1. Miller (D-Newport News) R+8, 58%R (D+5, 52%D)
Probably the most effective elimination. What was formerly a compact D seat on the North side of Newport News loses most of its heavy D areas and picks up a large amount of rural territory. Miller is pretty much gone under this map.
3. Norment (R-Williamsburg) R+10, 58%R (R+15, 62%R)
Unsinked a bit but no substantive changes.
4. McDougle (R-Mechanicsville) R+10, 60%R (R+11, 61%R)
Cleaned up a little, and takes Fredericksburg to help Reeves out. Still safe for McDougle.
6. Northam (D-Nassawaddox) R+3, 52%R (D+3, 54%D)
Takes in rural parts of the Western Shore and Hampton in exchange for losing liberal precincts in Central Norfolk. This district is not a slam dunk if we're facing Northam or another D incumbent. The Eastern Shore and the rural parts of this district do have some Conservadems left.
25. OPEN D+11, 58%D, 53%BVAP (D+5, 56%D)
Deeds's seat gets relocated to the Southside as a sprawling black-majority seat. It will be an easy win for a black D, probably either Del. Roslyn Tyler or Del. Rosalyn Dance.
15. Ruff (R-Clarksville) R+9, 57%R (R+12, 60%R)
Cleans up a bit and shifts to the west, taking in the D-leaning industrial town of Martinsville. Should still be safe for Republicans.
19. Smith (R-Troutville) R+13, 59%R (R+16, 61%R)
Major changes to this seat, though it's still based around Salem and the Roanoke County suburbs. It trades a lot of rural territory (but only a moderate amount of population) south of Roanoke for rural territory north of Roanoke, but it's not a huge change in partisanship. If Smith doesn't draw a primary challenge he'll be fine.
20. Stanley (R-Moneta) R+7, 55%R (R+4, 52%R)
Another seat that undergoes major changes, taking in Blacksburg/Christiansburg to get rid of Edwards. It also has a side effect of making the seat a lot safer. If Stanley can get to know the new territory he should win easily, but a primary might be of some concern.
22. Garrett (R-Mineral) R+5, 55%R (R+7, 55%R)
This seat undergoes major changes, losing Lynchburg's Democrats and replacing them with Albemarle Dems, closer to Garrett's home base of Louisa County. Still not totally safe but the Dems in this seat are mostly liberal so I doubt the kind of Dem who can win this would get nominated.
23. Newman (R-Forest) R+13, 60%R (R+20, 65%R)
Gets unsinked by taking in the rest of Lynchburg.
24. Hanger (R-Staunton) & Deeds (D-Warm Springs) R+3, 54%R (R+16, 66%R)
The cage mach, between Creigh Deeds and Emmett Hanger. In addition to the 13/33 issues (see below), this is my biggest beef with this map. It's actually an Obama '08 district (by 43 votes) with an experienced and locally popular Dem incumbent in Creigh Deeds. I think Deeds could probably hold on in this seat if conditions were right. And what steams me is that it's totally unnecessary. This seat's portion of Charlottesville & Albemarle should have gone to Obenshain's massively R 26th right next door - which gets even more Republican under this map.
21. Edwards (D-Roanoke) R+5, 52%R (D+3, 55%D)
Loses Blacksburg, and turns from a D-leaning seat to an R-leaning seat. It is more likely than not to be a pickup, but it's far from a slam-dunk, because some of the new rural counties west of Roanoke added to this seat have a bit of a yellow dog tradition (think Southern WV just across the border).
38. Puckett (D-Lebanon) R+15, 54%R (R+12, 53%R)
Puckett's seat sits in the heart of coal country, and gets a little more conservative - but I'm skeptical it's enough to dislodge him. Tazewell, Dickenson, and Buchanan counties still have the yellow dog traditions of McDowell and Mingo across the border in WV. If Puckett retires we probably get this easily but dislodging him will still be tough.
40. Carrico (R-Galax) R+19, 63%R (R+20, 62%R)
Gets unpacked a little but not much; they should have done a better job using this seat to pull some yellow dogs out of Puckett's district just to the north.
Greater Northern VA:
13. Black (R-Leesburg) R+1, 55%R (R+3, 56%R)
Here's the weirdest thing about this map. Dick Black, a polarizing conservative, basically gets screwed here. This seat is basically unwinnable for him even though most other Rs should be fine here... as of now. The problem with this seat is that it's almost certain to trend even further to the left - the areas around Manassas Park and west of Dulles are the places liberals priced out of Fairfax are going. They're getting worse for us in a hurry; we're likely to lose this seat and not get it back under this map. What's worse is that this seat is a perfect incubator for the kind of D who could be a strong statewide candidate in 2017 or 2021.
17. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) R+8, 59%R (R+2, 53%R)
2011's closest State Senate winner gets a massively improved seat by pulling out of the Charlottesville area and losing the city of Fredericksburg. In exchange it takes some left-trending areas of Prince William, but not enough to put this seat in any danger - even by 2019. In fact, the PW chunk of the seat may be more about keeping Jeff Frederick's home of Montclair out of the (probably open) 29th district.
26. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) R+14, 65%R (R+11, 63%R)
This is the seat that makes me want to scream. The already solid R seat gets even more Republican, when Hanger next door could sorely use some more help. The seat should have been drawn into Albemarle and Charlottesville. I don't know what kind of pull Obenshain had to get this, but this is a sweet seat for him or his successor.
27. Vogel (R-Upperville) R+10, 60%R (R+10, 60%R)
Basically identical, shifts around a small amount of rural territory.
28. Stuart (R-Montross) R+6, 57%R (R+8, 58%R)
Gets a bit less R by trading exurbs for the rural Northern Neck. It's a fair amount of population shift, but one that's probably welcomed by Northern Neck native Stuart.
Hampton Roads/ VA Peninsula:
2. Locke (D-Hampton) D+22, 68%D, 53%BVAP (D+18, 65%D)
Locke's black majority seat gets packed a little better, losing a conservative slice of York County, but otherwise doesn't change much.
5. Alexander (D-Norfolk) D+23, 71%D, 54%BVAP (D+21, 69%D)
Trades conservative whites in Chesapeake for liberal whites in Norfolk to make it a better vote sink.
7. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) R+5, 55%R (R+3, 53%R)
Relatively similar, but loses some heavily minority parts on the western border of VA Beach to turn it from a Lean-R seat into a Safe one.
8. McWaters (R-Virginia Beach) R+6, 56%R (R+5, 56%R)
Basically identical to the 2011 version, other than a few minor precinct swaps in western Virginia Beach.
14. Blevins (R-Chesapeake) R+14, 61%R (R+13, 60%R)
Pretty much identical.
18. Lucas (D-Portsmouth) D+20, 68%D, 54%BVAP (D+14, 63%D)
Loses a giant chunk of rural territory to form the base of the new 25th, and in exchange takes in a lot more of urban Hampton Roads. As a result this seat sees a major improvement in vote sinkiness.
Richmond - Petersburg: Note the really awkward precinct splits around Hopewell - most of the green areas directly under the number "16" should be part of 16 (the purple seat). The area is basically marshland so the split doesn't affect much.
9. McEachin (D-E. Higland Park) D+26, 75%D, 52%BVAP (D+20, 68%R)
Loses conservative parts of Hanover Co and all of black-majority Charles City County for more of Richmond.
10. Watkins (R-Midlothian) R+10, 60%R (R+1, 52%R)
A very effective improvement in Watkins's safety, by dropping a bunch of minority heavy precincts in Richmond and the northern border of Chesterfield for a lot of rural territory.
11. Martin (R-Chesterfield) R+11, 62%R (R+10, 61%R)
No real substantive changes, but it gets a bit more rural and less suburban.
12. Stosch (R-Glen Allen) R+8, 59%R (R+8, 59%R)
Trades out a little of the Henrico inner suburbs and adds rural Goochland County, but these are minor changes.
16. Marsh (D-Richmond) D+22, 66%D, 52%BVAP (D+19, 64%D)
Loses most of Petersburg to the new black majority seat, and gains multi-ethnic areas of Northern Chesterfield and black-majority Charles City. Otherwise the district is basically similar.
29. Colgan (D-Manassas) EVEN, 53%R (D+10, 54%D)
Pretty much everyone assumes Colgan will retire in 2015, and his majority-minority, strong D seat is redrawn as a tossup to tilt R district. I believe Corey Stewart lives just inside this district and this seat was basically drawn for him. If he doesn't win the LG post he should be the favorite here; any other R would probably face a tossup race.
30. Ebbin (D-Arlington) D+18, 68%D (D+14, 64%D)
Becomes a much more logical district by uniting Alexandria and losing some conservative areas drawn into the seat in 2011 out of an abundance of Dem caution.
31. Favola (D-Arlington) D+19, 69%D (D+11, 60%D)
Similarly to 30, this seat becomes a whole lot more logical and more D by undoing some D gerrymandering.
32. Howell (D-Reston) D+9, 57%D (D+10, 59%D)
This seat is a move I don't entirely get, as they strand a lot of R votes here in the Great Falls/Mclean area that are drowned out by liberal Reston. If I were drawing it I'd have tried to put these historically R and moneyed areas in one of the Loudon seats or with Barker.
33. Herring (D-Leesburg) D+2, 51%R (D+7, 52%D)
This seat amounts to a half-hearted attempt to go after Herring or his successor if he wins AG. Sterling is bad news for us long-term and I don't see us defeating Herring or his successor, even with the theoretically winnable D+2 PVI.
34. Petersen (D-Fairfax City) D+4, 53%D (D+5, 53%D)
Petersen gets weakened slightly but not all that much. It's safe for Petersen, but might be flippable in a special election if he wins something congressional or statewide in the next decade.
35. Saslaw (D-Springfield) D+11, 60%D (D+14, 63%D)
Saslaw's seat is now white-majority, richer, and more suburban, pulling out more towards the beltway from the 7-corners area. I don't think the changes make much of a difference.
36. Puller (D-Mt. Vernon) D+11, 59%D (D+12, 59%D)
Puller's district becomes a lot more logical and is now white-majority, by losing minority-heavy parts of Prince William and replacing them with very rich areas near Mt. Vernon. The district is basically as safe as before.
37. Marsden (D-Burke) D+13, 59%D, 41%WVAP (D+5, 53%D)
Marsden may have some primary trouble here, as the seat is essentially entirely new to him and majority-minority. If he can get past a primary from a Prince William Dem he should be fine.
39. Barker (D-Clifton) D+1, 52%R (D+7, 54%D)
This seat loses its heavily D tail into Alexandria and becomes a logical seat that's basically a tossup. Seems like it's drawn for County Supervisor Pat Herrity but it would also be the most logical place for Artur Davis to run.
Overall this is a decent map, but I don't love it by any means. VA Republicans could have done better in gerrymandering the Senate.