Red Racing Horses

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?


Red Racing Horses analyzes and discusses elections from a Republican-leaning perspective. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog. Please read our site Terms of Use.

~The RRH Moderators: BostonPatriot, Daniel Surman, GoBigRedState, Greyhound, Izengabe, James_Nola, Right Reformer, Ryan_in_SEPA, and Shamlet.

Problems logging into your account? Inside information? Complaints? Compliments? E-Mail us at: We check it often!

An Important Announcement about Upcoming Changes to RRH

The Current RRH Race Ratings:



Row Officers

Michigan Redistricting: Republican State House Map Passed

by: Conservative First

Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 21:25:41 PM EDT

(Another great post by Conservative First. - promoted by James_Nola)

Cross-posted at The Western Right and Right Michigan.

The Michigan Republicans proposal for the new state house redistricting plan has passed the legislature and will be sent to Governor Snyder.

Wayne Co., Detroit lose clout under GOP plans
Redrawn plan to have ripple effect

Conservative First :: Michigan Redistricting: Republican State House Map Passed

For comparison, here is the current state house map.

This author has previously proposed a state house redistricting plan broken into four parts.  The basic rules that any plan must satisfy are explained in the first article.

Michigan Redistricting: State House Part I: Wayne County
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part II: Oakland and Genesee
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part III: Macomb and the Thumb
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part IV: The Rest of the State

Many sections of this map are quite similar to the current map, particularly Southwest, south-central, UP, the Thumb, and south Oakland.  Wayne loses almost three house districts, with most of the losses coming from Detroit.  These are distributed to other parts of the state.  Roughly speaking, the new seats are in central Macomb, Ann Arbor suburbs, and Grand Rapids suburbs.  Other demographic changes were smaller, and are detailed in the fourth article above.

Overall, this map breaks 23 counties, including three double breaks (St. Clair, Kent, Kalamazoo).  The current map breaks 24 counties with two double breaks (St. Clair, Ottawa).  My proposed map breaks 22 counties, including three double breaks (St. Clair, Jackson, Kalamazoo).

This map also breaks 18 cities/townships, including breaking Detroit seven (!) ways, and a triple breaks in Warren.  These breaks are in Wayne (7), Macomb (5), Oakland (3), Flint, Ann Arbor, and Lansing.

The current map breaks 17 cities/townships, including a triple break for Detroit.  These breaks are in Wayne (6/8), Macomb (4), Oakland (2), Genesee (2), Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.  My map breaks 13 cities/townships, including breaking Detroit four ways and two double breaks (Sterling Heights, Clinton Twp).  These breaks are in Wayne (5/8), Macomb (3/5), Oakland (2), Flint, Ann Arbor, and Lansing.

There are 12 black-majority districts, ten based in Detroit, and one each in Southfield and Flint.  This is the same as the current map despite population loss in Detroit.


We provide proposed district number, corresponding current district number, political rating, and geographic description.

1.-10. (1-12,17) Safe D [Detroit]
11. (16) Safe D [Inkster, Garden City]
12. (22) Safe D [Taylor, Romulus]
13. (?) Safe D [Southgate, Allen Park, Dearborn Heights]
14. (13) Safe D [Riverview, Wyandotte, Lincoln Park, Melvindale]
15. (15) Safe D [Dearborn]
16. (18) Safe D [Westland, Wayne]
17. (56) Tossup [N Monroe, Sumpter, Flat Rock]
18. (24) Safe D(---) [St. Clair Shores, Eastpointe]
19. (19) Safe R [Livonia]
20. (20) Safe R(++) [Plymouth, Northville, E Canton]
21. (21) Tossup [Canton, Van Buren]
22. (42) Safe D [Roseville, E Warren]
23. (23) Tossup [SE Wayne]
24. (new) Safe R(++++) [Harrison, N Clinton, SW Macomb]
25. (25) Tossup(++) [E Sterling Heights, NC Warren]
26. (26) Safe D [Royal Oak, Madison Heights]
27. (27) Safe D [Oak Park, Ferndale, Hazel Park]
28. (28) Safe D [W Warren, Center Line]
29. (29) Safe D [Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Orchard Lake]
30. (30) Safe R [W Sterling Heights, Utica, SE Shelby]
31. (31) Safe D [S Clinton, Fraser, Mt. Clemens]
32. (32) Lean R [Chesterfield, C St. Clair]
33. (33) Safe R [NE Macomb, Macomb Twp.]
34. (34) Safe D [Flint]
35. (35) Safe D [Southfield]
36. (36) Safe R [Shelby, Washington, Bruce]
37. (37) Safe D [Farmington]
38. (38) Safe R [Novi, Lyon]
39. (39) Lean R(+) [W West Bloomfield, Commerce, Wixom]
40. (40) Safe R [Bloomfield, Birmingham, E West Bloomfield]
41. (41) Safe R [Troy, Clawson]
42. (66) Safe R [SE Livingston]
43. (43) Safe R(+) [Waterford, Independence]
44. (44) Safe R [Springfield, White Lake, Highland, Milford]
45. (45) Safe R [Rochester, S Oakland Twp]
46. (46) Safe R [NE Oakland]
47. (47) Safe R [N Livingston]
48. (50) Safe D [NE Genesee]
49. (49) Safe D [Flint Twp., Mt. Morris]
50. (51) Lean D(--) [Burton, Grand Blanc, Mundy]
51. (?) Safe R(++++) [W Genesee, Fenton, NW Oakland]
52. (52) Lean R(++) [W Washtenaw]
53. (53) Safe D [Ann Arbor]
54. (54) Safe D [Ypsilanti]
55. (new) Lean D(+) [Pittsfield, NE Ann Arbor, York, Augusta]
56. (55) Tossup [S Monroe]
57. (57) Tossup [Lenawee]
58. (58) Safe R [Branch, Hillsdale]
59. (59) Safe R [St. Joseph, E Cass]
60. (60) Safe D [Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Twp.]
61. (61) Safe R(+) [Portage, Oshtemo, Texas, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde]
62. (62) Lean D(-) [Battle Creek, Albion, N Calhoun]
63. (63) Safe R [E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun]
64. (64) Tossup [Jackson city, W Jackson]
65. (65) Lean R [N Jackson, SE Eaton]
66. (80) Safe R [Van Buren, Cooper, Alamo, Parchment]
67. (67) Lean R(+) [S Ingham]
68. (68) Safe D [Lansing]
69. (69) Safe D [East Lansing, Meridian]
70. (70) Lean R [Montcalm, N Gratiot]
71. (71) Lean R [Eaton]
72. (72) Safe R [Kentwood, Gaines, NE Allegan]
73. (73) Safe R [Grand Rapids Twp, Plainfield, NE Kent]
74. (new) Safe R(++++) [Grandville, Walker, Alpine, NW Kent]
75. (76) Safe D [central Grand Rapids]
76. (75) Tossup [peripheral Grand Rapids]
77. (77) Safe R [Wyoming, Byron]
78. (78) Safe R(+) [S Berrien, SW Cass]
79. (79) Safe R [N Berrien]
80. (88) Safe R [Allegan]
81. (81) Safe R [NW, E St. Clair]
82. (82) Safe R [Lapeer]
83. (83) Lean R [Sanilac, Port Huron]
84. (84) Lean R [Tuscola, Huron]
85. (85) Safe R(+) [Shiawassee, W Saginaw]
86. (86) Safe R [SE Kent, N Ionia]
87. (87) Safe R [Barry, S Ionia]
88. (74) Safe R [NE Ottawa]
89. (89) Safe R [W Ottawa]
90. (90) Safe R [Holland]
91. (91) Lean R [S, W Muskegon]
92. (92) Safe D [Muskegon city]
93. (93) Safe R [S Gratiot, Clinton]
94. (94) Safe R [Saginaw Twp, E Saginaw]
95. (95) Safe D [Saginaw city]
96. (96) Safe D [Bay]
97. (97) Safe R(+) [Arenac, Gladwin, Clare, E Osceola]
98. (98) Safe R [C Midland, N Bay]
99. (99) Lean R [Isabella, W Midland]
100. (100) Safe R [Newaygo, Oceana, Lake]
101. (101) Lean R [Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, Mason]
102. (102) Safe R [Wexford, W Osceola, Mecosta]
103. (103) Safe R(++) [Kalkaska, Crawford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw]
104. (104) Safe R [Grand Traverse]
105. (105) Safe R [Antrim, Charlevoix, Otsego, Montmorency, Oscoda]
106. (106) Lean D [E Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Alpena, Alcona, Iosco]
107. (107) Lean R [Emmet, Mackinac, Chippewa, N Cheboygan]
108. (108) Lean R [Delta, Menominee, Dickinson]
109. (109) Safe D [Marquette, Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce]
110. (110) Lean D [W Upper Peninsula]

Rating: SR/LR/TU/LD/SD
Old....... 35 / 18 / 12 / 4 / 41
New...... 45 / 14 /  8 / 5 / 38
ME:...... 45 / 19 /  5 / 2 / 39


My initial reaction to this map was negative.  Having analyzed it, I'm a little more favorable, but there are still some real problems.  It appears that excessive consideration was given to protecting existing incumbents.  But this makes little sense when they will all be term-limited out of office by 2016 at the latest.  It is selfish to put short-term incumbents ahead of the long-term interests of the party.

On the plus side, Republicans will gain two of the three new seats that Wayne lost.  Various other districts are shored up in
• Plymouth/Northville (loses Wayne)
• Waterford (loses N W Bloomfield, S Waterford)
• W Washtenaw (loses NE Ann Arbor)
• SW Kalamazoo (loses W Kalamazoo Twp)
• S Berrien (loses Dowagiac)
• Shiawassee (loses Bath)
• Clare/Gladwin (loses N Bay)
• NC LP (adds Kalkaska)

Districts are made more competitive in
• West Bloomfield (loses S West Bloomfield)
• Sterling Heights/Warren (adds more of Sterling Heights)
• S Ingham (trades precincts in Lansing)
• Peripheral Grand Rapids (adds W Grand Rapids)

Here are the problems.

1. The map does not comply with the Apol standards as well as either the current map or my proposed map.  While the number of county breaks are close in all three, the number of city/township breaks is much larger in the proposed map.  This is despite the fact that the map is less favorable to Republicans than my map.

2. The Grosse Pointes should be kept in one district.  These are Republican cities and until 2008 this was a Republican district (1).  Demographics are against us here, as this district is underpopulated and would need to add more of Detroit.  Also, Harper Woods has rapidly become half-black.

However, this district could at least stay a tossup by stretching it down the Detroit riverfront to Ecorse and River Rouge.  This would eliminate a black district, but if this is a problem (which it shouldn't be, given how much population Detroit lost), another black district could be created stretching from Inkster to Detroit.

3. You could create a lean R district with the good (west) half of Dearborn, Allen Park, and part of Dearborn Heights.  The Dearborn district (15) was Republican, but flipped in 2004 due to Muslim reaction against Bush.  The eastern half of Dearborn is heavily Muslim.

4. Canton should be its own district, which would be lean R.  This is several points better than this map's configuration (21), which has most of Van Buren.  The Plymouth/Northville district (20) could take the SW corner of Livonia and a chuck of Westland, making it no worse than in this map.

5. There could easily be another tossup/lean R district in the Oakland/Genesee area.  The proposed map gives Paul Scott lean dem safe district (50).  The district is not unwinnable (Rick Snyder won it), but it would be tough, even for Scott as an incumbent.  Scott will more likely move to the open district 51.

6. Rick Olsen is given a bad "new" district (55) with the addition of part of Ann Arbor.  Admittedly, there aren't a lot of great options in Washtenaw, though.

7. District 62, a swing district in Calhoun, is effectively sacrificed to the democrats for the decade.  All the democrat areas of Calhoun (Battle Creek, Springfield, Bedford, and Albion) are put in one district.  Almost certainly the reason this was done is the make the already safe district (63) of Speaker Jase Bolger even safer.  In my map, I kept 63 pretty safe but had it absorb Albion and Bedford, giving the GOP a good chance of winning 62.  I certainly understand why this was done.  But frankly, it is selfish to protect an already safe incumbent who has one term left at the expense of sacrificing a winnable seat for a decade.

I should stress that this map is better than the existing map.  This is partly due to favorable demographic changes, and partly due to better line-drawing.  However, you could make about five more winnable districts with a better map.

Previous articles on Michigan redistricting:
Michigan Redistricting: Two Possible Congressional Maps
Michigan Redistricting: Two Possible State Senate Maps
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part I: Wayne County
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part II: Oakland and Genesee
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part III: Macomb and the Thumb
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part IV: The Rest of the State
Michigan Redistricting: Analysis of Democrats State Senate Plan
Michigan Redistricting: Official Republican State Senate Map Released

Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Another stunning post
Thanks.  Any clue as to why senate is 38 seats while house is 110?  

Its simple math or complex math, depending on how you look at, as to why the largest house is  less friendly to the GOP.  My short answer is that the D senate seats contain mostly three solid D house seats.  I guess you get a lean R seat out of Ingham and one out of Wayne but mostly its solid D.  Yet on the GOP side many of their senate seats contain 1D seats.  I realize that technically house seats do not overlap senate seats but you get my drift.  Due to county splits and town splits its hard to make a lean R senate seat come out with 3 lean R house seats.  

38 and 110
Those are the numbers in the state constitution.  I don't know why the framers of the 1963 constitution picked them.

There are several senate districts that contain (roughly) two Republican state reps and one democrat state rep.  The dems tens to be based in cities like Pontiac, Royal Oak, Kalamazoo, Bay City, Muskegon.  These districts can't reasonably be split to give three Republican state house seats.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
Just going by an average year, what should this translate into?

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

The same 63-47 GOP lead as now
Assuming the tossup seats are split between the parties.  

[ Parent ]
Probably a secure majority
Based off this map, I suspect the Republicans would have a tough time falling below 60 seats barring half their caucus being term-limited in a 2008 style year.

29, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
If there is another 2006 or 2008
I could see Democrats getting a majority, but in a neutral year, Republicans will probably have around a 60-50 majority.  

[ Parent ]
Bad years
I estimate that if this map were in place in 2006, there would have been a 55-55 split in the house.  In 2008 the dems certainly would have won a majority under this map.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
No0b Question
Why is the Western UP a "Lean D" area? That kind of surprises me...

The Yoopers there are very similar to those found in Northern Minnesota, and Northern Wisconsin.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
They are not as reflexively Democratic as they are in those places. Nor are they quite as liberal. For instance, Obama did atrociously bad there in 08. These are Bart Stupak people.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
But the Democrats held almost every legislative seat in the U.P. until 2010.  Now they have one seat north of Bay County.

29, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
2010 was a very Republican year
And certainly is not indicative of the outcomes of neutral year elections. Nor is 2008 indicative of average either.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
I doubt the Republicans will continue to hold all of these seats for the entire decade.  The U.P.'s behavior pre-2010 showed it was pretty reflexively Democratic.

29, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Western UP
The area has a significant Finnish population.

It is union-heavy and somewhat economically depressed.  Also, Michigan Tech is in Houghton.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
Great maps and analysis
So are you planning on doing the new Congressional map as well, we'd love to put it up if you do.


[ Parent ]
Both of my paternal grandparents were born in Helsinki just before the winter war, and moved to the united states as children when the Soviets invaded the Karelia region if eastern Finland.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Damn typo

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
And if anyone is interested
A brief OGGoldy family history.

My grandparents, Sonja (nee Tikkanen), and Louis Karjalanen (This family name was later Americanized to what it is now) moved to northern Minnesota as young children in the late 30s. They both came from poorer families back in Finland. However, Louis' mother's maiden name was Hayha. And her first cousin was a man by the name of Simo Hayha. If anyone is bored and wants to learn a rather obscure piece of history, look him up. He is generally considered one of the biggest badasses in military history. Unfortunately I never met the man, but he and my great-grandmother were quite close when they were both children. I never met my great grandmother either, as she died a couple years before I was born. But that is a little snippet of my genealogy if anyone here cares. lol

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
As a semi-Grosse Pointer,
The Wayne County portion of this map makes me so sad. They should have kept the Pointes together...

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!

This is an example where VRA hurts us big time.  We could easily draw a Grosse Pointes / Saint Claire Shores seat that would be Lean Republican, but that would require eliminating another VRA seat in Detroit.  

29, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Likely Republican, not lean imo.

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 map rids the Pointes of Tim Bledsoe, which amuses me.
I don't like his politics.
Oh, I'm going back to MI-13 this weekend.

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 ]

Advanced Search

(C) RRH Elections
Powered by: SoapBlox