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Obama/R and McCain/D Congressional Districts in the 2008 Election

by: Shinigami

Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 1:46 PM EST


This is a preliminary report of the 2008 election showing congressional districts won by a member of a party other than the winner of the presidential vote in the district (i.e. "ticket-splitting" districts that voted Obama-R or McCain-D). I performed my analysis using a combination of factors, most importantly: county by county federal election returns in 2008 compared to prior years, familiarity with the partisan breakdowns of the respective congressional districts (using tools like PVI, 2006 Almanac of American Politics etc) and in some cases, the margin of victory in congressional districts won by the opposing party or where the incumbent held on narrowly. Not all states break down their results by Congressional districts (VA and NE are immediate exceptions), but some states are easier to report absent this metric (e.g. At-Large as well as small states like NH, ME, etc).  
Shinigami :: Obama/R and McCain/D Congressional Districts in the 2008 Election
Update: Some posters have noted that I may be wrong about IN-2, in that Obama may have carried it (i.e. McCain may have won 49 seats) while I may have incorrectly excluded MI-11 from Obama's total (because he dominated Oakland Count in MI). I will go back and check my data and correct ASAP. In the mean time, pls keep firing away. Tks

Update 2: Rechecked the data on Donnelly and have corrected accordingly. Obama did win IN-02, so McCain/D is down by 1. Also, a very sharp poster pointed out Obama won WI-6 by the itsy bitiest margin, which surpised me a lot about that district, so chalk one up for an additional Obama/R +1. Will still look at MI-11 and KS-3.

Update 3: Looks like Mary Jo Kilroy won OH-15, so 111th Congress will be 257 (D) to 178 (R). Basically, the GOP goes back to what it had in Jan 1993. Well...you play the cards you are dealt.

I have been following this metric since the 1980s and even going back to the 1970s, when, in some elections, 40% or more congressional districts were ticket-splitters (e.g. in 1972 and 1984, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, respectively, each, won over 180 Democratic held congressional districts). I am very familiar with the federal voting patterns of many of these districts even after redistricting, but I will not claim that my analysis is 100% correct. I believe I am sure of 90% of them and may be within a few hundred or 1-2k of the remaining 10%. Of these 10%, I included an asterisk (*) after the district number, as noted below, I did not expect would be ticket-splitters but don't have enough data to say that otherwise (or vice versa)

The more accurate reports for the incoming 111th Congress will be published by folks like Congressional Quarterly or the Almanac of American Politics by Feb or March 2009 at the earliest. However, I did my own analysis and came up with what I believe is close to what the final data will reveal. I don't believe Virgil Goode can win the recount against Tom Periello in VA-5 nor do I see Carmouche (sadly, since he was by far the better candidate) overtaking Fleming in LA-4 as it was such a low turnout election). Based on this allocation, the Obama-R and McCain-D districts are as follows:

OBAMA/R CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS (32 total)

Gallegly (CA-24); Dreier (CA-26)*; Bono-Mack (CA-45)*; Bilbray (CA-50); Castle (DE-AL); Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)*; Young (FL-10); Latham (IA-4); Roskam (IL-6); Kirk (IL-10); Biggert (IL-13); Johnson (IL-15)*; Manzullo (IL-16); Schock (IL-18)*; Cao (LA-2); Camp (MI-4); Upton (MI-6); Rogers (MI-8); Paulsen (MN-3); Terry (NE-2); Lobiondo (NJ-2); Smith (NJ-4); Lance (NJ-7); King (NY-3)*; LaTourette (OH-14); Gerlach (PA-6); Dent (PA-15); Forbes (VA-4); Wolf (VA-10); Reichert (WA-8); Ryan(WI-1) and Petri (WI-6).

MCCAIN/D CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS (49 total)

Bright (AL-2); Griffith (AL-5); Berry (AR-1); Snyder (AR-2); Ross (AR-4); Kirkpatrick (AZ-1); Mitchell (AZ-5); Giffords (AZ-8)*; Markey (CO-4); Salazar (CO-3); Boyd (FL-2); Marshall (GA-8); Minnick (ID-1); Ellsworth (IN-8); Hill (IN-9); Moore (KS-3); Chandler (KY-6); Melancon (LA-3); Kratovil (MD-1); Peterson (MN-07); Childers (MS-1); Taylor (MS-4); Skelton (MO-4); Pomeroy (ND-AL); Teague (NM-2); McMahon (NY-13); Massa (NY-29); Etheridge (NC-2); McIntyre (NC-7); Shuler (NC-11); Wilson (OH-6); Boccieri (OH-16); Space (OH-18); Boren (OK-2); Dahlkemper (PA-3); Altmire (PA-4); Carney (PA-10); Murtha (PA-12); Spratt (SC-5); Hersheth-Sandlin (SD-AL); Davis (TN-4); Gordon (TN-6); Tanner (TN-8); Periello (VA-5); Boucher (VA-9); Mollohan (WV-1); Rahall (WV-3); Edwards (TX-17) and Matheson (UT-2).

Obama will have won 208 Democratic held congressional districts and 32 Republican held congressional districts: total of 240; McCain will have won 146 Republican held congressional districts and 49 Democratic-held congressional districts: total of 195.

A few key things to keep in mind:

Historical Patterns: As has been the case since 1968, but with the exception of Bill Clinton in 1996, the GOP Presidential nominee, win or lose, has won more ticket-splitting districts than the Democratic Presidential nominee. Compared to 2004 when John Kerry won 18 Republican held congressional districts while George Bush won 41 Democratic held congressional districts, Obama did better than Kerry by wining 14 more GOP held districts while McCain got 8 more Democratic-held districts. However, this "improvement" is masked by the fact that Democrats retook the House in 2006 with a 31 seat pickup and appear to have increased their margin by 21 seats in 2008. One way of looking at this data is to see which ticket-splitting districts are held by freshman members and/or which ones are held by freshman members succeeding or defeating a politician from the opposing party. On that metric, only 1 Obama-R district, Aaron Schock of IL-18*, is held by a freshmen and no Obama-R district switched from Democrat to Republican control (i.e. they were all GOP retentions); whereas all but 1 of the 12 McCain-D districts won by a freshman was a Democratic retention (Parker Griffith AL-5 succeed retiring Democrat Bud Cramer). This suggests that virtually all ticket-splitting districts held by freshmen are Democratic defenses. This may be a good or bad thing: good in that they may have a better chance to hold in an off-year election when turnout is lower but bad in that absent the weight of Bush or a poorly run GOP presidential campaign, the GOP may be able to focus more intently on partisan affiliation in these districts.
As for how this portends for Obama getting difficult measures through the 111th Congress, note that just because Obama won a district that voted for the GOP doesn't mean he can expect the Republican to support him more often than not. For example, Bill Clinton won 50 ticket-splitting seats in 1992 yet not one single House Republican (or even Senate Republican for that matter) voted for his Budget Bill in August 1993; a mere 10 months after he won their districts. A president is only as strong as his popularity projects and seeing that there are now fewer Republican moderates in the House, I won't be surprised if Obama has to pass a lot of difficult legislation on Democratic only votes.

Redistricting and Partisanship Voting: One cannot underestimate how big an impact this has had on voting results in some districts. This may in part explain why wave elections may be less frequent and evenly distributed across the country than before. In TX and CA, many Democratic under-funded challengers to non-stellar GOP house members lost. In the case of CA, redistricting was a major firewall for them even though Obama, in dominating the state, won 4 GOP held seats. In TX it was a combination of redistricting and straight ticket voting which hurt folks like Larry Joe Daugherty and Mike Skelly and almost brought down Chet Edwards. For Democrats to have a better shot at improving their margins, they have to look at redistricting. I happen to think that non-partisan redistricting using what I call the "contiguous-county rule" (see an example by Andrew White at Albany Project http://www.thealbanyproject.co... would help Democrats (and Republicans) in the long run, but that is a debate for another day and another diary. Suffice to say, had Dems faced districts like that in CA, David Dreier, Mary Bono-Mack (I love this hyphenated name), Brian Bilbray, Dan Lundgren and possibly Dana Rohrabacher would have lost while Nick Lampson and Charlie Brown would have won.

Surprises: I'm not surprised that Obama may have won all but one GOP held seat in his home state of Illinois* or that McCain may have won 3 of the 5 Democratic held congressional districts in his home state of Arizona*. However, a few things to note across the regions:

EAST COAST: Not sure what else is here but suffice to say New England is to the Democrats what the Deep South is to the GOP. Obama's only weak Dem seats are in NY-13, NY-29 (both of which he lost) and NY-3 (which he won narrowly). In NY-13, I suspect Obama's narrow loss may have been due to residual racism among conservative Jewish voters in southwestern Brooklyn and unfounded fears that Obama may be a Muslim; NY-29 is the most republican district in NY state so his loss there was not unexpected, but NY-3 was weaker for Obama because he underperformed Kerry and Gore among the white-working class voters in the southern portion of the district where most voters live and with the wealthier and heavily Jewish neighborhoods in the northern portion of the district. In NJ, Obama did win one additional ticket-splitting seat by capturing Leonard Lance's NJ-7 (which, but for a flawed nominee, was ripe for a Dem takeover). No other real surprises were noted from DE down to MD, though it appears that Obama improved on all prior Democratic performances in MD's Anne Arundel County, a critical Republican leaning area.

MID-WEST: Obama over-performed Gore and Kerry in the Mid-West not only because of huge margins in the cities but also did very well in many suburban Republican counties that even Bill Clinton did not carry. The clearest example was Cincinnati, OH; GOP counties around Indianapolis and Dupage County in Illinois. However, Obama does have an Appalachia problem (or the other way round) and for the first time since 1988, the Democratic nominee lost PA-12, Jack Murtha's district (though Obama won Tim Holden's PA-17 thanks to his smashing victory in Berks County, which Bill Clinton, Gore and Kerry all lost). Obama suffered heavy losses across KY, Southern OH and IN which accounted for McCain's ticket-splitting seats in some of these districts (Charlie Wilson OH-6 and Baron Hill in IN-9, to mention a few). Yet even though he lost most of the congressional districts in OH and IN, he still won both states. Obama won Paul Ryan's southern Wisconsin district (which I guess, makes Ryan one of a handful of very conservative GOP members representing a district won by Obama). Michigan was a case where the GOP effectively collapsed at all levels when McCain pulled out (might have happened regardless) and Obama's coattails probably helped Mike Schaeur and Gary Peters win longtime GOP districts. Additionally, Obama came very close to winning John Kline's district in MN-2 and Colin Peterson's in MN-7 but underperformed Elwynn Tinkelberg who narrowly lost to Michelle Bachmann. Finally, while Missouri was not the bellwether in 2008, it was the narrowest state (Obama lost by less than 4k votes). I think he will carry the state in 2012 but 4 years is a lifetime in politics.

SOUTH: This is a tough area for Dems regardless of who the nominee is. With the exception of six Democratic held districts (Kissel, Price and Miller in NC; Nye in VA, Cooper in TN and Barrow in GA) Obama lost every majority-white district held by a Southern white democrat from Virginia through the Florida panhandle to Texas. He even lost the ancestrally democratic AR-1, AR-4 and TN-8. Some might chalk this up to racially polarized voting but that is too easy an explanation. I'm sure some voters were fearful of a black President but those folks just don't vote Democratic in the south anymore. These districts are populated by socially conservative folks and Obama, at least in my view, is probably the most socially liberal Democrat ever nominated. I think he could have minimized his losses had he campaigned more in these places but I suspect many of these Dems preferred he stayed away, which he did and I can understand why. In any event, only Republican dominated TX and GA will see population increases in 2010 but because these are Section 5 states, I doubt their GOP legislatures can squeeze out that many more GOP friendly districts to pass the smell test with Eric Holder's Justice Department. However, in the case of TN, the GOP has taken over the TN legislature and Democratic Gov. Bredesen is term-limited so Dems must hold the TN Governorship in 2010 or risk adverse gerrymandering.

WEST: Obama held on to sleeper GOP presidential voting but Democratic held districts like Pete De Fazio in OR (yes, while he is a very liberal his district was a ticket-splitter until narrowly going for Kerry and staying with Obama) and Jerry McNerney's in CA However, nothing beats Obama's impressive margins in CO and Southern CA and while he did not win any GOP held seats in the former, his margin in San Diego and Riverside counties helped him tremendously in wining two GOP seats that last voted Democratic eons ago. On the other hand, Walter Minnick of ID-1 is now the most endangered House member and unless he catches a solid break, I'm doubtful he can hold on to his seat in 2010. But if Jim Matheson can survive, there may be hope for Walter, but don't be surprised if he loses in 2010.  

Future Prospects: The 50 state strategy or what I call "cast your net as wide as reasonably possible" works and I think both parties should compete everywhere as it is good for the American people. However, a lot of these gains and improvements depend on the success of the Obama presidency. More importantly, it depends heavily on Obama defining what a 21st century Democratic office holder should stand for (a la Reagan and Republicans of the 1980s) and showing that those principles will generate lasting results. It also depends on enacting enduring legislation like health care and putting into place long lasting policies that will foster growth of good paying American jobs so people don't despair and buy into the false choices created by mindless culture wars.  

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Tips and recs for somewhat hard work n/t


Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


I believe
Obama won Donnelly's district. It only gave Bush 56% of the vote in 2004, and I don't see how he could have won statewide, how any Democrat could have won statewide, without winning this one.  In addition, looking at the eletion atlas maps, its clear that Obama won three rural counties in IN-08, as well as its two population centers, leading me to believe he won it or lost it narrowly over all.

Two, I believe Obama won NY-13, in fact, I'm sure of it. He lost Staten Island sure, but he lost it narrowly and Staten Island is only about 60% Staten Island, the rest is anchored in a sliver of Brooklyn that Obama won handily, so I'd say a one point victory or so for Obama.

Knitpicking, Eric Massa Represents NY-29., not NY-26. I also don't think that Obama managed to win Tim Murphy's PA-17 district, even if he did win Dauphin county. I also think Obama won Etheridge's district, he would have had to to win the state.

Obama picked up more than one new ticket splitting seat in New Jersey. NJ-04, Smith, it went 55-44 for Bush last time around, and I'll take you on your word that Obama won it.

I wouldn't say Obama suffer smashing losses in IN-09, Hill's seat. Election Atlas has him improving over Kerry in ever single county and all but two trended Democratic this cycle. In KY his losses weren't crushing, he actually did a point better statewide, improving greatly in Louisiville, KY-03, and also inproving in Chandler's district, winning a couple of counties, improving in a lot more of them, picking up huge Fayette county and nearly picking up Frankfurt. He also made surpising gains in KY-02, a place where I expected him to lose ground but instead he gained six points. KY-04, which I thought was the most conservative district in the state, actually trended Democratic this time and Obama improved in every district. He just suffered hard losses in eastern Pennsylvania, losing five rural applachian coal counties, but to be fair Kerry did really well in eastern Kentucky.

In Michigan I don't doubt that Obama helped Peters, but he only won Schauer's district 50-46 by my calcs, so I don't think he had much coattails. What was really surprising is the fact he almost won Hoekstra's district which has like never voted for a Democrat for president, aside from FDR and LBJ.

And those folks do vote in the south, they give big margins in state elections but Obama didn't bother to campaign and combat agianst their perceptions of them. No excuse for a democrat to lose AR-04 and TN-08, really isn't.

And Obama won the section of Brooklyn in NY-13, heck even Harrison won it back in 2006, even while losing district wide 57-43.

I think Idaho is trending Dem in the long run. It'll never be anything close tho favorable, but I think within a decade it'll be receptive to strong Democrats. Boise is become a high tech, wealthy, professional city, and its turning into an Ideolopolis. As Idaho's population continues to boom look to see it go more Democratic, especially as people from the west coast settle in. Minnick has a pretty good shot at holding the seat if Republican nominate somelike Sali. But I hink you're also overlooking Obama's amazing gains in Northern California, McNerney, and the fact that he won Butte and Nevada counties, two population anchors in an area that never goes Democratic.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus


[ Parent ]
Well Done and Two Quibbles
Excellent job and interesting analysis.

Two questions/quibbles:

1.  You wrote "any event, only Republican dominated TX and GA will see population increases in 2010 but because these are Section 5 states, I doubt their GOP legislatures can squeeze out that many more GOP friendly districts to pass the smell test with Eric Holder's Justice Department."  If the Republicans want to squeeze out more GOP friendly districts in TX and GA (and elsewhere), the way to do it is by concentrating the minority population even more.  I'm not an expert on the VRA, but not sure why this would violate the it, since purpose of VRA is to prevent the dispersion of minorities among many districts such that a minority cannot be elected.

2.  You wrote "On the other hand, Walter Minnick of ID-1 is now the most endangered House member and unless he catches a solid break, I'm doubtful he can hold on to his seat in 2010."  I suspect Cao is more endangered than Minnick; his district certainly has a greater Democratic PVI than Minnick's has a Republican PVI.


[ Parent ]
Thanks for the effort
but I think there are a number of errors of categorization an analysis here.

To begin with, Pennsylvania is not a midwestern state. Full stop. Further, George Bush won PA-12 as configured in 2000. It is not yet clear to me who won that district this year, and whether it was Obama or McCain, it was by fewer than 1000 votes.

Second, it is also not clear to me that Obama lost NY-13, so you'll have to show your math on that one. It seems very unlikely that, if he did lose it, it was because of "racist jews." Rather, the loss will be attributed to his weak (but still superior to Kerry) performance on staten island proper.

There's more, but I don't have time to get into it all.


PA and NY
Most people I know consider PA to be a midwestern state but that's semantics. Kerry carried PA-12 as configured because he won Washington & Fayette county (Gore did also), but Obama only carried Allegheny in SW PA.

As per NY-13, Obama lost Staten Island (which has a lot of white ethnics to use a term common with my LI Jewish friends); however, NY-13 takes parts of SW Brooklyn, as I explained, that is within NYC but which Obama lost. This is the heavily orthodox jewish area of Bensonhurst, Dyker Hieghts and its environs. There is a map of it with the NYTimes but I can't seem to find it right now. SO all in all, I doubt if I am wrong on those 2 seats.

PS: Did I say "racist jews"? I don't think I used that term.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Most people you know are wrong, then
Most people I know from Pennsylvania (like, um, me) would take exception to your characterization. Something like 40% of the population lives less than an hour's drive from New Jersey.

As for PA-12, I think it's likely that McCain won, but it is not certain. Kerry lost Cambria County, but Obama won it. Remember too that the district was drawn to pack in as many Democratic precincts as possible. This one needs an asterisk until polidata (or someone else) compiles the results.

I think it's possible that McCain won NY-13 too, but I'd need to see the math.

And you said "residual racism among conservative Jewish voters." I think that's fairly paraphrased as "racist Jews." I apologize for putting it in quotes and attributing it directly to you, but I think I captured your meaning.


[ Parent ]
HA...
OK..PA is not a mid-western state and Philly fans are the bomb. lol! I thought an asterisk would go on PA-12 but winning only Allegheny hurt Obama in SW PA.

As per NY-13, there is a lot of, how shal I say, "cultural fissures" in Staten Island, Nassau that showed up this year. I'm trying to find the NYT article showing how the city voted and for the life of me I can't remember how to get it on google. I should temper my "residual racism with conservative Jews" but nearly all the Jewish folks I know from in and around that area echoed my sentiments..but hey, we are all human.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
You laugh, but I'm not kidding
Metro Philly is not remotely midwestern.  

[ Parent ]
But the
seven or eight congressional districts in the central and western part of the state are, so who's to say what regions political characteristics define Pennsylvania.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
but their, not the


Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Southwest Brooklyn
also has a population of conservative Italian-Americans, the core problem in Staten Island. this is Giuliani central. This is probably where most of the 20% McCain got in the Borough came from.

Having said that, it appears to me Obama did better in the district than Kerry.

Also, I'm curious about Indiana...it had appeared to me fairly obvious that Obama won Donnelly's district. He carried the two largest counties; LaPorte and St. Joseph's by a pretty healthy margin and didn't get below 40% anywhere else...he won Kokomo I believe.

And it looked like with wins in Vigo and Vandenberg, he might have pulled off a win or close to it in Ellsworth's district.  

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens


[ Parent ]
In 2006
the no-name Democrat almost won the Brooklyn part of the district.  

[ Parent ]
Yes
but that no name was running against Fosella in an anti-GOP year. This year, McMahon was a well liked Staten Island pol and on the presidential level, that district is not too Dem friendly. In fact, I read it had only voted Dem like 2-3 times since the 1950s.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Gore won it as configured today in 2000


[ Parent ]
What would we do without polidata?!
Some of these districts are really hard to figure out.

[ Parent ]
Gore overperformed in NY
in 2000 (for a campaign that many thought was poorly run). I think he even won Nassau county by close over 120k votes but that fell for Kerry and Obama. Gore won Staten Island in 2000 also, but both Kerry and Obama lost it.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Frankly, Kerry underperformed
Obama about matched Gore's performance in New York. So too for New Jersey (though the path of Ocean County is a bit concerning).

[ Parent ]
In NY as a whole
but not in Nassau. Obama and Kerry underperformed Gore in Nassau County.

As per MI-11 and IN-2; I will go back and check my data (was eye numbling difficult sometimes). So if I'm wrong I may have understated Obama and overstated McCain a teeny bit.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
MI-11
defintely went Democrat, all the counties in it went blue, several by large margins.

On New York, Obama as a whole did much better than gore, improving in Rockland and Orange and Catturutas and in the Hudson valley area. He made huge gains in upstate New York, as well as some small ones overall on Long Island.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus


[ Parent ]
The counties did
But MI-11 is a relatively small part of both counties. And in the House McCotter won his bit of Oakland about 60,000 to 40,000 and in Wayne he and his challenger (Larkin?) got about 110K votes each. So that suggests these were more conservative bits of both counties.

Granted, McCotter could very well have overperformed McCain, but that's not certain. If Obama won I suspect it was by less than 5 points. That said, if Wayne county ever releases precinct by precinct results, I fully expect to be proved wrong.


[ Parent ]
I know McCotter
overperformed McCain in Wayne, his mother was a very popular political figure in a very Democratic area and its always helped him.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Im certain Obama won IN-02
And won it by about 10 points.  

[ Parent ]
Probably at least that much
He did very in Laporte and St Joe Counties (the northern population center), held his own in Howard County (of which only the more Democratic Kokomo is in the district, not the more Republican rural parts of the county.  And you're right that the more Democratic parts of Elkart County are in IN-02.  The county overall is VERY, VERY Republican, and it is amazing that he came within 11 points there overall -- and so he had to have done a lot better in the parts in IN-02.

[ Parent ]
I initially thougt so too,
but when I looked at the component counties, primarily because Obama lost Elkhart county (which Donnelly handily won), it was enough to deny him outright victory in IN-2.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Only the most Democratic parts of Elkart
Are in IN-02.  The most Republican parts of Elkhart are in IN-03.  

[ Parent ]
es, Elkhart
is only partially in IN-02, and the district was gerrymandered so that only the more Democratic leaning parts of the area were included.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
And it's important to point out
it was gerrymandered by our side!  That's why everyone here is worried about the Republicans controlling redistricting.  So far, Donnelly has done a great job getting known by the district and establishing himself as a good fit for the more urban/Democratic and rural and small town/Republican parts of it -- 'cause if the GOP gets creative with their map-drawing, he may have a real fight on his hands in 2012.

[ Parent ]
I can imagine an
East Chicago, Michigan City, South Bend, Kokomo, Indianapolis (part) district.  

[ Parent ]
Kind of
It wouldn't come all the way down to Kokomo or Indianapolis, but a district going from East Chicago, through Gary/Hammond, and all the way to St. Joe County would be about the right population for a Congressional District, be overwhelmingly Democratic, and put Joe Donnelly in a very difficult position.

As far as Indy, the fear is that they will carve Marion County up into two parts (or maybe even three) -- depending on how the lines are drawn, it could make either of those districts difficult for a Democrat to hold, especially one as liberal as Andre Carson.


[ Parent ]
I think any division of Marion and indianapolis
could be challenged as a racial gerrymander, taking representation away from a minority, similar to TX-23 in 2006. I don't think it would stand and I'm not sure they would be willing to go that agressive, especially with Buyer and Burton having never run real campaigns and I'm sure they don't want to which is always a factor.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Agreed...
...even though the district is only 29.4% Black as of 2000. This would be one of those "coalition" districts composed of a sizable minority population and a block of Democratic-leaning whites such that the minority population still obtains their "representation".

Of course, the Supreme Court invalidate that in Bartlett v. Strickland (see: http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000... ) coming up this term. It's interesting to note that Respondent Strickland is a Republican county commissioner arguing for the packing of more minorities into districts.

Affirmation would make districts such as Mel Watt's NC-12 and Al Green's TX-07 in violation of the VRA, meaning we'll be sure to see some more er..."creative" districting in some states.


[ Parent ]
You very well may be right
Indianapolis is a very racially segregated city, with few large sections of the city on the east, west, and north sides heavily black (the south side is almost exclusively white).  Any division of it (even though it as a whole is only like 30% black) would most likely be a division of black areas into two districts, or keeping them all in one, give Buyer or Burton a potential challenge.

And speaking of Danny Burton, look for him to potentially get a real primary challenge in 2010.  Dr. John McGoff, former county corner, gave him a pretty good run last spring, and if all the oxygen wouldn't have been sucked out of that race by people voting in the Democratic Presidential Primary on the same day, it might have been even closer.  A lot of Republicans seem to have had it with him, and while his district will never, ever elect a Democrat, a well funded and high profile Republican might be ripe to take him out.


[ Parent ]
don't be so certain
not with the trendlines I'm seeing, especially the margin Obama won younger voters by.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
What you would do
is to string together the most democratic precincts from everywhere. Honestly, it would probably be struck down as a racial gerrymander, but you could do some pretty nasty stuff.

If I were a Republican, I'd split Indianapolis up four,maybe five ways, creating at least one new Republican district in the process.  


[ Parent ]
they can do it and may get away with it
with this SCOTUS. There is a case in which O'Connor said that if the purpose of redistricting otherwise heavily minority districts was to make them more "diverse", it is not a per se violation of the Voting Rights Act. I think its Georgia v. Ashcroft.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
that would connect almost every district
in the state to Indianapolis, it would look like a kaleidoscope and it would be hugely controversial. I don't think state Republicans want to take that path, especially when I'm of the opinion that Court Precedent would overturn it. Even Democrats didn't alter the state's districts that much in 2002 when they controlled the process.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Not saying they would do it
just that in desperation and fear they might take the chance. The problem for Hoosier Republicans is that Dems are very competitive statewide (and the state as well as its counties are pretty square)coupled with the fact that Obama won the state, well, that just changes everything (they may panic and overreach).

So not saying they will, but they could try. There are some really oddly shaped districts in NJ, NC and FL so who knows what can happen. Desperate politicians do desperate things.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
I don't think they'll try to radically
gerrymander the state. Its a lot harder now too, seeing where the state is trending and how much Obama improved in so many areas. I see them being content with getting rid of Baron Hill, elimating his district and splitting it between Ellsworth's an Pence's district, probably putting Bloomington back in IN-08, becuase face it, there's probably not anybody who's going to beat Ellsworth there, and I would be skeptical of Mark Souder's ability to beat any strong Democrat so I wouldn't test him. And, neither Buyer and Burton want their districts to change much so I don't see any radical redivision of central Indiana, and besides that that was where Obama made the greatest gains.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
I think Obama won.
Here's my reasoning:

There are 8 counties wholly in the district. Obama carried these with 55% (+23,504).

There are portions of 4 counties in the district also, which cast 49,000 votes in the Donnelly-Puckett race. To overcome Obama's margin, McCain would have to get 74% of those 49,000 - improbable seeing as Donnelly got 64% of those voters and McCain's best partial-county was Elkhart at 55%.


[ Parent ]
Also, Obama almost certainly lost NY-29
so that should be added to the list.  It's redder than the 26th is.

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

[ Parent ]
I see your mistake
You have Massa, but his district is the 29th.  The 26th was the home of the Powers/Kyrzen/Davis debacle and is now represented by Christopher Lee, a Republican.

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

[ Parent ]
Thanks for spotting that typo (corrected) n/t


Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
He lost it by about two points
He didnt do well in the rural counties, but did quite well in the Democratic leaning Rochester suburbs and it nearly allowed him to carry the district.  

[ Parent ]
Show your working
SSP is trying to get presidential results by CD through crowd-sourcing. Full or partial results for several states can be found in the main spreadsheet here. I don't know if you've used this or not.

Either way, if you've got hard numbers, it'd be helpful if you can input them there.


I thought about that...
and I concur with you. But it was very hard sorting via all this county by county stuff (CNN, AP, SOS websites, Almanac etc) as well and other sources. I also thought most congressional districts would fall in with their party line so I only looked at the historical flippers as well as other surprises.

Like I said, this is a preliminary report and I've been following this stuff for ages but I'm not claiming I'm 100% certain.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Did McCain win MI-11 (since it is not in the Obama/R list)?
MI-11 is made up of 2 counties, Oakland and Wayne.

Kerry carried Oakland County by 3K, Obama by 96K.

Kerry carried Wayne by 343K, Obama by 441K.

The parts of Wayne county in MI-11 are suburban, but even so, it is hard to see how McCain could have carried this district given the margin he lost by in Oakland County.

Bush carried MI-11 by 19K, but it seems as if Obama made up that ground and more in 2008.


Im near certain Obama won MI-11
It went for Bush by just 53%-47% and Obama improved on Kerry by about six points statewide, meaning Obama got around 52%-53% in MI-11.  

[ Parent ]
Good question..
I may have omitted that district by error..will have to go back and check. I will note that McCotter's district is much whiter and wealthier than Knollenberg's and McCotter being an even more conservative GOPer who survived the Obama avalanche makes me think redistricting really held up for him and McCain.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
McCotter won by just 51%-45%
Against a nobody.  He surely ran well ahead of McCain.  

[ Parent ]
You might be right
will check to see and corect accordingly if I was wrong. Like I said, not 100% certain but at least it gives us a good ball park.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Wayne doesn't have precinct-by-precinct results
But my impression was that McCotter's district has the whiter and more conservative bits of Wayne. Not enough for him to win that part, but enough so that he doesn't get beaten about like he would in John Conyers' parts of Wayne.

Also, looking at Oakland's very nifty precinct map, most of McCotter's district there went McCain (as did MI-08). You'd have to dig down into the numbers further (which I will do soon), but McCain probably won there even as he got destroyed in MI-12 and defeated in MI-09.


[ Parent ]
There was A LOT...
Of ticket splitting in California, especially in SoCal. In addition to the districts you list, I believe Obama may also end up winning CA-03 & CA-46. Why? Those districts were both won by Dianne Feinstein in her 2006 Senate reelection campaign. And because Obama's 24% win comes VERY CLOSE to mirroring Feinstein's 24% win (at least with the county data), I have a feeling we'll see more "ticket splitting districts" here.

I only hope the DCCC & the CA Dems get their act together & actually compete in all these districts in 2010.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


Obama also won Tom Petri's district...
WI-06 with 49.91% to McCain's 48.72%.

Additionally, given how well Obama did in New York, it's conceivable/probable that he won NY-23 (John M. McHugh) - in the 8 counties that are completely within the district, Obama had a 15,794 vote margin. Of the remaining, Essex went to Obama, and Fulton and Oneida in totality only yielded a 7,500 vote margin for McCain.

I'd also dispute KS-03, Dennis Moore. Combining Wyandotte and Johnson counties, Obama lost by 2,177 votes. Given that there were 27,000 votes cast in the Douglas portion of the district for the congressional race, that KU is in this district, AND that Obama only needed to carry the Douglas part with 55% to win when Moore recieved 70%, I think it's safe to say Obama won KS-03.

Also, this is a nitpick, but Chandler is KY-06.


Obama clearly won NC-02
and probably by around 53%-46%.  The district is usually three points more Democratic than the state as a whole.  

[ Parent ]
Maybe...hard to say.
Obama lost the counties that are completely in NC-02 by 25,800.

There were roughly 136,000 votes cast in the rest of the district, which Obama would have to carry with almost 60% in order to win the district.

Bobby Etheridge did get 76% of those 136,000, but he also got 68% overall. It's really hard to say without knowing more, simply because so much of the vote (especially in Wake and Cumberland Cos.) isn't broken down.


[ Parent ]
The Wake county vote was around 80% for Obama
The precincts of Wake in NC-02 are the black precincts.  

[ Parent ]
Yes, but that's still just one part.
I don't know the district well enough to know about what parts of Raleigh are in the district and how they vote.

I believe you, but I still don't think it's conclusive when speaking to the district as a whole without some more proof.


[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure Obama lost NC-2
albeit narrowly but even Wake County margins won't be enough to offset the votes in tobacco country. Though it is quit possible that so many conservative rural voters stayed home but I didn't get that from NC-2.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
I will eat my hat
if Obama won Petri's district. East Central Wisconsin (Fon du La, Oshkosh, Waukesha etc ) are so ingrained GOP I can't imagine them voting for a skinny black guy. Did you retabulate the certified results to get that? I used the SOS website and got a narrow McCain win.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Indeed he did.
CD-06:
Obama: 181,198
McCain: 176,871
Other: 4,996

Taken straight from a PivotTable of the certified final results.

Spreadsheet here: http://spreadsheets.google.com...

Data here (go ward-by-ward): http://elections.state.wi.us/s...

Obama only lost Green Lake, Dodge, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan counties. Sheboygan was negligible (+406 McCain).

Offsetting this was 55% in Winnebago County (Oshkosh, Neenah), 53% in Manitowoc, a wash in Calumet County and strong margins in the rural western parts.

Waukesha is in Jim Sensenbrenner's 5th, which did go McCain.


[ Parent ]
Well I'll be a bloody tampon then
or a used condom, whichever is less gross and correct. Not sure how recent that data was but since this is preliminary, I'll take your word and update it as soon as I can.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
KS-3 was one I debated when I was looking
at the results. I probably should have added an asterisk to it but my understanding was that KS-GOP wanted Moore out so they took out a good chunk of Dem voters from Douglas county and put them in the more rural Lynn Jenkins district. As I looked at the numbers, I felt that a good chunk of those Dems were Nancy Boyda voters.

Keep nitpicking, I have no complaints. Will correct Chandler.

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
And what about Nevada?
I'm sure Obama's performance in NV-01 closely mirrored Dem incumbent Shelley Berkley's, as this is the most Dem-friendly part of Dem heavy Clark County (Las Vegas, and he won the county by 18%). I'm also sure Obama won NV-03, since his campaign worked closely with Dina Titus' & Dems won BIG from top to bottom in suburban Clark County, from Summerlin to Henderson. Gore won NV-03 by 1% in 2000, then Bush won by 1%, but I wouldn't be surprised if Obama won by double digits.

The one question I have, though, is with NV-02. Now I know "the cow counties" went heavily for McCain, though not quite by as much as they did for Bush. However, one of the most dramatic changes statewide was Washoe County (Reno) flipping from a 4% Bush win in 2004 to a 12% Obama win this year. And since 80% of NV-02's population is in Washoe, I'm wondering how McCain could win this district despite losing here, Carson City, and the small part of Clark County in NV-02.  

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


Using Unofficial Clark County Data...
and extrapolating:

Obama got 63.66% in NV-01 and 55.34% in NV-03 (both of these are wholly in Clark).

Now NV-02 gets interesting:

Obama: 167,812
McCain: 167,900
None: 2,714
Other: 5,703
Unknown: 42

That comes out to yes, an 88-vote, or 0.02% margin for McCain.
The 42 "unknown" votes come from small precincts (less than 10 voters) in Clark County, where the vote breakdown is not provided for "voter privacy" concerns.

Obama won the Clark County part with 53.98% (+2,690 Obama) and the Washoe/Carson City with 54.53% (+22,995). He lost massively in the remainder, earning 37.02% (-25,773). Again...just barely.

(And yes, this will be up on the crowdsourcing page after I clean up the sheet a bit).


[ Parent ]
I think this shows
that the Utah part of the state is electorally irrelevant. It's a new Nevada.  

[ Parent ]
Nevada and New Mexico
Both decided to jump from toss up (or lean republican) and go straight to solid Democratic, no leans for them.

So, when do we get to start yelling that the west is part of the Democrats' solid electoral base (joining the North East, Great Lakes, and the West Coast?)

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26


[ Parent ]
When Arizona flips...
And we see Nevada & New Mexico score another round of double-digit Obama wins in 2012. Oh yeah, and it would be nice to see us defeat Sen. Hairdo McWedgeshot (aka John Ensign) & Sen. Jon Bile (Kyl) as well. ;-)

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
Haha...
"The Utah part of the state"? So inappropriate, but SO accurate! ;-)

Oh yeah, and it obviously won't be too long before they're even the minority in NV-02! It looks like Johnny Mac barely won the district while Dean Heller got his "convincing" 10% victory. It's only a matter of time before Washoe/Carson & Clark override "Mini Utah".

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
Isn't NV getting a fourth CD in 2010?
wonder where it will be

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Good chance
the Dems will get to draw it where they want it.

[ Parent ]
Hopefully...
If we elect a Dem Governor in 2010 while holding the Legislature, we'll certainly get a nice 4th CD. That's why it's important to find a good candidate who'll be able to beat Gibbons this time.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
Almost any Dem will be Gibbons now
but I would worry about him getting primaried out by some more palatable Republican.

[ Parent ]
The GOP would be nuts not
to primary him. I think Porter may take the shot if he thinks its easier than beating Reid. Though, 2 yrs is a lifetime in politics.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  


[ Parent ]
Haha...
I can hardly wait for Porter to jump into this race! He's such a sleazebag. Once all his dirty laundry is aired again, he may end up being as vulnerable as Gibbons would be.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
It'd probably be...
two wholly in Clark County, one composed of mostly Washoe and some adjacent counties - I'd imagine Washoe, Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Mineral having enough population to support a CD. (Washoe at 400K isn't quite enough).

The remaining would be "mini-Utah", and outlying northern Clark County.


[ Parent ]
I'm thinking
there may be a CD that streches from the Outlying Las Vegas Suburbs in the Northwest all the way through Nye, Mineral, Storey and Carson City and then all of Washoe. Trying to connect Reno and Las Vegas in a district. Then two wholly in Clark...Dina Titus' which will include Paradise, Henderson, etc. Berkley's, which will be Las Vegas and North Las Vegas

The rest of the state will be the one Republican solid district and will be gerrymandered in Clark to take in the Republican strongholds.  

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens


[ Parent ]
Thanks...
That explains it quite well. So where did you find all the data? Does the SoS have the breakdowns yet? Or did you have to rely on county RoV sites?

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]
County results are from the NV SoS site.
Precinct breakdowns are from the Clark County Clerk's office.

Since NV-01 and NV-03 are wholly within Clark County, having precinct data from Clark County was enough to determine the whole state's results. There is a slight discrepancy between the Clark County data and the state data for Clark County that I'm trying to resolve before I post the finished data.  


[ Parent ]
Also:
If Nevada is strongly trending Democratic does that mean Harry Reid will have an easier-than-expected reelection in 2010?

[ Parent ]
Possibly...
As long as Reid does a good job shepherding good legislation in the Senate while also paying attention to what Nevada wants, he'll be fine in 2010.  

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)


[ Parent ]

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