|In the west the pattern is similar to my last plan. Chris Van Hollen's MD-08 takes in the panhandle and becomes 61%O/38%M. MD-06 now stretches down into Montgomery County and is now 60%O/38%M. MD-05 is a district drawn for Steny Hoyer. It's basically his ideal district, composing Southern Maryland, Eastern PG Co, and part of Anne Arundel County. It is 61%O/38%M, and should be safe for Hoyer. MD-04 stretches out of PG Co to take up the part Anne Arundel that isn't in MD-05 (except for two precincts that are in the 2nd). It is just barely majority-black (51%B/38%W), but safely democratic at 73%O/25%M. The 1st district composes Frank Kratovil's base in the Eastern Shore, Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford Co, some parts of SE Baltimore county, and some heavily Democratic areas in Baltimore city. The district as a whole is 50%O/49%M. That is much more democratic than the previous district, but still Republican leaning on a national level. I believe, however, that this would be even better for Kratovil than the district I drew for him in my last diary. Most of the voters in this district's section of Baltimore county are conservative Reagan Democrats who vote Republican on a national level but still elect conservative Democrats at a local level. These voters should be generally friendly to a conservative Democrat like Kratovil. In addition, these conservative Democrats would help make act as a buffer against an unelectable liberal democrat winning the primary. Between them, the Democrats in Baltimore city, and the Eastern Shore voters who have typically been Kratovil's base, I think Kratovil should not have trouble winning this district. The 7th stretches up along the 95-or along I-95, as some east coast people say (see the old diary for those who don't get the reference). It takes in many conservative areas, but is still 51%B/43%W and 68%O/31%M. The 3rd composes most of the close-in suburbs of Baltimore and is even safer D than before (63%O/35%M). The 2nd takes in the northern part of Baltimore county, some rural areas, much of Howard county, and some DC suburbs in PG and MontCo. The partisanship is the same as it is now, 59%D/39%R.
The big problem with this district is not political but regional. In this map, the PG+Montgomery areas of the 2nd district composed around 300K of the district's 700k people. The areas outside of PG, Montgomery, and Howard counties only total 200K of the district's population. This means that a majority of the Democratic primary in that district would probably be DC area voters instead of Baltimore area voters, because the areas in PG and Montgomery are much more Democratic than the other areas and because turnout rates are higher in Democratic primaries in PG Co and Mont Co as the Democratic primaries there are effectively the general election. I don't know whether or not Ruppersburger would face a primary challenge (he could move to Columbia, which would put him in the center of the district and would probably be a good idea anyway given that these districts are going to have to be drawn somewhat differently from the above map due to population shifts to that area), but I know that the Baltimore area state legislators would not be happy with losing the influence of one congressman, especially since Andy Harris who lives in the Baltimore area would be gone as well. With that in mind, I drew another map of the state that preserves Baltimore's influence in Congress, however with less clean lines overall.
This map draws MD-03 down into PG county a little and gives MD-02 some majority-black areas of Baltimore county. This has the effect of making both districts a little closer to each other in partisanship (MD-02 is 61%O/37%M and MD-03 is 62%O/36%M), and it allows the Baltimore area to dominate both districts. None of the other districts are changed. This map has many advantages, but it definitely looks more gerrymandered than the first one.