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Author Topic: U.S. House Redistricting: New Jersey  (Read 39353 times)
krazen1211
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« on: December 29, 2010, 12:41:06 pm »

From what I've heard, nobody is talking about eliminating Runyan or any of the 4 Southern districts.


The way I see it, if they're pairing an incumbent from each party, it has to be Holt/Lance or Rodney/Pascrell. Any other way, the lines become hideous, or 1 side or the other is heavily disadvantaged.

I figure Andrews, Lobiondo, Runyan, Smith, Pallone, Rothman, Sires, Payne, Garrett are safe. One of the other 4 guys gets the axe.

The Republicans, I think, are going to throw heavily Democratic Patterson into Sires's Hispanic district, and take the rest of the existing 8th and give it to Rodney, Garrett, Payne, and Rothman.

The Democrats, I think, are going to merge Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon into a single district, and chop the Republican areas of Union/Middlesex county into pieces and split them.


Merging Holt and Lance somewhere in Somerset/Hunterdon/Middlesex county district centered around the Brunswicks is probably the 'fair fight' setup. Lance probably gives it away and runs for Senate though.

Merging Rodney and Pascrell involves throwing Passaic and Morris in the same district.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 12:55:36 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?

No, you ditch the Elizabeth/Perth Amboy leg entirely.

Newark is already connected to JC under the current setup. All you have to do is connect Patterson to Newark through Passaic City and down the Bergen/Essex border. It sort of shapes like a U.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 03:58:41 pm »

Yep, what you drew is basically a perfect 6-6 map for the GOP.

I drew almost exactly the same thing with very minor modifications. Sussex, Morris, Hunderdon/Somerset, Monmouth, and Ocean form the cores of 5 GOP districts.


The only modifications I made is that you have too much of Rodney's district in Essex county. You really want to get that West Orange/Bloomfield area in some Democratic district (Livingston, West Caldwell, North Caldwell are fine). Heavily Republican Middletown and Hazlet can go into Chis Smith's district, that southern tip of Hudson around Bayonne into Pallone's, and shove Payne's district west a bit into West Orange.

But we're talking about only shifting around 20k people or so.

I did it relatively cleanly without splitting a whole lot of townships. Under 10 I believe, not counting Jersey City, Newark, etc.

Technically the easiest path for the Democrats to form 7 strong seats is in the southern part of the state. Lobiondo's 2nd I believe has a Dem PVI, and could easily be made more Democratic by moving Democrats in from the 1st, and moving Willingboro into the 1st. The problem of course is that Lobiondo is entrenched. And as long as those VRA 10th and 13th exist (the 13th especially is completely boxed in), its hard to use the remaining 4 Democrats (Rothman, Pascrell, Holt, Pallone) to soak what is a fair number of GOP votes. Nobody really wants to touch areas like Monmouth county, or North Bergen. Rush Holt is sitting in a 54% Kerry seat.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 04:36:02 pm by krazen1211 »Logged
krazen1211
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 05:06:18 pm »

Yep, what you drew is basically a perfect 6-6 map for the GOP.

I drew almost exactly the same thing with very minor modifications. Sussex, Morris, Hunderdon/Somerset, Monmouth, and Ocean form the cores of 5 GOP districts.


The only modifications I made is that you have too much of Rodney's district in Essex county. You really want to get that West Orange/Bloomfield area in some Democratic district (Livingston, West Caldwell, North Caldwell are fine). Heavily Republican Middletown and Hazlet can go into Chis Smith's district, that southern tip of Hudson around Bayonne into Pallone's, and shove Payne's district west a bit into West Orange.

But we're talking about only shifting around 20k people or so.

I did it relatively cleanly without splitting a whole lot of townships. Under 10 I believe, not counting Jersey City, Newark, etc.

Technically the easiest path for the Democrats to form 7 strong seats is in the southern part of the state. Lobiondo's 2nd I believe has a Dem PVI, and could easily be made more Democratic by moving Democrats in from the 1st, and moving Willingboro into the 1st. The problem of course is that Lobiondo is entrenched. And as long as those VRA 10th and 13th exist (the 13th especially is completely boxed in), its hard to use the remaining 4 Democrats (Rothman, Pascrell, Holt, Pallone) to soak what is a fair number of GOP votes. Nobody really wants to touch areas like Monmouth county, or North Bergen. Rush Holt is sitting in a 54% Kerry seat.


I think an easier way for the Democrats to gain a seat in South Jersey is to shift the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd slightly counterclockwise. LoBiondo picks up much of Ocean County, and Andrews picks up Salem County and possibly even Bridgeton. Runyan gets stuck in a Burlington-Camden district, picking up Pennsauken and Voorhees, and swapping northern Ocean County with Smith in exchange for northern Burlington County. This way you don't have the trouble of a proven, entrenched incumbent.

Something like this:




I could see the GOP agreeing to do this as long as it was Holt or Pascrell that got axed up north. It's probably a better map for both parties, in fact. Runyan is a bit of a lightweight, the 5 GOP long(er)termers get really safe seats, and the Democrats get the 7-5 advantage that they probably should have.

I don't know if its on the table, though.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 06:30:15 pm »

If you're going to do that map, why not swap out Vineland for Lakehurst in NJ-02?

Or, frankly, just go with my plan that basically did the same NJ-03 but numbered in NJ-12 and extended it just far enough north to take in Holt. That way, Runyan is still eliminated, and there is no unpleasantness with two incumbents tossed out (as the commission surely will not allow).

The reason I don't agree with that map is because you essentially cut out a South Jersey Congressman. If I recall, Steve Sweeney tossed out one of the commissioners because he was from Essex County. Rob Andrews, Sweeney, and Norcross would probably be screaming about that.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 08:30:33 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.



I am sure both sides will be offering plans with 11 safe seats, 6-5.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:39:12 pm by krazen1211 »Logged
krazen1211
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 08:52:16 pm »

It doesn't seem there are any rules or constraints as to how Congressional districts are drawn in NJ, so it seems that the default option is a map drawn by the nominee of one of the two parties, with the one chosen being made by the Chief Justice as to which of the two the Justice thinks is most qualified, and will represent the interests of the people.

So I suspect the default option, unless both parties nominate hacks, or the judge selects the hack over the straight shooter, is a non partisan map. So to me the game is looking at what a non partisan map looks like, and whether there is any other map that both parties would favor over that one. So only if 1) a non partisan map does not really favor one party for whatever reason, and 2) the two parties would prefer over a non partisan map that does not help either party, a map that makes everyone safe and happy, except that two incumbents would be pitted against each other in a fair fight district, will it seem reasonable that any other than a non partisan map will be adopted.

Make sense?

It does, but I would add some priority for incumbent protection, except for the seat that pits two incumbents against each other. That seems consistent with NJ practice, and a non-partisan map maker would likely look at precedents from the previous couple of maps.

Yes, although the last map was a two party compromise deal, in which the independent 13th guy did not have the whip hand. So they either cut a deal, or to get a majority vote, one party or the other has to get the independent guy to go along, and if they don't, there is no map, and ultimately the court will draw it I guess. So I think as you do that it will be like last time, because neither party wants some independent to mess up all their little inside deals, and incumbent protection schemes.

Looks to me that the Court can only pick, not modify. It only goes to the Court though if the independent guy doesn't do his job.




If the commission is unable to certify the establishment of districts by the time required due to the inability of a plan to achieve seven votes, the two district plans receiving the greatest number of votes, but not fewer than five votes, shall be submitted to the Supreme Court, which shall select and certify whichever of the two plans so submitted conforms most closely to the requirements of the Constitution and laws of the United States.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 10:01:01 pm »

Probably the map that favors their political preference.

There's a bigger issue, of course, and that's that the Supreme Court might not have enough members at this time in 2012.

The court needs 5 members to function. Right now it has 6. Chris Christie kicked one of the Democrats out and nominated someone else, and angry Democrats refused to confirm the replacement. A second vacancy opens in September 2011, which knocks them down to 5, and a third vacancy in March 2012. So if stuff doesn't get resolved by then, well, we don't have a Supreme Court anymore.


That said, the independent guy has the power to pick a plan. I see no reason for him to punt.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2011, 09:58:17 am »

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.

It's a really odd setup.

The legislative commission is 10 partisans, then they go to the Supreme Court Chief Justice for the 11th guy. Apparently, both sides agree that Alan Rosenthal should be that guy and it will be him.


The congressional commission is 12 partisans. They'll fight over who the independent member is probably, the Supreme Court (whole thing) will tiebreak to pick an independent member, and the independent member does what he wants.

The independent member does have the power to draw his own plan (ie play mediator) but he still had to get 6 other votes for it to pass. And if he is an honest guy, he does have some incentive to try and do this.


So, its mostly similar. Population loss will probably determine the maps; Republicans have it easier because all of their districts are mostly full already.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2011, 10:22:01 am »

Well, the problem with legislative redistricting 10 years ago became one of law as well as politics.


http://cgs.rutgers.edu/resource-center/resourcecenter-1/documents/redistricting_nj_after_2010.pdf

) No county or municipality should be divided into more parts than one plus
the whole number obtained by dividing its population by 1/40 of the state’s
population.


It really comes down to this provision, which was ignored last time.


http://archive.fairvote.org/redistricting/reports/remanual/njnews.htm


So really the question is whether Jersey City/Newark are packed into 2 compact districts each (The Republican plan) or shoestringed into the suburbs (the Democratic plan).

Every indication I've seen shows that they are not going to be able to ignore the Constitution this time around.  North Jersey is probably losing a district to South Jersey too. It's a lot more difficult for the Democrats to get a good map if  Essex County is packed.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 12:07:25 am »

One thing I never understood: Why does Chris Smith keep getting elected? He's basically a moderate Democrat except he's an extreme pro-life zealot, which strikes me as a terrible fit for anywhere in NJ.

Most Republicans here are (unfortunately, IMO) like that. Tom Kean would be a Democrat in a lot of states. Chris Smith is basically a name brand entrenched incumbent.

Even Christie is moderate on a lot of issues. The difference is he doesn't tolerate the plundering NJEA.

Our entire Congressional delegation outside of Garrett is either moderate or pretends to be.

Catholics and NJ gerrymandering have helped him of course.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 12:20:27 am »

Most NJ Republicans are extreme pro-life zealots? Not quite.

No, sorry. Most Republicans here are basically moderate Democrats. We have very few conservative Republicans.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 06:44:20 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.
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 02:00:57 pm »

You can get Hoboken into Rothman's district fairly easily, however. I have done so on my map, putting all of Kearny in Sires's district in exchange (all of Kearny is more Hispanic than Hoboken).

Bayonne isn't even very Democratic (only in the low 50s Obama), so it's not worth it. Better for the Democrats for it to be tied up in a Hispanic seat.

Also, at least on Johnny's map, Pascrell's seat still has the bulk of its population in Passaic County and in D fortresses elsewhere like Plainfield and Montclair. So having some swingy-towns in Union and Middlesex is not such a concern (but you should really try to get >60% McCain Clark out of his district if possible, perhaps by going through Westfield, which was only around 55% Obama). Remember, his current seat has some really R towns in Passaic like Wayne, North Haledon and Totowa in it, so Johnny's version is probably more D than the old version.

Anyway, not possible to put Rothman and Sires together--Sires's seat has to stay substantially Hispanic, and there aren't enough Hispanics in Bergen County to push it north. Probably possible to put Rothman and Pascrell together, but there's no way it would happen. The likely R plan would probably put Smith and Pallone together in an R seat. (Pallone lives on the shore in Monmouth, so you have to really reach to get him into a D seat.)

Depends on how much influence Pallone has. Him and Smith have seniority in the delegation. It's harder to see them put together than it is to see Vazdul's plan from page 2 drawn, which merges Sires and Pascrell and utterly screws Pascrell over.
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 03:12:07 pm »

This is the strongest NJ map I could draw. It also splits a lot less townships than the current map.

Monmouth county will get its own Republican when Chris Smith retires. Runyan would be very happy with Willingboro and Cherry Hill removed from his district.

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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2011, 02:11:40 pm »

One scenario on a Republican map could be for Sires (who is pretty far north in Hudson) to absorb some real-estate in the Meadowlands and the Palisades communities and go into heavily  minority and Democratic Hackensack (which is very similarly demograhically and economically to much of his current district). Pascrell could take remaining D-leaning Territory in Bergen, with Garrett absorbing Fair Lawn (which is only marginally Democratic AND only voted 5100 to 4100 for hometown son Rothman in 2010,), as well as GOP leaning Saddle Brook. Considering Garrett won this past election 65-35, even a little bit of boost for Rothman in the Bergen parts of a new NJ-5 would not be enough to overcome Garrett's strong base.

If you want to get Hispanics into Sires's district, it makes much more sense to shove it up to Paterson instead, not into Bergen County. Garrett can munch a lot of the central Bergen towns all the way down to Hackensack/Bergenfield. Wayne and Totowa also go into Garrett's district.

That lets him drop Warren County entirely.

As per your previous post, I think you meant Montclair and Bloomfield, not Bloomfield and Belleville? There are no concentrations of white precincts anywhere in Belleville.

If you are willing to split a lot of townships in Essex County, you get something like this on my previous map. This pretty much splits everything from Maplewood to Bloomfield.



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krazen1211
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2011, 10:17:54 pm »

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/11/0327/2357/

"The most likely scenario, just based on geography, is still one that pits Pascrell against Garrett or Frelinghuysen,” one of the Democratic insiders noted."

"Lance is the junior member, but the geography doesn’t work as well unless they rotate all of the districts north of the Raritan River counterclockwise and end up pushing Lance up against Holt. It’s a lot more complicated, though, and half of North and Central Jersey ends up with a new congressman."
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2011, 10:38:24 pm »

Mine looks a lot simpler than any weird construct that pits Pascrell against Garrett (what? how is that possible?) or Frelinghuysen, both of which would require shifting a lot more territory. My map is pretty conservative, I think.

How on earth is that simple? That yellow district looks like a McDonalds arch; pitting Rodney against Garrett simply means combining Morris and the southern body of Passaic County.

Incoherent, perhaps, but not complicated.
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2011, 10:58:50 pm »


Have you looked at Garrett's current district? It similarly arcs around the edge of the state. The changes to his district on my map are tiny, especially compared to what would have to be massive shifts of population to put him with Pascrell.




The existing map was drawn as a (successful) bipartisan gerrymander. This time around neither side is going to be willing to lose one of their guys, and if Rosenthal and company believe even half the stuff he's saying about compactness those yellow and purple districts won't exist in that form.

It's almost certainly going to be opposite party incumbents paired, imo.
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2011, 11:17:13 pm »

Nobody believes anything they're saying about not gerrymandering. If they're worried about not shifting around tons of people, they're going to have to at least preserve the existing gerrymander, which is all I did. Anything they say about compactness is blowing smoke; they said the same things in 2000.

Oh, I believe 11 out of 12 districts will be gerrymandered. I just don't believe that the 12th will combine the people you combined. Truthfully, though, you can do it much cleaner than it is now.

Garrett's district is only 60k or so short. Simply adding the rest of Sussex County and 20k votes in Bergen fills that district.

If this article is any indication, its not too difficult. Pallone's Monmouth base is dismantled and a new 6th is created in north Middlesex/South union County. That pushes the heavily underpopulated 9th and 10th into the 8th. That's where the population loss is.
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2011, 12:12:08 pm »

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/nj_parties_pick_leaders_for_co.html

DEMOCRATS

In addition to Roberts, Democrats picked:

• Ed Farmer, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8th Dist.)

• Phil Thigpen, the Essex County Democratic chairman

• Nilsa Cruz-Perez, a former assemblywoman from Camden County who also served on the legislative redistricting commission

• Jeannine LaRue, who served in former Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration

• Michael Baker, a former assemblyman from Middlesex County

REPUBLICANS

In addition to DuHaime, Republicans picked:

• Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth)

• Eric Jaso, an attorney from Morris County who worked as an assistant U.S. attorney under Christie

• Sue Sheppard, a former Cape May County freeholder

• Aubrey Fenton, a pastor and former Burlington County freeholder

• Sherine El-Abd, a Republican activist and former official at the Department of Community Affairs




About the only person of note is the Pascrell CoS. If he gets mashed with Rothman they're going to want to make sure Pascrell has the advantage.

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« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2011, 01:16:18 pm »

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/nj_parties_pick_leaders_for_co.html

DEMOCRATS

In addition to Roberts, Democrats picked:

• Ed Farmer, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8th Dist.)

• Phil Thigpen, the Essex County Democratic chairman

• Nilsa Cruz-Perez, a former assemblywoman from Camden County who also served on the legislative redistricting commission

• Jeannine LaRue, who served in former Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration

• Michael Baker, a former assemblyman from Middlesex County

REPUBLICANS

In addition to DuHaime, Republicans picked:

• Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth)

• Eric Jaso, an attorney from Morris County who worked as an assistant U.S. attorney under Christie

• Sue Sheppard, a former Cape May County freeholder

• Aubrey Fenton, a pastor and former Burlington County freeholder

• Sherine El-Abd, a Republican activist and former official at the Department of Community Affairs




About the only person of note is the Pascrell CoS. If he gets mashed with Rothman they're going to want to make sure Pascrell has the advantage.

But how? The only other places southern Bergen County can go would be one of the minority districts. I just don't see that happening. I think we can rule out a Frelinghuysen vs. Pascrell or Garrett vs. Pascrell matchup as well. I'm beginning to think the odds-on favorite is Holt vs. Lance.

It's not easy to give Pascrell the advantage in any pairing, unfortunately for him, because the black district will likely be taking all of the Oranges. The most you can do is leave his base intact while cutting Fair Lawn, Saddle Brook, Englewood, and a couple other of Rothman's known areas out into the Garrett and the Sires district.

You'd still end up with something that is more South Bergen than South Passaic.

We'll be finding out who the 13th member is soon. Betting its not a university professor after the last round of shenanighans.
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2011, 03:22:59 pm »

Is there anyone on there who is going to stand up for Pallone? A former Dem legislator from Middlesex won't.

Nope, he tried to get his ally on the commission, and Wisniewski refused to oblige. It doesn't help that the 6th is probably the ugliest district on the map.
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2011, 04:55:19 pm »

Is there anyone on there who is going to stand up for Pallone? A former Dem legislator from Middlesex won't.

Nope, he tried to get his ally on the commission, and Wisniewski refused to oblige. It doesn't help that the 6th is probably the ugliest district on the map.

The 6th is drawn the way it is to accommodate Pallone specifically. His district is, essentially, the (urban) Middlesex County district with "communities of interest" in other counties attached. It snakes down into Monmouth County, but that's only because Pallone lives at the southern most tip of that ugly little tendril.

Ultimately, Pallone will be saved in redistricting by simple math. A district that is dominated by Middlesex County must exist. By virtue of containing the most Democratic areas of a Democratic county, it can't be a competitive district. If it can't be a competitive district, it can't be the scene of an I vs. I fight.

There are only two possibilities for New Jersey's I vs. I battle next year. Option one is for District 5 to be redrawn to become a Bergen-based district. This would pit Rothman and Garrett against each other -- two congressmen without many strong allies in their respective parties. Much of the western half of the current District 5 would be given to Lance to shore up that seat; a lot of Rothman's Democratic territory could be gobbled up by Sires and Pascrell.

Option two is for District 7 to be combined with 12 to pit Lance against Holt. Much of Lance's old State Senate district would be absorbed by Garrett to give him only the tiniest foothold in 12. The rest of the new district would take in a balanced mix of 7 and 12 heading east, keeping the Middlesex County parts of 7 that Lance would rather not be there and keeping the Monmouth County parts of 12 that Holt would rather not be there.

For map drawers, the latter is the most elegant solution because both Lance and Holt live fairly close to one another. There's no reason why the district needs to stretch all the way to the Atlantic, so it gives a lot more leeway for negotiation around other districts.

Garrett has a critical finance committee chairmanship in a state with a lot of Wall Street employees.

Pallone's district might be saved, but Pallone won't. The 4 southern districts need to push up about 200k people, and the only logical place is Monmouth County. He's lost his former base as is; Monmouth County has turned on him, and he has the Dem areas of the County.

The 7 + 12 matchup is a lot easier than that. Just combine Warren, Hunterdon, and portions of Somerset and Mercer Counties. The population just about lines up.

Monmouth County shouldn't be in that district at all. Nor should the Hispanic district really be stretching to Perth Amboy of course.
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2011, 01:00:09 pm »

There's enough population in the Holt parts of Monmouth to up the populations of the southern districts (and no reason for them to be put anywhere but with Smith). No need to draw Pallone out of his seat.


This time around, I have to figure they'll finally eliminate the needless Trenton split in CD-4, as well as potentially East Windsor; that's population that CD-4 will take from CD-6 in Monmouth, and CD-6 will pick up in Middlesex, making it a Middlesex County dominated district, as it should be. What Mr. Moderate said holds true.

Buono would be a solid candidate for a primary in that district.

You also flipped Pallone and Pascrell.
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