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Gerrymandering Results

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 17:15:55 PM EST

There were a lot of partisan gerrymanders this year, designed to produce wins for the party that did them. Here's my ranking.
Left Coast Libertarian :: Gerrymandering Results
1. Pennsylvania - No one does gerrymanders like Pennsylvania. Their imagination goes beyond what most of us can draw. Their 2001 gerrymander was incredibly ugly. And they outdid themselves this time.

In 2010 Republicans won 5 districts and had 2 other incumbents sitting in Obama D+3 and D+5 districts. The state was losing a seat. And it was sure to be a year that Barack Obama and Bob Casey carried the statewide vote.

Republicans congressmen carried all 7 of those districts by at least 13 points. On top of that they drew a district to make sure two Democratic congressmen challenged each other and not take on a Republican incumbent. And then they won that district too. Outside of that district I don't see Republicans losing any of the other districts this decade. Maybe PA-8 in a wave year.

2. Illinois - I put it #2 because the Democrats weren't redrawing as many questionable districts, but this job was equally impressive. It impressed me because I expressed skepticism that they'd take more than 2 Republican districts.

Barack Obama's win dropped 8 points in Illinois, a fairly substantial drop when he only dropped 4 points nationally. Democrats still took out 4 GOP incumbents and came very very close to winning a fifth Republican seat. They won 3 of them in the Chicago area and they did this all without endangering any surrounding Democratic seats. The fear that IL-12 was in trouble proved unfounded.

I'm not sure that IL-10, 12, and 17 won't be in play this decade, but IL-13 certainly will.

3. Ohio - They gave Chabot, Gibbs, and Stivers safe seats and drew seats good enough for Johnson and Renacci to beat a current and former congressman by 5 and 7 points. The Democrats got the Republicans to redraw OH-10 and it still wasn't competitive.

4. Maryland - It's tough to rate this one higher because Democrats only gained one seat and none of their congressmen was in danger. Yet every one of their incumbents won by 27 and Delaney took MD-6 by 20.

5. North Carolina - Republicans did manage to draw three good wins, but the 9th was closer than than it should've been and Mike McIntyre pulled out a squeaker.  

6. Wisconsin - You could probably rate this state higher since all five Republicans won by double digits.

7. Virginia - The GOP protected all their wins and only one of those districts was close. We'll see what happens if Randy Forbes or Frank Wolf decide to retire.

8. Michigan - The state did go was D 1, so they achieved their goal, but MI1 was way too close, MI-3 was closer than it should've been, and you have to wonder how Bentivolio will do against a good opponent.

9. Missouri - They eliminated Russ Carnahan and every Republican won by 23 points. So mission accomplished.

10. Indiana - They made IN-8 safe, but IN-2 was close. Still passable.

11. Georgia - It was nice that GA-6 and 7 don't look like they'll be in danger, but the GOP had a major fail in GA-12. The candidate was weak, so maybe we'll re-evaluate.

12. Oklahoma - There really wasn't a question that OK-2 was going to be easy to take.

13. Massachusetts - I don't know if the Mass legislature was really trying to freeze out the GOP and Republicans didn't try in most districts. They were 9 for 9.

14. Tennessee - I suppose Republicans should get credit that Scott DesJarlais won his district so easily, but they could've drawn a district they could challenge Jim Cooper.

15. South Carolina - I suppose that it's an accomplishment to draw 6 districts Mitt won by at least 12 points in a state he won by 10.5, but SC-7 ended up much closer than it should have.

16. Utah - How hard would it have been to draw a district that Jim Matheson couldn't win?

17. Arkansas - There are now four safe Republican districts drawn by... the Democrats.

Honorable mention
Florida - FDF was in effect to make sure Florida wasn't a partisan gerrymander. It's clear to me that a few districts violate that, notably the 5th, 14th, 22nd, 26th, and 27th. Three of those gerrymandered districts actually went to the Democrats, however, and FL-27 wouldn't be in danger if it were even if it were more compact. Republicans went from 19-6 to 17-10, which isn't bad, considering two of the losses were more the candidates than the maps.

In a redraw they can create FL-21 as a Palm Beach district and FL-22 as a Broward district. This may mean Republicans have no shot at either, but that's a small price to pay. I would draw it but the maps in DRA continually move in my computer.

Texas - Republicans ran afoul of the law here too and these maps are also likely to be redrawn. The GOP did lose TX-23, but they preserved the other seats.  

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FL would've a one loss (scandal) deal
If West & Rooney swapped districts; too many moderates on the east coast for a fire breather like Allen  

They didn't
make IN 8 safe.  

Republican Medical Doc from New York, NY

Buschon won by more than 10
It was a district where the Democrat raised almost as much as he did and the year favored the Democrats slightly. A 10+ point win is my criteria for safety.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
The Lesson: Gerrymanders work
and very much so ... there are some truly ugly districts out there, but I think the "general voter" doesn't care about the minutia of drawing districts.

Being a partisan hack, I enjoy gerrymanders where it helps Republicans to succeeed and want every Democratic gerrymander to be repealed.

UT was a major failure - especially if that "Chaffetz was greedy" story is true - and I personally feel that Republicans could have done a better job down there in Texas, but alas ... overall, it once again proves how important it is to hold majorities in state legislatures and have Republicans sitting in the Governors' mansions.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

Gerrymanders work
But they don't always work long term.

[ Parent ]
Pennsylvania in the 2000s
is a prime example.

2002: 10 R, 9 D
2004: 12 R, 7 D
2006: 8 R, 11 D
2008: 7 R, 12 D
2010: 12 R, 7 D
31, Libertarian, Female, CA-31 (hometown), UT-02 (current)

[ Parent ]
I don't think Florida can redraw
Remember, the way the fair districts amendment is worded, its the motivation(ie. taking partisanship into account when map-drawing) rather than the outcome that matters. What possible, non-partisan motive could there be for a redraw?

It would seem too great a risk for 1-2 seats, given the high likelyhood they would end up with a court drawn map. And this is one place losing the VRA would hurt. A court drawn map+no VRA would at best lead to an even break, and at worst cost Republicans another 2 seats.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

Violation of FDF
Democrats and good government groups sued that the maps favored one party over another. I'm pretty sure that lawsuit will now go forward.


R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
For the 1.0*10^17th time
The Texas Legislature did not run afoul of the law, unless you're living in the Texas Democrats' fantasy world where they never ever gerrymandered when they were the majority party, and the VRA says you're supposed to draw a bunch of coalition seats because "there's no harm in drawing more 'minority seats.'"

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

Aug. 28 court decision

A U.S. federal court ruled on Tuesday that controversial Texas redistricting maps discriminate against black and Hispanic voters,

This isn't a question of fantasies or coalition districts. This is the Federal court ruling the districts were invalid.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
The decision goes into some rather strange criteria, which implies that it was possible to draw new MMDs in DFW, when it is in fact, not. Also, the decision on the State Senate map was basically "how can we order a Dem gerrymander into effect?"

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
I don't know the final decision
But I do know the legal action isn't over and the maps can still be revised. Fortunately, Perry v. Perez says that no matter what the VRA objections are, the maps will keep going back to the Texas legislature.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Massachusetts was a less a gerrymander
And more the fact that Republicans locally failed(with the limited exception of Tisei and Brown) to run much ahead of the national ticket. And the national ticket had few areas of genuine strength(37.6% does that).

I think people underestimate how much the GOP crashed in Massachusetts this year, largely because the Democrats chose an incumbent protection gerrymander that ceded about 30 seats to the GOP in the State House.

The Senate Map on the other-hand was brilliant, perhaps one of the best maps in the country. Democrats easily held 90% of the chamber, and the closest race was a 6% win in a three-way.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

I don't know where I would rank it, but I think SC's 6 Republican districts were drawn as well as they could have been drawn. Clyburn's SC-6 was 71% Obama, and taking considerations into account was drawn as Democratic as possible. Obama finished within a point (43.6/44.4) in both SC 5/7 and both Mulvaney and Rice received exactly 55.51%. That should be as close as those two finish for the decade. I think it was a great plan.


Kerry Bentivolio
and you have to wonder how Bentivolio will do against a good opponent.
You mean when he faces a strong primary opponent like State Senator Mike Kowall or prominent and successful attorney David Trott ( I just sruggle to see a scenario where he makes it to the 114th Congress.

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

Kowall yes, Trott not so sure
Mike (or even Eileen, a state rep) Kowall would be a strong opponent. Marty Knollenberg is another person to watch. He's a former state rep. Over in Wayne County, John Walsh is termed out and a very popular Livonia state rep.  

David Trott's a successful attorney, but he does foreclosures and that will be used against him heavily. I know that he's just doing his job for his clients, but that's coming from an attorney's perspective and not the general public. Trott's never run for office as far as I can recall.

The only dems that concern me offhand are Tim Melton or Dian Slavens.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
In response to this:

8. Michigan - The state did go was D 1, so they achieved their goal, but MI1 was way too close, MI-3 was closer than it should've been, and you have to wonder how Bentivolio will do against a good opponen

MI-1 - Has limited ability to make safer. The UP is never safe with Marquette. Grand Traverse County was given back which is a positive. Conservadem havens like Ogemaw, Arenac, and rural/suburban Bay County were removed. Manistee being added may not have been a good idea, but that wasn't a bad redraw. MI-01 will be tossup/tilt R at best against a good opponent like McDowell.

MI-3 - Calhoun County had to go somewhere. It's a swing county that strongly dislikes Tim Walberg. Kent County has diminishing returns, but Barry and Ionia should make anyone safe. Steve Pestka is also probably the best the dems could throw at Amash, so keep that in mind.

MI-11 - The old 11th went for Bentivolio's opponent and the bench is rather thin in the new 11th. I think Bentivolio has more to fear from a primary than a general, but he'll have two years to make a name for himself.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

Michigan gerrymander
The state certainly is not gerrymandered. At best, you could make choices that would favor the Democratic party, such as:

1. Attach Flint to the Thumb.
2. Attach Livingston County to Washtenaw.
3. Wrangle up Ingham, Saginaw, Bay City in a district in some manner.

I suspect these would net the Democrats another couple districts.

28, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
I thin that was more of a product of an already "meh" candidate in Jacky Walorski operating on cruise control and Brendan Mullen being a strong candidate than a poorly drawn district (although it certainly could have been better drawn). If I were Mitch Daniels, I would have drawn IN-01 over to South Bend or even Elkhart and cut off the southern parts of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties along the way.

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!


From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

[ Parent ]
This race
and this district surprised me quite a bit.  First I would have assumed that the legislature would have just stripped out South Bend when Donnelly hadn't committed to a Senate race (I guess he gets the Chris Coons award for having amazing "foresight").  But I believe Daniels didn't want any plan that was too egregious.  

Given that, I thought Walorski would have done much better given how well she performed in 2010.  We are lucky that she pulled this race out in the end.

37, Republican, NJ-11  

[ Parent ]
The Pennsylvania gerrymander takes gerrymandering to a different level as its not just a partisan hatchet job as Maryland, does several things including raising the Republican floors and making the Democratic primary electorates as incompatible with the districts as possible.

29, Republican, PA-6

Can you repost that in different words
I'm not sure what you're trying to say there.  

An anti-public union, market-loving moderate.

[ Parent ]

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