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Redistricting: Sweet Map, Alabama

by: BostonPatriot

Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 14:54:02 PM EDT


Yesterday, Gov. Robert Bentley signed this map into law, making Alabama the 9th state to complete congressional redistricting (or the 16th, if you're counting the 7 at-large states.)

The map looks very similar to the 2001 plan, but it makes key changes to the districts of freshmen Martha Roby and Mo Brooks, making both Republicans safer. Robert Aderholt's 4th, previously the sixth most Republican district in America, is unpacked somewhat, as is Spencer Bachus' 6th, which was the reddest of them all. Terri Sewell's VRA-protected 7th remains the lone Democratic district, and it was underpopulated enough for Republicans to slide Montgomery's black population into the vote sink as well.

Our usual DRA visual analysis, complete with racial stats, is over the flip.

BostonPatriot :: Redistricting: Sweet Map, Alabama
AL-01: Jo Bonner (R-Mobile) R+14
New: 65.9% W, 27.5% B Old: 65.9% W, 27.5% B

The Gulf Coast district, centered on Mobile, sees as little change as any district in the country. It drops a grand total of 5 precincts in Clarke County to meet the population requirements, leaving the racial and partisan numbers identical.

AL-02: Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) R+17
New: 64.1% W, 29.3% B Old: 63.4% W, 30.5% B

Roby's district retains the Wiregrass but sheds the westernmost part of Montgomery and majority-black Lowndes County, which supported Obama 3-to-1. In return, she adds the southern suburbs of Montgomery from the 3rd district. The new 2nd has about 5,000 fewer African-Americans than the old 2nd, meaning Bobby Bright probably never would have beaten Jay Love in 2008 under this configuration. The 34-year-old Roby could be in Congress for a long time.

AL-03: Mike Rogers (R-Saks) R+14 (est.)
New: 69.2% W, 25.3% B. Old: 62.3% W, 31.9% B

Rogers (not to be confused with the Intelligence Chairman from MI-08) is the biggest winner under this plan. The 3rd was previously home to most of Montgomery, including many majority-black wards, but now contains only the northeastern part of the county. It has added exurban R+35 St. Clair County in the northwest. These changes reduce the black percentage by nearly 7%, keeping Rogers safe from running any semi-competitive races like the one he had in 2008 again.

AL-04: Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) R+25 (est.)
New: 84.7% W. Old: 86.4% W.

This was Obama's second worst district in the country in 2008 (only TX-13 was worse), and the legislature decided to unpack it somewhat to make the neighboring 5th safer. By this, we mean that they replaced some of the 75% McCain areas with 60% McCain areas. Notice that ancestrally Democratic Colbert and Lawrence Counties, in the northwestern part of the state, have moved into the 4th, while Aderholt has surrendered R+25 Morgan County to the 5th.

For those of you who are fans of "liberating" Republican areas, this district came about 100 yards away from rescuing Bryant-Denney Stadium from Terri Sewell. What a travesty.

AL-05: Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) R+17
New: 74.1% W, 16.8% B Old: 73.4% W, 17.6% B

Hard to believe this district was still waiting for its first Republican representative since Reconstruction just 18 months ago. Brooks is protected from another Parker Griffith-type Democrat by the northwest-for-Morgan exchange described above. This Huntsville-based seat is now quite compact, hugging the Tennessee border.

AL-06: Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia Hills) R+29
New: 78.5% W, 13.7% B, 4.9% H Old: 79.1%W, 13.7%B, 4.2% H

The monstrous 6th, based in suburban Birmingham, now has more of a north-south than east-west dynamic, but remains in the running for the title of Most Republican in America. Its white population has fallen slightly, but the growth is Hispanic and not black. The exchange of Tuscaloosa for Coosa is probably a wash, while the exchange of R+35 St. Clair for R+39 Blount makes up for the addition of Hispanic neighborhoods in Birmingham. The Financial Services chairman is well.....beyond safe.

AL-07: Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) D+19
New: 63.0% B (60% VAP.) Old: 62.3% B (59.2% VAP)

The dual-function VRA seat and vote sink that is the 7th was very underpopulated, and had to pick up population in both the rural western part of the state and, more importantly, in Montgomery. Sewell's addition of the western part of the city, groud zero during the Civil Rights Era, helps both Rogers and Roby while also giving representation to the black community in that part of the state.

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our best plan yet
Perhaps the best plan of the cycle. Of course, its an easy state for that.

28, R, PA-07.

This may just be
our best plan yet. It takes two districts the D's held in 2008 off the table and takes Rogers off the DCCC targeted districts list as well. I would wager that the 6 current Republican districts will not see another D congressman this entire decade. This map has my vote as the best Republican map so far, with Louisiana a close second.

SC1-Charleston

A very far map. Likely one that a non-partisan commission would
draw if Alabama had that law.  Okay just kidding.  Its a an out right gerrymander similar to MD or MA or OR's current map.  No it does not change the partisan composition of AL but basically it says "Democrats come back in 2022 if you want to run for congress in Al".

To clarify a few points from I sit in the Mid-South both GOP freshman have done a great job.  I am not sure they would have needed any help with their seats.  Martha Roby in particular hit the jackpot with her committee assignments.  Currently she has suburban/urban/rural district and while from NY City or PA or Il or MN you might think Southerners are all one size fit all conservatives.  There is , however,  a big difference  between Montgomery Al & Enterprise Al (county seat of coffee county)  in politcs.  Montgomery or Memphis or Nashville or Atlanta are considered big cities and rural folks are not crazy about metro area politicans.  So Martha Roby has done a great job, IMO, of balancing rural versus urban interests.  


Wouldn't compare
I would not compare it to Maryland as a lot of this map exists because of VRA considerations.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Roby is doing a great job...
The only person who could threaten her is Bright, and he didn't really enjoy Congress. He's not running again (Especially after Montgomery got removed here)

[ Parent ]
Roby's dad is a judge on the 11th circuit
Her father is Joel Dubina, appointed by Bush 41, and he is 1 of 3 on the health care reform appeal.

28, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
I lived in this district until 2009 and I really like Roby.
Like I would have voted for her in 2012 if the Democrats didn't throw up Bobby Bright or one of the state legislators.  

[ Parent ]
K1211 I thought I knew my political trivia
but that topped me!!!  I remember when Dubina was nominated and yes he was a Reagan (district) and Circuit courtBush41 guy.  He is a solid conservative.  

Federal judgeships are very political so that's a sign Roby is connected.  


[ Parent ]
I love that Bright not only lost his seat in Congress, but
that also the mayor of Montgomery is now a Republican.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
States completing congressional redistricting
Unless I'm mistaken on one of these, I count 9 states that have completed congressional redistricting:
Alabama
Arkansas
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Louisiana
Missouri
Nebraska
Oklahoma

42, R, NE-1.

Nebraska did finish?
I didn't know the governor had signed off yet. If you can find a link to a detailed map, we can do a writeup of the new plan, or you can diary it yourself and we'll promote it.

[ Parent ]
Signed on May 26
the same day it passed the Legislature.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Link to map
This is the map from the Nebraska Legislature's website:
http://news.legislature.ne.gov...

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
New Omaha based district
can you somewhat estimate the new 2nd district PVI?

38, male, Roma ( Italia ), conservative

[ Parent ]
I think I read somewhere that it was R+8 now.


23, Conservative, NC-02 (SC-04 college) Hello Senator Tillis! -    

[ Parent ]
As best I can guess
it's probably moved from an R+6 to an R+7 or maybe R+8.  

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
I heard it barely moved it
Something like a net of 2,000 GOP voters or something. For like a +1R move in the PVI. I'd like to know how NE-1 stands now losing the rural counties and gaining the "friendlier" pcts from NE-2.

[ Parent ]
NE-1
hardly changed at all. Picking up the less Republican part of Sarpy County is balanced out by shedding some of the less Republican parts of the 1st District, particularly Dakota(51% McCain) and Gage(53% McCain) Counties, and adding heavily Republican Platte County(70% McCain) from the 3rd District.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
about the same
The map wasn't that good.  All they did was replace a swingy area of Sarpy County with a conservative rural area of Sarpy County, but the district had to lose 30,000 people and all the loss came from Sarpy County so it didn't make much of a difference.  They didn't have the balls to split Douglas County, which contains Omaha, so the McCain numbers literally got only .2% higher.  Obama still would have won this incarnation in 2008, but by 2700 votes, rather than 3300.

CO-6, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, devout atheist

[ Parent ]
Splitting Douglas County
would not have passed. The plan that did pass was controversial enough. Where did you get the numbers for 2008 under the new lines? The information I have heard is that the new lines increase the Republican registration advantage in the district by about 1500. That doesn't match up with the numbers you give.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Yes, I have seen
numbers that the new NEB 2 has 2,000 more registered R's that the old district and would have gone for McCain.

SC1-Charleston

[ Parent ]
Splitting Omaha
while it would not have passed, it would have made things so much easier. For example, here's a closeup of Douglas County where I dragged Smith into northern Omaha:

Since Smith's district is a vote sink anyway, I figured this wouldn't hurt him any.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17


[ Parent ]
Where's the 1st District
in this map? How do you move the 3rd District into Douglas County without radically changing the 1st District?

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
1st District
I radically changed it, along with all the districts. Nebraska, as best as I can tell has had its districts run vertically since the 4th district disappeared in 1962. To run the 3rd into Omaha, I ran all the districts horizontally:

While I know most people in the state would absolutely lose it if this were the actual map, it would be much better for Team R and most of my relatives there would keep their current congressman.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Also
calling the part of Sarpy County added to the 2nd as "rural" is not really correct. It is quickly becoming suburban and is the fastest growing area in the state, which will likely increase the Republican advantage in the district as the decade goes along.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
spot on about Sarpy.


[ Parent ]
Illinois- Quinn hasn't signed yet.
Nebraska, I do believe Gov. Heineman has signed already will double check.

SC1-Charleston

[ Parent ]
Great write up, except for one detail you messed up on...
"Rogers, the Intelligence Chairman, is the biggest winner under this plan."

You're thinking of the wrong Mike Rogers.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.
Sold on Bob Dold!


Definitely the wrong Rogers
I remember people in Michigan confusing the two during the Abramoff scandal.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Yes, I missed that one
I've always thought the Alabama Rogers was the Intelligence chairman until today. Don't know why I kept making that mistake.

[ Parent ]
Michigan Mike Rogers
Rep Rogers was an FBI agent, fyi. That's why he's Chairman of Intelligence. I think it's pretty cool that our side has two former FBI agents in congress (Grimm and Rogers).

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.
Sold on Bob Dold!


[ Parent ]
I think we should do some kind of contest.
For whoever draws the closest district to what the states actually pass. The winner should get like a thousand bucks or something haha.  

23, Conservative, NC-02 (SC-04 college) Hello Senator Tillis! -    

That was the premise behind my FL maps, actually.
I tried for maps that could be passed.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Gingrich's entire staff just resigned!
No link yet.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

Here it is.
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes...

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
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