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Author Topic: US House Redistricting: Tennessee  (Read 24974 times)
silverpie
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« on: November 11, 2010, 09:31:12 am »
« edited: November 11, 2010, 10:09:01 am by muon2 »

OK, here we go. It's in three images because Tennessee is a pretty long state.

For starters, this is without partisan data. Criteria I used were making the numbers (2008) fit, keeping counties/cities/communities-of-interest together, compactness, and not putting two incumbents in the same district.


Home counties are Washington (blue), Knox (green), and Hamilton (purple).
Blue includes all of the traditional Upper East area, as well as its neighbor counties. The few "stray" precincts are just to get the population right.

The green/purple boundary fixes a misfeature of the current map--there is no reason for both of those districts to stretch the full height of the state. In particular, the southeast corner is much more closely tied to Chattanooga than to Knoxville. Purple also reaches into Anderson County to keep the city of Oak Ridge together. I'd have preferred to have all of Monroe in green, but purple can't expand west as you would think (red's incumbent lives in Marion County).



Incumbents are in Marion (red), Davidson (yellow), and Sumner (dark teal).
Yellow, of course, starts from Nashville, which (as both a county and a city) I considered it a priority to keep intact. After trying several ways to bring it up to a quota, I settled on picking up the two cities now linked to Nashville by the Music City Star (Cheatham is much more rural, so less community-of-interest than Wilson, and Williamson would risk catching gray's incumbent.
Dark teal is a "suburban crescent" running from Murfreesboro, through Gallatin/Hendersonville, over to Clarksville. The non-Rutherford part is also a long-standing high school region (in Tennessee, that's something people think of a lot in terms of identifying "their" area). It includes Trousdale to preserve the traditional boundary between the Upper Cumberland and Mid-Cumberland areas.



Incumbents are in Williamson (gray), Crockett (blurple), and Shelby (turquoise).
To put it bluntly, two cross-river districts is a stupid idea, much less ones that touch both Nashville and Memphis. Gray thus starts with the rest of Middle Tennessee, and simply adds territory moving westward until it has enough. Weakley gets split because its multiple towns allow for adequate population tweaking without cutting through one. Finally, it seemed that turquoise could be made more compact by expanding it from its core (Memphis) up the Arkansas line instead of east along the border with Mississippi.

The largest deviation from quota in this map is 745. If that were a less strict requirement, I would move the one gray precinct in Robertson County into dark-teal with the rest of the county; the maximum deviation would then be just over 2,000.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 11:00:50 am »

Do you think the GOP would try to knock out Cooper by chopping up Davidson into 4 pieces?  I'm sure it wouldn't be hard if they were so inclined, but I don't know what the political culture is down there. 
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silverpie
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 12:34:32 pm »

I don't see that happening for two reasons: (1) that could be seen as a minority-influence district--only 27.1% black and 7.5% Latino, but I doubt they want the appearance of trouble there (not to mention the risk of an actual court fight), and (2) it could backfire and yield two Midstate Democrats if there's a swing back.

The only way I see it happening is if the House minority leader (in TN, the maps are drawn by the party leaders and then submitted to the legislature as a whole) throws Cooper overboard to get a safer district for himself (he represents a curious district that includes the old-money part of Nashville). Other than that, having not quite won 2/3 for governor, I think they settle for the 7-2 they have now.
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Dgov
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2010, 01:28:07 pm »

Do you think the GOP would try to knock out Cooper by chopping up Davidson into 4 pieces?  I'm sure it wouldn't be hard if they were so inclined, but I don't know what the political culture is down there. 

That's probably too risky.  Nashville could theoretically be split 3 or 4 ways to make it completely Republican, but the rural parts of the 4th, 6th, and 8th are have history supporting Democratic congressional candidates, and so making any of them more competitive is probably a bad move, especially since they all have freshman representatives. 

It would be better for the GOP to just secure those districts and give Cooper a safe one in Nashville.  Not only is he a fairly strong congressman, but he previously represented much of the current 4th and could probably hold a close district based in that area.  It would be better for the GOP to wait a decade (given that it looks like the GOP's holding onto the state government for a while) and hope to shore up some of their new gains (trade the 7th's Memphis's suburbs to the 8th for it's more swing-y northeastern corner mostly).  Also, if they can draw a fairly Solid Democratic district in Nashville, they might wind up with a significantly more Liberal Congressman than they have now, which will make dicing up his district easier.


Lastly, cracking incumbents out of their districts works best when you can completely cover the region with your own incumbents, like what Delay did in Dallas in 2003 to get rid of Martin frost.  That way you have an extra bit of insurance that the target can't pull off an upset win like Edwards did in TX-17.
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RBH
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 11:31:07 pm »

Submitted for consideration










Racial changes in districts

TN5: Goes from 68/23 in the 2000 Census to 75/14.
TN6: Goes from 89/6 to 77/15.
TN7: Goes from 83.5/11 to 80/14.
TN8: Goes from 74/22 to 76/19.
TN9: Goes from 35/59.5 to 29/63.

TN5 is less than half Davidson, and takes in two of the most Republican counties in Middle Tennessee.

And the division of Nashville actually divides their African-American neighborhoods between the 6th and 7th.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2010, 09:53:36 am »

Why bother with a gerrymander? They've won. I mean, you can't rule out the occasional come back every now and again, but that's nothing to worry about. Moral high ground time, maybe?
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RBH
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2010, 03:03:30 pm »

I can see them moving some of the Memphis suburbs into the 8th to make Fincher completely safe and to make sure that Blackburn has a district that isn't a total inkblot and won't have Memphis suburbanite Republicans who could challenge her in the future. Going for potential opposition that would take a pass due to a lack of a wide base.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2010, 07:18:20 am »

Why bother with a gerrymander? They've won. I mean, you can't rule out the occasional come back every now and again, but that's nothing to worry about. Moral high ground time, maybe?
There's no reason not to unpack Blackburn's district. Whether it's really advisable to try and take out Cooper is another matter entirely.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2010, 12:30:09 am »
« Edited: December 17, 2010, 12:34:36 am by dpmapper »

I did more or less the same thing as RBH above, but with some numbers:





Basically, this keeps all the Republicans quite safe, and turns TN-05 into a not quite safe, but  strongly leaning, GOP seat.  There is absolutely no downside to this for the GOP that I can see.  

I'm using Bush '04 numbers to gauge things, seeing as Obama's candidacy skews a lot of the numbers in Appalachia.  

TN-01, -02, and -03 (blue, green, purple) are all still uber-safe, of course.  I strung them out to take in the most Dem-friendly counties within reach (though even those counties are probably lean-Republican of late).  

TN-04 (red, Scott DesJarlais) was already 58-41 Bush, but I now have it at 59.4-39.8.  I think Al Gore lost this district in 2000 the way I have it drawn.  

TN-06 (teal, Diane Black) picks up most of Davidson north of the river.  It's still at 56.7-42.7 Bush (down from 60-40).  

TN-07 (grey, Marsha Blackburn) takes in southwest Davidson.  My count has it at 57.6-41.7 Bush.  

TN-08 (lavender, Stephen Fincher) gets the biggest boost.  His previous district was at 53-46 Bush, but even before I add in the Memphis suburbs in Shelby County (sample precinct: 1035-264 in favor of Bush) he's at 56.6-42.9.  

TN-09 is now 66% black.  

Finally, TN-05 (yellow): I'm going to guess that Cooper's house is now in TN-06, but no matter.  He'd run here, rather than try to take on Blackburn on her turf.  My math says that the district runs 54.7-44.6 Bush, compared to 47-52 previously.  Is that enough?  Everyone is saying that Cooper has won in rural districts before, but that was during a time when Blue Dogs weren't getting booted out left and right.  He's amassed a somewhat more liberal voting line during his last stint in a safe district (e.g., voting for the health care bill) and that will be hard to run away from.  Even if he can still win he'll be forced to shift back rightward.  
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Verily
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2010, 11:43:36 am »

Scott Desjarlais lives in TN-03 on your map.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2010, 04:12:38 pm »

That's annoying.  I read his website and it said something about Sherwood TN, but now that I look more closely, that's where he goes to church. 

Anyway, we can exchange Sequatchie County for half of Marion... not a big deal. 
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dpmapper
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2010, 09:27:44 pm »

Ack, just noticed I wasn't using the new population estimates.  I drew a new map, but I really don't feel like recalculating just yet.  Maybe after Christmas. 
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dpmapper
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2010, 06:51:01 pm »



OK, here's the new version. 

Districts 1/2/3 in East Tennessee are still very safe for the Pubbies.  TN-04 (red) now contains DesJarlais's home and is at 59.8-39.4 Bush, not counting two half-counties in the east which are safely GOP anyway.  This is up from 58-41. 

TN-08, in lavender, is at 55.6-43.8 Bush BEFORE adding in the Memphis suburbs, which should bump it up even more.  Up from 53-46 previously. 

That leaves 5-6-7 in the middle.  I've calculated that, combined, they are at 56.7-42.6 Bush.  It's a pain sorting through the Davidson divide, since the precinct labels from the TN SoS don't always match the ones in the app, so I haven't bothered.  It should be relatively easy to divide Davidson in such a way that Blackburn and Black get 57%+ Bush districts and Cooper gets a 55% Bush district.  Cooper's old TN-05 was 52-47 Kerry.  Black is down slightly from 60% Bush, but given that she won by almost 40% in her first try...
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 05:28:49 am »

You're not going to get anything remotely pretty or truly safe for the entire period if you split Nashville. Far wiser to leave it alone (not sure Reps will take my advice, obviously, but yes I consider it likely).

When you do though...



Pretty and clean and fairly logical for the most part, and every incumbent is safe for the duration in his current district. Preserved the Chattanooga-Oak Ridge link because it's been defended to me before.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2011, 12:14:53 pm »

You're not going to get anything remotely pretty or truly safe for the entire period if you split Nashville. Far wiser to leave it alone (not sure Reps will take my advice, obviously, but yes I consider it likely).

Not pretty, sure, but it's much less ugly than a lot of other states.  You could easily make most of the lines within Davidson County fairly logical. 

As for the "not safe over the entire period"... you think Tennessee is trending blue?!  Nashville itself might be but suburban growth will outpace it.  And yes, the suburban counties will get less red, percentage-wise, over time, but that's because they started at 70% GOP and the people moving in are only 60% GOP - in other words, not helpful from the Democratic point of view.  And of course the rural areas are still moving strongly rightward. 
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2011, 01:33:59 pm »

No; it's more that electoral movement doesn't work like that. Long term trends are long term trends, but it also makes sense to protect against short term swings, scandal-tarred incumbents and poor elections for your party.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2011, 02:03:09 pm »

With three districts at 57, 57, 55% Bush, you MIGHT lose 2-3 out of the 15 elections that will occur with these lines.  Whereas if you keep the Davidson district and keep Black and Blackburn packed, you'll definitely lose 4-5.  That's a trade-off you take. 
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memphis
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2011, 10:24:13 am »

There's going to be an ugly primary fight if TN-8 is redrawn to include Memphis burbs. Granted, it's mostly a matter of style and not substance, but people out there are not going to want to be represented by some hillybilly farmer. Blackburn's a vaguely snooty country club type and that's how people in East Shelby County imagine themselves to be.
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Torie
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2011, 12:54:30 pm »

Part of this split Nashville issue revolves around how confident one is that the Dems are more or less permanently done in middle Tenn and the suburban counties around Davidson that used to be marginal. I suspect that might be the case (part of it is a Japanese car manufacturers versus Detroit thing, on top of the social issues divide, and now we have right to work coming back and public employee unions - all issues that are toxic to the Dems in Tenn), in which event, unlike Columbus, Ohio, it might be reasonably prudent for the Pubbies to chop Nashville and eviscerate TN-05.
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2011, 02:56:16 pm »

I think I may have solved the 8-1 problem and the Fincher primary problem:



Yeah, carving up Nashville into four parts is ugly, but why not?

TN-01 (blue) - Not much changed. Phil Roe is still smack in the middle of the seat, though. Formerly 70-29 McCain, now 70.9 McCain, 29.1 Obama.
TN-02 (green) - Shifted north, but remains centered in Jimmy Duncan's base of Knoxville. Was 64-34 McCain, now 65.1 McCain, 34.9 Obama.
TN-03 (purple) - Eliminates the melting hourglass shape, remaining centered in the Chattanooga area. Chuck Fleischmann will be happy; it goes from 62-37 McCain to 68.7 McCain, 31.3 Obama.
TN-04 (red) - Chops off the two ends of the district that I think were only put there to elect Lincoln Davis; instead shoots up into Murfreesboro and outer Nashville. Goes from 64-34 McCain to 60.1 McCain, 39.9 Obama, but given how the state has swung away from the Democrats, I don't think Scott DesJarlais will have much trouble in the general.
TN-05 (yellow) - Cuts out half of Davidson County, stretches waaaay west to the Memphis 'burbs. Goes from 56-43 Obama to 57.0 McCain, 43.0 Obama. Bye, Jim Cooper.
TN-06 (teal) - Removes Diane Black's potential primary opponents in Murfreesboro, stretches east to take in part of TN-04. Goes from 62-37 McCain to 62.8 McCain, 37.2 Obama.
TN-07 (grey) - Unpacks the Republican vote sink by removing the Memphis suburbs. Retains Blackburn's base in suburban Nashville. Goes from 65-34 McCain to 60.0 McCain, 40.0 Obama.
TN-08 (light purple) - Barely changed this one, just removes the Shelby County portion (Stephen Fincher will be pleased) and adds a bit at the eastern end of the district. Goes from 56-43 McCain to 58.8 McCain, 41.2 Obama.
TN-09 (sky blue) - Remains a majority-black district in Memphis. 62.3% black VAP. Rejoice, Steve Cohen, you're the only Democrat left! Goes from 77-22 Obama to 77.8 Obama, 22.2 McCain.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2011, 09:28:34 am »

I don't think keeping a Memphis-to-Nashville district is going to make anyone happy.  Fincher is gong to have to suck it up and take in the Memphis 'burbs. 

Incidentally, it appears that, since DRA doesn't include the early/absentee votes, its figures are about 1% skewed in the R direction.  It has McCain winning with 57.9% when in reality he only took 56.9%. 
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2011, 09:00:22 pm »

I think the yellow district would appeal to suburban Memphis Republicans in the legislature. Currently the Memphis suburbs are split between TN-07 and TN-08, so a Republican from the suburbs doesn't have much of a chance of winning a primary. The yellow district would give one of them a chance of winning.
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RBH
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« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2011, 02:12:36 am »
« Edited: July 05, 2011, 02:48:22 am by RBH »

New map, borrowing a theme



TN1: 70.9/29.1 McCain, 64/36 R
TN2: 64.6/35.4 McCain, 58/42 R
TN3: 68.6/31.4 McCain, 61/39 R
TN4: 62.3/37.7 McCain, 55/45 R
TN5: 59.7/40.3 McCain, 55.5/44.5 R
TN6: 58.3/41.7 McCain, 53/47 R
TN7: 58.4/41.6 McCain, 53/47 R
TN8: 59.3/40.7 McCain, 52.5/47.5 R
TN9: 75.6/24.4 Obama, 70.5/29.5 D, 63.7% Black



Now, your catch on gerrymandering Jim Cooper is that he represented the TN4 area (he used to live in Shelbyville. So keeping his former district very red helps out. Makes it harder for him to jump to TN6 or TN7 where he doesn't have much history.

If they carve Nashville that viciously, Cooper should move back to Shelbyville and face DesJarlais (or whoever primaries him). The shape of TN4 goes back to Jim Cooper and creating a seat for him in the 1980s, the district was similarly shaped in 1992.

------------

edit

realized Diane Black lived in Hendersonville... so time to change the plan



TN4: 57.6/42.4 McCain, 53/47 R
TN5: 57/43 McCain, 54/46 R
TN6: 66.1/33.9 McCain, 57/43 R
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2011, 04:28:56 am »



Too lazy to check residency right now.

1 93% White, 71% McCain
2 87% White, 65% McCain
3 82% White, 11% Black, 69% McCain
4 92% White, 66% McCain
5 59% White, 26% Black, 58% Obama
6 84% White, 66% McCain
7 83% White, 10% Black, 61% McCain
8 74% White, 20% Black, 64% McCain
9 64% Black, 27% Black, 76% Obama

Yeah, this is part of my "what seems to be the fairest" series, not a prediction of course. What's the state of discussion - any news articles out of Tennessee pointing to what they intend to do with Nashville?
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krazen1211
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« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2011, 09:25:45 am »

Only halfheartedly gunning for Cooper.

http://wpln.org/?p=28881

Tennessee Republicans are talking about a push to unseat Nashville Democrat Jim Cooper next year. The GOP has made big gains in recent elections, and is eyeing what it might add after redrawing the state’s Congressional districts.

State GOP Chairman Chris Devaney says priority one for the party is holding its ground. After that, depending on how redistricting plays out, Cooper’s seat could become a target. Devaney thinks Cooper’s feeling vulnerable, because the longtime incumbent campaigned hard for reelection last fall.

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