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Author Topic: U.S. House Redistricting: New Jersey  (Read 39344 times)
Brittain33
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« on: November 10, 2010, 08:58:49 am »

This article is primarily about legislative redistricting, but the same issues apply to federal.

I mentioned earlier that the districts are drawn by a panel composed of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, with one appointed tiebreaker as needed. The article states that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints the tiebreaker. Last time, he sided with the Dems for a Dem-friendly map for the legislature, while both sides colluded on an incumbent protection map for Congress. Since there is zero chance of collusion for a legislative map, the machinations for the legislature could be interesting. I'm not sure what an incumbent protection map will look like when at least one Republican is likely to lose his seat with reapportionment.

http://www.examiner.com/essex-county-conservative-in-newark/redistricting-fight-nj-begins
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Brittain33
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 06:57:19 pm »

So I tried to eliminate Runyan by unlocking the extra Democratic votes in NJ-1 and unused Dem areas in NJ-2 and creating a Delaware river district for Holt to run in. No dice. If you do that, you actually can create two good Democratic districts on either side of the Camden-Pennsauken border, rotate LoBiondo north to take half of Ocean County, and make a solid NJ-4 on Toms River and all of Smith's coastal territory, but you have to put too much of Monmouth County currently in NJ-12 into NJ-6 for Pallone's liking. And then you have all of Pallone's and Holt's Democratic territory in Middlesex County leftover with no takers unless you now eliminate Lance. The end result is to have to create a new Dem-leaning district in Central Jersey to fill the gap left by sucking Holt's district south and Pallone's to the shore. The final result would be favorable for Democrats, but unfavorable to 3 incumbents and probably stretches NJ-5 all the way to outer Trenton. I don't see how that happens.

I suspect despite all of the talk about last hired, first fired, the committee is going to have to do a fair fight district in the middle/north of the state.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010, 07:37:34 pm »

That is similar to my NJ-12, but I balked at drawing Lance such a wide-ranging district. I don't see them pairing the older Republican Union County suburbs of NJ-7 with Monmouth with such a distant link, and it's the Monmouth Republican areas that have to go somewhere. I suspect they'd go into Pallone's district (he represented more of Monmouth prior to 1992) first.

FWIW, I gave the rest of Gloucester and Salem County to NJ-1 because they are Democratic enough and then drew NJ-12 closer into Camden by pulling in Haddon Heights, Pennsauken, and Haddonfield.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010, 07:38:31 pm »

Does anyone know how Hamilton Twp. votes for President and Senator these days?
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Brittain33
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 08:33:08 pm »

Interesting, it swung to Corzine. I had to put it in my Rush Holt district and was worried that it was a Republican town.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2010, 09:11:36 pm »

Interesting, it swung to Corzine. I had to put it in my Rush Holt district and was worried that it was a Republican town.

If I'm not mistaken, it is more Republican on the local level. Also, the areas nearer to Trenton are more urban and minority-heavy, so they would likely be more Democratic than areas to the south and east. If a similar plan is adopted, it's likely that Hamilton would be split, with the areas close to Trenton put into a Democratic district (presumably Holt's) and the rest put into Smith's district.

I have it in my mind as a mini Nassau County.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2010, 09:16:15 pm »

Anyway, you could rearrange NJ-07 and NJ-11 to put the Union County R areas in NJ-11 in exchange for most of the Hunterdon/Somerset/Mercer parts of NJ-11.

What's interesting is that if you do that, your new NJ-7 is nearly identical to the NJ-12 of the 1990s, before Trenton was added to make it safer. The effect of dismantling Runyan's district is to draw Holt into Runyan's district, eliminate Lance's district, and leave Holt's district empty but perhaps with Lance's home in it.

I'm not nitpicking so much as free associating.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2010, 12:50:29 pm »

The Republicans, I think, are going to throw heavily Democratic Patterson into Sires's Hispanic district

What towns would you use to connect Paterson to JC and Newark? Would it still connect down to Perth Amboy?
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Brittain33
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010, 08:56:24 pm »

Can I ask your thinking behind putting that bit of East Windsor in the 3rd district? My mother lives there, so I'm curious.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 08:24:29 pm »

Wouldn't it be the case that both parties play chicken, and the judge will be choosing a tiebreaker who will choose either the R or the D map, not a fair arbiter who will follow a middle path? That's what happened in legislative redistricting in 2001, when the tie-breaker chose the Dem map over the GOP map.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2011, 11:59:00 pm »

Wouldn't it be the case that both parties play chicken, and the judge will be choosing a tiebreaker who will choose either the R or the D map, not a fair arbiter who will follow a middle path? That's what happened in legislative redistricting in 2001, when the tie-breaker chose the Dem map over the GOP map.

That was legislative redistricting, not Congressional.

If I recall correctly, they came to an agreement on Congressional redistricting.

Right, they came to an agreement because they had a shared interest in an incumbent protection plan in 2001... but there is no basis for a shared agreement when one seat is being lost. So, given that they will have competing plans, do you know if the procedure will be different from the legislative procedure in 2001 other than that it's for Congress?

I would be shocked if the six partisan members on either side can't stick together, and then the independent won't want to shirk his duty and will make seven.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 08:20:40 pm »

All right, whoever said you couldn't get rid of Jon Runyan is wrong. This map does that and protects the remaining incumbents for a 7-5 map. I tried to minimize splits of municipalities, except of course for the minority districts.


It's impossible in the political sense, not the logistical sense.

South Jersey is not going to lose a Congressman when all the population loss has been in North Jersey.

To be fair, I was the one who said it was impossible in the logistical sense while eliminating a Republican seat, and I was wrong.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 11:39:13 am »

Pascrell is 74 years old this year, FWIW.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 02:43:43 pm »

Is there anyone on there who is going to stand up for Pallone? A former Dem legislator from Middlesex won't.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 08:18:13 am »

I do need to put a marker down that comparing Corzine's repudiation in 2009 with past presidential results is very hard to justify for federal races, even those where Corzine ran, and even comparing it to the 2005 race, while good to show what happened in 2009, doesn't prove a town is "reddening" in the long term. Not unless you think there's not going to be any snapback against the Tea Party heights of the 2009-2010 election.

This all reminds me of how Bush increased his vote share from 2000 to 2004 by a few points, which proved that many groups and states were "trending" Republican.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2011, 08:48:01 am »

There's no need for the NE arm of the 12th and the SW arm of the 6th now - swap them between the two districts and you'll have a much nicer-looking map.  

Yes, the Middlesex-Somerset line is irrelevant there, particularly between New Brunswick and Franklin Twp.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2011, 09:35:46 am »


If you want another example, Marlboro in particular (I have family there) is a Kerry/McCain jurisdiction. There are not many of those in the northeast. Many of the other towns in that belt either maintained or slightly increased their Republican margins between 2004 and 2008.

There is really ample data for the entire decade showing the reddening of Monmouth and Ocean County as a whole, with limited exceptions on a municipal basis.

Marlboro has a large population of older Jewish New Yorkers. The trend there mirrors what you see in NY-9 and FL-22... a massive Dem vote in 2000 because of Lieberman, with a swing toward Bush in 2004 caused by lack of Lieberman/anger over 9/11, followed by stasis or even a small swing away from Obama because many older Jewish Dems didn't identify with him. My question is, we can identify those factors, so what do they say about future presidential elections, or congressional elections of any kind? Something, certainly, for President, but not much for congress.

Let's also recall that Corzine spent bazillions of dollars in 2000 to drive up the vote totals, which didn't lead to a big winning margin for him, but helped Gore seriously overperform for a Dem in NJ, creating an artificially high benchmark. Also, George W. Bush was a uniquely bad candidate for NJ in 2000... pollution, a strong evangelical Christian religious identity, disdain for educated elites, and opposition to the northeast are not a winning combo for NJ voters.

You're positing a trend moving forward. I'm putting forth an explanation for results on a national level, and also noting a swing at the state level between 2005 and 2009. Where we differ is whether you can draw a straight line from 2005 to 2009 through 2013 showing "reddening" caused by... what factor? I say we need more data to show how the Tea Party high-water mark in 2009 (NJ) and 2010 (federal) looks now that we have divided government. Maybe it's going to be surpassed by even bigger Republican wins. However, I don't think so.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2011, 09:39:32 am »

Also, I make no claims about Ocean County. I've never really looked at it and don't know it, and the growth seems to be senior citizens, which is going to make it more conservative.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2011, 11:00:51 am »

No, I mean the current map.

Chris Smith was from suburban Trenton and used to represent the entire city. In the 1990s, NJ-12 was considered a Republican district, so it would have been odd to reach down and grab Trenton. Then Holt won in '98 and hung on in '00 so the incumbent protection gerrymander in 2002 split the city in two, giving some of the more Democratic parts to Holt.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2011, 11:03:56 am »

But the bottom fell out of formerly safe Democratic areas all over the country in 2010, and not just the blue dog areas. Look at MN-8, for example--Chip Cravaack's stunning upset was a sign of the overall election dynamics, but I wouldn't say that it is predictive. Similarly, the big Dem drops in MI-12, the Scott Brown election, northern Wisconsin, eastern Pennsylvania...

What seems to me is that if certain issues are at the forefront and there's a big anti-incumbent wave, there are parts of NJ that will swing one way or another. In 2009 and 2010, it was anti-Corzine and anti-Obama. In 2000, it was against the national Republicans and the social/industrial agenda; in 2001, it was a reaction against 8 years of Christie Whitman.

This all looks like Bucks County. I don't see trends, I see a swingy voting bloc that can be summoned to vote heavily against a candidate or party and can't be relied on for either party. Unfortunately, in NJ, the Republicans need this group solidly in their corner to be competitive. This happens sometimes but not often enough, and almost never in federal races.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2011, 11:40:06 am »

If we're making an argument from data, then the data from Levin's district and Oberstar's district can make the case for "reddening" in those areas consistent with what happened in the Monmouth portion of NJ-6 between '06/'08 and '10. That's all I'm saying.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2011, 11:43:53 am »

I also don't think they're "anti-tax fiscons" in the sense of Republicans in most parts of the country, or even the NJ-5 sense. They're people who become anti-tax when they're paying $14,000 a year in property taxes on a house worth $400,000 that they bought for $40,000 in 1975 or $110,000 in 1984. It's worse when their kids are no longer benefiting from the good schools they used to be happy to pay for. That's going to push anyone to revolt, and has--but is well within the bounds of national Democratic policy.

Democrats nearly took control of the Texas State House on the backs of swing voters like this, pushed in the other direction. But one election favoring Republicans (2010) and those suburban Dems were wiped out.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2011, 01:46:20 pm »

The reason I keep posting on these NJ threads, here and elsewhere, was because the anti-Florio election (1991?) was one of the formative events in my early awareness of politics, followed later by the 1996/1998 backlash against Republicans that was strongest in the northeast. I see things in terms of those two events, which gives me a view of politics in NJ as more cyclical than not, with the potential for tax revolt always present, but also with a backdrop of a general trend toward diversification which favors Democrats when cultural issues are at play.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2011, 07:57:08 am »

I want to see a poll showing Dan Malloy's popularity plummeting among Orthodox Jews.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2011, 12:09:26 pm »

That would be a very valid viewpoint if New Jersey was in the business of containing larger counties into 1 congressional district. As it stands, only Morris, Warren, and the 4 southern counties are.

It's not an issue of counties, which are pretty irrelevant in NJ, but having more than one district go from Delaware River to the shore when there is more justification for a north/south split.
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