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Drawing Connecticut's 5th District- a Republican Seat and a Compromise in the Constitution State

by: RockRibbedR

Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 15:37:44 PM EST

A History Lesson

In 2000, the (absolutely beautiful) state of Connecticut lost a Congressional district, going from six to five seats.

At the time, freshman Congressman Rob Simmons held CT-02, Chris Shays held CT-04, and Nancy Johnson held CT-06. Because of Republican John Rowland's presence as Governor, the Democratic legislature wasn't able to gerrymander, and a compromise was passed. Johnson and Waterbury area Congressman James Maloney were placed in a "fair fight" district, with some conservative areas of Johnson's seat going to CT-01, and some liberal areas of Maloney's seat going to CT-03 in order to create a 50/50 type seat. Democratic towns and cities like Meriden, Waterbury, and the rolling hills of northwest Connecticut  created a Democratic base, while southern Litchfield County, Wolcott, and Prospect created a Republican base. Unexpectedly, the race wasn't even close. Johnson thumped Maloney. The newly drawn three Republican seats all voted for Al Gore in 2000, foreboding bad times in CT for the GOP, but we were able to outlive our expectations for a few more years.

Fast Forward to 2006-2008

In 2004, CT-02 voted 54% for Kerry, CT-04 voted 52% for Kerry, and CT-05 voted 49% for Kerry. Those numbers didn't seem too terrible, and our three Republican Congressmen were cruising in Connecticut... until 2006. Rob Simmons lost his seat by EIGHTY-THREE votes to 2002 loser Joe Courtney. Nancy Johnson lost her seat in a brutal and nasty race to State Senator Chris Murphy, only garnering 44% of the vote (a 16 point drop off from 2004). Only Chris Shays survived, and he was the only Republican incumbent in New England... until losing to Jim Himes in 2008 by four points.

Connecticut Congressional Races in 2010

In 2010, the GOP nominated State Senator Sam Caligiuri in CT-05. Interestingly enough, Caligiuri held Chris Murphy's old State Senate Seat. In CT-04, State Senator Dan Debicella was nominated. In 2008, CT-04 gave Barack Obama 60% of the vote, an 8 point boost from 2008, and in CT-05, Obama won with 56% of the vote, giving Democrats a 7 point boost. The CT GOP seemed bullish about its chances, and poll showed the GOP slightly favored in each race in the home stretch, but Murphy and Himes won by 8 and 6 points, respectively. While those same seats seemed to love their Republicans for years, they now seemed to love their Democratic incumbents.

The 2010 Connecticut Governor Race

In the 2010 Connecticut Gubernatorial election, former Stamford Mayor and Democrat Dan Malloy defeated former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley by a razor thin .56% margin. I compiled data from the race and created this map of results by town, much like the Massachusetts election results maps. Mayor Malloy over-performed President Obama by 11 points, so realize that most of those Republican towns that are under 60% Foley were probably won by President Obama.

Here is the color key for the map.
65+ R: Almost brown
60-65 R: Crimson
54-60 R: Bright Red
50-54 R: Tomato
50-54 D: Light Sky Blue
54-60 D: Dodger Blue
60-65 D: Blue
65+ D: Navy

The following table shows the two party vote share between Foley and Malloy in the Congressional Districts from this past decade. (yes, it is mislabeled) The 4th District is wrong... I forgot Bridgeport in this table.


The 5th District Today:

Very early in 2011, newly re-elected Chris Murphy announced his (likely successful) candidacy for the US Senate, and the D+2 PVI CT-05 is now open. A prime opportunity for a pick-up, the GOP is fighting hard to win this seat. Democratic House Speaker Chris Donovan (D-Meriden) will be the Democratic nominee, and while he is popular, it may prove very easy to tie him to toxic Dan Malloy. While CT-05 in current form should be competitive, I attempted to draw two seats. The first is a Republican drawn seat that would likely lock in CT-05 for the GOP in 2012, and the second is a compromise that pushes CT-05 to R+2. I just hope that once CT-05 elects another Republican, it will once again become comfortable with electing one long-term.

Connecticut Redistricting

In Connecticut, Democrats hold the trifecta. However, maps must be passed by a 2/3rds threshold in the Connecticut Legislature that Democrats don't currently hold. Therefore, Republicans aren't completely shut out. My proposed Republican 5th District and compromise 5th District are below the fold.

RockRibbedR :: Drawing Connecticut's 5th District- a Republican Seat and a Compromise in the Constitution State
Before looking at these numbers, here's another reminder. They represent the two party vote (with the WFP Malloy numbers added to the Democratic numbers), so Republican numbers may be ~.5% off. The numbers are quite accurate, but since I couldn't split towns, they may be very slightly off.

A Republican Fifth District

Going into negotiations with the Democrats over redistricting, we should aggressively push for a clean but Republican 5th District. In this version of the Fifth District, I removed Waterbury, Meriden (which is the home town of likely Democratic Fifth District nominee Chris Donovan) and Northwest Connecticut. Democrats would never agree to this R+4 seat, but Republicans might as well be aggressive as negotiations start. Not a single town in this seat voted for Dan Malloy. This map would also shore up 4th District Congressman Jim Himes, forfeiting his seat for the near future, unless Bridgeport sinks into the ocean.

Anyway, here is the proposed district:


Connecticut as a whole


The table below shows the Obama/McCain percentages, and the Foley/Malloy percentages of the proposed seat.



A Compromise Fifth District

Since Speaker Donovan is from Meriden, I added Meriden back into the Fifth District. For a less Republican seat, I also added Waterbury and NW Connecticut again, and ditched the Hartford suburbs to Larson and some New Haven suburbs to DeLauro. If I were Republicans, I wouldn't budge on taking Himes's Republican towns, meaning northern Fairfield County. I also wouldn't budge on taking the Republican towns of New Haven County. Democrats would probably want to weaken this R+1 district to EVEN, but you'd probably have to split New Britain, and I don't have individual precinct numbers.

The district is shown below.

Compromise Fifth District



Connecticut Congressional Map





Republicans should not accept anything worse than what I drew as a compromise district here. A court map of Connecticut would likely yield a better result for the GOP, and almost certainly would not include Meriden in the district. It may not even include Waterbury, instead including rural or suburban areas more similar to the 5th (like retaining the wealthy suburban Hartford areas I dropped in the compromise, or rural/exburban areas like Granby).

Democrats may try to maneuver around the 2/3rds rule, but the unpopular Malloy may not want to take any political hits at this time, and wouldn't want Republicans, who have filibuster power in the legislature, to make his life way harder. Democrats also would try to avoid a court map, as Donovan likely would be drawn out, so I think they would be willing to play ball on a compromise. Jim Himes would get a completely safe seat, so why not?

There is a history of Connecticut redistricting compromises; the map from this past decade was a compromise. Let's push for one for the next decade, too.

It is quite possible that Frank Guinta could be the only Republican Congressman from New England in 2012. It is also possible that we may not have any Republican Congressmen anywhere north or east of New York. Richard Tisei, Kevin Raye, and our CT-05 nominee can change that. If we are going to try and gain on our Congressional majority, New England gains need to be in the game plan. Let's do it.

What will the PVI of CT-05 be when all is said and done?


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It's an interesting district and probably the best
you can do to make one district most winnable for Republicans. I just don't know if it's the best way to go because I anticipate Whites trending Republican, so in lily-white Connecticut, I would think with a stand-pat map there's a chance of reaching 3-2 by the end of the decade (D-R), something that would be impossible here.

The 4th district shouldn't be shored up. Whites are trending our way but is it fast enough? Things are looking up in New England, slowly but surely.

Who would be the ideal candidate for your 5th?

20-Cubano, R, CA-38
City Commissioner, College Republican Club President

[ Parent ]
You have to shore it up to help out CT-05. I'm of the opinion that if we don't win CT-05 in 2012, we are 0-5 for the decade in Connecticut. Himes is a pretty strong incumbent... I don't see him losing his seat.

[ Parent ]
But will Himes stay there forever?
Or will he run for Gov after Malloy*? I'm pretty sure we could have a chance at that open seat.

*Won by recount...

20-Cubano, R, CA-38
City Commissioner, College Republican Club President

[ Parent ]
I see other Dems as having a better chance than him. Nice guy, but I don't see him being that great statewide. Plus, the current CT-04 favors Democrats when open. I don't see Republicans representing Bridgeport at the federal level any time soon.

[ Parent ]
CT is a great state (Home of my Ancestors)
Not sure I agree with absolutely beautiful, there are some yucky areas (Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven), but otherwise, yes. Windham and Litchfield Counties are great places to drive around and take in the natural beautiful of the state's rolling hills and rivers.

I totally agree in principle that the GOP in CT should push for a competitive 5th district, so these maps are on the right path.

Your 2nd district looks fine in both maps. Windham, New London and Tolland Counties, all of Middlesex besides Middletown/Middlefield/Cromwell, and whatever you need for population from the Eastern Hartford and Springfield Suburbs.

I don't like your 4th district though. I know you are trying to shore it up for Himes as a compromise for making the 5th more Republican, but you are going a little overboard. DeLauro will want to keep West Haven, and probably Milford and Orange as well. So, I'd probably confine Himes to Fairfield County, makes his district out of reach, but not the toxic mess that it would become under this map. There is a really clean way to draw the 4th. Take the old 4th, add Stratford and the rest of Shelton, and then remove Oxford, Easton, Ridgefield and Redding.

The 5th District should in my opinion, take in all of Litchfield County, Greater Danbury (Essentially the part of Fairfield not given to the 4th District, plus Easton), and Greater Waterbury. There is no reason to remove Waterbury from the district, I know it voted for Malloy, but it's the home of fmr. Governor John Rowland, and is home to many Conservative Democrats that often vote for Republicans. It's also the home of Sam Caliguiri. Definetly take out New Britain and the Farmington Valley that belongs withe 1st, but give the 5th, Bristol and Southington. I'd put Meridan with Middletown in the 3rd, those towns belong with each other.

The 1st and 3rd districts kind of follow the others at that point. So, the 1st becomes completely Greater Hartford, the 2nd district is eastern Connecticut, the 3rd is Greater New Haven and the Middletown portion of Central Connecticut, the 4th is the Fairfield Coast and Greater Bridgeport, and the 5th is Litchfield/Greater Waterbury/Greater Danbury. Good COI's, and a competitive 5th.

Baker '14
R, MA-3

Southington and Bristol
Do we really have to give them to the fifth? Any thoughts on how both of my Fifth Districts would play out over the decade?
Thanks for your post, it was quite detailed.

Oh, and I don't like your compromise, because it leaves Meriden out of the 5th. CT Dems would demand that it stays in the 5th, for Donovan's sake.

[ Parent ]
No, you don't
But I don't know why you wouldn't want Southington in the 5th District. Plus, Bristol and Southington are much more Republican than Meridian. But you are probably right, Meridian is going to have to stay in the 5th for Donovan.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
Wow, our maps are very similar
Looks like my blue district is a few miles east of yours;

rest of my districts rotated accordingly.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Southington and Bristol
Do we really have to give them to the fifth? Any thoughts on how both of my Fifth Districts would play out over the decade?

Thanks for your post, it was quite detailed.

Ignore this.
I meant this as a reply to Merrimackman.

[ Parent ]
Love it
Exactly what I'd hope we get out of CT, and that compromise district looks close to perfect for Roraback.

R - MD-7

Thanks! I agree; Roraback would romp in this seat. What do you think the chances are of a Roraback victory over Donavan in an EVEN seat?

[ Parent ]
Roraback is a better fit ideologically for an EVEN seat in CT but Donovan is liable to have far better institutional support. Probably comes down to campaign ability.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Lieberman and Roraback (Shamlet)
Hmm... Lieberman seems to HATE the Connecticut Democratic establishment for double crossing him, and he is on his way out of electoral politics. He has talked about endorsing moderate Republicans for office before.

So, if Joe hates CT Dems for abandoning him in 2006, would it be possible that he endorses Roraback as one last "f*ck you!" to Connecticut Democrats? Would that help Roraback in the general?

[ Parent ]
Roraback is no shoo-in for the nomination
he is from a lightly populated area and his record in the State Senate is not going to please a lot of pro-business conservatives. The press loves Roraback but they do not vote in GOP primaries. Orf course the rest of the field have other deficiencies  

[ Parent ]
The reason I think Roraback is strong
is because there are so many little known conservatives in the primary. If he wins the primary it'll be with ~30% but I think that's very possible.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
"little known conservatives"
Lol, so there are like 9 Bill Hudaks running? :p

[ Parent ]
Roster in CT 5
I'd say better than Hudak

Two 2010 candidates. Real estate investor Mark Greenberg, who ran an expensive primary on Tea Party themes and former Navy vet/state official Justin Bernier, a hawk.

Added for '12 is wealthy businesswoman from the Farm Valley, Lisa Wilson-Foley, who may be a bit too flexible based on her prior donations. And the chair of the Farmington Town Council. Mike Clark, who hasn't raised much $ yet.    

[ Parent ]
Yeah, I was joking. However, none of those candidates strike me as particularly impressive. I think Roraback wins the primary in a split field, personally.

My second pick would be Sam Caligiuri, but oh well...,

[ Parent ]
Mark Boughton
woulda been a field clearer but won't run  

[ Parent ]
Prior GOP candidates have been from larger cities
Nancy Johnson, New Britain. John Rowland, Gary Franks & Sam Caligiuri, Waterbury. Mark Nielsen & David Cappiello, Danbury. Yes, no analog in the '10 race as the guy who would've bulldozed everyone in both parties, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton,chose not to run. Still last small-towner to hold this seat was Ron Sarasin in the 1970's.  

[ Parent ]
Good Job
Getting one safe Republican seat is quite the accomplishment. Though I really don't want to give up the 4th. It has wonderful areas like New Canaan which should be in a Republican district.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

Since I live in CT5, wanted to correct some stuff
1. CT uses a bipartisan commission to redistrict and the 8 members appoint a 9th tiebreaking vote. By practice the final maps have been mutually agreed to.

2. The nasty looking present 5th District was a bipartisan gerrymander which was driven by the parochial concerns of Johnson and Maloney. Johnson wanted to keep her hometown of New Britain in the new 5th. This has proven to have had terrible long term consequences for the GOP. Maloney's insistance on keeping Danbury in the 5th has had less detriment to the Democrats.

3. You are never going to get CT Republicans to allow Avon, Farmington or Simsbury to go to the 1st CD. The towns generate a lot of campaign cash and most of the 2010 GOP CT 5 candidates live or grew up there.

4. Conversely, the Fairfield County GOP is not going to want their strong inland towns like New Canaan and Wilton to go to the 5th CD and concede the 4th district to Hines for a decade. They think that in a nonpresidential year they have a shot at Hines. Remember Malloy greatly overperformed previous Democrats in the 4th CD in '10 and this might be a one-off from his exposure as Mayor of Stamford.

5. If you would rather have the far NW corner in the 5th CD than Southington & Cheshire, you are simply unaware of the demographic base of the present northeastern GOP.  

First of all, welcome to Red Racing Horses.

1) I know, and that's why I drew up a compromise. I don't see why we can't push for an even PVI seat through a commission.

2) I'm aware of all of the things you just said. New Britain has been horrendous in the 5th.

3) Yeah, well that was part of my "compromise" in order to allow us to keep Meriden in the 5th, which the Dems would insist on. You win some, you lose some.

4) Yeah, I know, but if the CT GOP were smart, they'd sacrifice the 4th for the 5th.

If we couldn't beat Himes as a freshman in the biggest wave in 50 years, in a midterm election, how will we beat him in another midterm election as he becomes entrenched?

Oh, and get his name right. H-i-M-e-s, not Hines.

5) I wouldn't rather have the NW part of the state in there than Southington and Cheshire. That's why the NW was taken out of the Republican map and left in the compromise map. Did you bother to check that out?

[ Parent ]
hey, its been a long day
sorry about the typo on Himes. The sense is that the longer he's in the more his accumulated votes will grate on rich folks with a social conscious. Maybe yes, maybe no. Took 2 terms for Democrat Don Irwin to lose that seat in the 1960's  

Frankly, I wouldn't want to accept even a compromise map with Salisbury and Sharon in the 5th. I'd rather take on more Waterbury precincts or part of Bristol.  The last Republicans up there voted for Nelson Rockefeller.  

Given Donovan will never part with Meriden, presenting a map than puts that town in another district is the sort of thing that will only waste time and piss off Democrats. Now, trying to lose New Britain is a different story as the local Democrats have no candidate for '12.    

[ Parent ]
Haha, I didn't mean to be a jackass in correcting you. I realized I sounded like one as I said that. Himes vs Hines is an easy mistake, and I just wanted to make sure people didn't mess that up.

Thank you soooo much for commenting on this. I really, really, really appreciate the local insight.

I still think Himes will grow more entrenched, especially as Bridgeport becomes more of a horrible presence in that district.

How would you modify my "compromise" district? I implore you to use Dave's Redistricting Application and then to post one on here using Photobucket. If you don't know how, I can help. I don't know how new you are to the political horse race blogs where we use things like Dave's Redistricting Application.

[ Parent ]
having trouble moving maps from DRA
basically, the deal would be to leave the southern boundary of the 5th alone and swap out Bristol, Southington and the 1st District part of Torrington for New Britain and the far NW corner.

BTW Bridgeport is already pretty much as bad as it can get; GOP enrollment plumetted after the 90's  

[ Parent ]
CT-05 compromise
So, like this?


I had to split Southington for population to work out.

[ Parent ]
a couple of tweaks
You'd want Torrington in 5 and not 1. You'd rather split Plainville than Southington, just make sure Justin Bernier's house stays in 5.

Middletown's already split between 1 & 3. And Waterbury's already split between 3 & 5 and with the exception of the far west side, is starting to exhibit rapid demographic change.  

Prospect votes to the right of the OC, CA and really shouldn;t be forced to be in DeLauro's district. ;)  

[ Parent ]
Your proposed 5th
Very interesting.

With those tweaks, how many points would your version of the 5th move to the right in terms of McCain/Obama percentages? I think we need to get it to 44 at the least (and hopefully 45 or 46 in a compromise) in order to beat Donovan. What would our chances against Donovan be?

Also, does the legislature have to approve the redistricting commission's maps? I may have been misinformed. However, the premise of this diary (compromise) still applies to a bipartisan committee.

[ Parent ]
DRA doesn;t have CT % on it
and until we figure out who we are running. pure speculation on how vulnerable Donovan will be  

[ Parent ]
that's why I haven't posted my own CT map which is designed to give Republicans a decent shot at two districts.

It is similar to Merrimackman's with the blue district slightly east and rest of districts rotated around center of CT accordingly.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
...your map would never pass. It doesn't leave Meriden in the 5th...

[ Parent ]
I know, I just wanted an approximation.

[ Parent ]
If you want to help out Roraback
You'd want to keep Kent, Sharon and Salisbury in the 5th, considering his base is that corner of Litchfield County.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
Not wise
Like leaving New Britain in the 5th because Nancy Johnson represented the city for 26 years---area has given up on the GOP and Roraback's numbers there due to local issues and weak competition.  Really, you can't run for Congress on the platform of spending public funds on buying vacant farms and subsidizing broadband out to the boonies.  

[ Parent ]
Has never lost in Kent, Salisbury and Sharon, even in his first election in 2000, when they were giving margins to Gore. The Republicans in those towns will back him overwhelmingly in the primary, and the arm to remove them from the district takes in just as many Republican PVI+ towns. Makes no sense whatsoever. Keep Litchfield County together. It has historical Republican roots, and voted for Bush. No sense in weakening his influence, especially when it would help the incumbent.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
I agree with that, but only if we can swap out some competitive towns for some generally more Republican towns.

[ Parent ]
As long as New Britski is out of the district, its a big win for us. I think it gave Murphy like 1/2 of his winning margin in 2006.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
Sorry: I do raised ranches, not trust funders in cottages
the far NW corner is now heavily NYC retirees. Salisbury has the highest average age in the state. They are also losing net population as the Litchfield County natives move off due to economics. They love Roraback because he's neon Green and works local issues. Since a vote for Roraback keeps Boehner speaker, I wouldn't bet a snail darter they won't bail on his federal campaign. I recall the Sierra Club endorsed Nancy Johnson in '06 since she helped kill ANWR drilling. Didn't do her a lick of good up there despite 24 years of constituent service. It's across the board-- Ned Lamont, Dick Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Dan Malloy--the default position is to vote liberal Democrat.

The contemporary northeast GOP are suburban catholics in the workforce. Where we are making gains are places like Southington and Wallingford, both which were decidedly Democratic pre-Reagan.    

[ Parent ]
They are small towns though
I think you are fretting a bit too much over them. Plus, to remove the NW Corner from the district, you need to take out the Granby's, Barkhamsted, Hartland, Colebrook, and Winchester.

Taken as a whole, the tail to the NW Corner voted 55% for Foley. I'd rather keep that.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
The blue towns in NW CT only make up 26,000 people.

[ Parent ]
CT Redistricting Commission
Hmm... I was under the impression that redistricting maps had to be approved by the legislature out of the commission. Was I wrong on that? Even if I was, the compromise ideal still lives on, because the bipartisan commission would probably operate under a compromise as well.

[ Parent ]
Horrible map for my tastes, but for your side obviously very good.  I hope no compromise is made, but I am unsure if Democrats can pass a non compromise.  If they can't I favor the 2nd plan.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

Well, there will have to be a compromise of some sort. We better move CT-05 to EVEN. I'd accept nothing less.

There is a commission, something I was aware of. However, I thought that the legislature had to approve commission maps with a 2/3rds vote. I may be wrong on that account. Either way, there needs to be some sort of compromise. We'd better take advantage of it as Republicans wanting to stage a comeback in New England.

[ Parent ]
If the Democratic House Speaker is expected to be the nominee, then wouldn't the legislature give him an easier seat, instead of a harder one? I don't know much about Connecticut, but when senior members of the legislature run for the House they always seem to set up a sweetheart district. Wouldn't the Democrats offer up the 2nd and/or the 4th instead?  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

They simply can't.
There is nothing you could do, other than absolutely throwing Himes under the bus. I don't see them doing that. There also isn't anything you can do with the 2nd... it's so uniformly blue.

[ Parent ]
5 is open and already most Republican
Donovan's already caught grief for not replacing himself on the Committee, and the mechanics here prevent a one party map.

Neither Himes nor Courtney have done anything to alienate the Democratic establishment or write them off. Only way to add R's to 2 would be to 1) add rest of Glastonbury and 2) wrap around north of Hartford and grab Granby, Simsbury & Avon. This messes with the 1st and 5th, still wouldn't do much. You could make the 4th Republican by removing or splitting Bridgeport, but the howling would be loud.  

[ Parent ]
Taking out Bridgeport
Simply taking out Bridgeport moves the 5th up to 43% McCain. You'd have to replace that 144,000 people with more Republican towns, so you could probably get it up 2-4 more points (really not sure). I think Himes could win that district, though... The guy was a VP at Goldman Sachs. I'm sure he has money to burn. It'd be a toss up, but with a bad R candidate, he could win. I just don't see them throwing Himes to the wolves to help Donovan.

[ Parent ]
The part of Glastonbury near
East Hartford, that is currently in the 1st, voted pretty heavily for Obama. There are a couple extra precincts that you could add in the middle of the town, but all of it isn't good stuff. There's no way you could put the Farmington Valley with Eastern Connecticut, that's a ridiculous Republican gerrymander.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
Sorta & yes
1. Obama ran well in upscale inner-ring suburbs around Hartford. These arent the best R precincts in central CT, but they are better than most
2. Yes-tacking the Farmington Valley in with E CT is right out of the Eldredge playbook    

[ Parent ]
My step by step
examination of CT brings me to this conclusion.

I think Foley carried three CD's in 2010.  I would love to focus on just the open seat but that's not only pickup chance for the GOP.  I suspect we see a standpat map for the next decade.  The CT process encourages that.

I think we will see a massive Obama drop in CT in  2012.  61% is not happening.  I have see recent polls for CT but somewhere near 54-46 might more likely in 2012 for the Prez.

So its possible that the democrats could carry only two or three CD's if the Prez drops. So I am CT closely for redistricting changes.  I hope to continue to see the D's packed into two seats.  

Alright Tried Again

The other districts are pretty similar, so I'm only showing this one.

Obama 53.47%-42.23%
Foley 58.32-40.14%
Bush 51.90%-46.45%

Keeps Meriden, makes the district PVI even.

Versus the current district:
Adds Ridgefield, Redding, Easton in Fairfield County
Adds Oxford, Prospect and loses Downtown Waterbury in New Haven County
Adds the remainder of Litchfield County
Adds Hartland, New Hartford, Granby, East Granby, and loses New Britian and Plainville in Hartford County

Baker '14
R, MA-3

Even PVI for CT-05
So, it's 44% McCain? Great seat, I think we'll see something like this.

[ Parent ]
Missed your numbers. Disregard my other post.

However, why wouldn't we push for a McCain improvement? The current seat is 42% McCain, and that's risky to me.

[ Parent ]
Good Catch there, that should be a 45 not a 42.

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
This is a great seat
Is it alright if I use your seat as a compromise idea when I post this diary on DKE?

[ Parent ]
Go For It!

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
GOP is "playing hardball"
so says the CT Mirror

'A bigger challenge appears to be new congressional districts. While these need relatively minor modifications to balance their populations to reflect the 2010 census, the GOP negotiators intend to demand significant changes to the 5th District, an open seat being sought by nine candidates.

"It should make more sense geographically -- more sense than it is," said Rep. Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, the House minority leader and co-chairman of the bipartisan redistricting commission.'

Too Bad
The 9th member on the commission in a former Democratic State Auditor...

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
But he is the unanimous choice of the commission members
Maybe he's not that partisan? Well, whatever map the commission approves, it still needs to get 2/3 approval of the legislature. The GOP definitely has a say in the process.

[ Parent ]
I don't
Think the commission's map requires legislative approval. The legislature had until September to draw maps on their own. Then it becomes the job of the commission. The commission is on borrowed time, they have until tomorrow to release a Congressional plan, which they can put the legislature, but don't actually have to. If they fail, it goes to the CT Supreme Court. They have until February to draw the maps.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
Supreme Court
Would the CT Supremes be more likely to draw a least change map or an actual fair map that uses COI?

[ Parent ]
Don't Know
Here's the breakdown of the court:

Weicker (Republican turned Independent turned Democrat) Appointees: 2
Rowland (R) Appointees: 2
Rell (R) Appointees: 3
Malloy (D) Appointees: 1

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
So, it will probably be fair, right?

[ Parent ]
I don't know
The Chief Justice, Chase Rogers gave $100 to Rowland in 1998. Her husband donated $$$ to Blumenthal and Obama though. She was appointed by Jodi Rell.

You can't trust anything Weicker did, so by the transitive property, you can't trust his appointees to make the right calls.

You also have to consider this court made the Kelo vs. New London decision, and ruled in favor of Gay Marriage as well.  

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
CT Supremes
FWIW, the word is the majority jurists on the Kelo decision like Justice Palmer have been quite embarassed about the ultimate result, as Pfizer reneged on the development plans after winning all the lawsuits.

The only overtly "political" decision I can recall from CT Supremes was gay marriage decision, but that was after for various reasons(recusals)they needed to add Appellate jurists which were the decisive votes. AG Dick Blumenthal sent a subordnate to argue for the state on that case, so draw your own conclusions.

The most reliably liberal judge on the court then, Joette Katz, retired and is now the CT DCF commissioner.

In the most recent election related case involving the qualfications of prominent Democrat Susan Bysiewicz to run for Attorney General they laid down the law hard she was unqualified. So there's hope they would not bend to expedience in a reapportionment case.  

[ Parent ]
What Would a Dem Gerrymander of CT Look Like?
Based on the precedents so far this cycle, I fully expect the Dems will get what they want here too, so I'm wondering how CT Dems will put CT-05 (and CT-04) out of reach for the GOP...  

[ Parent ]
Wanted to put Bridgeport in the 5th district, and stretch Himes out to Greater Danbury. That sounded more selfish, than in the partisan interests of a 5-0 delegation,

A good Democratic map would do this:
1) Add Farmington Valley, Lose Bristol
2) Loses Madison (Home of Joe Courtney's GOP opponent)
3) Lose Stratford, take in Oxford, Madison
4) Add Stratford, lose Ridgfield, Redding, Oxford and Easton
5) Keep New Britian, lose Farmington Valley, add Bristol, Ridgefield, Redding and Easton.

1 and 3 are Safe under all circumstances
CD 2 and 4 become D+5 to D+7 range
CD5 grows to D+3

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
Plus they'd undo part of the '02 "Simmons swap"
In '02 Rob Simmons unloaded the lefty college town of Middletown from the 2nd to the 3rd and took over blue collar, veteran heavy Enfield from the dissolved 6th District. Rob probably netted 4K votes every cycle from the trade.  

A CT Democratic gerrymander would put Middletown back in the 2nd and put Clinton, Westbrook, Killingworth, Durham & Old Saybrook in the 3rd.  

[ Parent ]
CT Gerrymander
Tonight, I drew a reasonable CT gerrymander that split towns only for population  reasons. The 1st and 3rd were super safe D. the 2nd was 41.5% O. The 4th was 46% M and the 5th was 44% M. I think we'd would probably win 4 and 5 with an outside chance at 2. Himes is quite liberal, and it would be hard for him to win an R+2 (I'd say it would be a toss up).

As for the 2nd, Coutu is a good candidate and Courtney is less than inspiring.

[ Parent ]
State Website says Commission meeting at 4pm, 11/30
Agenda says "new business". Commission website has posted no new maps. So what the "new business" they are discussing tommorrow afternoon is anyone's guess. Not exactly a good faith effort to comply with FOI laws IMO.  

[ Parent ]
Kevin Johnston
Hasn't been around elective politics for about 15 years. There are two state auditors in CT (bipartisan) and they are basically around as whistleblowers against waste and poor management.  

[ Parent ]

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