Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Jersey Redistricting with Christie in Office

Camden and Vicinity

Southern New Jersey

Central New Jersey

Western New Jersey

Urban New Jersey

Northern New Jersey

The census should show that New Jersey will lose one congressional district. Currently, New Jersey has 8 Democrats and 5 Republicans representing it in the House of Representatives. Democrats control New Jersey's State Legislature and Governor Christie is a Republican so I expect there will be a bipartisan deal. I combined the districts of Rush Holt (D) and Leonard Lance (R) in a district that leans Democratic but Lance can win in it since it contains alot of his current district. I strengthened all the other incumbents and kept the 10th and 12th district African American and Hispanic majority respectively. For this map, I tried to not make it too convoluted because realistically, I do not see that happening. Also, I calculated the partisan data for these districts by town and I tried not to split the towns. I had to in a few cases but the partisan data should be accurate most of the time. Also, I calculated it for the top two candidates only. Here are some helpful links

For election results by county: http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/
For results by town: http://njelections.org/2008_general_election.html
For map of current congressional districts: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=NJ

For map of the state: maps.google.com

District 1 Rob Andrews (D)
Demographics: 17% African American, 10% Hispanic and 68% White Partisan data: Obama 209,913 64%, McCain 116,314 36%
Communities of interest: Camden, Pennesauken

The district grows a bit more Republican. I removed the Democratic neighborhoods in Burlington County to help strengthen the 3rd district. I also added more of Gloucester County and the areas I added are marginal. I also added a heavily Democratic slice of Salem County. Overall, I made mostly minor changes so Rob Andrews should have no trouble with reelection. Status is Safe Democrat

District 2 Frank LoBiondo (R)

Demographics: 9% African American, 11% Hispanic and 76% White
Partisan data: Obama 179,951 49%, McCain 188,164 51%
Communities of interest: Vineland, Atlantic City, Berkeley

LoBiondo looks safe in his current district but since Obama won his current district 54%-45%, a bipartisan plan would strengthen him. To strengthen LoBiondo, I mostly removed Democratic areas. I removed Democratic parts of Salem County and some Democratic areas in Cumberland County. Since LoBiondo lives in Vineland, I could not remove it. I also removed small parts of Atlantic County but Obama barely won them. The main additions in Burlington County are Medford and Southampton which lean Republican. To completely shore up LoBiondo, I added about half of Ocean County and McCain won a 25,000 vote margin in the portion I added. These changes help boost McCain's performance from 45% to 51%, ensuring LoBiondo safety and his sucessor's safety too. Status is Safe Republican.

District 3 John Adler (D)
Demographics: 20% African American, 10% Hispanic and 64% White
Partisan data: Obama 202,172 63%, McCain 120,457 37%
Communities of interest: Cherry Hill, Burlington, Trenton

I definitely strengthened Adler so he will have no problems with reelection. I strengthened him a bit too much though. I removed all of heavily Republican Ocean County while adding territory in South Jersey that leans Democratic as well as more Democratic territory in Burlington County. I also added Trenton which voted 92% for Obama so that brings up the Democratic total. I had to give Adler Trenton because I do not see Christie signing a bill with Trenton in the 7th district. Overall, Adler should have no problem in this district. Corzine won it in his unsucessful Gubernatorial run in 2009. Status is Safe Democratic.

District 4 Chris Smith (R)

Demographics 8% Hispanic, 83% White
Partisan Data: Obama 138,535 43%, McCain 184,011 57%
Communities of interest: Toms River, Lakewood, Freehold

Chris Smith seemed safe already, even with Democratic parts of Mercer and Burlington Counties inside his district. He lives in the Democratic parts of the district but he would probably not mind moving as long as his district is safer. I increased McCain's percentage from 52% to 57% by removing most of the Democratic areas along the Delaware River and adding more Republican areas in Monmouth County. Smith should have absolutely no problem here. Status is Safe Republican.

District 5 Scott Garrett (R)

Demographics: Hispanic 6%, Asian 6%, 85% White
Partisan Data: Obama 154,049 43%, McCain 215,083 57%
Communities of Interest: Newton, Rockaway and Montvale

This district does not go through large changes but the few I made strengthen Garrett. I removed marginal towns in Bergen County such as Bergenfield and Ridgewood. I mostly did this because the 9th district needed room to expand. I added in some Republican townships in Morris County. I also kept Garrett's home, Wantage in the district. Increasing the McCain percentage here should keep Garrett safe for until he retires. Status is Safe Republican.

District 6 Frank Pallone (D)

Demographics: 11% African American, 13% Hispanic, 16% Asian and 58% White
Partisan Data: Obama 165,102 58%, McCain 117,226 42%
Communities of Interest: Edison, Asbury Park, New Brunswick

Pallone's district gets a bit weaker. I removed Plainfield to give more African Americans to the 10th and since I tried to keep town boundries intact, I removed the small Democratic slice of Somerset County. I replaced it with Woodbridge and Edison which lean Democratic even though Christie barely won them. Still, Pallone is entrenched here and since the minority population is growing quickly here (the white population was 65% in 2000,) this district should grow more Democratic. Pallone should not have trouble. Status is Safe Democrat.

District 7 Rush Holt (D) vs. Leonard Lance (R)

Demographics: 9% African American, 8% Hispanic, 13% Asian and 69% White
Partisan Data: Obama 215,083 58%, McCain 154,049 42%
Communities of Interest: Ewing, North Brunswick

This district may at first look like a sure win for Holt because he has represented his district since the 90's and this district contains most of his old territory. Lance is a freshman but he is a moderate. He also ran a great campaign in 2008, winning against Linda Stender (D) by nine points in a district Obama barely carried. Stender was a good candidate and she almost beat Mike Ferguson (R) who formerly represented the 7th district in 2006. Also, the territory here is less Democratic than it looks with high income independents who swung heavily toward Christie in the Gubernatorial race last year. About the areas in the district, I had to remove Trenton because I think Christie would never sign a plan putting Lance in the same district as Trenton. Still, the district is Democratic with other parts of Mercer County as well as Democratic areas in Middlesex County. Overall, this should be a tough battle but Holt should win. Status is Lean Democratic.

8th District Bill Pascrell (D)

Demographics: 11% African American, 29% Hispanic, 7% Asian and 53% White
Partisan Data: Obama 193,000 +-2,000 63% McCain 113,000 +-2,000 37%
Communities of Interest: Westfield, West Orange, Paterson, Clifton

I had to split some towns in this district so the vote totals are not exact. Overall, his district gets more Democratic by a few points. I removed all the Republican parts of Passaic County, leaving only Paterson, Clifton, Passaic and a few small Democratic suburbs. Obama won 74% of the vote in the 8th district's part of Passaic. I added most of western Union County which Obama and McCain split but most of the time, Republicans should win that area. I also added a slice of Bergen County which is also split between Obama and McCain. These changes should not affect Pascrell much because Paterson and neighborhoods in Essex County keep this district strongly Democratic. Status is Safe Democratic.

9th District Steven Rotham (D)

Demographics: 7% African American, 20% Hispanic, 16% Asian and 56% White
Partisan Data: Obama 181,000 +-1,000 62%, McCain 113,000 +-1,000 38%
Communities of Interest: Jersey City (part,) Englewood, Hackensack, Garfield

Rotham's district gets a touch more Republican but does not make many changes. I gave the district some northern Bergen County suburbs such as Bergenfield and Tenafly which lean Democratic. The only areas I removed were Fairview and North Bergen which are heavily Democratic. These changes should not affect the composition of the district strongly. Status is Safe Democratic.

10th District Donald Payne (D)
Demographics: 55% African American, 17% Hispanic and 23% White
Partisan Data: 82% Obama, 18% McCain
Communities of Interest: Plainfield, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, East Orange, Newark
Since I split most of the towns in the district, I decided to just estimate the partisan data. Also, Payne's district changes a bit. I did not remove many areas from it but I added Plainfield and the marginal Union County suburbs for a few reasons: Plainfield has an African American majority and since the 10th is New Jersey's African American majority district, I decided it should be included. Also, the 10th helps shore up the 8th by taking in some marginal suburbs. I am not sure if the New Jersey legislature would go for this but since it would help keep the 10th African American majority, they would go for it. The district still remains heavily Democratic. Status is Safe Democratic.

11th District Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) Harding

Demographics: 11% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 75% White
Partisan Data: Obama 162,166 47%, McCain 184,827
Communities of Interest: Dover, Morristown
I weakened Frelinghuysen a bit by removing all of Republican Sussex and Warren Counties. I also removed parts of Morris County too. The new areas I put in the district are mostly in Somerset, Union and Essex Counties. The new areas are marginal but Obama overperformed in most of the district so Frelinghuysen should still be very safe. Status is Safe Republican.

12th District Albio Sires (D) West New York
Demographics: 10% African American, 53% Hispanic, 7% Asian, 30% White
Partisan Data: Obama 76% McCain 23%
Communities of Interest: Linden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark
Since I split too many towns in this district, I had to estimate the partisan data. Overall, the district experiences few changes. I added all of North Bergen as well as Fairview in Bergen County. I also added a few neighborhoods in Elizabeth but besides this, I made few changes. Sires's district gets more Hispanic and he remains safe. Status is Safe Democratic.

Do you have any suggestions for improving this redistricting plan? Do you have a redistricting map or idea you want to share? Please feel free to share your thoughts. 


Anonymous said...

I can think of several issues.

1. NJ redistricting is decided by a non-partisan commission.
2. Your 6th would virtually guarantee that Pallone gets primaried by a Middlesex Democrat like Joe Vitale or Barbara Buono.
10. There is no way your 10th is constitutional. It's textbook packing.

Anonymous said...

Safe Democrat, Safe Republican, Safe Democrat, Safe Republican, Safe Democrat.....No wonder the public hates it's Congress. Gerrymandering is the root of all evil.

Anonymous said...

I really liked your article.

Alibguy said...

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!