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Author Topic: US House Redistricting: Virginia  (Read 29791 times)
Skill and Chance
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« on: September 12, 2010, 02:33:28 pm »
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Let's take the opportunity to consider the implications of the 2010 redistricting process in several important large states and swing states.  

To begin, let's look at Virginia, now a swing state at the national level.  The balance of power for redistricting has already been determined by the 2009 elections.  Composition of the relevant branches:

Governor: R
State House: R (by approximately 60/40)
State Senate: D (by 22/18)

The current districts and their incumbents:

VA-01: Rob Wittman (R)  PVI: R+7
VA-02: Glenn Nye (D)  PVI: R+5
VA-03: Robert Scott (D)  PVI: D+20  *VRA-protected African-American majority district*
VA-04: Randy Forbes (R) PVI: R+4  
VA-05: Tom Perriello (D)  PVI: R+5
VA-06: Bob Goodlatte (R)  PVI: R+12
VA-07: Eric Cantor (R)  PVI: R+9
VA-08: Jim Moran (D)  PVI: D+16
VA-09: Rick Boucher (D)  PVI: R+11
VA-10: Frank Wolf (R) PVI: R+2
VA-11: Gerry Connolly (D)  PVI: D+2

The compromise between the State House and State Senate would probably be an incumbent protection map like California or Minnesota.  Several of the Democrats are vulnerable in 2010.  Boucher is only slightly favored in his now heavily Republican district, Nye’s race is a toss-up, and Periello is basically doomed seeing as his opponent breaks 60% in most polling.  Connolly is likely to hold his seat, but it could be a close race.  Additionally, demographic change threatens to flip the 10th district to a D PVI in 2012 or 2016.  

Thoughts?



« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 07:22:14 am by muon2 »Logged
JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2010, 02:49:27 pm »
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I wouldn't be surprised if the Republicans created a Republican map and got it passed with the help of a couple Dem votes in the Senate (in exchange for making their districts much safer -- John Miller would be an obvious choice; his district can easily be made more Democratic by swapping territory with Tommy Norment).
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Mr.Phips
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2010, 02:51:07 pm »
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I wouldn't be surprised if the Republicans created a Republican map and got it passed with the help of a couple Dem votes in the Senate (in exchange for making their districts much safer -- John Miller would be an obvious choice; his district can easily be made more Democratic by swapping territory with Tommy Norment).

The current map already is a Republican map though.  

One thing I think both parties would agree on is making Gerry Connolly safe, while making Frank Wolf's seat much more Republican so Republicans would be sure of holding it as an open seat.  
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 03:19:10 pm by Mr.Phips »Logged
Skill and Chance
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2010, 03:03:35 pm »
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The Obama could also play a role depending on how aggressive it is in interpreting the VRA.  A second black majority district on the Eastern Shore/Norfolk is a distinct possibility. 
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muon2
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 10:53:52 pm »

The Obama could also play a role depending on how aggressive it is in interpreting the VRA.  A second black majority district on the Eastern Shore/Norfolk is a distinct possibility.  

The Eastern Shore is only projected to be about 30% black. A second black-majority district is possible, and could be used to eliminate Nye if he is reelected, since he would certainly be in a district with Forbes and that district would be more R than his current district. I put together a map last January with 2 black-majority districts, drawn independently of the incumbents, but it didn't use the Eastern Shore.



Here's a new version using the Eastern Shore. Both CD 3 and CD 4 are 51% black.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 12:01:16 am by muon2 »Logged


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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 12:16:37 am »
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I wouldn't be surprised if the Republicans created a Republican map and got it passed with the help of a couple Dem votes in the Senate (in exchange for making their districts much safer -- John Miller would be an obvious choice; his district can easily be made more Democratic by swapping territory with Tommy Norment).

The current map already is a Republican map though.  

One thing I think both parties would agree on is making Gerry Connolly safe, while making Frank Wolf's seat much more Republican so Republicans would be sure of holding it as an open seat.  

I would generally agree with it, but I don't now how easy that will be for the GOP in order to make Wolf's seat safer.  They could perhaps swap some areas between Wolf and Connolly.  However, keep in mind both Wolf & Connolly's district are going to need to diminish in size.  Based off the 08 numbers, the 11th would need to drop its population by about 50,000, the 10th by about 100,000.  Moran's district in the 8th needs to expand somewhat (about 30,000) so perhaps they could throw some Dem areas of Wolf's district in there.

 However, you still would need to cut the districts population quite a bit, and due to where most of the growth is, and the population dynamic its going to be very hard to cut the population much in the areas that would be beneficial to be eliminated.  More than likely population issues is going to wind up cutting parts of Warren and Clarke out
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2010, 10:10:26 am »
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VA-01: Rob Wittman (R)  PVI: R+7
VA-02: Glenn Nye (D)  PVI: R+5
VA-03: Robert Scott (D)  PVI: D+20  *VRA-protected African-American majority district*
VA-04: Randy Forbes (R) PVI: R+4 
VA-05: Tom Perriello (D)  PVI: R+5
VA-06: Bob Goodlatte (R)  PVI: R+12
VA-07: Eric Cantor (R)  PVI: R+9
VA-08: Jim Moran (D)  PVI: D+16
VA-09: Rick Boucher (D)  PVI: R+11
VA-10: Frank Wolf (R) PVI: R+2
VA-11: Gerry Connolly (D)  PVI: D+2
Thoughts?
So, despite there being only a very slight statewide GOP lean, there are eight R leaning districts, campared with just three D leaning districts. Un f'ing believable.
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 12:51:58 pm »
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VA-01: Rob Wittman (R)  PVI: R+7
VA-02: Glenn Nye (D)  PVI: R+5
VA-03: Robert Scott (D)  PVI: D+20  *VRA-protected African-American majority district*
VA-04: Randy Forbes (R) PVI: R+4 
VA-05: Tom Perriello (D)  PVI: R+5
VA-06: Bob Goodlatte (R)  PVI: R+12
VA-07: Eric Cantor (R)  PVI: R+9
VA-08: Jim Moran (D)  PVI: D+16
VA-09: Rick Boucher (D)  PVI: R+11
VA-10: Frank Wolf (R) PVI: R+2
VA-11: Gerry Connolly (D)  PVI: D+2
Thoughts?
So, despite there being only a very slight statewide GOP lean, there are eight R leaning districts, campared with just three D leaning districts. Un f'ing believable.

That's one of the major problems with VRA districts.  They suck up huge chunks of Democratic voters into districts that have double-digit Democratic PVIs.  That doesn't leave many Democrats for other districts.  Plus in Virginia you have the added problem of high Democratic concentration in NOVA, so if you draw geographically compact districts you actually end up cramming any remaining Democrats into a relatively small number of districts.

However I do think you're overreacting a bit since Obama managed to win VA-2, VA-4, and VA-10 which are all supposedly "Republican leaning" according to their PVIs.  If Virginia manages to maintain its new status as a swing state then its likely more Democrats will be elected despite the best efforts of any Republican gerrymanders.
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 01:14:39 pm »
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Scott's district isn't so bad as far as those go, it's not a horrible shape and while if it was oriented differently wouldn't make VA-07 so Republican such a district wouldn't make much sense from a community standpoint. Plus it borders an Obama district which the Democrats inexplicably completely ignored in 2006 and 2008 since on paper it was a far riper target than some of the seats they won, including VA-05.
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2010, 01:17:03 pm »
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BTW I agree a population swap between VA-10 and 11 to make both safer is most likely to happen. Wolf is old and his seat is a demographic time bomb similar to VA-11 (which actually was a reliably Republican district at the time it was drawn.)
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2010, 01:24:12 pm »
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Scott's previous VRA district had a lower minority population, making the 4th district more competitive because of the inclusion of (IIRC) Portsmouth, but the Republicans packed the 3rd with more African-American voters to shore up Randy Forbes.
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Mr.Phips
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 08:40:03 pm »
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Scott's previous VRA district had a lower minority population, making the 4th district more competitive because of the inclusion of (IIRC) Portsmouth, but the Republicans packed the 3rd with more African-American voters to shore up Randy Forbes.

The old VA-04 was about 40% black. The Obama Justice Department could argue that VA-03 was illegally "packed" with too many black voters. 
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2010, 09:10:47 pm »
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Scott's previous VRA district had a lower minority population, making the 4th district more competitive because of the inclusion of (IIRC) Portsmouth, but the Republicans packed the 3rd with more African-American voters to shore up Randy Forbes.

Correct. After Forbes beat Portsmouth-based State Senator Louise Lucas by 4%, the Republicans cut Portsmouth out of the district and added Powhatan County and more of Chesterfield.
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muon2
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 08:19:20 am »

BTW I agree a population swap between VA-10 and 11 to make both safer is most likely to happen. Wolf is old and his seat is a demographic time bomb similar to VA-11 (which actually was a reliably Republican district at the time it was drawn.)

I think another strategy would be to isolate the Fairfax corner (including Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church). That area is solidly D and will have almost exactly 2 districts of population. They can be drawn to make them equally strong for both CD 8 and 11 to elect Dems. Then CD 10 can be configured to keep it comfortably in GOP hands by extending it into the Shenandoah Valley as needed.
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 01:24:24 pm »
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BTW I agree a population swap between VA-10 and 11 to make both safer is most likely to happen. Wolf is old and his seat is a demographic time bomb similar to VA-11 (which actually was a reliably Republican district at the time it was drawn.)

I think another strategy would be to isolate the Fairfax corner (including Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church). That area is solidly D and will have almost exactly 2 districts of population. They can be drawn to make them equally strong for both CD 8 and 11 to elect Dems. Then CD 10 can be configured to keep it comfortably in GOP hands by extending it into the Shenandoah Valley as needed.

Sounds like the same strategy to me. Except I think the Republicans would prefer to put the Democratic areas of SE Prince William County into either VA-8 and VA-11 and take the swing areas of NW Fairfax into VA-10 in exchange.
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muon2
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2010, 02:01:04 pm »

BTW I agree a population swap between VA-10 and 11 to make both safer is most likely to happen. Wolf is old and his seat is a demographic time bomb similar to VA-11 (which actually was a reliably Republican district at the time it was drawn.)

I think another strategy would be to isolate the Fairfax corner (including Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church). That area is solidly D and will have almost exactly 2 districts of population. They can be drawn to make them equally strong for both CD 8 and 11 to elect Dems. Then CD 10 can be configured to keep it comfortably in GOP hands by extending it into the Shenandoah Valley as needed.

Sounds like the same strategy to me. Except I think the Republicans would prefer to put the Democratic areas of SE Prince William County into either VA-8 and VA-11 and take the swing areas of NW Fairfax into VA-10 in exchange.

Certainly they are similar. I was getting at how to use the population in CD 8 as well as looking at a swap between 10 and 11. I tend to look at the map a blank sheet with data, and compare the existing districts at the end.

*** As a question from the moderator, would this thread be better served to consider just Virginia? There is one post about OH, but I could easily move that to another thread. The composition of the legislature is set for VA, so redistricting options are easier to discuss. I've seen that threads that cover too many states can be difficult to follow for readers that come back at a later time.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 02:06:22 pm by muon2 »Logged


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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2010, 07:30:03 am »

*** As a question from the moderator, would this thread be better served to consider just Virginia? There is one post about OH, but I could easily move that to another thread. The composition of the legislature is set for VA, so redistricting options are easier to discuss. I've seen that threads that cover too many states can be difficult to follow for readers that come back at a later time.

I've split the non-VA comments off onto a general thread and retitled this one for VA. I'll split off other threads based on the activity for that state from the general thread.
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2010, 07:30:54 am »
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It wouldn't be too dangerous to put Loudoun, western Fairfax, and some of the outer counties into VA-10. Obama's numbers there were a high-water mark and kind of deceptive; Republicans are still pretty dominant in the exurbs, especially after the McDonnell wave destroyed the Dem bench in Loudoun County.
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2010, 08:14:08 am »

It wouldn't be too dangerous to put Loudoun, western Fairfax, and some of the outer counties into VA-10. Obama's numbers there were a high-water mark and kind of deceptive; Republicans are still pretty dominant in the exurbs, especially after the McDonnell wave destroyed the Dem bench in Loudoun County.

What's the story in Prince William? Obama racked up big numbers there compared to the state as a whole, but in general it seems to match the state averages very closely. PW was within 1% of the state average for these: Bush '04, Webb '06, Warner '08, McDonnell '09. Kaine was about 2% under the state average in '05. Is this bellwether pattern likely to continue?
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2010, 05:25:39 pm »
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Just discovered this: Chesapeake + Virginia Beach + Eastern Shore is exactly one district on the newest population estimates. Seems like an obvious choice.

Actually, here's my non-gerrymandered (except for VRA purposes) Virginia map. VA-3 is 51% black but could be more fairly easily (swap territory with VA-2). Randy Forbes and Glenn Nye switch district numbers on the map. The parts of Roanoke in VA-9 are the black areas; I assume Goodlatte lives in a white neighborhood of the city.



Note that the VA-10 parts of Prince William County are not particularly Democratic; in fact, they may have voted for McCain. The Democrats live in the SE corner of the county, which is substantially minority. Personally, I think my design of NoVA is better; Loudoun + Prince William + Fairfax + Arlington + independent cities therein is only just short of three districts, and it makes a lot of sense to keep them all together.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 06:10:47 pm by Verily »Logged
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« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2010, 05:43:28 pm »
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Just discovered this: Chesapeake + Virginia Beach + Eastern Shore is exactly one district on the newest population estimates. Seems like an obvious choice.

Actually, here's my non-gerrymandered (except for VRA purposes) Virginia map. VA-3 is 51% black but could be more fairly easily. Randy Forbes and Glenn Nye switch district numbers on the map. (The parts of Roanoke in VA-9 are the black areas; I assume Goodlatte lives in a white neighborhood of the city.)




How do you think CD-11 would vote?
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2010, 05:46:34 pm »
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Just discovered this: Chesapeake + Virginia Beach + Eastern Shore is exactly one district on the newest population estimates. Seems like an obvious choice.

Actually, here's my non-gerrymandered (except for VRA purposes) Virginia map. VA-3 is 51% black but could be more fairly easily. Randy Forbes and Glenn Nye switch district numbers on the map. (The parts of Roanoke in VA-9 are the black areas; I assume Goodlatte lives in a white neighborhood of the city.)




How do you think CD-11 would vote?

65% Obama, maybe, possibly more. It's only 52% white.
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2010, 06:06:47 pm »
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It wouldn't be too dangerous to put Loudoun, western Fairfax, and some of the outer counties into VA-10. Obama's numbers there were a high-water mark and kind of deceptive; Republicans are still pretty dominant in the exurbs, especially after the McDonnell wave destroyed the Dem bench in Loudoun County.

What's the story in Prince William? Obama racked up big numbers there compared to the state as a whole, but in general it seems to match the state averages very closely. PW was within 1% of the state average for these: Bush '04, Webb '06, Warner '08, McDonnell '09. Kaine was about 2% under the state average in '05. Is this bellwether pattern likely to continue?

Obama's performance was, again, a high-water mark. The southeastern end of the county is actually quite Democratic; there's a significant minority presence there. The areas near Loudoun and encircling Manassas/Manassas Park are pretty Republican; Obama did as well as he did because of the metropolitan affect -- he cleaned up around the Mannassas area. Bad news for the Democrats is the Republican parts of the county are the ones that are experiencing huge growth; it's going to lead to more state legislative seats being drawn in the exurbs at the expense of SWVA, Hampton Roads, and even inner NoVa (there's little growth in the Arlington/Alexandria area).

Anyway, in a long-term sense, it's probably good for Democrats, assuming they can continue to find ways to win suburban voters. But in the short-term, it's good for Republicans, as all these new exurban voters are behaving more like the voters in outer Fairfax; they'll vote for someone like Obama, then straight Republican downticket.

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Mr.Phips
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2010, 07:01:23 pm »
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It wouldn't be too dangerous to put Loudoun, western Fairfax, and some of the outer counties into VA-10. Obama's numbers there were a high-water mark and kind of deceptive; Republicans are still pretty dominant in the exurbs, especially after the McDonnell wave destroyed the Dem bench in Loudoun County.

The Dem bench in Loudoun consisted of Dave Poisson and Democrats will probably get his seat back when environment shifts again in 2011.
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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2010, 07:18:50 pm »
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It wouldn't be too dangerous to put Loudoun, western Fairfax, and some of the outer counties into VA-10. Obama's numbers there were a high-water mark and kind of deceptive; Republicans are still pretty dominant in the exurbs, especially after the McDonnell wave destroyed the Dem bench in Loudoun County.

The Dem bench in Loudoun consisted of Dave Poisson and Democrats will probably get his seat back when environment shifts again in 2011.

They also had Chuck Caputo. Mark Herring is still around, but he's more likely to run for statewide office than Congress.

And I expect the Republicans to gerrymander the hell out of NoVa.
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