| Recently, I saw quite a few redistricting maps, especially on Maryland. Here is my perspective. Instead of playing it safe, I went all out for an 8-0 map. The Democrats are in control and may try for a map like this. I know what you are thinking; it will be too difficult for Democrats to hold. I feel that I definitely made each Democrat's district safe enough for them without throwing the VRA down the drain. The Democrats have large majorities in the State Legislature and if they retain the Governorship, this map is realistic. Enough chatter, here are the maps.
District 1 Frank Kratovli (D) Blue
This district did go to the western shore to pick up population. Yet it picked up heavily Republican areas to keep out of the 2nd and 3rd districts. Now that Maryland is trending Democratic, adding Republican areas to other districts will be offset by Democratic margins. This left me free to slip in Democratic Annapolis into Kratovli's district as well as a hunk of Prince George's County. These changes raised the Black percentage from 11% to 24%. If a Republican could not win in a district that is 11% Black, watch him or her try to win in a district with Prince George's County. Obama probably won 54% of the vote here. Demographics are 24% Black and 67% White. Status is Likely Democrat.
District 2 Dutch Ruppersburger (D) Green
His district is less gerrymandered but should be safe. I added some Republican areas of Baltimore and Harford Counties but I slipped in more of Baltimore City. These changes should make the district a little more Republican. Ruppersburger is a popular representative and should handle himself. Obama probably won 53%-54% of the vote here. Demographics are 22% Black and 69% White. Status is Safe/Likely Democrat.
District 3 John Sarbanes (D) Reddish Purple
Okay, I see the flaws. Yes, I know I took Sarbanes's home out of the district. I had to because the district would be too convoluted if I kept it. I also know that Carroll County is heavily Republican. I included Democratic territory in Howard County which should offset Republican margins in Carroll County and more. For any more Republican areas, Baltimore City should offset their margins. Bartlett is Sarbanes is the son of longtime former Senator Paul Sarbanes (D). I do not see Sarbanes losing here anytime soon. Obama probably won 56% of the vote here. Demographics are 23% Black, 5% Asian and 65% White. Status is Safe/Likely Democrat.
District 4 Donna Edwards (D) Red
Her district extends into Republican Frederick County but Edwards should be content. The 4th district is VRA protected. Obama probably won 73% of the vote here. Demographics are 50% Black, 5% Asian, 9% Hispanic and 33% White. Status is Safe Democrat.
District 5 Steny Hoyer (D) Yellow
I took out northeastern Prince George's County and pushed the district into Republican parts of Anne Arundel County. I only reduced the Black percentage by 1% and should probably get higher in the mid 2010's because of Blacks moving into Prince George and Charles counties. Hoyer and is successor are safe. Obama probably won 60% of the vote here. Demographics are 29% Black and 62% White. Status is Safe Democrat.
District 6 Vacant Teal
No current representative lives here. Even though I put in some heavily Republican counties in western Maryland, I more than erased that margin by 60% of this district in heavily Democratic Montgomery County. I slipped in about 84,000 people in Prince George's County just to ensure Democratic votes. That area gave Chris Van Hollen (D) his winning margin against Connie Morella (R) so it had to be in this district to ensure it will vote Democratic. Mark Shriver (D) might want to run in this district. It would be nice to have another Kennedy in Congress. Obama probably won 62% of the vote here. Demographics are 13% Black, 8% Asian, 14% Hispanic and 61% White. Status is Safe Democrat.
District 7 Elijah Cummings (D)
This district is BARELY protected the VRA. I tried to squeeze in as many Republican precincts as I could while keeping the Black percentage at 50% or above. This district used to go into Howard County but now takes in Republican suburbs in Baltimore, Carroll and Harford Counties. Since almost all the Baltimore precincts in the 7th voted around 90% for Obama, Cummings should be very safe. Obama probably won 67% of the vote here. Demographics are 50% Black and 43% White. Status is Safe Democrat.
District 8 Chris Van Hollen (D) vs. Roscoe Bartlett (R) Purple
Bartlett is 83 years old and about 63% of the 8th district is in Montgomery County, Van Hollen's home base. Bartlett can campaign as a moderate but I see Montgomery County voters sticking with Van Hollen. With Bartlett out of the picture, Van Hollen should have an easy ride to reelection. Obama probably won 63% of the vote here. Demographics are 16% Black, 10% Asian, 13% Hispanic and 58% White. Status is Safe/Likely Democrat if Bartlett decides to run, Safe Democrat without Bartlett.