Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alabama Redistricting

This is my first real post conducting analysis of something here in a long time. The other maps here were just so people on swing state project could see them. I hope in the future, I will use both this blog and Swing state project to post my opinions. My next post should be about the New Jersey Gubernatorial race. Now here is a Democratic Gerrymander of Alabama. My goal was to keep the representation at 4-3 Republican. I know Bobby Bright is a Conservative blue dog so I gave a heavily Black district. This should make his voting record more Liberal or a Black candidate could easily challenge him in a primary and win. At the same time, I kept Artur Davis's district majority Black to protect his sucessor if he vacates his seat to run against Richard Shelby. As for the four Republicans, they are all safer than they used to be, including Mike Rogers. I had to make some sacrifices but I thought it would be better if we had 3 strong seats. I still was unable to strengthen Griffith because I could not go Cleo Fields and send a finger down to the Black belt. Still, I could not avoid an extremely grotesque gerrymander. P.S This was double posted on swing state project too.

1st District Jo Banner (R) Blue
Yes, this district grows more convoluted. I added Covington, Geneva counties and Houston Counties to the east which are heavily Republican. I removed Monroe County which leans Republican but has some Democratic areas. The main change to this district was sending a finger from Bobby Bright's district down to Mobile to take in Black precincts. I kept in Republican parts of Mobile so I probably kept Banner's home in here. I kept his district contiguous by water with Mobile Bay. The courts may object to this district but since it gets more Republican, Banner should be happy. McCain probably won 70% of the vote here, up from 61% in the old district. Demographics are 16% Black and 77% White. Status is Safe Republican.

2nd District Bobby Bright (D) Green
He keeps his Montgomery County home base but besides that, his district completely changes. I removed heavily Republican southeastern Alabama from his district. I replaced it with all of Montgomery County and some Democratic counties currently in the 3rd such as Macon and the 7th such as Dallas. Yes, this district is the culprit of the Mobile County finger. I sent up the finger to Talladega to stregthen the 2nd and 3rd districts for their respective parties. Overall, I wanted to knock down two birds with one stone in this district. Not only would there be another Black majority district in Alabama that was heavily Democratic, Bobby Bright will have a tough time holding onto the seat if a Black candidate challenges him in the primary. Unless Steve Cohen from Memphis decided to move here and run, Bright should probably lose. A possible candidate would be the Liberal Black mayor of Mobile, Sam Jones. He is pretty old but he was also the first Black mayor of Mobile. Overall, this district looks set to change. Obama probably won 67% of the vote here. Demographics are 57% Black and 38% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

3rd District Mike Rogers (R) Purple
To protect the 2nd district, I had to stregthen Rogers because it was impossible to make the 2nd district safe and keep the 3rd vulnerable. Rogers won only 53% of the vote in 2008 against Democrat Joshua Segall so Rogers should be thrilled with the new plan. I made some drastic changes to protect him by removing heavily Democratic Montgomery, Macon and part of Russel Counties. I added heavily Republican counties to the south of the old district. As a bonus, I removed Segall's home in Montgomery into the 2nd so Rogers now has no strong challenger. Just to shake Rogers up, I removed his home and put it in the 4th district. Overall, I reduced the Black percentage from 33% to 22%, so McCain win to probably 66% of the vote here. Demographics are 22% Black and 72% White. Status is Safe Republican.

4th District Rodney Aderholt (R) Red
I made some minor changes to the district but McCain still crushed Obama here. I removed Cullman and Blount Counties, both areas where residents of Birmingham are moving. More than 70% of the old district's residents lived in rural areas and more do now. I added Calhoun and Clerburne Counties, both rural and heavily Republican. Those counties explain the makeup of the entire district. McCain probably won 73% of the vote here, a bit lower than the current percentage but not much different. Demographics are 8% Black and 85% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

5th District Parker Griffith (D) Yellow
This was the district that is closest to its current form. I could not move it at all because this was the safest district I could make for Griffith. I hope we can keep him and if he survives 2010, he probably will keep winning. The problem is that in 2008 when he was elected, there was high Black turnout. In 2010, it should be normal unless Artur Davis runs for U.S Senate. Since Blacks are only 17% of the district's population, they do not make a big impact. I want most blue dogs to become Liberals but Griffith should remain as Conservative as he wants, he is another vote for Pelosi. McCain probably won 61% of the vote here. Demographics are 17% Black and 74% White. Status is Lean Democrat.
6th District Spencer Baucus (R) Teal
On the most part, I was able to leave Baucus alone. His old district was the most Republican district in the U.S in 2008 and should be even more so. I removed Chilton and Coosa Counties which are Republican but not as Republican as Cullman and Blount Counties which I put into the district. I pushed this district further out of slow growing Jefferson County so overall, I reduced the Black percentage from 11% to 8%. McCain probably won 80% of the vote here. Demographics are 8% Black and 85% White. Status is Safe Republican.

7th District Artur Davis (D) Gray
Davis is currently the only Black member of Congress in Alabama. He may no longer be if he gets the nomination to challenge Senator Richard Shelby (R) in 2010. I feel that no one has viewed Davis as a formidable candidate. He might appeal to some white voters because he is pretty Conservative on a few issues. He could be the Harold Ford of Alabama without the corrupt family background. In Tennessee, Ford lost to moderate (for the South) Republican Bob Corker. Shelby is a Conservative and a turncoat which he probably could not use to his advantage. If Davis can bring Black turnout up to 30%, he would have to win about 30% of the white vote to win. In Alabama, this appears hard to do but Davis has a shot. Back to the district, I barely kept the 7th district majority Black because I had to trade some areas such as Hale County with the 2nd and I took in more of Jefferson County for population purposes. Even with the reduced Obama percentage, I expect Davis or his replacement to win. Obama probably won 59% of the vote here. Demographics are 51% Black and 44% White. Status is Safe/Likely Democrat.

1 comment:

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