Friday, December 4, 2009

Revised Maryland Redistricting

Central Maryland

East Maryland

West Maryland

I created these redistricting maps with this great tool called Dave's Redistricting App like I did with the other maps. I already did a map with Maryland redistricting on swing state project in September but now that Obama/McCain election results are incorporated into maps of Maryland, I decided to create a new map this time knowing how each congressional district I made voted for Obama. I decided to do an 8-0 Democratic map without creating a convoluted gerrymander. I also wanted to make sure none of the district violated the Voting Rights Act which requires Maryland to have two African American majority districts. If you are confused with the district labeling, CD4 is for the red district while CD8 is for the light purple district. CD3 is for the purple district and CD6 represents the teal district. Gerrymanders are when redistrictors create maps with districts that are not too compact but instead send tendrils out to pick up areas with certain voters. I think I gerrymandered a bit with the 1st and 3rd Congressional districts but on the most part, I probably avoided a large gerrymander. My main goals here were to shore up Frank Kratovli (D) who barely won in the heavily Republican 1st Congressional district last year. I also wanted to make Roscoe Bartlett's 6th district too Democratic so he would retire. Here is a link to the current map of Maryland's Congressional districts: http://http//

Here is a link for Maryland's demographic data: http://http//

Here is yet another link, this time for 2008 election results in Maryland: http://http//

1st District Frank Kratovli (D)
I could not split the eastern shore because the Maryland State Legislature would probably not back that kind of plan. The old district went onto the western shore taking in heavily Republican parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties. For this plan, I sent the 1st into Democratic Annapolis and up north towards Prince Georges County. Along the way, I slipped in some Democratic parts of Anne Arundel County besides Annapolis and put about 130,000 people in Prince George's County into the 1st. This raises Obama's percentage of the vote to 54% which is about the same as my old map. Prince Georges County had high turnout in 2008 because of Obama but the turnout may drop in an off year election, causing trouble for Kratovli. He should still win because the Republican base in the 1st district is in the Eastern Shore which is Kratovli's base. In 2008, the Republican challenger did well on the western shore. Demographics are 25% African American and 66% White. Status is Likely Democrat.

2nd district Dutch Ruppersberger (D)
By creating a more compact district, I included more Republican areas in the district. Giving the 2nd district more of Baltimore compensates a bit but I still decreased the African American population from 27% to 23%. The 2nd district represents many working class neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Baltimore County and most of those votes should support Democrats except they might lean towards former Governor Bob Ehlrich (R). Unless a candidate like Ehlrich runs, Ruppersberger should have no trouble winning. Obama won 56% of the vote here. Demographics are 23% African American and 68% White. Status is Safe/Likely Democrat.

3rd district John Sarbanes (D)
I removed all of Anne Arundel County and parts of Baltimore County. I replaced those areas with Carroll County, more of Howard County and a bit more of Baltimore City. Even though Carroll County is heavily Republican, the Democratic areas in Howard County, Baltimore City and County make the 3rd district heavily Democratic. Also, I increased the African American percentage from 16% to 23%. In my last map, the 3rd district voted 55% for Obama because I did not have enough of Howard County and too much of Carrol County. Now with these changes, Obama won a solid 60% of the vote. Demographics are 23% African American, 6% Asian and 64% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

4th district Donna Edwards (D)
Originally, this district contained heavily Democratic areas in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties. In my old map I gave the district some Republican parts of Frederick County. Now this version of the 4th district has part of Carroll County too. The district also does not violate the Voting Rights Act because 50% of the population in my 4th district is African American. Donna Edwards should have no trouble winning here against a Republican. Obama won 75% of the vote here. Demographics are 50% African American, 9% Hispanic and 33% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

5th District Steny Hoyer (D)
Steny Hoyer is the House Majority Leader so he should get whatever kind of district he wants. By removing parts of Prince Georges County and adding Republican parts of Anne Arundel County, the district grows less Democratic. Even though he should win in this district, he may not view it as safe enough for him. Still, the 27% African American population should be enough to protect him. Obama won 57% of the vote here. Demographics are 27% African American and 64% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

6th District Vacant
This district formerly belonged to octogenarian Roscoe Bartlett (R) but since I moved his home out of the 6th, the district is currently vacant. Since I put the majority of the district in Montgomery County, the district turns from heavily Republican to heavily Democratic. I also slipped in a small piece of Prince George's County which was in the old 8th district and basically caused Chris Van Hollen (D) to win there in 2002. The Republican areas in the west should not be enough to offset Democratic margins here. Obama won 61% of the vote in the new 6th. Demographics are 14% African American, 7% Asian, 12% Hispanic and 64% White. Status is Safe Democrat.
7th District Elijah Cummings (D)
This district also barely meets the VRA standards but it does. It also includes heavily African American and Democratic parts of Baltimore City and County (Obama won 98% of the vote in many of the precincts) but also goes to the Pennsylvania border and includes heavily Republican exurban areas in Baltimore and Harford Counties. Even though the suburban areas are extremely Republican, the district still remains heavily Democratic and Cummings should not have much trouble with reelection. Obama won 66% of the vote here. Demographics are 50% African American and 42% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

8th District Chris Van Hollen (D) v. Roscoe Bartlett (R)
Since Bartlett is very old and this district is anchored in Montgomery County, he should just retire instead of facing a hard race. Van Hollen is a strong candidate with deep pockets. Anyway, Van Hollen's new district contains most of Frederick County which leans Republican and retains part of Montgomery County which leans Democratic. Obama won 64% of the vote here. Demographics are 14% African American, 11% Asian, 13% Hispanic and 58% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

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