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After a visit to Washington over spring break, I wanted to try my best to draw a COI map of the state, which I don't believe I've seen drawn before.  I believe my effort was fair.  My guidelines:

1) Respect counties, but don't make them the top priority, especially in the SeaTac metro area.
2) Try to keep blue-collar and white-collar areas separate where possible.
3) Don't split Tacoma
4) Don't double-cross the Cascades
5) Respect communities of interest where they are clear, regarding economic status and metropolitan area.

The state map is at the end, but here are the 10 districts.


1st: Susan DelBene (D)
PVI: D+7
Rating: Safe D
Communities: Northern Seattle suburbs, including Everett, Marysville, Lynnwood, Bothell, and North Creek.
How'd I do on COI?: Pretty well.  This district is all areas tied to Seattle and is pretty cleanly drawn.  However, it's a mix of blue-collar and white-collar, but that's unavoidable.


2nd: Rick Larsen (D)
PVI: Even
Rating: Tossup
Communities: Bellingham, Mt. Vernon, Anacortes, Oak Harbor, Arlington...basically everywhere north of the Seattle area and west of the Cascades, plus two counties east of them including the Wenatchee area.
How'd I do on COI?: Well, you have to cross the Cascades somewhere.  I chose this area because if you cross in the south the Yakima area gets split and if you cross in the middle, you combine Seattle suburbs with Eastern Washington and that's even worse.  However, I recognize that the roads here are not as good as other cross-Cascade connections.  Larsen would be in for a tough fight here every cycle, although my guess is the Republican electorate here is very conservative and that could lead to less electable candidates.


3rd: Jaime Herrera Beutler (R)
PVI: R+2
Rating: Lean R if Democrats ever actually recruit someone here.
Communities: Portland suburbs in Clark County, Longview, and small towns/rural areas.
How'd I do on COI?: Wonderfully.  Technically the Cascades are crossed again but only to pick up a few thousand people.  This district is almost identical to the current 3rd except for some precinct changes in Thurston County.


4th: OPEN (R), Doc Hastings (R) retiring
PVI: R+12
Rating: Safe R
Communities: Yakima, the Tri-Cities, Pullman, rural areas
How'd I do on COI?: I like this configuration better than any other way to do Eastern Washington.  It's the cleanest option and respects communities of interest.  This district is also only 69% White, the second most diverse in the state thanks to Hispanic agricultural workers.


5th: Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R)
PVI: R+8
Rating: Safe R
Communities: Spokane area, rural areas
How'd I do on COI?: I think it's a good district.


6th: Derek Kilmer (D)
PVI: D+4, Murray 51-49 in 2010
Rating: Lean/Likely D
Communities: Tacoma and most of its suburbs, although not the wealthiest ones
How'd I do on COI?: I don't like the extension into Kitsap County but it makes the rest of the map work better.  Otherwise it's much better than previous maps which have tacked Tacoma onto the Olympic Peninsula and split it from its suburbs.  In terms of competitiveness, the fact that Dino Rossi couldn't win it in 2010 makes me feel Kilmer should be safe unless there's another monstrous Republican wave.


7th: Jim McDermott (D)
PVI: D+28
Rating: Safer than Safe D.  It's probably be Safe Communist too if the alternative was a Republican.
Communities: Seattle except its poorest neighborhoods, Vashon and Bainbridge Islands, and a few suburbs north of the city.
How'd I do on COI?: Creating a blue-collar 9th meant splitting Seattle.  This is the wealthier three quarters of the city combined with middle to upper middle class suburbs.  That makes a D+28 district which is also 75% White, which is a Marin County level of White and liberal.  Other than the split of Seattle, I like the COI, but the split of Seattle is justifiable too.


8th: Dave Reichert (R)
PVI: D+4, Rossi 50-50 in 2010
Rating: Tossup.  D+4 is very tough for Republicans to hold but Reichert has won tough turf in the past and the district's ancestrally Republican.
Communities: Wealthier suburbs, including Redmond, Bellevue, Sammamish, Mercer Island, Maple Valley, Covington, Bonney Lake, and Puyallup.
How'd I do on COI?: I love this one.  Purely white-collar and not ugly.


9th: Adam Smith (D)
PVI: D+13.  Interestingly this 54% White district is quite a bit less Democratic than McDermott's.
Rating: Safe D.
Communities: South Seattle (the poor part) plus blue-collar communities between Seattle and Tacoma such as Federal Way, Renton, Des Moines, and Kent.  A few middle-class areas are tacked on to meet population.
How'd I do on COI?: I think it's great.  Not every town in here fits but that's due to population, not my map.


10th: Denny Heck (D)
PVI: D+4, Murray 53-47 in 2010
Rating: Likely D.  Murray's strong performance here means it's the safest of the 3 Dem-leaning seats by PVI.
Communities: Olympia, Bremerton, and the beautiful Olympic Peninsula.
How'd I do on COI?: The Olympic Peninsula should be added to Olympia, not Tacoma, and I did that here.  I think this district is damn near perfect considering you have to add it to something less rural than the peninsula itself.

To summarize, that means we have:
3 Safe Democratic
1 Likely Democratic
1 Lean/Likely Democratic
2 Tossups
1 Lean Republican
2 Safe Republican

In 2010, this may have been 6-4 GOP (but probably 5-5), while in 2008 it may have been 8-2 Democratic.  

Poll

How would you grade this map?

42%19 votes
37%17 votes
8%4 votes
8%4 votes
2%1 votes

| 45 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
    politicohen.com
    Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
    UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

    by jncca on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:43:45 PM PDT

  •  Geographically clean, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roadbear

    Why a Democratic vote sink (the 7th), and a second district close to being one (the 9th)?  

    Could make two other districts (6th and 2nd) reasonably safe for Democrats without anything close to a gerrymander.

    •  Seattle should be in at most 2 districts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KyleinWA

      The 2nd district is intentionally a non-Seattle suburbs district, while the 6th is intentionally a Pierce County district.  That's better communities of interest, even though it's a bit worse for us.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:36:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bronx59

      It is insane to ridiculously over-pack WA-07, especially given that there is no VRA reason to do so.

      •  To keep Seattle together? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KyleinWA

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:47:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nice and all, but without non-partisan districting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davybaby

          ...set into law in most of the country, it's an unnecessary two-seat giveaway to the Republicans.

          It is utterly certain that the Republicans  wouldn't reciprocate.

          •  But the point of this map was not to create (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen

            any partisan advantage for the Dems (nor the GOP), I believe. It was to make as fair a map, CoI-wise, as possible. So whether or not the Republicans would reciprocate is irrelevant to the purpose of the map.

  •  I gave it a C (0+ / 0-)

    The 8th looks alright, but why, why did you have to take Everett out of the second and add in Eastern Washington?  Now I'll have to ready my anus for John Koster!  At least that statement can't be interpreted in the wrong way, thanks to the fact that Koster doesn't have any equipment.  

  •  I gave the map a B (4+ / 0-)

    Most of it is quite good. I have only one objection, but it's a big one: Get Bainbridge Island out of the Seattle district and put it back with Kitsap where it belongs. That county split is completely unnecessary and make the map look much uglier.

    Seattle would just have to take a few more people, you could give the 9th Mercer Island, move the 8th a little bit more into Pierce, and push the 6th a little north.

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

    by ProudNewEnglander on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:40:18 PM PDT

    •  I feel Bainbridge belongs with Seattle (0+ / 0-)

      Firstly, it's wealthy, and everything in the 10th isn't.  Secondly, the ferries to Seattle are used by lots of people and thus it has strong cultural ties to the city.  I feel Bainbridge has more in common with the city of Seattle than it does with Bremerton or (especially) Olympia, Forks, Port Angeles, etc.  

      The median household income on Bainbridge is $91,000. That's not the type of place that belongs in a rural district.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:52:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I feel that keeping Bainbridge Island (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo

        with most of the rest of its county, plus avoiding creating a district that spans both sides of Puget Sound, trumps those considerations.

        I do feel quite strongly that no district should span both sides of Puget Sound. I really disliked Jay Inslee's old WA-01 for precisely that reason.

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

        by ProudNewEnglander on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 05:30:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  reasons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf

          Bainbridge cannot share a district with Seattle. County borders are important (hence Vashon's inclusion in WA-07), especially when it's relatively easy to make the populations of CDs come out OK without adding Bainbridge to the 7th. Mainly, though, lumping Bainbridge with Seattle simply isn't done. No formal rule, just a very strong, long-standing tradition.

          The previous iteration of WA-01 crossed the Sound for one, and only one, reason -- Jay Inslee lives on Bainbridge Island.

          Putting Bremerton and its environs into WA-06 is more than merely justifiable. The portion of Pierce County that's to the west of the Tacoma Narrows, including Derek Kilmer's hometown of Gig Harbor, identifies at least as much with the Kitsap side of Puget Sound as with Tacoma.

          Finally, sending WA-02 across the Cascades is a really bad idea. For half the year, it is literally impossible to travel between the two sides in the North Cascades. Here's what WSDOT says about the North Cascades Highway pass:

          North Cascade Highway is closed for the season from milepost 134 Diablo Gate to milepost 171 Silver Star Gate. The effort to reopen the North Cascades Highway will begin the last day of March. But despite the heavy late season snowfall, those responsible for the annual reopening effort are optimistic that State Route 20 could be open by early May.
          Other passes won't open until late May (and maybe even later than that).

          I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

          by N in Seattle on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 06:43:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Seems OK to me (0+ / 0-)

    but pretty much everything I know about Washington State politics comes from the David Spade / Chris Farley movie "Black Sheep"

    Which might make me a really prescient expert on the topic or perhaps a complete dumbass, I really don't know.

  •  Two things I would definitely change (0+ / 0-)

    One is that I don't see why the Seattle suburbs 8th needs to reach around the 9th and venture into Pierce County. The other is that district makes for an easier way to cross the Cascades given transportation links and allowing you to avoid combining eastern Washington with the San Juan Islands and the Sound. If you do that and don't have it go into Pierce it gets even more Democratic along with the 2nd, but would make your 6th or 9th more Republican. Obviously crossing the cascades with either district combines some very different CoIs, but that's unavoidable under any map and King County to Ellensburg is a lot more accessible

    •  I think King County to Ellensburg is a worse COI (0+ / 0-)

      Eastern Washington has to be combined with either the rural north or the wealthy Eastside.  At least the north is also rural and blue collar.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:49:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great work! (0+ / 0-)

    An arguably much better map than the current one.

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 05:59:51 PM PDT

  •  Here's my version FWIW (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, ProudNewEnglander

     photo WAFairMapoverview_zps2e7039d8.png
     photo WAFairMap3Seattle_zpsba5833bd.png

    I suppose you could put Tacoma in the 10th to keep that area whole and have the 9th take in eastern Pierce County, but that seems blatantly partisan to me. You could probably shift the northernmost counties of the 4th to the 5th but that has no partisan impact. Overall the map sees 7-3 as pretty likely with Reichert being screwed and Heck having just a Lean D seat in exchange. Larsen goes back to having a Dem leaning district like his old one.

    •  I'd give this an A. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stephen Wolf

      jncca's map got a B.

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:30:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is an excellent nonpartisan map. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stephen Wolf

      I was going to post mine, but this is better, so I won't.

      Out of curiosity, could you post the partisan numbers for each of those districts? Particularly the 10th, that district looks quite swingy, and just by eyeing it I wouldn't be surprised if Rossi got 55% there in 2010.

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

      by ProudNewEnglander on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:45:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I eventually am going to get King County precincts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ProudNewEnglander

        but based on the 2008 precincts applied to 2012 counties it's:
         photo WashingtonSummary_zpsfbb3255c.png

        So while the 10th is definitely marginal, it's still D+1. Rossi won by just under 5%, but given how well Denny Heck did in 2010 and how he demolished his opponent in 2012 I think he would have very likely won this district. I was playing around with it last night and if you give the 10th Tacoma and the 9th eastern Pierce County it makes both districts about D+5 to D+6 but again that seems like a flagrant gerrymander. Alternatively if you have the 8th take in Covington/Auburn etc in exchange for Renton it only becomes 1.5% more Republican, which is just as Dem as the district Reichert only won by 4% in 2010 of all years. I just don't see how he possibly wins without Pierce County which has no business being with Bellevue, Mercer Island, etc.

        I also redrew the 4th and 5th so that the split is horizontal instead of vertical, giving those southern four counties in the 5th to the fourth and the northernmost two and a half of the 4th to the 5th. Seems a little more compact and obviously the partisan and even racial differences are negligible.

    •  My major dislikes here (0+ / 0-)

      A) the 4th is unneccessarily ugly
      B) Everett is put with rural Northern Washington.  That's the most egregious part, I think.
      C) Pierce County is split three ways.  I also dislike that.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:34:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Considering Pierce County was drawn in 1852 (0+ / 0-)

        when practically no people lived there, I don't think splitting off Gig Harbor and that part of the sound is in any way undesirable to avoid straddling the sound. And putting Everett with the 2nd which isn't nearly as rural as you're portraying it makes a lot more sense than rural eastern Washington which is impassable in the winter anyway which is why that is probably illegal under the state constitution.

        And in the comment above I described how the 4th can be changed but I'll post the map here:
         photo WANon-PartisanMap2014-4-7AlternateEastStateView_zps60e66765.png

        •  why split central WA between three districts? (0+ / 0-)

          It doesn't need to be in one, but why three?
          Eastern Klickitat's life is very involved in Yakima. People who live there go to college in Ellensburg.

          "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

          by James Allen on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:19:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I like your 4th better (0+ / 0-)

          Gig Harbor is a suburb of Tacoma; even though it's across the Sound there's a big bridge that is used by a lot of people to commute.  The Sound isn't nearly as impassible as you're making it out to be.  And Everett is clearly more in the Seattle sphere; I tried to create 5 Seattle sphere districts and 5 non-Seattle sphere districts.  

          Pierce County is actually a pretty good COI, unlike many counties, despite it being drawn in 1853.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 04:37:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think you made (0+ / 0-)

    a fairly good non-partisan map with the exception of WA-2 and the roads to get to eastern WA. The way WA-8 is configured now really has to do with better access on I-90. In the first four maps that were presented by the four members of the redistricting commission, 3 had WA-8 going east for this reason.

    Good job on your hard work!

    Age 26, conservative Republican, beautiful WA Third district, WA LD-19

    by KyleinWA on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:45:38 PM PDT

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