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Drawing Massachusetts- a Wicked Republican(!) Gerrymander of the Bay State

by: RockRibbedR

Sun May 29, 2011 at 00:39:47 AM EDT

Recently, God realized that because the 2010 midterm elections just took place, most state legislatures must currently be working on redistricting, and He decided to check in on how the maps are looking in committee in each state. All is well until He looked into the process on Beacon Hill. God already knew that he was very unimpressed by the mediocre at best liberal block of political deadwood that consists of much the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation. Upon seeing the horribly oppressive gerrymander being carved up by Massachusetts Democrats on Beacon Hill, and after noticing just how incompetent the Massachusetts State Legislature and Bay State Governor Deval Patrick are (God was certainly confused by his first name of Deval), God decided to give Massachusetts Republicans a chance, and granted them a supermajority in the House and the Senate, and replaced Governor Patrick with Charlie Baker. Republicans' first task was redistricting, and "State Senatah" Bruce Tarr and his colleague Richard Ross began drawing a Republican gerrymander of Massachusetts, after a "wicked hahdy" bowl of "chowdah."

 They sent me this map (obviously), and told me to ask what you think. They especially wanted to know what Boston Patriot, Shamlet, Merrimackman, and PstpChris think of this map, and how they think each district would vote.

Please leave feedback, and enjoy!


RockRibbedR :: Drawing Massachusetts- a Wicked Republican(!) Gerrymander of the Bay State

As Stephen Colbert would say, "THE FIGHTING ALL OF MASSACHUSETTS!"


MA-1: Incumbents: Richard Neal (D-Springfield), John Olver (D-Amherst), and Jim McGovern(ment) (D-Worcester). This district is comprised nearly 100% of towns that voted for both Martha Coakley and Deval Patrick. Safe D. The most interesting thing would be seeing the primary unfold in this seat, as each of the three parts of the district would be represented: liberals in college towns (Olver), labor style Dems in Springfield (Neal), and their friends in Worcester (McGovernment). Safe D.

MA-2: Vacant. This new, northeastern Massachusetts based competitive seat would be a perfect fit for the moderate ex-St. Sen Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield), who was Charlie Baker's running mate in 2010. Tisei would be the first openly Gay (before being elected) Republican elected to serve in Congress. How would this exburban district vote? Toss Up? Lean R with Tisei?


MA-3: Vacant. I'm not sure how this central/southern Massachuestts based seat would vote, but considering that most of the towns it contained voted for Brown/Baker, I'm guessing it could elect a Republican. The town of Weston is rewarded here for being the only MetroWest Suburban Boston town to vote for both Scott Brown and Charlie Baker by being taken out of the iron grip of US Rep Ed Markey. Toss Up? Lean R? Lean D?



MA-4: Vacant. This suburban Worcester/suburban Springfield/rural central Massachusetts district would likely have voted for McCain, or at least would probalby have a low R+ PVI. Nearly all of the towns in the district voted for Brown/Baker, and the only area that seems to be somewhat Democratic is the town of Fitchburg. R+1 or R+2? Leans (or Likely?!) R? 

Karyn Polito (R-Shrewsbury) would run here, and would probably have a fairly easy time getting into the US House.

MA-5: Incumbents: Nikki Tsongas (D-Lowell), Ed Markey (D-Malden), and John Tierney (D-Salem). This ex-industrial/suburban Boston/North Shore vote sink contains much of Tsongas and Tierney's bases, and both of their homes. It would be a comptetive and intersting primary in this Democratic seat. Ed Markey lives here (not really, as he spends little to no time in MA), but he would run in the MetroWest based MA-6 that holds much of his current territory. Safe D.

MA-6: Vacant (Ed Marky would run here).

This extremely liberal MetroWest suburban Boston district will be safe D for as long as I can tell.

Safe D.


MA-7: Incumbents: Mike Capuano (D-Somerville) and Stephen Lynch (D-Southie). This Boston/Cambridge based seat is extremely liberal and won't be going our way any time soon. Vote sink! This will be a fun primary to watch!

MA-8: Incumbents: Bawney Fwank (D-Newton) and Bill Keating (D-Quincy). Fight! Keating would get crushed by Barney Frank here. This super Democratic vote sink is the lynchpin of this map. It contains the Democratic cities of Newton, Quincy, Fall River (Riv-AH), Taunton, Brockton, New Bedford (Bed-FIHD), and the liberal islands of Martha's (Mathah's Vineyahd) and Nantucket. Safe D.


 MA-9: This Cape Cod/Barnstable County based district is comprised of nearly all Brown/Baker towns. It picks up some Republican leaning areas from the old MA-9 and MA-3, and dumps the Islands and Quincy. However, it retains Plymouth (which voted for Baker and Brown), as well as the end of Cape Cod, including the heavily liberal and heavily LGBT Provincetown. This district likely has an EVEN or D+1 or maybe D+2 PVi. Toss Up? Lean R with the right candidate? I have a feeling that this district is just itching to elect a Republican to Congress.




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Approve! I would fully support Democrats
signing this map. And I'm not joking. I'm a big fan of the idea that each state's congressional delegation should mirror the statewide partisan breakdown. This map would qualify, if it results on average in 3 or 4 Republicans out of 9 seats that comes pretty close to the statewide partisanship, which is roughly 62-38 or 63-37 or so.  

Same thing I'd approve a 1-1 map in NH and Maine
a 3-2 map in CT, even if the lines are as tortured as the MN map on the sidebar right now, and a 10-1-7 map in Illinois. On the other side I'd be in favor of repealing the VRA and drawing 45% African-American districts in the South that would elect black Democrats to the tune of like a 4-1-2 or 4-0-3 map in AL.  

[ Parent ]
Fab map
and current MA MAP is one that is clearly a D gerrymander.  

How Can Splitting Boston Metro *7* Ways...
...Be anything but a Dem gerrymander.

If the Dems want to get me sympathetic to them on redistricting, they can start be restricting Boston Metro in just 3 or 4 districts, and by putting Portland into just OR-03...  

[ Parent ]
The one thing that this map doesn't do is make a MMD. But that can be easily fixed: Give Brookline to the 8th and Mattapan and HP to the 7th. Then give whiter NW Somerville and Cambridge (Alewife Pkwy/Fresh Pond area) to the 6th in exchange for Chelsea. That should push it below 50% Non Hispanic White.

And Barney lives in your 6th. He'd run in your 8th though.

R - MD-7

Thanks. How would these districts vote? Any observations?
I just ignored the VRA thing, btw :p

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Just like MA Dems, haha.
As for voting patterns, AFAIK I can't find much fault with your analysis. This would be 5D-4R in a neutral to good year, but none of these R seats would be safe if the Republican screwed up or faced a strong opponent in a bad year.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Prediction: Karyn Polito could make a strong run at Jim McGovern in the next decade,
if she stays relevant, and if his district keeps trending right. She'd be awesome in Congress.

+1 on the MA Dem VRA thing, hahaha.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
I'd rather
She tried statewide again (LG or SoC, maybe?). As long as the 3rd is anchored by Worcester and Fall River trying to dislodge McGovern is a fools errand and a waste of a good political prospect like Polito.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Yeah, SoC sounds good to me. Another question:
I know redistricting hasn't happened yet, but in the next decade, will MA elect a Republican to Congress, and which area is most likely to?

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
50-50 shot
and Essex County. If Tierney is renominated in 2012 and faces Tisei, I think that race is Leans D to Tossup. I could also see Keating's seat potentially falling if he gives it up in a bad year... that's one we should have won this year and won't get too much worse in redistricting.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I think Neal's is one to watch
The Blackstone Valley is really moving right, and his support has evaporated east of the Connecticut River. The only thing keeping him safe is the Northampton tail, and if he loses that in redistricting, that seat could slide right out from under him.

[ Parent ]
Hmm... what PVI would it take for Neal to lose? How about Comrade McGovernment?

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
I don't think she's the strongest
Polito is very ambitious but apparently not the best liked Republican on Beacon Hill--she appears to have somewhat of a grating personality. Shrewsbury loves her though, and she could run up the margins in the Worcester suburbs.

I think that Lew Evangelidis, the county Sheriff, is the guy we want to run if McGovern picks up more towns in Central Mass. He was a St. Rep. from Holden previously. Governor's Councilor Jen Caissie might be another good candidate; both she and Evangelidis have won countywide. St. Rep. Ryan Fattman from Sutton (currently in the 2nd) is another ambitious young pol.

[ Parent ]
Lew Evangelides
As someone of Greek descent, after seeing his Greek surname, I looked into Sheriff Evangelides back when he was a State Rep, and was impressed. I agree; he'd be a great candidate against McGovern. Does that seat have dummymander potential? I think leaving it at D+8 or less could be dangerous for Team D by the end of the decade, especially if Comrade McGovern(ment) is still in the seat.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
D+8 will probably be fine
They will get into trouble if Worcester is the only large source of Democratic votes though. The city is not large or blue enough to offset the outlying county, which is why McGovern's district goes to Fall River, the North County is attached to the liberal west, and the Blackstone Valley is attached to Springfield and Northampton. If Olver and Neal are combined, McGovern will get a D+3 seat and be screwed. That's why he's been publicly demanding to keep Fall River.

[ Parent ]
Neal/Olver combination
That's why I've been pulling for their districts to be combined? Is there any chance of it happening? I know that one State Senator on the Redistricting Committee was vehemently against it because he wants to succeed Olver...

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Crunched some numbers for you
The red district in Central/Western Mass is 54O-45M, or D+1. Dems are helped by the fact that it's Massachusetts, but don't have too much else to be thrilled with, since other than Southbridge and maybe Fitchburg there's no real bastion of strength.

Republicans have St. Sen. Michael Knapik (from Westfield) in addition to the Worcester County candidates mentioned above: Polito, Evangelidis, Fattman, Caissie. There's also new St. Rep. Peter Durant who is from the geographic heart of the district. Democrats have Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong, St. Sens Steve Brewer and Mike Moore, and a strong bench in the Springfield suburbs.

I'll get the other competitive districts tomorrow!

Thank you for that!
What PVI would it take for Rs to win in MA? I wonder what the magic number to take down McGovern and Neal and Keating would be :p.

Can't wait for the other numbers! Thanks!

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
What happened to the maps? (eom)

21, male, Democrat, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college) working in MA-08 for the summer  

I just upgraded my photobucket to premium 2 minutes ago.
I had uploaded hundreds of redistricting pictures from my 15+ diaries, and Photobucket said uhh... you need to pay to use that much bandwith :p. They should work now.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
It's not working for me yet
but I hope it will eventually, especially if you paid money!

21, male, Democrat, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college) working in MA-08 for the summer  

[ Parent ]
Nevermind, it works now
I hope your MA-01 doesn't eat me in my sleep.

21, male, Democrat, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college) working in MA-08 for the summer  

[ Parent ]
I mean it looks like an angry elephant on its hind legs,
and you are a Democrat... you'd better watch out ;).

Any thoughts?

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Just one
your 8th should drop some of Quincy (which voted for Scott Brown) and grab heavily liberal Sharon instead.

21, male, Democrat, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college) working in MA-08 for the summer  

[ Parent ]
I think you're safe in RI
The current MA-03 has always looked like a weird growth on top of Rhode Island and your state is free of that under the new map.


[ Parent ]
That's because
MA-03 has always been nervous about MA-04 wrapping its slimy tentacles around it.


21, male, Democrat, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college) working in MA-08 for the summer  

[ Parent ]

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