I've done so many GOP maps lately that I thought I'd try my hand at a map favoring my Democrats once again, and I've picked Georgia as the state to try it.
My goals are to create a safe 7-7 map that respects the VRA (though I can predict already that the Atlanta representatives would cry bloody murder at it) and avoids NC-12 or MD-03 style lines, and screws with Republicans as much as possible.
Here's a statewide map:
with an Atlanta metro shot here:
and the statistics of the drawn districts here-- click on it to get a full-sized popup.
Current Congressman: Jack Kingston
Current statistics: 63-36 McCain
New statistics: 67-32 McCain (net gain R+4)
Jack Kingston is the big winner here as he loses heavily African-American Valdosta and trades it in for white conservative areas from Sanford Bishop's seat. He already represents 71% of this district, with the new territory coming from Bishop's and Scott's seats. For those unfamiliar with the format of DRA, the violet parts in this map were in the old district and have moved somewhere else, the light green parts were formerly in other districts but have been added to this seat, while the overlap is in both iterations of the seat.
Current Congressman: Sanford Bishop
Current statistics: 54-46 Obama
New statistics: 61-39 Obama (net gain D+7)
50.0% African-American VAP
Sanford Bishop should be happy with this seat. It becomes African-American majority, VRA protected as I think it's not too gerrymandered to meet the Gingles criteria and it's absolutely safe. 75% of his district are already represented by him, the other ones are- mainly African-Americans-- from Westmoreland, Scott and Kingston's seats.
Current Congressman: Lynn Westmoreland
Current statistics: 64-35 McCain
New statistics: 72-26 McCain (net gain R+8)
Westmoreland gets a much more Republican district.... but is it really his? Not necessarily, as Phil Gingrey has been drawn into this district and he represents 47% of it right now-- Westmoreland 53%. This should be a hell of a primary fight. Westmoreland's part of the district gave 124,297 votes to McCain in 2008 (which is probably a useful metric for primary vote), Gingrey's part 101,412 votes. Since the numbering of the district favors Westmoreland too, I'd call him a narrow favorite
Current Congressman: Hank Johnson
Current statistics: 79-21 Obama
New statistics: 70-29 Obama (net gain R+9)
50.9% African-American VAP
I don't think Hank Johnson would like this seat, but he should be able to easily hold it down. He represents just about a third of this district now, with about a fourth coming from John Lewis and.... Paul Broun. This is the great delicacy about this seat-- Broun's house southwest of Athens is also drawn into the district. But unlike Gingrey, he still has a district to run in-- the 10th.
Current Congressman: John Lewis
Current statistics: 79-20 Obama
New statistics: 62-37 Obama (net gain R+17)
50.0% African-American VAP
Now, John Lewis would like this seat even less than Johnson likes his, but he'd still have no trouble holding it down other than maybe in a primary.
He currently represents 31% of the district, most of the new territory comes from Austin Scott's 8th (16%), Lynn Westmoreland's 3rd (15%) David Scott's 13th (14%) and Paul Broun's 10th (10%). The new territory is mostly Republican territory Southeast of Atlanta.
Current Congressman: Tom Price
Current statistics: 62-37 McCain
New statistics: 57-42 McCain (net gain D+5)
Minority VAP: 37%
This is my half-hearted attempt at drawing something where Democrats could have an opportunity at 8-6 in the last few cycles of the decade. This seat is rapidly going blue and brown, but it's still a far way from being competitive. Price currently represents 52% of this district, with the largest chunk of new territory coming from Hank Johnson (19%)-- but it's not heavily African-American territory, but Whites and Hispanics from North Atlants.
Safe Republican-- for now.
Current Congressman: Rob Woodall
Current statistics: 60-39 McCain
New statistics: 60-39 Obama (!!) (net gain D+21)
Minority VAP: 58%
Black VAP: 29%
Republican Congressman Rob Woodall is screwed over as his seat completely changes form as 24% of his new seat are currently loyal voters of Hank Johnson. He retains 45% of his district-- but it's the Democratic part of his current district, which is right now drowned out by lots of Republican territory-- but that territory goes to the newly created 14th district. Woodall should definitely not run here, but move to the new 14th and attempt to win the primary there, where he represents 41% of voters. Tom Price represents 52%, but he still has a district, so I would think he lets Woodall represent the 14th and keeps running in his 6th.
Current Congressman: Austin Scott
Current statistics: 56-43 McCain
New statistics: 68-31 McCain (net gain R+13)
Usually a Congressman should love it when his seat is shored up by 13 points, but somehow I doubt Austin Scott will be very happy with this district. He doesn't live in it anymore (he is in Sanford Bishop's VRA district), and doesn't even live close to the border. He currently represents just a minority of this district (43%), with 31% coming from John Barrow's 12th in Savannah. The rest of his district is distributed between four other seats. Color me very surprised if Scott manages to skate through without a primary challenge here-- he represents just 47% of McCain voters in this district. Maybe State Sen. President pro Temp Tommie Williams would be up for it?
Current Congressman: Tom Graves
Current statistics: 75-24 McCain
New statistics: 71-28 McCain (net gain D+4)
Tom Graves is one who doesn't have to worry much about with this map-probably.
His district sheds territory in the east and adds territory in the South. Remember the Westmoreland-Gingrey primary above? Graves territory is used to crack the second half of Gingrey's district. But Gingrey would definitely have better prospects against Westmoreland than here, given the fact that Graves has a 57-38 advantage in representation against Gingrey here and that Gingrey doesn't leave there anymore.
Current Congressman: Paul Broun
Current statistics: 61-38 McCain
New statistics: 73-26 McCain (net gain R+12)
While Broun doesn't live in this district anymore (or comes close, he is about 30 miles away from the border), he still represents 48% of it, so he should be fine if he moves. But actually a plurality of territory comes from the old 9th-- Graves' eastern territory that he gave up. Maybe a State Senator from there could mount a primary challenge-- Steve Gooch or Butch Miller?-- but it would be hard to out-conservative Paul Broun.
Current Congressman: Phil Gingrey
Current statistics: 66-33 McCain
New statistics: 60-39 Obama (net gain D+27)
49.5% Minority VAP
Gingrey's old seat gets basically eliminated between Graves and Westmoreland. This doesn't have anything to do with his old district, the overlap is just 7%, but I had to call some district the 11th.
Most of the district's territory comes from the current 5th (Lewis, 31%), but there are also substantial chunks from Rob Woodall's (7th) and Hank Johnsons's (4th) districts.
The seat falls just short of being a majority-minority district-- or rather, it fell narrowly short under the 2010 Census numbers. At current trends, it should be minority-majority by Summer 2012 or so. Not that it matters for the VRA, but it sure does for the Republican candidates here.
Current Congressman: John Barrow
Current statistics: 54-45 Obama
New statistics: 66-32 Obama (net gain D+12)
51.7% Black VAP
While John Barrow will be safe against any Republican here, and retains a lot of territory (losing the Republican part of his district and gaining Macon) I don't imagine he will be too happy representing a majority-black district. But he easily saw off a primary challenge in a 44% African-American district in 2008, so he can probably survive here. If not, well, an African-American Congressman will be elected here, not too bad either.
This is also probably the ugliest district of the map with its tendril to Savannah, but it's still relatively reasonable and it looks far better than for example G.K. Butterfield's district in North Carolina.
Current Congressman: David Scott
Current statistics: 71-28 Obama
New statistics: 64-36 Obama (net gain R+7)
50.1 % Black VAP
David Scott is probably the happiest one of the three Atlanta Congressmen. While his district becomes more Republican and gets shifted South, he still retains a good majority of his old district, and certainly a clear majority of the Democratic primary electorate. Not much of a story here, it's picking up Westmoreland's turf to allow Westmoreland's district to split up Gingrey's.
Current Congressman: newly created
Current statistics: ---
New statistics: 69-30 McCain
This is the new district, it's a combination of Rob Woodall's (41%) and Rep. Price's (52%) territory. The only question is if Rep. Woodall will be able to successfully move and win the primary here, as he doesn't live in the district-- but his own district he can't win.
The map creates 7 Democratic and 7 Republican districts, 5 African-American majority districts, and draws Phil Gingrey out of existence, while opening Reps. Woodall and Scott and maybe Broun up to primary challenges.