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Author Topic: US: House Redistricting Massachusetts  (Read 14101 times)
Jbrase
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« on: January 15, 2011, 08:17:04 pm »
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In this map Capuano's district is divided among the others to make the already safe seats that much safer.

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krazen1211
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 08:26:28 pm »
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The 8th is probably the district the Democrats want to dissolve. The question is if the minorities let them do it.
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2011, 10:58:08 pm »
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Why not just start from scratch? Not going to happen, obviously, but the current format is seriously dated and it isn't as though radical revision would hurt the Democrats as a party.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's never the issue in Massachusetts. I know...
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2011, 11:01:16 pm »
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Isn't Capuano going to run against Scott Brown anyway? No real reason to preserve his district if so.
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 11:06:05 pm »
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On a whim, I did a nonpartisan map of Massachusetts (ignoring partisan leanings and incumbent residences, attempted to minimize municipality splits).



(Open in new window for a better view.)

Any clue as to how competitive the districts would be? Obviously the blue, purple, and light purple districts would be pretty safe. Looking at the town results from 2008, I'd guess the grey district would be the closest.
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Carlos Danger
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 11:18:56 pm »
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That Cape district is pretty much Safe D now (D+8 or so), given that you put New Bedford/Fall River in it, while the teal district might end up being "only" D+6 or so.  Yellow, red, and gray (the latter likely D+3 or so) might be "competitive."  You've also put both Olver and Neal and Capuano and Lynch in the same district, and Keating is now in the gray district.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 11:21:33 pm by Mohair Subsidies »Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 03:15:23 pm »
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The legislature posted historical maps of the legislature and Congress.

http://www.malegislature.gov/District/Maps
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 03:35:20 pm »
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I like the L-shaped district from 1872/1882. I am disappointed they don't have the original Elbridge Gerry gerrymander, though.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 10:29:11 am »
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It seems like they're 3 districts they want to avoid:

1. Anything substantially based in Worcester.
2. Anything substantially based on Plymouth/Cape cod.
3. Anything substantially based  North Essex/Middlesex County.

Hopefully the GOP sues a minority district substantially based in Boston/Chelsea which increases the likelihood of one of these 3 being created.
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 10:44:04 am »
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It seems like they're 3 districts they want to avoid:

1. Anything substantially based in Worcester.

If they keep two districts in Western Mass., Worcester County remains sliced to ribbons because both the 1st and 2nd districts will have to expand past the city of Worcester on either side and into the next counties. If they eliminate one of those districts, than any district based in Worcester County includes the city of Worcester, which is a big D thumb on the scale.

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2. Anything substantially based on Plymouth/Cape cod.

True, although there's a philosophical issue here. The 10th is already "based on Plymouth/Cape Cod", then extends further into Republican territory on the South Shore, and then further up into Democratic Quincy. I'd argue that you'd have to try hard to gerrymander that district to make it more Republican--strip out Quincy and Braintree and go hunting for some more Republican suburbs. But the logical conclusion for this district would be to include New Bedford, and that's not going to make it more Republican.

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3. Anything substantially based  North Essex/Middlesex County.

Yes, what worries me is that if they abolish the 6th, you have a 5th which is more vulnerable to a Republican. Again, you have the same issue with the 10th; you run out of Republican territory early and then you have to choose which Democrats you want. You already have Lowell and Lawrence and have to hope they stay home, as in the Brown/Coakley race. But then you're dipping into Markey's district or gerrymandering way out to the west.

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Hopefully the GOP sues a minority district substantially based in Boston/Chelsea which increases the likelihood of one of these 3 being created.

The numbers weren't there in 2001 when Finneran tried it, even stretching up to Lynn to barely make 50%. Boston has gotten more ethnically diverse since then, but I can't see a lawsuit happening nor are there minority legislators willing to sign off on it, and such a Republican move would be so transparently political that it is doomed to fail.

Also, any changes could be accommodated by changing the 8th's borders with the 7th district, I think. You're not going to see Quincy leave the 10th this way because Southie still has to link with its exurbs.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 10:49:07 am by brittain33 »Logged
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 11:45:21 am »
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The key to the map will be splitting up Boston. Fortunately for the Democrats, Boston naturally splits fairly well.

Allston and Brighton go west
Back Bay and Beacon Hill go north (or they could go northeast or west if you're confident in the district containing Cambridge, which you probably should be)
The North End, Charlestown and East Boston go northeast*
South Boston and Dorchester go southeast (basically, all Irish areas)
Roxbury goes south (basically, all black areas)
Jamaica Plain goes southwest (mixed areas west of Roxbury)

*Alternatively, you could put the North End and Charlestown in with South Boston and Dorchester. East Boston would still go northeast.
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2011, 12:26:27 pm »
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The numbers weren't there in 2001 when Finneran tried it, even stretching up to Lynn to barely make 50%. Boston has gotten more ethnically diverse since then, but I can't see a lawsuit happening nor are there minority legislators willing to sign off on it, and such a Republican move would be so transparently political that it is doomed to fail.

Also, any changes could be accommodated by changing the 8th's borders with the 7th district, I think. You're not going to see Quincy leave the 10th this way because Southie still has to link with its exurbs.

Possibly. I don't think such a lawsuit would be all that useful in Massachusetts. But it would be good to know, one way or another, if section 2 requires the creation of 'coalition' districts (as Boston + Chelsea probably is, and certainly much more 'compact' than anything in the South), or if those areas can be cracked, as some are proposing to do.

If the answer is that they aren't required, that knowledge would be useful elsewhere in the country.

We're seeing this in NJ legislative redistricting, where the GOP wants to create explicit minority coalition districts and the Democrats are trying to crack them and flood the whiter suburbs.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 12:30:27 pm by krazen1211 »Logged
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 12:37:00 pm »
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Possibly. I don't think such a lawsuit would be all that useful in Massachusetts. But it would be good to know, one way or another, if section 2 requires the creation of 'coalition' districts (as Boston + Chelsea probably is, and certainly much more 'compact' than anything in the South), or if those areas can be cracked, as some are proposing to do.

Almost all of the minority residents of Boston are already in MA-8; adding in the rest of the city won't change that, and you need to keep West Roxbury and Southie out of the district to do what you're setting out to do because they are so non-diverse. So then it becomes a choice of where you go north, and the numbers involved are pretty small. Chelsea and Everett together contribute about 70,000 people, which isn't a lot, and the best place to go after that is back to Cambridge and Somerville, so you're just shifting boundaries on the 8th.
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 12:40:03 pm »
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Possibly. I don't think such a lawsuit would be all that useful in Massachusetts. But it would be good to know, one way or another, if section 2 requires the creation of 'coalition' districts (as Boston + Chelsea probably is, and certainly much more 'compact' than anything in the South), or if those areas can be cracked, as some are proposing to do.

Almost all of the minority residents of Boston are already in MA-8; adding in the rest of the city won't change that, and you need to keep West Roxbury and Southie out of the district to do what you're setting out to do because they are so non-diverse. So then it becomes a choice of where you go north, and the numbers involved are pretty small. Chelsea and Everett together contribute about 70,000 people, which isn't a lot, and the best place to go after that is back to Cambridge and Somerville, so you're just shifting boundaries on the 8th.
Well, yeah, but that still means the 8th is not abolished. Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 12:44:08 pm »
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Possibly. I don't think such a lawsuit would be all that useful in Massachusetts. But it would be good to know, one way or another, if section 2 requires the creation of 'coalition' districts (as Boston + Chelsea probably is, and certainly much more 'compact' than anything in the South), or if those areas can be cracked, as some are proposing to do.

Almost all of the minority residents of Boston are already in MA-8; adding in the rest of the city won't change that, and you need to keep West Roxbury and Southie out of the district to do what you're setting out to do because they are so non-diverse. So then it becomes a choice of where you go north, and the numbers involved are pretty small. Chelsea and Everett together contribute about 70,000 people, which isn't a lot, and the best place to go after that is back to Cambridge and Somerville, so you're just shifting boundaries on the 8th.
Well, yeah, but that still means the 8th is not abolished. Tongue

Right. I'm saying that a plan that involves creating a minority-majority district in eastern Mass. would result only in a reconfigured 8th that probably still elects someone like Michael Capuano, and also doesn't create Republican districts elsewhere in the state.

The only way to abolish the 8th without turning another district into a de facto 8th, in my view, would be to attach Somerville, Cambridge, and part of Boston to enough of Barney Frank's district to give him an edge among his current voters and supporters in new territory, while giving the 9th enough precincts of Boston to get vote totals up without hurting Lynch's incumbency.
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2011, 08:53:29 am »
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The only way to abolish the 8th without turning another district into a de facto 8th, in my view, would be to attach Somerville, Cambridge, and part of Boston to enough of Barney Frank's district to give him an edge among his current voters and supporters in new territory, while giving the 9th enough precincts of Boston to get vote totals up without hurting Lynch's incumbency.

Feh, this isn't really true. You can put Somerville and possibly Cambridge in the 7th and the rest of Boston in the 4th and both Markey and Frank would be safe against a challenger from either place.
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Dan the Roman
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2011, 04:03:38 am »
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The only way to abolish the 8th without turning another district into a de facto 8th, in my view, would be to attach Somerville, Cambridge, and part of Boston to enough of Barney Frank's district to give him an edge among his current voters and supporters in new territory, while giving the 9th enough precincts of Boston to get vote totals up without hurting Lynch's incumbency.

Feh, this isn't really true. You can put Somerville and possibly Cambridge in the 7th and the rest of Boston in the 4th and both Markey and Frank would be safe against a challenger from either place.

The 7th then becomes a much greater Democratic voter sink. Which causes problems, because the collorary of such a move would be moving Winchester, Woburn, and Stoneham into the 6th.
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Dan the Roman
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2011, 04:08:26 am »
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The numbers weren't there in 2001 when Finneran tried it, even stretching up to Lynn to barely make 50%. Boston has gotten more ethnically diverse since then, but I can't see a lawsuit happening nor are there minority legislators willing to sign off on it, and such a Republican move would be so transparently political that it is doomed to fail.

Also, any changes could be accommodated by changing the 8th's borders with the 7th district, I think. You're not going to see Quincy leave the 10th this way because Southie still has to link with its exurbs.

Possibly. I don't think such a lawsuit would be all that useful in Massachusetts. But it would be good to know, one way or another, if section 2 requires the creation of 'coalition' districts (as Boston + Chelsea probably is, and certainly much more 'compact' than anything in the South), or if those areas can be cracked, as some are proposing to do.

If the answer is that they aren't required, that knowledge would be useful elsewhere in the country.

We're seeing this in NJ legislative redistricting, where the GOP wants to create explicit minority coalition districts and the Democrats are trying to crack them and flood the whiter suburbs.

Any MA case would not provide resolution because block voting by racial groups, a key criteria of Gingles, is not present in large parts of the 8th. Whites in Somverville and Cambridge, especially the latter, vote just as liberally as non-whites.

You have the added issue that the coalition nature of any such district would not be Black-Hispanic, but by necessity would also have to include Asians, who vote very differently from the other two.

Its a terrible test case.

It also pisses people off when the Stan Rosenberg-Mike Moran team is by far the best that the GOP could draw. Rosenberg wants two Western MA districts, and Moran wants Boston intact. Neither cares particularly about anything else. If you try and do both, you are almost guaranteed to end up with a map about as favorable as the GOP could have expected from a court.
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 08:53:31 am »
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A new post on SSP had an intriguing idea: put Worcester in the 1st district, move northern Worcs county to the 5th, and keep minimum change in the rest of the state. I don't see Stanley Rosenberg embracing this idea, but giving the liberal areas of the Pioneer Valley and Williamstown one of the most liberal representatives in the delegation seems like a worthwhile solution in an ideal world. It does make the 5th a bit more marginal but that would happen with any solution that knocks out a western Mass. district. And perhaps Niki Tsongas doesn't deserve a seat for life if she can't hold it easily in bad years.
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 04:05:43 pm »
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Is the drift here that it is not possible to create a 50% black VAP CD, but it is possible to create a 50% black + Hispanic + Asian CD, or some combo thereof, that arguably constitutes some kind of "community of interest" as defined by the Courts?
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2011, 04:31:51 am »
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The 8th as currently configured already is such a district. I think. It's far too small, of course.
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2011, 07:13:17 am »
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Is the drift here that it is not possible to create a 50% black VAP CD, but it is possible to create a 50% black + Hispanic + Asian CD, or some combo thereof, that arguably constitutes some kind of "community of interest" as defined by the Courts?

Short answer: no. Medium answer: not really, and no reason to contort the map to do so. See Washington state west of the Cascades for a similar situation.

As Lewis said, the 8th is as close as it gets to a minority district, and most of the white voters are liberal Dems so racial polarization beyond the primary is not a factor.
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2011, 07:14:49 am »
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The 8th as currently configured already is such a district. I think. It's far too small, of course.

Yes, you could gerrymander some tendrils out to Quincy, Chelsea, and Lynn to create an erose 8th district with a marginally higher minority population, and it would still likely be represented by a liberal white Democrat, so why bother?

Boston doesn't have any African-American members of the state senate since Dianne Wilkerson left.
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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2011, 03:11:33 pm »
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The 8th as currently configured already is such a district. I think. It's far too small, of course.

Yes, you could gerrymander some tendrils out to Quincy, Chelsea, and Lynn to create an erose 8th district with a marginally higher minority population, and it would still likely be represented by a liberal white Democrat, so why bother?

Boston doesn't have any African-American members of the state senate since Dianne Wilkerson left.

http://boston.com/community/blogs/less_is_more/2011/04/scott_brown_on_redistricting.html


Scott Brown wants Capuano to have a district. Not that he was in any danger, anyway.
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2011, 03:18:26 pm »
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I am shocked, shocked to find out that a Republican wants a Dem vote sink in Boston.
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