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Thursday, January 12, 2006

TX-22: Petard-Hoisting Edition: How Much Bluer Did DeLay's District Get?

Posted by DavidNYC

One seemingly delightful storyline relating to Tom DeLay's illegal mid-decade redistricting scheme goes like this: By making several other districts more Republican, DeLay made his own more Democratic, thus endangering his own electoral safety. The thought alone makes images of golden petards dance through your head. But just how true is this claim, though?

The New York Times weighs in, citing unnamed political analysts who claim that TX-22 got about five percent more Dem. But any good arithmetic teacher wants you to show your work, which the NYT naturally can't do because of space considerations. However, Evan (at Tom Delay vs. The World) has done exactly that. And his conclusions are a little less rosy:

New parts of CD22 voted 51.8% GOP in 2002 congressional races, and 49.6% GOP in 2000 congressional races. The parts DeLay gave up in new CD22: 62.1% GOP in 2002 congressional races, and 56.2% GOP in 2000 congressional races.

The bottom line: DeLay's new district is about 2-3% less Republican than it used to be. Redistricting removed areas that voted around 60% GOP and added areas that vote around 50% GOP.

Yes, we're only talking about a disagreement over a couple or three percentage points, but in a tight race, that can matter a whole hell of a lot. Either way, though, DeLay's district did not change dramatically. Nick Lampson still has huge hurdles to overcome. Even after the DeLay-mander, this district went for Bush 64-36. There aren't many redder districts currently represented by a Dem.

As Evan points out in the same post, DeLay underperformed in 2004. It's possible that this was due to Richard Morrison's insurgent campaign, or DeLay's budding ethical problems. But it also may have been due to the fact that almost a third of the voters in the redrawn TX-22 were new to Tom DeLay. While (a) the ethics issues are far, far worse, and (b) the challenger is much stronger, on the flip-side, (c) DeLay is no longer unfamiliar to those voters. We'll have to see if A + B outweigh C this time around.

Posted at 01:27 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Texas | Technorati

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I'm getting nervous that the Abramoff scandal has broken too soon. DeLay, Ney and Burns could collectively announce their retirement in the weeks ahead "so they're not a distraction for the well-being of the country and their districts". If this happens, we get knocked down the ladder a few rungs. And if things keep going the way they are, it probably will happen.

As for Lampson, any data on how he used to perform in the portion of District 22 that DeLay has since inherited? And what percentage of DeLay's current district used to be Lampson's? I'm actually surprised DeLay's new district is as Republican as it is. Fort Bend County (Sugar Land) went by a less-than-overwhelming 58% for Bush in 2004 and I thought that was the population hub of the district.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 12, 2006 02:29 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

DeLay underperformed in his district in 2002 as well.

Posted by: kuff [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 12, 2006 10:42 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Lampson used to represent a substantial part of the current Texas 22. The other end of the district is where he claims he has a fair amount of recognition because his father or grandfather (I forget which he said) had been elected to local offices many times.

I think he has a good chance. He has a lot of money. Pelosi and Emanuel have going to fund raisers for him all over the country. He had most of the Democratic members of the New York delegation turn out for him in New York recently.

Posted by: morrispearl [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 12, 2006 11:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment