.

District 10 (Deep Pink)
Incumbent: Niki Tsongas D-Lowell
Racial Statistics: 74.8 Wh, 10.9 Hisp, 9.5 Asn, 2.7 Bl. 2 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+5.3
Comments: District 10 is the more rural and small city area of Middlesex and in general, different from the part of the county closer to Boston. The only exception is some areas that used to be in the 2000s MA 7 like Lexington which is a wealthy outer suburb. Lowell of course is the anchor city. Some of the district was represented by republicans continually since 1975. The dems have had some close calls every now and then, but it has remained dem since. Tsongas may retire sometime this decade and its possible there could be a close race in an open seat (much like 2007) but I would bet on the dems even in that scenario.

District 11 (Chartreuse)
Incumbent: John Tierney D-Salem
Racial Statistics: 79.4 Wh, 13.3 Hisp, 2.8 Bl, 2.8 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+6.5
Comments: Most of the districts republicans made a play for in 2012 were districts that either A) were thieved from the dems via gerrymandering or B) districts they should have won decades ago. District 11 fits none of those descriptions. How could a northeastern, blue district dem who has never had much difficulty winning reelection (even in 2010) have a tough race? The answer of course is from Tierney’s personal life (which has been discussed in ways better than I ever can). In fact I was pretty certain he was going to lose in 2012. But there seems to be an unwritten rule of partisan gravity that allowed Tierney to win. It’s possible that Tierney, a middle ranking member on Ed & Labor, will retire or be primaried in 2014. If that were to happen, this district would become a lot safer for the dems.

District 12 (Cornflower Blue)
Incumbent: Mike Capuano D-Somerville
Racial Statistics: 72.4 Wh, 9.6 Asn, 8.1 Hisp, 6.4 Bl, 3.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+18.7
Comments: This is the Lower Middlesex district and the part of the county closer to Boston. Good mix of academia (takes in parts of Cambridge); wealthy suburbs (Belmont and Newton) and more working class areas (Malden). Its obviously not as dem as Boston itself, but is the second most dem district in the state. Capuano has thought about running for governor and in this hypothetical district, someone like Sciortino (from Medford) would be his successor.

District 13 (Dark Salmon)
Incumbent: Stephen Lynch D-Boston vs Joseph Kennedy III D-Brookline
Racial Statistics: 51.4 Wh, 18 Hisp, 17.5 Bl, 9.1 Asn, 3.8 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+24.9
Comments: District 13 is a Boston based district. I’ve been to Boston before but the only areas I’ve really seen are the South End, the North End (downtown) and the areas around Harvard and Northeastern. The other parts of Boston I’ve heard are more like an episode of Cheers. Stephen Lynch kind of represents the “Cheers” demographic more. Joseph Kennedy III also lives here (in the limo lib town of Brookline) but he would probably run in another district. This is the safest dem district in New England.

District 14 (Olive)
Incumbent: None
Racial Statistics: 76 Wh, 9.8 Bl, 6.2 Asn, 4.1 Oth, 3.8 Hisp, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+3.2
Comments: Mostly middle class to upper middle class suburbs and is marginal for Massachusetts. In an open seat, the republicans would definitely make a play for it.

District 15 (Dark OrangE)
Incumbent: None
Racial Statistics: 87.2 Wh, 3.8 Bl, 3.7 Hisp, 2.8 Asn, 2.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+2.7
Comments: Mostly a collection of working and middle class small cities and towns between Boston and Providence. Also contains Gillette Stadium where the Patriots play. A lot of this area was represented by speaker/minority leader Joseph Martin from 1925 to 1967. No incumbent lives here, but it takes in a lot of Kennedy’s district and he would probably run here. When’s the last time anyone with the last name Kennedy lost in Massachusetts?

Note: Rhode Island does not have partisan data so District 16, 17 and 18 do not have a full write up. District 16 would take in some of Newport and would be represented by Keating. Then there would be one district (the 17th) entirely within RI based in Providence (Cicilline) and another (the 18th) that takes in SW Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut (Langevin).

Connecticut
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District 19 (Yellow Green)
Incumbent: Elizabeth Esty D-Cheshire
Racial Statistics: 81.6 Wh, 8.7 Hisp, 4.4 Bl, 3.3 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+6.8
Comments: District 19 is some areas between Hartford and the LIS. The major cities are New London, Meriden and Middletown. Esty lives here but Courtney would probably run here. He should be pretty safe here

District 20 (Pink)
Incumbent: John Larson D-East Hartford vs Joe Courtney D-Vernon
Racial Statistics: 62.6 Wh, 15.4 Hisp, 15.3 Bl, 4.5 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+13.9
Comments: District 20 is the most dem part of Connecticut. A lot of the area within this district has been represented by a republican for only two years since 1948 (and continually by a dem since 1959). Not surprisingly this would be the most dem district in the state. Hartford from what I know is similar to its next door neighbor Springfield with the only difference being that Hartford is the state capitol. Courtney lives here but would likely run in the 19th. Larson, has had a good career (such as chairing the HDC) but he’s probably too old to become a committee chairman or speaker.

District 21 (Maroon)
Incumbent: None
Racial Statistics: 77.9 Wh, 12.7 Hisp, 5.2 Bl, 2.3 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+2.4
Comments: This is the northwest corner of Connecticut which is the least democratic of any of the districts and some of which votes like upstate New York. Mostly rural geographically but with New Britain and Waterbury taking in a good chunk of the population. No incumbent lives here but Esty would run here. She seems like a mainstream dem (like Steve Israel or Allyson Schwartz) which would be an advantage in a district like this. She should probably be a favorite to win reelection going forward unless 2014 turns out to be a bad midterm year.

District 22 (Sienna)
Incumbent: Rosa DeLauro D-New Haven
Racial Statistics: 64.2 Wh, 15.1 Hisp, 14.9 Bl, 3.8 Asn, 1.9 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+9
Comments: The New Haven area is the second most dem part of the state. Most of this area has been represented by democrats for all but two years since 1958. The only dem to lose the seat was a state senator in 1980 by the name of Joe Lieberman. DeLauro, the incumbent, has been in office since 1991 and has never had a tough election since initially winning.  Though she may retire sometime in the 2010s, any district based in New Haven is too far gone for republicans to make a play for it even in an open seat.

District 23 (Aquamarine)
Incumbent: Jim Himes D-Cos Cob
Racial Statistics: 65.2 Wh, 17.6 Hisp, 9.6 Bl, 5.2 Asn, 2.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+6.9
Comments: District 23 is the southwest part of Connecticut and more culturally an extension of the NYC area than New England (just look at Sox-Yankees maps). I’d guess that Fairfield County is similar to next door Westchester. It contains a lot of wealthy and very liberal Jewish areas, the heavily racially diverse community of Bridgeport, Danbury further north and the ultraconservative town of Darien, which has a racist reputation. It also takes in a few precincts in Westchester County to get to population equality. Himes is a generally inoffensive incumbent and has seen his percentages rise in his first two reelection campaigns. He could easily be in office for another two or three decades unless he decides to run statewide.

New York
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District 24 (Indigo)
Incumbent: Tim Bishop D-Southampton
Racial Statistics: 77.1 Wh, 13.1 Hisp, 4.7 Bl, 3.2 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.3 Nat
PVI: R+0.7
Comments: This is the far eastern part of Long Island and some of it is still like rural New England. A lot of celebrities have homes or second homes in the more secluded areas, especially on the ocean. The odd thing about Long Island is that always historically voted republican for president; it was unlike the Chicago suburbs in that it would sometimes elect democrats to congress. In fact this district has had a string of dem congressman including Otis Pike (1961-1979), George Hochbruener (1987-1995) and Tim Bishop since 2003. Bishop is probably the most liberal of those three mentioned and has had close elections more times than not. He should be the favorite to keep winning but never completely safe.

District 25 (PaleVioletRed)
Incumbent: Steve Israel D-Dix Hills
Racial Statistics: 67.3 Wh, 19.6 Hisp, 7.8 Bl, 3.7 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+1.1
Comments: District 25 is the more western and densely populated (and with more minorities) of the two districts entirely within Suffolk county. Despite the marginal nature, much of this area too has been represented by democrats for all but eight years since 1975. Israel has been a very strong incumbent and no republican has gotten within ten points of him. My stereotype of Nassau and Suffolk (and suburban NY in general) has been something along the lines of this:  http://www.youtube.com/...

District 26 (Gray)
Incumbent: Peter King R-Seaford
Racial Statistics: 73.6 Wh, 12.6 Hisp, 6.6 Asn, 5.6 Bl, 1.4 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+3.3
Comments: District 26 is based in eastern Nassau County and takes in some heavily conservative and catholic areas like Massapequa. King probably shares an identity to a lot of the boomer-aged people in his district – catholic, possibly from the outer boroughs, and fed with a diet of YAF and National Review. Especially after 9/11, a lot of this area turned against the democrats on grounds of national security. King of course is one of the leaders in the house on those types of issues. He’s more RMSP type on other issues however. King is almost 70 and may retire sometime this decade. Under the current lines, a dem would have a good choice to pick it up but in this hypothetical iteration, a republican would be favored.

District 27 (Spring Green)
Incumbent: Carolyn McCarthy D-Mineola
Racial Statistics: 57.7 Wh, 17.8 Hisp, 14.5 Bl, 8 Asn, 1.9 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+3.6
Comments: This is the most heavily minority part of Greater Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk) and not surprisingly the most democratic. There are some pockets of conservative strength here, especially around Garden City. Probably why its not more like D+10. McCarthy is about the same age as King and may retire this decade. The republicans would definitely make a play for it were she to retire but it should go to a dem all things being equal.

District 28 (Plum)
Incumbent: Greg Meeks D-Queens
Racial Statistics: 41.4 Bl, 20.3 Wh, 17.5 Hisp, 14.2 Asn, 6.1 Oth, 0.5 Nat
PVI: D+27.6
Comments: District 28 is based in the heavily black part of Queens known as Little Jamaica. It also takes in the SW part of Nassau county which has some concentrations of blacks as well. Of all the black areas in NYC, Little Jamaica has been majority black the shortest amount of time. If I recall, it didn’t have a significant black population for most of Joseph Addabbo’s (congressman from 1961-1986) time in office. The current congressman, Greg Meeks, has been in office for 15 years now. He has kept a low profile until recently when the house ethics committee has investigated him. Wouldn’t be surprised if he gets serious primary opposition in future elections.

District 29 (Dark Sea Green)
Incumbent: Hakeem Jeffries D-Brooklyn
Racial Statistics: 35.7 Bl, 33.5 Wh, 19.8 Hisp, 8 Asn, 2.7 Oth, 0.3 Nat
PVI: D+19
Comments: This is actually similar to the old Weiner district except that it is shifted more into Brooklyn and into the black areas in Brownsville. Jeffries seems like an up and comer in the house and was only one of two freshman named to the judiciary committee. He could be a future candidate for governor (or senator when Schumer retires). The reason why District 29 is not D+30 is because of some Hasidic areas in the SW part of the district, which are less rooted in the area. Looking at old election maps that area formed the base of the Multer/Podell/Solarz district and was mostly liberal and/or secular Jews.

District 30 (Light Coral)
Incumbent: Michael Grimm R-Staten Island
Racial Statistics: 56.2 Wh, 18.8 Hisp, 17.4 Asn, 5.9 Bl, 1.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+3.2
Comments: Basically Staten Island and SW Brooklyn. I’ve sort of thought of Staten Island as full of Archie Bunker types (although a lot of those types are now living in Florida or are dead). It also takes in SW Brooklyn. The only reason why is narrowly went for Obama in 2008 is that it takes in some heavily dem areas between Sunset Park and Greenwood. The rest of the Brooklyn part of the district is fairly conservative and judging by old election maps were conservative even before the Hasidics moved in (before that it was mostly Irish and Italian. ) The Hasidics I don’t think vote at that high of a rate since many of them are new arrivals. In fact this is the most populated congressional district in the NE (nearly 1.1 million residents). Grimm seems to have a tenuous hold on this seat and it could go to a dem in a midterm year under a republican president.

District 31 (Khaki)
Incumbent: Yvette Clarke D-Brooklyn
Racial Statistics: 48.5 Bl, 25.6 Wh, 18.2 Hisp, 5 Asn, 2.5 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+38.6
Comments: District 31 is Central Brooklyn and takes in much of Brooklyn’s black community including Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights. Safe D obviously, but Velazquez could run here and challenge Clarke in a primary.

District 32 (OrangeRed)
Incumbent: Jerrold Nadler D-Manhattan vs. Nydia Velazquez D-Brooklyn
Racial Statistics: 53.3 Wh, 21.7 Hisp, 15.2 Asn, 7.5 Bl, 2.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+31.7
Comments: Just about every stereotype about NYC urbanites is probably in this district (think of something like Annie Hall). It also takes in the hipster part of Brooklyn in the northern area, which is where the downtown is. Nadler and Velazquez I think are put in the same district. But Velazquez could just as easily run against Clarke.

District 33 (RoyalBlue)
Incumbent: Carolyn Maloney D-Manhattan
Racial Statistics: 44.4 Wh, 30.3 Hisp, 19.2 Asn, 3.8 Bl, 2.2 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+21.4
Comments: Most people think that this area is the descendent of the Silk Stocking district that elected John Lindsay, Ed Koch and Bill Green. But in truth this is closer to the old Geraldine Ferraro district with the UES added on to it. Back during the Lindsay area those two areas could not have been more opposed to each other (think the Archie bunker types vs. John Lindsay types).  I’ve heard a lot of people say that Maloney is a lightweight hack but she may also retire sometime this decade. Not sure who the local dems here are though.

District 34 (LimeGreen)
Incumbent: Joe Crowley D-Queens vs. Grace Meng D-Flushing
Racial Statistics: 34.7 Hisp, 29.5 Wh, 21.8 Asn, 11.9 Bl, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+17.3
This district looks similar to the old CD 8 of the 1980s that was represented by James Scheuer. It takes in some suburban turf in NW Nassau, northern and Central Queens and the East Bronx. The Nassau part is no different than any other part of Nassau and doesn’t need much explaining. The Queens part takes in much of the borough’s Asian community and a lot of the old Ackerman district (some of which is distributed into the 33rd and 28th). Then it takes in the part of Queens Crowley has represented which is mostly Hispanic and situated around LaGuardia airport. The Bronx part was historically the most republican part of the county and was full of conservative ethnic voters (especially Italians) who didn’t much like the politics of John Lindsay. But that area is now mostly minority too (though still with a nontrivial white percentage overall). What I know about Crowley is that he sort of has a reputation as a “Reagan dem” type of democrat (and is probably the most republican looking dem out there). But he’s really a party-line vote. I don’t know much about Meng. Under this hypothetical map, Crowley, with 14 years more seniority and a favorite of the leadership, would probably be the favorite against Meng.

District 35 (DarkOrchid)
Incumbent: Charles Rangel D-Manhattan vs Jose Serrano D-Bronx
Racial Statistics: 51.4 Hisp, 30.9 Bl, 12.5 Wh, 3.3 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+41.1
Comments: Ah yes, finally the opportunity to get rid of Rangel. Serrano can be a grandstander at times but it’d be better than Rangel who is past his prime. This district might go for the triple crown under this hypothetical map for A) most densely populated district B) most dem district (PVI wise) and C) poorest congressional district.

District 36 (Orange)
Incumbent: Eliot Engel D-Bronx
Racial Statistics: 44.4 Hisp, 29.2 Bl, 20.4 Wh, 3.8 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+30.8
Comments: This is more similar to the area Engel represented in the 90s. It takes in the heavily Dominican area of Inwood/Washington Heights, Edenwald (the largest black concentration in the Bronx) Fordham U, and Riverdale which is the only wealthy area of the Bronx and where Horace Mann is (one of the elite prep schools in NY). It also takes in the minority heavy areas of Westchester County (though it does take in some isolated heavily white areas around Pelham) including Yonkers (mostly Puerto Rican), Mount Vernon (black) and New Rochelle (little of everything). Engel is a middle ranking member on Energy & Commerce and beat out Brad Sherman for ranking member on Foreign Affairs, where he’s a hawk on National Security and Middle Eastern issues. He is, however, liberal on everything else.

District 37 (Dodger Blue
Incumbent: Nita Lowey D-Harrison
Racial Statistics: 66.1 Wh, 17.9 Hisp, 7.3 Bl, 6.9 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+6.8
Comments: District 37 takes in the heart of Westchester County including a lot of the stereotypes of it including the wealthy suburb of Scarsdale (which from what I’ve read was always liberal and came close to going for McGovern). Also includes White Plains, with its own airport, and Tarrytown, where sleepy hollow is set in. The district does not just take in Westchester County and goes across the Hudson to take in some of Rockland County. The Rockland portion of the district is varied with some heavily dem areas around Nyack and some heavily GOP areas around Pearl River. Lowey, whose husband is a law-firm tycoon, may retire sometime this decade. There’s been some rumors that Chelsea Clinton will run for this seat when that happens.

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District 38 (Medium Aquamarine)
Incumbent: SP Maloney D-Cold Spring
Racial Statistics: 70.6 Wh, 15.3 Hisp, 8.6 Bl, 3.6 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: R+2.1
Comments: This is where upstate New York really begins, though a better description for this area is “exurban”. A lot of various secluded resorts and places where people sick of NY either vacation in or live in. It also takes in the ultra-orthodox community of Kiryas Joel which I’ve heard is kind of a cult. Much of this area has been represented by republicans in the past like Hamilton Fish III or Ben Gilman. It still has a republican PVI. Under this map I’m not sure Maloney would have won in 2012. This would probably be a tossup district.

District 39 (Moccasin)
Incumbent: None
Racial Statistics: 74.1 Wh, 12.7 Hisp, 8.5 Bl, 2.3 Asn, 2.2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+3.2
Comments: District 39 is a collection of areas in the central Hudson River area, some of which were settled by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries (I think Martin Van Buren lived in this district). It’s anchored in small to mid sized cities of Middletown Poughkeepsie and Kingston. I think it partially includes the Woodstock Farm. Had he not retired, this would be Maurice Hinchey’s district. It should be a Lean D district.

District 40 (Firebrick)
Incumbent: Paul Tonko D-Amsterdam vs. Chris Gibson R-Kinderhook
Racial Statistics: 83.3 Wh, 7.1 Bl, 4.9 Hisp, 2.3 Asn, 2.2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+3.1
Comments: This takes in most of Albany, which is the most ancestrally dem part of upstate New York. It also takes in Schoharie and Greene counties which were dem until the 1920s, and the small (but dem) areas of Schenectady and Amsterdam. Gibson lives here, but this would be Tonko’s district. Tonko was a member of the state legislature for 24 years and is probably one of the most liberal congressman to come out of upstate NY. He should be fine under this map unless 2014 is another bad midterm year.

District 41 (LightSteelBlue)
Incumbent: None
Racial Statistics: 88.5 Wh, 3.8 Bl, 3.2 Hisp, 2.4 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: R+0.1
Comments: District 41 is the surrounding exurbs, countryside and small cities North and Northeast of Albany. The district takes in the Saratoga Springs area which from what I know is a cool place to visit. It seems that there is some kind of imaginary line where New England ends as this area is nowhere near as left wing as the part of Vermont and Massachusetts it borders. He doesn’t live here but this would be Gibson’s district. He has a somewhat moderate voting record and considerably less RW than his predecessors like Gerald Solomon or Carleton King. That should help him with winning reelection, but it could be picked up by a democrat when he retires in 2018.

District 42 (LawnGreen)
Incumbent: Richard Hanna R-Barneveld vs. Bill Owens D-Plattsburgh
Racial Statistics: 89.1 Wh, 3.8 Bl, 3.3 Hisp, 1.5 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.8 Nat
PVI: R+2.6
Comments: District 42 is the only low turnout district in upstate, clocking in at 770,000 residents. I think that may come from having a lot of tourists in the eastern parts of the district who may not live full time. I’ve heard people say that Canada is a liberal country. But the evidence is mixed based on the areas that border it. This district borders Canada and is slightly republican leaning. Anyways it is a mostly rural area with a well distributed population. Watertown I think is a garden variety upstate town. Malone, near the border, is where the book Farmer Boy is set. Plattsburgh, in the NE part of the district, is the most dem area and ancestrally democratic. It has a large catholic population and is similar to Burlington I think. Then In the far southern part is the Mohawk Valley area, which is the Rome-Utica area. I’ve driven through the area before and while there is nice scenery; I remember the area looking like a ghost town. It’s also the most republican part of the district. Hanna and Owens  both come from the base areas of the district but are much closer to the center than your average R or D. They could either face off, or Hanna could run in the vacant 44th district. Even without Hanna, Owens would always have a tough election every two years (except for in wave years).

District 43 (Magenta)
Incumbent: Dan Maffei D-DeWitt
Racial Statistics: 83.8 Wh, 7.7 Bl, 3.8 Hisp, 2.2 Oth, 2 Asn, 0.5 Nat
PVI: D+4
Comments: District is 43 is anchored in Syracuse and some of the areas further north on Lake Ontario. Maffei, the incumbent, did lose reelection in 2010 to Ann Marie Buerkle (whose politics were more South Carolina than New York) and narrowly defeated her in 2012. So its hard to say what the future would hold for Maffei. This district would be D+4, which would probably be a hair safer than his actual district.

District 44 (MediumVioletRed)
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 88.2 Wh, 3.6 Bl, 3 Asn, 2.8 Hisp, 2 Oth, 0.4 Nat
PVI: D+1.1
Comments: This area is a collection of some suburban areas south of Syracuse, the industrial city of Binghamton and the liberal college town of Ithaca, and some rural areas in between. No incumbent lives here, but Hanna is moderate enough to win it (and it contains some of his district).

District 45 (Turquoise)
Incumbent: Tom Reed R-Corning vs Louise Slaughter D-Fairport
Racial Statistics: 91.6 Wh, 2.5 Bl, 2.2 Hisp, 2.2 Asn, 1.3 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: R+7
Comments: This is the most republican part of New York known as the “burned over district” or “the southern tier”. Some of the area votes more similar to the T in Pennsylvania. It also includes the southern suburban areas of Rochester including Brighton (where I lived as a kid) and Fairport, the home of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. But Slaughter is not stupid and would not run in an R+7 district. This would then be Tom Reed’s district. He’s the most conservative member of the NY delegation, but is still somewhat to the left of the median house republican. He did have a close call in 2012 but this district would be more GOP than his current one. He should be ok in a district like this.

District 46 (Tomato)
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 71.8 Wh, 15.7 Bl, 7.8 Hisp, 2.2 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.4 Nat
PVI: D+4.1
Comments: This is more of Slaughter’s electoral base and although she lives in the 45th, she would run here. But she’s also old and may likely retire either in 2014 or 2016. This is anchored in the city of Rochester and that alone means the district has a moderate dem lean. In the past, republicans would split up the city of Rochester to help congressman Horton, knowing that with all of Rochester, he would be at risk. Not sure who could run here if Slaughter retires. Maggie Brooks might have a good shot in an open seat for Team R, however.

District 47 (Thistle)
Incumbent: Brian Higgins D-Buffalo vs. Chris Collins R-Clarence
Racial Statistics: 75.2 Wh, 14.5 Bl, 4.5 Hisp, 3.2 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.6 Nat
PVI: D+6.5
Comments: Looking at old election maps, this is kind of an amalgamation of the old LaFalce and Nowak districts. It takes in most of Niagara County, including Pendleton, hometown of domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh. Also takes in all of northern Erie County and the inner city core of Buffalo. Both Higgins and Collins lives here, but this is clearly Higgins district as it is based in the dem core of Buffalo, which is his home base. Collins would likely run in the 48th.

District 48 (SandyBrown)
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 86.3 Wh, 6.6 Bl, 4 Hisp, 1.3 Oth, 0.9 Asn, 0.9 Nat
PVI: R+0.3
Comments: This is the SW corner of NY. It takes in some Lipinski type dem areas in the Buffalo area while the rest of the district, including some parts of Erie County, is garden variety rural/small town SWNY. Overall, it’s a very marginal district. Under these maps, Collins best bet would be to run here. It’d probably be a tossup, especially if Hochul wanted to run again.

New Jersey
 photo nejersey_zpsfa558997.jpg

District 49 (Indian Red)
This is the trans NY-NJ district taking in some of the West Side of Manhattan and all of Hudson County. Hudson County is the most ancestrally dem part of New Jersey and is ethnically diverse. Sires, like his predecessor Bob Menendez, is of Cuban ancestry. He is a generic liberal democrat which is odd given that he was once a republican (he was the sacrificial lamb candidate against Frank Guarini in 1986).

District 50 (Powder Blue)
Incumbent: Bill Pascrell D-Paterson
Racial Statistics: 48.9 Wh, 26.6 Hisp, 14.1 Asn, 8.5 Bl, 1.7 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+7.8
Comments: This is most of Bergen County and some of Passaic County. Bergen County was a historically republican WASP county but it’s changed over the years beginning in the 60s and 70s when they elected democrats like Henry Helstoski and Gene “Andy” Maguire, both of whom were far left. Part of it is a change in the white vote but also an influx of Jews and Asians. It also moves north and west compared to the old maps and takes in Passaic County including some of the heavily Hispanic city of Paterson. Most of Pascrell’s old district is in the 51st and its possible he runs there. Or Pascrell retires (which is likely given his age) and clears the way for both Payne (and for a Rothman comeback).

District 51 (Saddle Brown)
Incumbent: Donald Payne Jr D-Newark
Racial Statistics: 35.9 Wh, 31 Bl, 26 Hisp, 4.6 Asn, 2.3 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+16.7
Comments: This is basically Pascrell’s old district with Newark tacked on and he could potentially run here. But as I wrote above, it’s very possible he would retire to clear the field for Payne.

District 52 (Olive Drab)
Incumbent: Rodney Frelinghuysen D-Morristown
Racial Statistics: 64.6 Wh, 13 Bl, 10.8 Hisp, 9.7 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+0.9
Comments: District 52 is most of Frelinghuysen’s old seat. The rest is some of the Union areas of Lance’s old district and the western “finger” of the old 10th, which has a decent sized black population. The district now has a slight dem PVI which would make the district less of a “slam dunk” for Frelinghuysen. Frelinghuysen, however, has a moderate voting record and has family ties to the area (his father represented Morris County in the us house for 22 years). Under this hypothetical district, the dems would certainly have a good chance to pick it up in an open seat.

District 53 (Gainsboro)
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 42.4 Wh, 26.3 Hisp, 15.2 Bl, 14.1 Asn, 1.9 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+10.4
Comments: District 53 is a joint Union-Middlesex district, in areas previously in the 10th, 13th, 7th, and 6th. It’s a racially diverse area and is ancestrally dem (or at least the Middlesex part is). This would possibly be an open seat. If Pallone is unhappy with his new district, he could possibly run here. Otherwise, this would be a consolation prize for State Senator Barbara Buono after she loses (who I think lives in this district).

 photo newjersey_zps349a2210.jpg

District 54 (PeachPuff)
Incumbent: Leonard Lance R-Clinton vs. Rush Holt D-Hopewell
Racial Statistics: 70.7 Wh, 11.3 Asn, 9.7 Hisp, 6.4 Bl, 1.8 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+2.5
Comments: This is the I-78 belt. A lot of acreages and farmland with some country estates in the background. The aforementioned areas vote republican while the district gets more dem the further south and east you go. (like some of the area on the Middlesex/Somerset border and the Princeton campus. Two incumbents live here. Holt did represent some of this area in his first two terms but most of this district is Lance’s. Although Holt’s base is in the Princeton campus area (where he was a professor), he wouldn’t sell elsewhere in the district as he is arguably the most liberal member of the NJ delegation and Lance is a strong incumbent with a moderate voting record. Holt would likely run in another district. Likely R.

District 55 (Rosy Brown)
Incumbent: Chris Smith R-Hamilton
Racial Statistics: 62.2 Wh, 13.3 Bl, 12.1 Hisp, 10.5 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+3.7
Comments: This is basically half of Smith’s old district and half of Holt’s. Trenton has been dem for decades and would be the dem base in this district. The rest of the district is marginal (republican inland Monmouth and Ocean cancelling out Middlesex). Smith has been lucky to have his district extended out to the shoreline. When he first got elected in 1980, he defeated a thirteen year incumbent in a dem leaning seat. He won not because it was a wave year but because the incumbent was an abscam casualty. He held on in the ensuing decade because his voting record was moderate on everything but abortion (which it still is to his credit). Holt I think would run here because it would be his best bet. The question is then if Smith would be willing to take him on or to run in a jersey shore district (which would be almost entirely new but is the reason for his current district’s PVI). I think Smith is a strong enough incumbent to have a shot at winning a district like this.

District 56
Incumbent: Frank Pallone D-Long Branch
Racial Statistics: 77.8 Wh, 10.2 Hisp, 6.5 Bl, 4 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+6.8
Comments: This is similar to the district Pallone represented for his first two terms. The question is whether or not Pallone would want to get reacquainted with some of his old constituents. He could run in the 53rd if he wanted a more sure-victory. It’s also possible that Smith runs here as he’s represented the Lakewood/Manasquan area before. Let’s hope that a nutter like Anna Little wouldn’t find her way to DC via this district.

District 57
Incumbent: John Runyan R-Mount Laurel
Racial Statistics: 77 Wh, 10.6 Bl, 6.3 Hisp, 3.9 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+0.4
Comments: In a marginal district like this, it is a battle of the bases if you will. Burlington County usually goes dem while Ocean County is pretty republican. Runyan seems to be one of the more moderate athletes-turned-republican pols (as opposed to someone like Steve Largent). He was one of six republicans to vote against the 20 week ban and would be a favorite to win except in wave years.

District 58
Incumbent: Frank LoBiondo R-Ventor
Racial Statistics: 67.6 Wh, 14.3 Hisp, 12.5 Bl, 3.6 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.3 Nat
PVI: R+0.1
Comments: This is far South Jersey. I remember reading somewhere that up until around 1900, this area was quasi-southern. A lot of the stereotypes of the Jersey shore exist in this district with the boardwalks, resorts (it actually doesn’t get terribly cold) and casinos. I’m not too familiar with the western portion of the district except that is includes the heavily Puerto Rican community of Vineland. Likely R with LoBiondo, Tossup in an Open Seat.

District 59
Incumbent: Rob Andrews D-Haddon Heights
Racial Statistics: 66.7 Wh, 15.8 Bl, 11.7 Hisp, 3.9 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+10.3
Comments: This is sort of a collection of small cities with suburbs in between. It’s right across the river from Philadelphia and part of the metro area. It’s also the only reliably dem district in south Jersey. Most notable in this district is the city of Camden which I’ve heard is the poorest city in terms of median income with a population over 50,000 people. That’s not to say that the black population is the reason why this district is solidly dem. Most of the heavily white areas in this district tend to go dem as well. Andrews, who is only 56, has a good chance of becoming ranking member/chairman on the Education committee as the guy ahead of him, George Miller, may retire this decade.

District 60
Incumbent: Scott Garrett R-Hopatcong
Racial Statistics: 85.4 Wh, 6.7 Hisp, 4.7 Asn, 1.8 Bl, 1.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+11.1
Comments: This is the northwest tier of the state. Parts of Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Warren and all of Sussex County. The Bergen, Passaic and Morris areas are all country club type areas while the area on the PA border is more redneck. It also crosses the Delaware to take in Pike County to reach the required number of voters. It’s an R+11 district and the most republican district (primarily) in New Jersey. Garrett is from the Ron Paul/Robert Welch wing of the GOP and I doubt is well liked by the NJ republican establishment. He’s probably gone in his current district under the next D wave but would be safe in this hypothetical district.

Pennsylvania
 photo pennsylvania_zpsf784145a.jpg

 photo philadelphia_zps9c5be9cf.jpg

District 61
Incumbent: Matt Cartwright D-Moosic
Racial Statistics: 91.7 Wh, 3.6 Hisp, 2.4 Bl, 1.1 Asn, 1.1 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+1.6
Comments: This is basically NEPA. A lot of this area used to be full of anthracite mines though much of the old industry has suffered a long decline. This area is heavily catholic and the home of Senator Bob Casey. That should give you an example of what the prevailing ideology is in this neck of the woods. It has not, unlike SWPA, suffered much of an erosion in the dem vote. Lackawanna County is the core of this district, which is heavily dem. Luzerne is more marginal while the rest of the district is an eastern extension of the “T”. The incumbent in this district, Cartwright is against fracking. That could pose problems in a district where it’s a few points less reflexively partisan and where the swing voters could find his stand on fracking a dealbreaker. Still, I would think Cartwright would be fine except for a bad midterm year.

District 62
Incumbent: Lou Barletta R-Hazleton
Racial Statistics: 81.3 Wh, 10.2 Hisp, 5.1 Bl, 1.9 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+0.4
Comments: This is the most R (or least dem) district in all of Eastern Pennsylvania. It’s a collection of small cities and towns between Allentown and Wilkes-Barre, with some farms in between. Barletta’s hometown might actually be the largest city in the district. In a district like this, I would guess Barletta would be ok until the next midterm under a republican president.

District 63
Incumbent: Jim Gerlach R-Chester Springs vs. Charles Dent R-Allentown
Racial Statistics: 80.8 Wh, 8.5 Hisp, 5.6 Bl, 3.5 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+1.1
Comments: This is a smattering of some Philadelphia exurbs, small cities (parts of Allentown and almost includes Reading) and some rural areas in between. Dent lives here too and might also run here. They both survived 2008 in a similar district which should make them safe, but in this iteration the dems would certainly challenge them. Without the blue dog cushion, these type of seats are the path back to a majority.

District 64
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 82.1 Wh, 7.4 Hisp, 5.1 Asn, 3.8 Bl, 1.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+1.4
Comments: Far northern Philly exurbs, and some small cities on the NJ border (Easton/Allentown). Fitzpatrick is likely to run here. I’d say a district like this would be Lean R with Fitzpatrick and when he retires in 2016, a very good chance for pickup.

District 65
Incumbent: Mike Fitzpatrick R-Levittown
Racial Statistics: 82 Wh, 6 Bl, 5.3 Asn, 4.9 Hisp, 1.7 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+3.3
Comments: Fitzpatrick could take one for the team and run in this district to make room for Dent in the 64th (who wouldn’t be a sure deal there either). It’s sort of breaching the line between what a republican can win, even in PA, with the advent of the tea party, which probably isn’t too popular in this neck of the woods. Tossup if Fitzpatrick runs, Lean D otherwise.

District 66
Incumbent: Bob Brady D-Philadelphia
Racial Statistics: 38.7 Wh, 32.6 Bl, 20.3 Hisp, 6.2 Asn, 2.1 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+24.7
Comments: This is a combination between the white middle class areas in NE Philadelphia, the bulk of the Hispanic areas in Philly (and the only part of the state with any sizable amounts of Hispanics), some racially mixed areas around Oxford Circle/Summerdale and parts of Montgomery County including the hometown of Congresswoman Alyson Schwartz (who’s retiring to run for governor). Everything I know about Brady is that he’s a garden variety machine hack.

District 67
Incumbent: Pat Meehan R-Drexel Hill
Racial Statistics: 52 Wh, 37.3 Bl, 4.5 Asn, 4 Hisp, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+24.5
Comments: This takes in the edge of the Philadelphia black ghetto, far southern Montgomery and NE Delaware. It also takes in the heavily white northern areas of Philadelphia. Meehan lives here but would not go on a suicide run here. This is more or less one of the two new seats PA has received under this system. Senator Daylin Leach either lives in the 67th or 69th, so he might run here.

District 68
Incumbent: Chaka Fattah D-Philadelphia
Racial Statistics: 48.7 Bl, 34.5 Wh, 8 Asn, 6.4 Hisp, 2.3 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+34
Comments: This takes in the bulk of the black ghetto in Philadelphia as well as the densely populated downtown and South Philly areas. It’s similar to the current CD 2 only shifted northward and eastward. Chaka Fattah (aka Arthur Davenport), is now in his tenth term and at only 56, could become Appropriations ranking member/chairman as early as 2020 given the age of those ahead of him.

District 69
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 80.2 Wh, 10.9 Bl, 4.3 Asn, 3 Hisp, 1.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+3
Comments: This is the district Meehan would run in. Pretty similar to his old district (most of DelCo and some of Chester). A district like that would entice Sestak would run. Lean D with Sestak, Tossup otherwise.

District 70
Incumbent: Joseph Pitts R-Kennett Square
Racial Statistics: 81.6 Wh, 9.3 Hisp, 5.7 Bl, 1.8 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+4.9
Comments: This is where you get into the conservative areas of Pennsylvania. It takes in the far outskirts of the Philadelphia area (where Pitts lives) that tempers the district somewhat, most of Lancaster county and some of York County. Lancaster County is one of the more ancestrally republican parts in the country. Lancaster itself votes D and has had an influx of Puerto Ricans, but outside of that, a lot of the county is 65%+ republican and is full of the notorious Pennsylvania Dutch (who are actually German). Pitts is a nutjob and is bad enough to lose in his current district but this iteration is just outside reach for dems and will probably be safer once this guy retires (which could very well be this cycle or next)

District 71
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 81.1 Wh, 12.7 Hisp, 3.3 Bl, 1.5 Asn, 1.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+6
Comments: This is a collection of small cities, outskirts of others, and everything in between. Reading is the biggest, followed by Lebanon. It also takes in some of the rural conservative areas of Lancaster County as well as the populated areas of Schuylkill County (known by some as Holdengrad). Speaking of Schuylkill County, it is divided into three districts making a Holden comeback unlikely.

District 72
No Incumbent
Racial Statistics: 81.6 Wh, 9.1 Bl, 5.3 Hisp, 2.1 Asn, 1.7 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+5.9
Comments: This is similar to the old Gekas district except shifted south. No idea who would run here. Maybe Marino would run here since he has no where else to.

District 73
Incumbent: GT Thompson R-Howard vs. Tom Marino R-Williamsport
Racial Statistics: 92.7 Wh, 2.6 Bl, 1.9 Hisp, 1.6 Asn, 1.1 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+9.1
Comments: I call this the “Big North”. Votes similar to the southern tier of NY. The only dem part of this district is the area around Penn State University. Thompson and Marino both live here but I can see Marino running in the 72nd. Should be safe R.

District 74
Incumbent: Scott Perry R-Carroll Township
Racial Statistics: 90.8 Wh, 3.8 Hisp, 2.7 Bl, 1.4 Oth, 1.2 Asn, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+15.3
Comments: This is sort of the area that is the heart of the Valleys wedged between the Appalachians. Some of the counties are ancestrally republican while others were dem before WWII. But since both areas now vote republican, you have an R+15 district that is the most republican district in the northeast. Safe R.

District 75
Incumbent: Bill Shuster R-Hollidaysburg
Racial Statistics: 95.2 Wh, 2.2 Bl, 1 Hisp, 1 Oth, 0.5 Asn, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+11.9
Comments: This is similar to the district Murtha represented before 2003. Some ancestrally republican areas and some ancestrally dem areas but more of the latter than the former. But again, like the 74th, both areas have united against whatever bogeyman they’ve conjured up. This is Shuster’s district and I would assume he would like running in a district such as this which fits his profile (extractive industry heavy, a lot of rural areas, and dependent on pork projects.

District 76
Incumbent: Mike Doyle D-Forest Hills
Racial Statistics: 75.4 Wh, 17.7 Bl, 3 Asn, 2.1 Oth, 1.7 Hisp, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+8.7
Comments: This reminds me of the old Joseph Gaydos district of the 1980s. The heavily dem east side of Pittsburgh and some of eastern suburbs along Hwy 22 which are almost as dem. The only reason it’s not more dem is because it takes in some of Westmoreland County.

District 77
Incumbent: Tim Murphy R-Upper St Clair
Racial Statistics: 93 Wh, 3.6 Bl, 1.3 Oth, 1.1 Hisp, 1 Asn, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+5.2
Comments: This is coal country and similar to the district that sent Foreign Affairs chairman Thomas Morgan from 1945-1977. The only difference is that due to population/voter loss, it has to extend north to take in some of southern Allegheny County. Murphy has a good profile for someone representing a demosaur, working class/coal heavy area – pro-life but also having a good relationship with labor. Should be Safe R for him.

District 78
Incumbent: Keith Rothfus R-Sewickley
Racial Statistics: 84.3 Wh, 10.4 Bl, 2 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 1.4 Hisp, 0.1 Nat
PVI: EVEN
Comments: This is an area starting out in downtown Pittsburgh and moving westward out to the WV/OH border. Rothfus is a nutjob and would be screwed in a district like this that’s EVEN and ancestrally dem.

District 79
Incumbent: Mike Kelly R-Butler
Racial Statistics: 94.5 Wh, 2.3 Bl, 1.1 Oth, 1 Hisp, 1 Asn, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+12.8
Comments: District 79 is an area taking in the northern and northeastern areas of the Pittsburgh metro, which was never as dem as the rest of the area and has become even more so in recent years. This is Mike Kelly’s district and he should have a lot easier time without Erie in the district. Safe R.

District 80
No Incumbent
90.8 White, 4.8 Black, 2 Hispanic. 1.5 Other, 0.7 Asian, 0.1 Native
PVI: D+0.9
Comments: Because this diary is discussing one region of the country it invariably has one district that crosses over into another region. This is that district, which includes the NW Corner of PA (85% of district) and some areas of NE OH. I would guess Dahlkemper would run in this district and would be the default favorite to win.

Originally posted to Resident Grouch on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Jeez, i hate being frist... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, dizzydean, timewarp

    Mr Reed, my republican congressional dude, has just been caught paying his property taxes on his house in Corning NY with $$ from his reelection $$$. Excuse was that the checks looked similar. He did repay from a personal account, and we are are a year away from another vote, so crickets will be all over this until they stop calling this Sept (crickets, I mean).

    Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

    by riverlover on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:21:48 PM PDT

  •  Please change "Philadelphia Black Ghetto" (0+ / 0-)

    to something else--urban, minority, whatever.  The phrase you use is out of place in an otherwise outstanding diary....

    Now, the real trick is to get the structure in place to end the gerrymandering....

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:43:18 PM PDT

    •  well ghetto means large concentration of a group (0+ / 0-)

      not of the majority. For instance, during the 1930s, there was an area of Krakow that had a large jewish population so it was called a "ghetto"

      follow me at: http://rumromerebellion.wordpress.com/

      by demographicarmageddon on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:27:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but in the US it has a connotation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BeloitDem

        and to be honest, the areas you are calling "black ghetto" are demographically more diverse.  It's inappropriate and not true.  Why not just use the standard terms we do in Philly:

        West Philadelphia
        Southeast "
        South "
        University City (where UPenn is)
        Center City
        North Philadelphia
        Northeast

        Much more simple and less inflammatory.  

        Also, Brady is not a "hack".  He's one of the best members of Congress for the labor unions.

        To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

        by dizzydean on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:50:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm always a sucker for political maps. (0+ / 0-)

    I do not favor cross-state districts, however, and I assume you  realize that would require amending the Constitution.  I do think it makes sense to count registered voters as opposed to people.

  •  clarification would be helpful (0+ / 0-)
    So the idea is that each district would have 297-298 thousand people who voted (two party) in 2008
    Not sure what this means. Currently each district has roughly the same number of people living within it which I believe is required by the constitution. Specifically it does not have the same number of citizens, eligible voters, registered voters, voters who voted etc. The size of each district is simply based on the number of people living within its bounds.

    I'm not sure I understand the change you are proposing. I note that part of your change is to allow district boundaries to cross state lines in order to keep them more balanced. In addition to this, are you proposing to base the size of the district on the number of people who actually voted in the last election? or perhaps you are proposing to somehow size the districts based on votes for each party as you use the phrase two party above? Maybe you mean the each district will be sized as currently but there will be some attempt to balance based on party?

    How does the above change make the districts harder to gerrymander?

    •  ok (0+ / 0-)

      my idea is to make it harder to gerrymander because it would be harder to manipulate numbers. If every district had the same amount of voters, it would be hard to move the PVI too much off-center. And I would count third parties but not all states have third party information (and the third party info didn't vary too much state-by-state). By that number of voters it would mean a district where 177,000 voted Obama and 120,000 McCain.

      Now the differences could change as the decade progresses as voters move into one district and out another, but its an interesting experiment as opposed to the current system to ensure that there would not be a perversion of the democratic process that exists now.

      As I wrote in another post this is all hypothetical, I know you have to change the constitution for this line of reform.

      follow me at: http://rumromerebellion.wordpress.com/

      by demographicarmageddon on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:35:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting maps, but there's the fact (0+ / 0-)

    that the Constitution specifies that representatives are apportioned to the states and cannot be split among more than one.  That is, the states serve as first-level electoral districts, out of which we carve the congressional districts, which are really second-level electoral districts.

    Every woman is the boss of what goes into her vagina, and what comes out. Not you, not me, not the GOP.

    by nominalize on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:24:14 PM PDT

  •  District 45 (0+ / 0-)

    Your district 45 actually includes parts of the Burned-Over District and parts of the Southern Tier, but the two do not really overlap.  The Southern Tier is only those parts of the state that border Pennsylvania, while the Burned-Over District is concentrated closer to Lake Ontario (and includes Rochester and parts west).

    (Wikipedia indicates that the western Southern Tier is part of the Burned-Over District, but provides no evidence.)

  •  Bob Brady (0+ / 0-)

    You are correct in saying that Brady is a garden variety machine hack. I used to live in his district.

  •  I'm against districts (0+ / 0-)

    I think we'd be better off discarding borders in favor of at-large elections for all offices except for a handful of inherently local ones, such as school boards, town councils, and so on.

    A candidate could chose to focus on a certain area, but could also focus on a certain non-geographic demographic group instead. Voters could decide whether they wanted to vote based on geographic or non-geographic issues.

    This would eliminate a great deal of what's wrong with our elections. To get rid of most of the rest, all that's necessary is to apply the same logic to state boundaries (i.e., dissolve them) and to the composition of our legislatures.

    •  really? (0+ / 0-)

      435 at large districts for the House of Representatives- with each district encompassing the entire United States?  How in the world would this solve any of our election problems?  Certainly money would be emphasized even more as the most important factor for not only winning votes but for being totally corrupted by donors.

      A more reasonable solution would be to double the number of House members from 435 to 870 by simply splitting each district in half.

      I am inclined to believe that one of the problems with congress is that each representative currently represents too many constituents.

  •  Alternative way to do this (0+ / 0-)

    As you would have to amend the US constitution, to achieve anything like this diary, it may be worth considering other ways the electoral system might be improved.

    The German electoral system combines half single member districts, with the other half of the seats allocated on the basis of a national vote to even out the non proportional result of the district elections. The share of the list seats each state equivalent gets depends on turnout.

    You may find this idea more palatable to Americans than the idea of cross state districts and it produces a more proportional overall result than any exclusively single member system could.

    I have extracted a discussion of the point from the Wikipedia article 'Electoral system of Germany, although it may not be very clear.

    At first, the number of successful independent direct candidates and the successful direct candidates whose party did not make it into the German Bundestag is taken from the total number of 598 mandates. In the parliamentary election of 2002, both direct candidates were members of the PDS party. Only in the parliamentary election of 1949 were there successful independent direct candidates.
    The remaining proportional mandates (596 seats in the election of 2002 and all of the 598 seats in 2005) are distributed among the parties which have obtained at least five per cent, or three direct mandates according to the results of all second votes, in the Sainte-Laguë/Schepers procedure (before the federal election in 2009 it was the Hare-Niemeyer procedure). Afterwards, the obtained proportional mandates of each party are distributed among the candidates’ lists of the Bundesländer, according to the number of their second votes in the respective Bundesländer, by following the same procedure.
    The outcome of this procedure shows how many proportional mandates each party has gained in each Bundesland. The candidates who have achieved a seat in the Bundestag can then be identified.
    At first, the victorious direct candidates of a party obtain their mandates in a Bundesland. Within the Bundesländer, in which the number of achieved direct mandates of one party is smaller than the number of achieved proportional mandates, the difference is settled by list mandates i.e. candidates of the Bundesländer list in order of appearance, whereas candidates who have already gained a direct mandate in their district (not matter which Bundesland) are simply left out.

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:25:45 PM PDT

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