On the one hand, there's Oregon
, where despite split legislative control everyone managed to find a quick compromise... and on the other hand, there's South Carolina
, where despite the GOP controlling the trifecta, they nevertheless got bogged down in disagreement over the shape of the map and were on the verge of fouling up the whole process, leaving it to be drawn by the courts. As you may recall, the main problem was when renegade Republican Senators from the state's southern corner joined with Democrats in passing a map that was different from the one that previously passed the state House, in that the center of gravity of the new 7th district was located in Beaufort County in the state's southern tip, rather than Horry County (home of Myrtle Beach) in what's known as the "Pee Dee" in the state's northeast.
Well, they finally got past that today, with both houses of the legislature passing the House-drawn map with a Myrtle Beach-based SC-07; it now heads to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley for her signature. At the core of it was a change of heart by one of the Senate Republicans pushing for the Beaufort County option and a potential House seat for himself (no word on what type of horse's head was placed in his bed to help him arrive at this decision):
At least one backer of the Beaufort-centered district, state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, backed down. Davis voted for the Horry plan.
"I'm not willing to roll the dice and let the federal district court draw the lines for us," Davis said. "A bitter pill but I have to swallow it."
While we don't have numbers on the new districts yet, the map above shows their new footprints. (You can click on the map for a bigger version.) The 1st through 6th retain most of their original DNA; Rep. Jim Clyburn's SC-06 remains the only Dem-friendly district in the state, and looks to have its African-American population bolstered a little more with the addition of Sumter (which used to be in SC-05, a red district picked up from long-time Dem John Spratt by GOPer Mick Mulvaney last year). Joe Wilson's SC-02 becomes more compact, focused more on Columbia's suburbs, and Tim Scott's SC-01 now loses Myrtle Beach and picks up the Beaufort-Hilton Head Island area from the 2nd.
Myrtle Beach and Florence anchor the new 7th, where observers seem to think Republican state Rep. Alan Clemmons is a likely candidate. This has all the hallmarks of a 6 R-1 D map... unless it gets scrambled via a VRA lawsuit or via the preclearance process at the Obama administration's DOJ. Considering that a number of maps have been drawn by Swing state Project/Daily Kos Elections diarists using Dave's App that include two black-majority districts, the groundwork for a challenge seems like it's there.