California's redistricting commission was a grand experiment that, by and large, turned out to be successful. However, I think there were some errors in the map, and I wanted to redraw the state. Here were my goals, in order:
1) Respect the VRA's Sections 2 and 5, which I disapprove of but understand must be followed.
2) Keep metro areas together
3) Keep communities of interest together within metro areas
4) Keep cities together
I did not look at political competitiveness, although I think it's something we should strive for. And I ignored counties, which are not good approximations of communities of interest, although in California they are often drawn based along mountain ranges, which generally do separate communities of interest. So, with that said, here we go! I kept district numbers similar to the 2002-2012 district numbers, not the 2012-2022 numbers.
1st: Mike Thompson (D)
Positives: Rural Northern California, Napa Valley, Coast Range all kept together. Bay Area not in district.
Negatives: Redding/Red Bluff don't belong
There is no good way to achieve population equity and draw this part of the state. Either the coast goes with wealthy, suburban Marin County (like the commission drew) or it goes with non-wealthy but inland and conservative Redding and Red Bluff. I chose the latter based on criteria #1 (keeping the Bay Area districts separate from the rest of the state), but neither works at all well.
Differences from 2012 Map: Major. This district is split between Thompson, Huffman, and LaMalfa.
Cities: Redding, Napa, Eureka
PVI (2008): D+3
Rating: Lean D. Thompson would have a Republican challenger and would likely win by between six and twelve points. He has represented much of this area before, although not the inland parts, and while not really a moderate, he is in the Blue Dog coalition and has a C+ from the NRA rather than the F most California Democrats get.
4th: Tom McClintock (R)
Positives: Non-Resort Sierra kept together, Outer Sacramento Suburbs united.
Negatives: Yuba County doesn’t fit, nor does Tehama; mix of suburban and rural.
Differences from 2012 Map: Vast. Only keeps Sacramento Suburbs, but goes north instead of south.
Cities: Susanville, Grass Valley, Roseville, Rocklin, El Dorado Hills, Auburn, Placerville
Rating: Safe R. McClintock can remain one of the most conservative members of the House here.
10th: John Garamendi (D) vs. Doug LaMalfa (R)
Positives: COI. All Central Valley.
Negatives: Excludes some of Yuba County as well as Fairfield in Solano County, both of which belong here.
Differences from 2012: Gains Butte County. Loses some of Yuba and its portion of Lake, as well as Fairfield.
Cities: Chico, Paradise, Yuba City, Oroville, Woodland, Davis, Vacaville
Rating: Pure Tossup. Both LaMalfa and Garamendi underperformed the top of the ticket in their districts. If one estimates based off the presidential numbers, Garamendi wins in 2012, but LaMalfa didn’t face a tough race and Garamendi’s was at least on the radar. Also interesting both have Italian last names. Also of note: Obama underperformed an average Democrat here.
6th: Jared Huffman (D)
Positives: Near-perfect “North Bay” COI.
Differences from 2012: Large (see CD-1).
Cities: Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, Mill Valley, Windsor
Rating: Safe D.
7th: George Miller (D)
Negatives: Kind of a Bay Area “leftovers” district, as Fairfield doesn’t belong, nor does Rio Vista.
Differences from 2012: Very different. Only keeps Pittsburg-Bay Point, Concord, and Pleasant Hill.
Cities: Concord, Fairfield, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Suisun City, Martinez, Benicia
Rating: Safe D. This district is on the cusp of being majority-minority.
8th: Nancy Pelosi (D)
There’s really only one way to draw this district
City: San Francisco
Rating: Safe D.
9th: Barbara Lee (D)
Positives: Community of interest of low-income areas along the Bay.
Negatives: Oakland is split.
Differences from 2012: Loses rest of Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, and moves north.
Cities: Oakland, Vallejo, Berkeley, Richmond, American Canyon
Rating: Safe D. Majority-minority. A prime example of why counties should be ignored. This is a great district in terms of community of interest but doesn’t look great and spans four counties. I’d consider American Canyon Bay Area so I put it here instead of with Thompson. Splitting Oakland was the only way to make this district work, and since I prefer COI to city integrity I split it. Asians are the second-largest group here behind Whites.
12th: Jackie Speier (D)
Positives: COI, compact.
Negatives: Woodside fits better with Eshoo’s district.
Differences from 2012: Adds Woodside, loses portion of Menlo Park.
Cities: Daly City, San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City, other San Francisco Suburbs.
Rating: Safe D. Majority-minority; Asians second (includes many Filipinos)
13th: Pete Stark (D)
Positives: Clear COI (880 corridor of Alameda County)
Negatives: Fremont, Oakland are split.
Differences from 2012: Loses Castro Valley, San Ramon, Eastern Alameda County. Gains Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro.
Cities: Oakland, Hayward, Alameda, San Leandro, Newark, Fremont, Union City
Rating: Safe D. Unfortunately, Eric Swalwell would never have run. That means Pete Stark would still be in office and likely retiring to make way for Ellen Corbett or Ro Khanna. This seat is only 24% White, with Hispanics and Asians both outnumbering Whites. It is 15% of four different races, making it one of the most diverse districts in the nation.
14th: Anna Eshoo (D)
Positives: Silicon Valley COI, mostly wealthy.
Negatives: Mountain View and East Palo Alto are less wealthy but still placed here.
Differences from 2012: Loses rural Santa Cruz, Woodside. Gains some San Jose.
Cities: San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Menlo Park, Los Gatos, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Altos
Rating: Safe D.
15th: Mike Honda (D)
Positives: Another Silicon Valley COI. Heavily Asian (although not majority, 47%)
Negatives: Ugly. Fremont split.
Differences from 2012: Loses Newark, some Fremont, Cupertino. Gains some San Jose.
Cities: San Jose, Fremont, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Milpitas
Rating: Safe D.
16th: Zoe Lofgren (D)
Negatives: Everywhere besides San Jose doesn’t really fit.
Differences from 2012: Loses some San Jose and adds areas outside Santa Clara County.
Cities: San Jose, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Corralitos
Rating: Safe D. Only 32% White; plurality Hispanic.
17th: Sam Farr (D)
Positives: Not ugly.
Negatives: Mix of wealthy White and poor Hispanic areas (but been this way for decades).
Differences from 2012: Adds some Santa Cruz County and loses other parts.
Cities: Salinas, Santa Cruz, Hollister, Monterey, Watsonville.
Rating: Safe D. Majority-minority.
Central Valley North:
11th: Jerry McNerney (D)
Positives: Pretty compact, more or less all-Bay Area. Mostly high-income areas.
Negatives: Tracy is only half Bay Area and Lathrop is Central Valley. Castro Valley isn’t high-income but had to go here for population purposes.
Differences from 2012: This is really a new district from anything done by the commission.
Cities: Walnut Creek, Livermore, Tracy, Dublin, Plesanton, Danville, San Ramon, LaMOrinda, Castro Valley, El Cerrito.
Rating: Safe D. Jerry Brown got 56% so I don’t think any Republican could win it even in a wave.
5th: Doris Matsui (D)
Positives: Sacramento and inner suburbs COI. West Sacramento with Sacramento rather than Yolo.
Negatives: Elk Grove split.
Differences from 2012: Adds Florin, some of Elk Grove. Loses Antelope, North Highlands, Foothill Farms
Cities: Sacramento, West Sacramento, Florin, Elk Grove, Parkway
Rating: Safe D. Majority-minority (over 12% for all four)
3rd: Ami Bera (D)
Positives: Sacramento Suburbs COI.
Negatives: Elk Grove split.
Differences from 2012: See 5th district.
PVI: R+2 (remember, 2008 numbers)
Cities: Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Carmichael, Elk Grove, Foothill Farms, North Highlands, Antelope, Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, Arden-Arcade.
Rating: Tilt D. Ami Bera would have won this, but more narrowly than he did in actuality. It’s a point or so redder. He’d be a favorite for re-election but it could certainly go Republican.
2nd: Ricky Gill (R) or ? (D)
Positives: Stockton area kept together, not combined with Bay Area.
Negatives: Some of Sierra Foothills put here.
Differences from 2012: Loses some Lathrop, Eastern Contra Costa. Adds some Amador and Calaveras, plus Manteca and some small towns.
PVI: R+2 (EVEN estimated for 2012)
Cities: Stockton, Manteca, Lodi, Galt, Oakdale
Rating: Tossup. Ricky Gill did well, but it may have been that McNerney, as a Bay Area resident, was weak in this Valley district. There’s really no way to know who’d have won this. Majority-minority, so Gill would be working against the demographics in this 33% Hispanic VAP district.
18th: Jeff Denham (R) or Jose Hernandez (D)
Positives: Incredibly nice looking and good COI.
Negatives: None. Remind me why this wasn’t drawn again?
Differences from 2012: Adds Merced County, loses Tracy, Manteca, Ripon, and small towns.
PVI: EVEN (D+1 estimated for 2012)
Cities: Modesto, Merced, Turlock, Atwater, Los Banos, Patterson
Rating: Tilt R. Democrats were boosted 2%, which leads to a 1.5% Denham victory here. The district would definitely be ripe for the picking in 2014 or 2016 though. It’s only 46% White.
Southern Valley and Central Coast:
21st: Devin Nunes (R)
Positives: Ski resort/mountain vacation areas kept together.
Negatives: Ski resort/mountain vacation areas had to be combined with Central Valley.
Differences from 2012: Adds mountains, loses Clovis, Reedley, Orange Cove, Lindsay.
Cities: Visalia, Madera, Tulare, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee
Rating: Safe R. This one should hold the whole decade, but might be competitive close to 2020.
23rd: Lois Capps (D)
Positives: COI is perfect.
Differences from 2012: Very minimal.
Cities: Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Lompoc, Isla Vista/Goleta
Rating: Likely D. Jerry Brown narrowly won it. Lean D when open.
19th: Jim Costa (D) vs ? (R)
Positives: Fresno area kept whole.
Negatives: Weird arm (although small in population).
Differences from 2012: Loses Merced County, most of Madera. Adds Clovis, rest of Fresno, arm. Majority new district.
PVI: R+2, leftward shift.
Cities: Fresno, Clovis
Rating: Tossup. Costa is pretty moderate and has sometimes overperformed, but sometimes he’s underperformed and is a lazy campaigner. We also don’t know if a stronger Republican would have run. Given all that and the district’s PVI, it’s a tossup. Majority-minority and almost plurality Hispanic.
20th: David Valadao (R)
Positives: VRA district without entering Fresno.
Negatives: VRA district means it’s ugly. Splits Bakersfield.
Differences from 2012: Loses SW Tulare. Gains a bit more of Bakersfield.
PVI: D+1, heavy leftward shift.
Cities: Bakersfield, Delano, Hanford, Corcoran, Arvin, Lamont, Shafter, Wasco, Selma, Reedley, Lemoore
Rating: Safe R in 2012 due to Dem recruitment failure, but Tilt D in 2014, Lean D in 2016 and beyond. The district is 66% Hispanic VAP so it should continue to move leftward as young Hispanics replace older Whites in the voting pool. Valadao’s days are numbered.
22nd: Kevin McCarthy (R)
Positives: Good community of interest. Goes to San Bernardino County rather than splitting Lancaster.
Negatives: Ugly due to VRA.
Differences from 2012: Loses Eastern Tulare, gaining SW Tulare. Loses portion of Lancaster and expands to Barstow.
Cities: Bakersfield, Oildale, Porterville, Taft, Barstow, Ridgecrest
Rating: Safe R for the entire decade, but it is only 54% White.
24th: Julia Brownley (D)
Positives: Nearly all within Ventura County.
Negatives: Couldn’t take in Simi Valley.
Differences from 2012: Minimal.
Cities: Ventura, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Port Hueneme, Moorpark, Santa Paula
Rating: Lean D. I don’t think this district is going to get redder, so Brownley should be good here.
25th: Buck McKeon (R) vs. Brad Sherman (D) vs. Howard Berman (D)
Positives: Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, and the NW Valley are a pretty good COI.
Negatives: A couple large but very low populated precincts make this district uglier than necessary.
Differences from 2012: Major. McKeon’s district is basically split in two, with Santa Clarita and Simi Valley going here.
PVI: EVEN (possibly R+1 in 2012)
Cities: Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley
Rating: Tossup. This would be incredibly fun to watch if all three had run. Three incumbents in one race has probably never happened before, and they’re all longtime incumbents, with Sherman and McKeon having the territory advantages but Berman and McKeon having seniority.
26th: Bob Dutton (R) vs. Pete Aguilar (D)
Positives/Negatives: District has to be drawn similar to this due to VRA district.
Differences from 2012: Adds Claremont, Montclair, mountains. Loses Rialto, some San Bernardino, Colton, Grand Terrace.
Cities: Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, San Bernardino, Redlands, Claremont, Montclair, Highland.
Rating: Tossup. With no Gary Miller here, Aguilar makes Top Two, and Obama definitely won this district. But we already know Aguilar was weak; would he have underperformed Obama by enough to lose? In this 44% White district, however, Dutton’s term would be pretty short even if he won. Jerry Brown got 49% here.
27th: George Runner (R)
Positives: Antelope Valley kept together.
Negatives: About 15,000 people should be here but wouldn’t fit. But near-perfect district IMO. The commission definitely should have drawn this.
Differences from 2012: Major. This is half McKeon half Cook.
PVI: R+4 (R+2 in 2012)
Cities: Lancaster, Palmdale, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Adelanto, Victorville
Rating: Lean R. George Runner was the state senator for much of this area and is very popular, so despite this district’s demographics (41% White) and trend (big leftward shift in 2012), he’d have won. However, there’s a chance a fluke could have occurred, like how Steve Fox won the Assembly seat containing much of this area. This area is diversifying and trending leftward quickly, which bodes poorly for Runner in the future.
28th: Tony Cardenas (D)
Positives: VRA district, compact, COI.
Differences from 2012: Minor.
Cities: Los Angeles, San Fernando
Rating: Safe D.
29th: Adam Schiff (D)
Positives: Strong community of interest.
Negatives: A 400 person large precinct makes the district ugly when it should look nice.
Differences from 2012: Gains Altadena, Beverly Hills. Trades portions of Los Angeles.
Cities: Los Angeles, Glendale, Burbank, La Canada Flintridge, Altadena, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, La Crescenta
Rating: Safe D.
30th: Henry Waxman (D)
Positives: Nice-looking, almost entirely wealthy areas in West LA County.
Differences from 2012: Large. Loses arm along coast, Beverly Hills. Gains some of the Valley.
Cities: Los Angeles, Calabasas, Malibu, Agoura Hills.
Rating: Safe D.
31st: Xavier Becerra (D)
Positives: Compact, all LA
Differences from 2012: Different parts of LA
Cities: Los Angeles.
Rating: Safe D.
32nd: Judy Chu (D)
Positives: Keeps Asian areas together, Los Angeles only split city.
Negatives: Arm into LA semi-ugly, but necessary to keep Asian population high.
Differences from 2012: Loses Claremont, Glendora, some of Upland. Gains some of Los Angeles.
Cities: Los Angeles, Pasadena, Alhambra, Arcadia, Temple City, San Marino, San Gabriel, Rosemead
Rating: Safe D. The district is 42% Asian, a sizeable plurality.
33rd: Karen Bass (D)
Positives: Keeps heavily Black areas together without making it ugly.
Differences from 2012: Loses some of West LA, expands into Inglewood, Westmont, Watts.
Cities: Los Angeles, Inglewood, Culver City, View Park, Westmont, Lennox
Rating: Safe D. Despite trying to make this as Black as I could within reason, it’s only 40%. Shows how Hispanic most of California’s inner-city areas have become.
34th: Lucille Roybal-Allard (D)
Positives: Hispanic areas of East LA.
Differences from 2012: Adds some of South Gate, Los Angeles, Montebello. Loses some of Los Angeles, Downey, Paramount.
Cities: Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Montebello, Huntington Park, Bell Gardens
Rating: Safe D. The most Hispanic district in the country? It’s here or South Texas. 90%.
35th: Maxine Waters (D)
Positives: Compact COI.
Differences from 2012: Loses Inglewood, Westmont, Torrance, some Los Angeles. Gains Compton, Lynwood, Paramount, Carson.
Cities: Compton, Carson, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Lynwood, East Compton, Los Angeles
Rating: Safe D, but interesting primary. The district is 21% Black and 56% Hispanic, so Waters could definitely be defeated by a Hispanic politician without ethics issues. Alternatively, she could run against Bass in the 33rd. Bass is clean but the “old guard” of often corrupt Black politicians seem to do much better than they should among Black voters.
36th: Janice Hahn (D)
Positives: COI of wealthy coastal areas.
Negatives: Narrow, so somewhat ugly.
Differences from 2012: Major. This takes a lot of Waxman’s district which was given to him from Hahn in redistricting and gives it back to her. Santa Monica, El Segundo, the Beach Cities, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula are all added, plus Torrance which went to Waters and some of Los Angeles. On the other hand, it loses EVERYTHING from her 2012 district, which was mostly new to her in the first place.
Cities: Santa Monica, Torrance, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Palos Verdes Peninsula
Rating: Safe D.
37th: Laura Richardson (D) vs. Alan Lowenthal (D)
Positives: Long Beach area kept together.
Negatives: Laura Richardson might still be in office.
Differences from 2012: Major. This combines the west of Lowenthal’s new district with the south of Richardson’s.
Cities: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Hawaiian Gardens
Rating: Safe D. The district is only 11% Black, so Richardson doesn’t have much of a base here. But since it’s the only nearby district with no incumbent, it’s where she would run, and probably lose to State Senator Lowenthal.
38th: Grace Napolitano (D)
Positives: Compact VRA district in San Gabriel Valley.
Negatives: Sierra Madre awkwardly tacked on; splits of Pico Rivera and Whittier.
Differences from 2012: Adds Monrovia, Sierra Madre, South El Monte, some Pico Rivera/Whittier. Loses San Dimas, La Verne.
Cities: El Monte, West Covina, Covina, Azusa, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Monrovia.
Rating: Safe D. Asians actually outnumber Whites here.
39th: Linda Sanchez (D)
Negatives: A few city splits; has to enter Orange County.
Differences from 2012: Loses Montebello, Whittier, South El Monte, Lakewood, La Palma, Hawaiian Gardens Adds Bellflower, Buena Park, Fullerton.
Cities: Norwalk, Downey, Bellflower, Fullerton, Pico Rivera, Cerritos, Artesia, La Mirada, Buena Park, Santa Fe Springs.
40th: Ed Royce (R)
Positives: All Orange County wealthy areas.
Negatives: Irvine doesn’t quite belong (but not a terrible fit either).
Differences from 2012: Mostly new. Only keeps Brea, Placentia, Yorba Linda, and some of Anaheim and Fullerton.
Cities: Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Brea, Anaheim, Placentia, North Tustin
Rating: Safe R. At 52% White, it will probably trend left with time but I think Royce will probably hold out, especially with the lack of Dem bench here. Sharon Quirk-Silva vs. Ed Royce in 2020 or so could be interesting, though.
41st: ? (R) vs. ? (D). The only legislator who lives here is St. Sen. Bill Emmerson, who is nearly 70.
Positives: Eastern Inland Empire seat. Compact and similar communities.
Negatives: Splits Redlands.
Differences from 2012: It’s a whole new seat. Technically it’s the replacement to Jerry Lewis’s old seat (which became Paul Cook’s).
PVI: R+3 (in 2008. The district is majority-minority so it’s closer to R+1 now).
Cities: Moreno Valley, Yucaipa, San Jacinto, Perris, Banning, Beaumont, Hemet
Rating: Tossup. There isn’t a strong bench on either side here, and Obama probably won this.
42nd: Gary Miller (R) vs. St Rep. Norma Torres (D)
Positives/Negatives: While it’s a “leftovers” district, is isn’t horribly ugly or horrible COI.
Differences from 2012: Lots. Very new district.
PVI: EVEN in 2008.
Cities: Chino, Chino Hills, Walnut, Pomona, San Dimas, Glendora, La Verne, Diamond Bar, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights
Rating: Tilt Dem. Miller’s an ethically challenged conservative in an Obama district. I’m assuming Torres runs, as she’s the only person who represents a substantial portion of the district in the Assembly and is a Democrat. The district would also be half new to Miller, which doesn’t help him.
43rd: Joe Baca (D) vs. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D)
Positives: VRA district in San Bernardino County.
Differences from 2012: Loses Pomona, Chino, Montclair. Gains San Bernardino, Colton.
Cities: San Bernardino, Ontario, Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Bloomington, Grand Terrace.
Rating: Safe Dem. However, Baca vs. McLeod would be interesting. If the main difference was geographical, Baca probably wins. However, if the main difference was ideological, McLeod probably still wins this. The district being almost identical to Baca’s old one can’t hurt him, though. I’ll call it a Tossup for the Top Two, assuming both make it. It’s also possible McLeod runs against Torres for the right to face Miller in the 42nd district but I’d consider that less likely.
44th: Ken Calvert (R) vs. Mark Takano (D)
Positives: Compact, Riverside and inner suburbs.
Negatives: None. This is the epitome of a perfect district.
Differences from 2012: New district, splitting both Takano and Calvert’s districts in two.
Cities: Riverside, Corona, Norco, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Rubidoux, Highgrove, Mira Loma, Woodcrest
Rating: Tossup. Like LaMalfa/Garamendi, this race features a Republican who didn’t have to campaign against a Democrat who did. Therefore, we can’t extrapolate their numbers.
45th: Mary Bono Mack (R) vs. Raul Ruiz (D)
Negatives: No room for Barstow.
Differences from 2012: Loses Hemet, Beaumont, San Jacinto. Gains Imperial County, rural San Bernardino County, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms.
Cities: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella, Indio, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, El Centro, Brawley
Rating: Lean D. Jerry Brown won this, it’s majority-minority, and it already has a D+ PVI. The only difference here would be that Ruiz would’ve been considered the frontrunner the entire cycle.
46th: Dana Rohrabacher (R)
Positives: Compact, contains most of “Little Saigon,” middle-class and wealthy Orange County suburbs.
Negatives: Garden Grove is split.
Differences from 2012: Gains Los Alamitos, Cypress, La Palma, Garden Grove, Westminster. Loses Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo.
Cities: Huntington Beach, Westminster, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Cypress, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, La Palma
Rating: Safe R. Almost majority-minority, so that could cause problems down the line, especially if Asians continue to vote 70% D. It was probably closer to R+5 this cycle. For now it’s Safe, but by 2020 I’m not so sure.
47th: Loretta Sanchez (D)
Positives: Clear COI of central, more inner city Orange County. Clean. VRA district.
Negatives: Split of Garden Grove.
Differences from 2012: Adds Stanton, more Garden Grove loses its portion of Orange.
Cities: Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Stanton
Rating: Safe D. This one rocketed leftward in 2012, at only 18% White.
48th: John Campbell (R)
Positives: Compact and a perfect COI: very wealthy Orange County communities.
Differences from 2012: Loses half of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, some Orange. Adds the rest of South County (Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente, etc.)
PVI: R+8 (but moved rightward in 2012)
Cities: Newport Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Dana Point, the Lagunas, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch
Rating: Safe R. I think this might be the third safest Republican district in the state.
49th: Darrell Issa (R)
Positives: Wealthy North County coastal district
Differences from 2012: Loses Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano. Gains some San Diego.
PVI: R+1 (moved slightly right in 2012)
Cities: San Diego, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar
Rating: Lean R. It could be Tilt but this area is heavily ancestrally R downballot and Issa is super-wealthy (although also controversial). I’d be curious whether Obama won this or not; it’d be very close either way.
50th: Kevin Jeffries (R)
Positives: South County Riverside and Inland San Diego aren’t that different.
Negatives: Kind of ugly. It’s more a question of what is San Diego best combined with: Imperial, Orange, or Riverside? And I think the answer is Riverside.
Differences from 2012: Huge. This is a whole new district (replacing Bilbray/Peters, neither of whom have anywhere to run under this map).
Cities: Escondido, San Marcos, Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Fallbrook, Wildomar, Canyon Lake, San Diego.
Rating: Safe R. The Hispanic population (30%) is decent-sized, but it should stay Republican all decade.
51st: Juan Vargas (D)
Positives: Hispanic San Diego seat, compact.
Negatives: Coronado doesn’t fit but added to make it look nicer.
Differences from 2012: Loses Imperial, gains some areas in eastern San Diego.
Cities: San Diego, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Coronado.
Rating: Safe D. This district is no longer Hispanic-majority, but I consider the arm to Imperial not necessary under the VRA (similar to the Cleveland-Akron district in Ohio), and the Supreme Court in its current iteration would probably agree, so Hispanic groups wouldn’t sue. Anyway, Vargas stays in office and the Dem primary is definitely majority-Hispanic, since the district is 54% VAP.
52nd: Duncan Hunter, Jr. (R)
Positives: East County San Diego united (the areas in the North are very rural).
Negatives: Has to leave San Diego County, slightly enter Escondido.
Differences from 2012: Adds La Mesa, some San Diego, Lemon Grove, Poway. Loses Escondido, San Marcos, Temecula.
Cities: Poway, San Diego, El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, Santee, Lakeside, Jamul, Alpine
Rating: Safe R.
53rd: Susan Davis (D)
Positives: Central San Diego.
Differences from 2012: Significant. Loses all East suburbs, gains much more of the city that was with Peters/Bilbray.
Cities: San Diego
Rating: Safe D.
So, with the map finally complete, let’s look at what’s different.
In Office In Reality, Not Under This Map:
Scott Peters (D); replaced by Kevin Jeffries (R)
Eric Swalwell (D); replaced by Pete Stark (D)
Gary Miller (R); replaced by Norma Torres (D)
Paul Cook (R); replaced by ? (D or R)
Incumbent on Incumbent:
Buck McKeon (R) vs. Brad Sherman (D) and Howard Berman (D); new seats to George Runner (R) and Tony Cardenas (D)
Doug LaMalfa (R) vs. John Garamendi (D); new seat to Ricky Gill (R) or Democrat
Mark Takano (D) vs. Ken Calvert (R); new seat to Bob Dutton (R) or Pete Aguilar (D)
Incumbents Maybe Gone:
Gloria Negrete McLeod (D); replaced by Joe Baca (R)
Jim Costa (D); replaced by Republican
The count by my ratings are:
8 Safe Republican
2 Lean Republican: George Runner’s Open Seat and Darrell Issa
1 Tilt Republican (Tilt means Tossup but we can calculate or estimate who won in 2012): Jeff Denham
7 Pure Tossup
2 Tilt Democrat: Ami Bera and Gary Miller/Norma Torres
3 Lean Democrat: Julia Brownley, Raul Ruiz, and Mike Thompson
29 Safe Democrat
1 David Valadao
The count in reality is:
10 Safe Republican
3 Lean Republican: Buck McKeon, Jeff Denham, and Darrell Issa
0 Tilt Republican
0 Pure Tossup
3 Tilt Democrat: Raul Ruiz, Ami Bera, and Scott Peters
4 Lean Democrat: John Garamendi, Julia Brownley, Jerry McNerney, and Gary Miller Fluke Seat
32 Safe Democrat
1 David Valadao
Commission: 10 Republican, 10 Tossup, 32 Democrat, 1 Valadao
My Map: 13 Republican, 3 Tossup, 36 Democrat, 1 Valadao
And I didn’t even try to emphasize competitiveness!
Please comment with your thoughts; I spent a long time on this!