Redistricting Projections Nationwide

Interesting note from “The Fix” and Polidata on redistricting projections. Colorado doesn’t figure to gain or lose congressional seats, but our neighbors in Arizona, Utah and Nevada look to add a new member:

States Gaining Seats

Arizona (+1)*: Gov. Jane Brewer (R) up in 2010; state Senate 18 R, 12 D; state House 35 R, 25 D

Florida (+1): Open seat race in 2010; state Senate 26 R, 14 D; state House 76 R, 44 D

Georgia (+1): Open seat race in 2010; state Senate 34 R, 22 D; state House 105 R, 75 D

Nevada (+1): Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) up in 2010; state Senate 12 D, 9 R; state House 28 D, 14 R

South Carolina (+1): Open seat race in 2010; state Senate 27 R, 19 D; state House 71 R, 53 D

Texas (+4): Gov. Rick Perry (R) up in 2010; state Senate 19 R, 12 D; state House 77 R, 73 D

Utah (+1): Gov. Gary Herbert (R) is up in 2010; state Senate 21 R, 8 D; state House 53 R, 22 D

Washington (+1)*: Gov. Christine Gregoire (D); state Senate 31 D, 18 R; state House 63 D, 35 R

States Losing Seats

Illinois (-1): Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is up in 2010; state Senate 37 D, 22 R; state House 70 D, 48 R

Iowa (-1)*: Gov. Chet Culver (D) is up in 2010; state Senate 32 D, 8 R; state House 56 D, 44 R

Louisiana (-1): Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is up in 2011; state Senate 22 D, 15 R; state House 52 D, 50 R

Massachusetts (-1): Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is up in 2010; state Senate 35 D, 5 R; state House 143 D, 16 R

Michigan (-1): Open seat in 2010; state Senate 22 R, 16 D; state House 66 D, 43 R

Minnesota (-1): Open seat in 2010; state Senate 46 D, 21 R; state House 87 D, 47 R

New Jersey (-1)*: Gov. Chris Christie (R); state Senate 23 D, 17 R; state House 47 D, 33 R

New York (-1): Gov. David Paterson (D) is up in 2010; state Senate 32 D, 30 R; state House 109 D, 41 R

Ohio (-2): Gov. Ted Strickland (D) is up in 2010; state Senate 21 R, 12 D; state House 53 D, 46 R

Pennsylvania (-1): Open seat in 2010; state Senate 30 R, 20 D; state House 104 D, 99 R

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Sir Robin says:

    while the North loses seats.  

  2. Jambalaya says:

    That’s obscene.  Those bitches need to secede already.

  3. caroman says:

    Assuming for the moment that the Dems retain control of the Gov, state senate and house, is there any chance the Dems can redistrict CD6 to be more competitive?  Arapahoe County now has more Dems than GOP and was carried by Obama.  It’s Douglas County that’s killing us.

    • Leonard Smalls says:

      CD6 needs to shed off some excess population as it has gotten a little too big in comparison to the other districts. On the other hand, CD7 has shrunk too much and will need to bring in more people.

      The most likely scenario is that 6 and 7 will undergo the most radical redistricting in the state, but 6 will probably become even safer R while 7 will move further into the D column.

      • And is there a way to input them into Dave’s Redistricting App to play with the lines?

        • Leonard Smalls says:

          The easiest way to grab them is off of The numbers are a little out of date (8/2009) but they show in terms of total voters:

          CD1-5: All around 420-480,000

          CD6: 532,916

          CD7: 384,699

          That’s a big imbalance in CD6 and CD7 that needs to be fixed relative to the other 5. If I were a Democratic governor/legislator redistricting I would just pluck that Democratic-leaning segment of Arapahoe out of CD6 and drop it into the 7th. The populations would even out, Republicans would be shut into CD6 and CD5, and CD7 would be about as competitive for Republicans as CD2.

          • ohwilleke says:

            Another trend that may impact where the lines get drawn is that CD-4 has seen I-25 corridor communities grow, while rural areas have declined.  CD-4 is trending blue, but could use a push.

            It wouldn’t take much of a tweak to move lots of rural CD-4 into CD-6, and then to take a bigger bite out of CD-6 for CD-7.  This would make CD-4 safer for Markey if she can hold the seat.  Perlmutter may feel comfortable as a multiple term incumbent with his district not becoming all that much more safe than it is now with the addition of first ring suburbs from CD-6.

            An even bolder move would be to take CD-1, CD-7 and the more liberal parts of CD-6 and to put them into two new districts that split Denver in half, leaving both new disticts safe, while adding rural CD-4 to CD-6, making it safer.  CD-4 would bleed a little bit to the West, with CD-2 and the new CDs 1 and 7 picking up the slack.

            • It would almost certainly fail the election boundary rules criteria.  Much as I like the idea of having a very blue Colorado caucus, splitting against county lines, communities of interest, and compactness is not playing by the rules, and we’re likely to get smacked trying.

              • ohwilleke says:

                But, in the Congressional level process, which is more political, the redistricting guidelines don’t have as much force.  Courts would be very reluctant to overturn a redistricting plan with seven contiguous districts of roughly equal population that don’t make bizzare shapes (as the current CD-7 does).  The reality is that every Congressional district must break some county line.  The question is how to do it.

                A revised CD-7 that included heavily Hispanic areas in both West Denver and Old Town Aurora would be forgiven for fudging county lines in favor of preserving communities of interest.

              • Leonard Smalls says:

                Even if it was ruled legal, I couldn’t see it happening sue to fairly powerful Democratic interests in Denver (i.e. Hickenlooper) throwing a fit if their party tried diluting their influence in Congress.

    • It’s the southern section of JeffCo – you know, the one that gave you Tom Tancredo.

      I think “fixing” CD-6 depends on where the population changes have come.  If you want more Democrats, you’ll have to take them from CD-1, possibly CD-7 (though that’s already a close-ish district), and some part of CD-2.  You might also be able to throw a few conservative districts into CD-5 depending on the new demographics.

      If population growth says you can do it from those areas, well, maybe you could up it from “hopeless” to “challenging, but possible”.  I can’t see making it truly competitive – but I hope I’m wrong.

      Much as I’d like to see a competitive district in CD-6, I don’t want to see Dems running rough-shod over the rules like Republicans tried to do in 2001.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Mike Coffman will hold it as long as he wants it. He’s doing a decent job (freshman house members in the minority have essentially no oomph) and is very popular.

      • redstateblues says:

        because it’s worth mentioning in this thread. From the op-ed page of the NY Times in 2003:

        The Colorado Supreme Court took a stand for electoral fairness this week when it struck down a partisan redrawing of the state’s Congressional district lines. It held that districts should be drawn once after the census, not whenever a party sees a chance to pick up seats. The alternative would mean constant redistricting, and interference with state Congressional delegations, whenever one party got the upper hand at the state level…

        …But last spring, when Republicans took control of state government, they pushed through a new plan in the final days of the legislative session. This “midnight gerrymander,” as critics called it, was designed to increase Republican control. It added 21,000 Republican voters and removed 7,000 Democrats in the district that had a 121-vote margin, and did similar mischief to another swing district.

        It’s critical to remember that overreaches like that caused voters to toss out Republicans at all levels in 2004. So all of the Democrats who are talking about trying to get CD-6 should be wary of repeating the political mistakes of the past.

        • MADCO says:

          Is it up to whomever is in the legislature next Jan?

          I’ve seen before and after maps and I think it’s going to be hard to make 6 “competitive, ie, approx the same R’s D’s and U’s.  But it does seem like some of the State House districts could be more logically drawn.

          • SouthDem says:

            For Congressional Districts, it will be up to the Legislature and the Governor.  Lawsuits won’t stop that unless the GOP controls one of those three entities (House, Senate or Governor).

            For State Legislative Districts (State House and State Senate), the lines are drawn by the State Reapportionment Commission, a body of individuals appointed by the Governor, the Legislative leadership, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  It is highly unlikely, regardless of what happens with the 2010 elections, that the Republicans will have control of that panel.  In 2000, the GOP controlled the Governor and the House, while the Dems controlled the Senate, and the Dems still controlled the Reapportionment Commission.

        • One Queer Dude says:

             You’re mixing apples with oranges, RSB.  First, the Repubs in ’03 took a nearly-perfectly balanced district (Both Ways eeked out a win by 121 votes in ’02) and tried to tilt it towards the GOP.  In changing CD 6, we’re talking about taking a perfectly- tilted district, and making it slightly more competitive.  Many voters may not see competitive elections as a bad thing.

            Second, I trust that the Dems in the legislature would respect the process, introduce a bill early in the session (not in the last 72 hours like the GOP did in ’03) and allow a full debate on the measure.  Unlike what John Andrews tried to do in ’03.

          • redstateblues says:

            Obviously it would be impossible for Dems to do exactly what the Repubs tried to do in ’03. I’m just saying that they should respect the process. Making CD-6 more competitive is fine, but thinking that it’s going to turn into even a 55/45 mix is probably wishful thinking.

            I don’t think CD-6 is going to send a Dem any time soon–same with CD-5.

  4. ParkHill says:

    The rules say (as best you can):

    – Keep population in each district even

    – Respect county boundaries

    – Don’t split up or minority groups

    – Try to keep “like constituencies” together.

    The big populations are concentrated in a few counties/cities, and the political leanings are also relatively concentrated (Denver, Pueblo: Democrat, Colo Springs, Grand Junction: Republican). Each district is dominated by two or three big population centers. You might be able to shift a county from one district to another, but you end up with a zero sum game; e.g. trying to give more Democrats to CD04 would take away from CD03, and you’d have to replace them from CD02. There aren’t any convenient Republican populations you can give to CD07 that would make it competitive. Conversely, there aren’t any Democratic populations big enough to add to CD06 or CD07 to make a difference.

    The Colorado State Senate and House redistricting are likely to be more interesting.

    Gerrymandering can have surprising results as population and voting trends change. Let’s say you try to maximize your majority by creating a bunch of safe 55/45 districts. Then comes a change election, and your 55/45s become vulnerable all at once. This sort of happened in Texas in the 2008 elections. Here in Colorado, Jeffco was historically moderate Republican, but as the GOP moved to the crazy side, the moderate Jeffco Republicans finally jumped ship.

    • Republican 36 says:

      there are a few other items we can all count on when redistricting takes place:

      1.  Even if the Democrats remain in control of the executive and legislative branches of the state government, there will be a lawsuit filed over redistricting. The Republicans will file it in both state and federal courts.

      2.  What about shoring-up Rep. Markey’s position in the 4th CD? She is a Democratic incumbent and if she wins in 2010, one of the primary goals of redistricting should be to help her.

    • ohwilleke says:

      My intuition playing with the redistricting rules is that it is harder to make a meaningful impact through gerrymandering in state legislative districts, which are more numerous, than it is in Congressional districts which are just right in number for manipulation (not too many, not too few).

      The county line preservation preference takes a lot of the room for manipulation out of the process.  

      The losses to rural Colorado are particularly strong at this level.  Greater Grand Junction may get a decade long boost as well, because it will be near an oil and gas economy high water mark in April 2010 that is not likely to last.

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