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Redistricting New York

by: Johnny Longtorso

Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 7:50 AM EDT

With New York available as of yesterday, I took no time to do a map losing one district. My findings are that they're probably going to have to axe one of the upstate districts, and I chose NY-23.

Click here for full-size.

NY-01 through NY-17 - These districts didn't change much, if any. All safe D, except for NY-01, which leans D, NY-03, which leans R, and NY-13, which is a swing district.
NY-18 (purple, Westchester-based district; Nita Lowey - D) - Picks up Republican Putnam County, which should be balanced out by Westchester.
NY-19 (ugly green Dutchess/Orange district; John Hall - D) - Loses Putnam and is basically all of Orange and Dutchess now, making it slightly more Democratic.
NY-20 (brown, Scott Murphy - D) - Chopped off the southern part of the district and added parts of NY-23. A couple points more Democratic now.
NY-21 (pink, Albany-based district; Paul Tonko - D) - Slightly more Republican due to some Republican parts of NY-23 added, but still safe D.
NY-22 (dark red, Maurice Hinchey - D) - Lost quite a bit of Dem territory, but still Dem-leaning.
NY-23 (pink, backwards-C shaped district, Eric Massa - D, formerly NY-29) - Cut out a lot of the Republican parts and added Tompkins, Seneca, and more of Monroe. Probably won by Obama now.
NY-24 (dark purple, Mike Arcuri - D) - Still a 50-50 district. If Scozzafava wins in NY-23, she'll be in this district, so Arcuri's going to have to learn how to campaign better.
NY-25 (pale green in the middle of the state, Dan Maffei - D) - Picked up Cortland and part of Chenango. Probably a little more R now, but still leans D.
NY-26 (grey, Chris Lee - R) - Safe R district! Pretty much every Republican county in Western NY.
NY-27 (dark pink, Erie-based; Brian Higgins - D) - Didn't change much.
NY-28 (green, Niagra/Orleans/Monroe/Erie district, Louise Slaughter - D) - Nor this one.

So, there you have it. If the Democrats pick up NY-23 this year, it's going to be hard for them to preserve the district, because NY-29 has a lot of Republican territory that would have to be split up.

Johnny Longtorso :: Redistricting New York
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28th district
Why did you leave the current 28th district as is?  Don't you realize that the whole point of that district is to pack as many democrats as posible into a single district?  It's pvi is D+15, which means it could be made significantly less blue and still be a 100% safe Democratic district.  Not to mention, it makes no sense connecting parts of Buffalo with parts of Rochester.

I didn't see the point
I had to dump all the Republican territory in Lee's district. I guess you could try to make it more of a swing district, but I didn't want to dilute the Democratic districts in Western NY too much.

[ Parent ]
I don't get eliminating the 23rd
Far upstate New York has actually been experiencing population growth yet you axed their district and mutilated the area up. However the Southern tier has lost a lot more population.

It would be a much better policy to ax Lee's district, which has been losing population the fastest, aside from NY-29, and chop it up between various areas, leaving him to run against Massa, Maffei, or Slaughter in 3 different districts that would all have a marginal Democratic lean.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
I'd like to go back to the 1970s plan of Staten Island + Lower Manhattan vs. today's Staten Island + part of Brooklyn.

McMahon is safe, but we should strengthen the district in case he decides to leave someday.

You beat my announcement!
Nice job Johnny. I've just been working with NY since I put the data up there yesterday. I've just uploaded a software update that should improve a couple of things, such as making the block lines thinner so you can see the tiny ones in NYC. I'll post a diary shortly.

And from what I could see, I agree that it's upstate that has to lose a seat. Not surprising, really, since it's rural areas that are not growing.

My intention is to merge
the most Republican areas of NY 23 and 26.It will take a long thin line and some touch-point contiguity (perhaps not possible with Dave's app), but I believe it's possible to make the Republicans eat the upstate loss.

From a perspective of pure partisanship
This might be the best option.  The only problem is that almost all of that is in this version of NY-26 right now.

The stuff in NE NY is marginal territory.  The rural areas in Western NY is solid Repub.

[ Parent ]
It would be easier to say what could be done
if we had political data available. Clearly Democrats are treading on thin ice upstate. Victims of our own success!  

[ Parent ]
What happens if we win NY-23 or at least make a really good showing?
I had thought about making NY-23 a dumping ground for Republican votes in the upper upstate to shore up Arcuri and Murphy.  However, if we win that seat in the special election or next year, I don't see the wisdom in that.  Come to think of it, I'm not sure I see the wisdom in dismantling a presidentially Democratic district while keeping a presidentially Republican district (NY-26).  So, I'm thinking Lee should be targetted instead.  We have some room to play with in Higgins' and Slaughter's districts.

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

I'm with you
With Slaughter and Hinchey bleeding, I see absolutely no reason for NY-23, a marginal district, to be the one on the chopping block.  It ought to be NY-26 for certain.  I actually don't understand the fascination with eliminating NY-23 at all, except that we all have it on the brain.

30, male, Democratic, CO-01

[ Parent ]
The one problem is that
you put Massa, Higgins and Slaughter's seats at risk in a bad year.  And maybe even Arcuri and Maffei's seats as well.

The one lesson I learned here was that gerrymandering would have been much more effective had we had a 23-6 delegation as opposed to a 26-3 or 27-2 one.  This is the toughest state to redistrict, I think.

[ Parent ]
Agreed...we need to focus on incumbent protection
Redistricting New York would have to focus on protecting all the gains we've made in the last two cycles, as opposed to carving out new districts. Strengthening Arcuri, Maffei, Massa, and Murphy should be our goals.

I think we also tend to forget that Higgins' district isn't all that Democratic (at 54-44 Obama), and that we only won it in 2004. Packing lots of Republican areas in Western NY could very easily hurt him. Slaughter's could easily absorb some more Republican areas, but it still can't take all of Lee's district.

I think McHugh's is the easiest to dismantle, simply because its components are similar to Arcuri and Murphy's districts. It can be dismantled without substantially altering the character and political leanings of either their districts. I don't think you can say the same about Lee's.

[ Parent ]
The problem is that
you can't really make any of these guys safe without seriously endangering the seats of the safer Democratic seats.  (Slaughter, Higgins, Tonko, Hinchey.)  As I said below, if the map above was shown 5 years ago, we would have said that there were 6 safe Republican districts upstate.  The whole area has shifted blue, but what is unclear is how permanent it is.  In a 1994 like year, the Repubs might win 8 states upstate with any of our maps.    

[ Parent ]
I think you can trade some precincts around...
between Slaughter and Massa. Slaughter's district is ridiculously overpacked, you can get her down to 62% or 63% Dem to boost Massa and Maffei. I don't think Maffei really needs it all that much since he does have a nice base in Onondaga County, though.

I think you can also extend Engel's district further up into Orange County, and the same with Lowey's up to Putnam County. Trade some precincts with Hall, and that will boost Hall's percentage.

I would also take Tompkins County out of Hinchey's (which conveniently allows for a super-packed Republican district to crawl through to Hamilton County), and replace that with more of Poughkeepsie and Red Hook to help Arcuri. It'll drop his district a point or two.

For Murphy, I would have it grab more of the North Country, losing the western hook it currently has into Delaware/Greene Counties, which can go into Arcuri's new district, offsetting some of the gain in Tompkins.

[ Parent ]
Can't Higgins and Slaughter afford to take on some Republican areas?

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

[ Parent ]
Slaughter probably more than Higgins
I would probably give her a mostly Monroe cty. district.  

[ Parent ]
Monroe Co is not the problem
It was the strongest Democratic part of Massa's district.  It absolutely has to split up.

The best option is probably what the Republicans did for years in that area to prevent a Dem from winning a district, two districts splitting Monroe Co.

[ Parent ]
There are problematic parts of Monroe
that could be better represented (and held) by Slaughter than anyone else.  

[ Parent ]
actually it would
make Massa's district more Democratic by putting all of Monroe County, (which he won easily), in his district.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Louise Slaughter lives in Fairport...
which is in the town of Perinton in the southeast corner of Monroe County.

She'd either have to pull a Tedisco (which never looks good...), or move. I don't think the powers that be would force the chair of the Rules Committee to move and strip her political base away to protect a sophomore.

[ Parent ]
Maybe she will retire by then, though
I doubt in 2010 as thered probably be rumors, by now, if she were. But maybe by 2012. She is in her late 70s already.

[ Parent ]
In fact
She is turning 80 this month. As of right now there are only 4 House members at least 80 years old. Ralph Hall (86), Roscoe Bartlett (83), John Dingell (83) and John Conyers (80). With Slaughter and Dale Kildee to turn 80 this year. The House isnt like the Senate. Its not where everyone wants to spend much of their retirement years. Especially their 80s. So come Jan. 2013 she could very well be spending her retirement years in Florida.

[ Parent ]
Thing is...
You say "you put Massa, Higgins and Slaughter's seats at risk in a bad year". There are 3 things wrong with this statement: 1) Redistricting will take effect in 2012, not 2010. 2) We don't know for sure that 2010 will be a bad year yet. and 3) 2012 will be a Presidential year, and assuming that Obama is at least close to his 2008-level popularity, Most D incumbents will be fine.

23, liberal democrat, SSP Gay Caucus Majority Whip, IN-02 (home), IN-03 (birth), SC-03 (early childhood), IN-09 (college);   DKos: HoosierD42

[ Parent ]
A few nitpicks
1. NY-3 should be made more Democratic.  
2. I would strengthen NY-13 by attaching it to Manhattan as someone suggested.
3. I agree with others to eliminate NY-26, but the problem is that it results in three or four more districts that a Repub can win in a good year.  

I noticed one thing in playing with this, it is awfully hard to really gerrymander a state where you have a 26-3 edge!

The funny thing is
that had we seen this map 5 years ago, there would have been 6 safe Republican districts upstate.  NY-19, NY-20, NY-23, NY-24, NY-25, and NY-26 would have been considered safe Repub.

Here's mine

Every single one of these Upstate districts should be Democratic. The Buffalo-to-Rochester earmuffs is a blatant Republican gerrymander, meant to pack all the Democratic areas into one district. I broke it up. The Massa district is given more of Monroe County. Obama probably won it.

26, male, Dem, NJ-12

In a good year, like 2012 hopefully is, this may be 28-0 map (if you gerrymandered Long Island to eliminate King). I think Obama won every district here if you fixed NY-3 and NY-13.

The Repubs will win all every Upstate district except the Niagara/Erie, Syracuse and Albany districts.  Obama barely won the district in the SW, and we may probably lose it if it was open.

[ Parent ]
It's hard to see, but Rochester is all in 1 district and Buffalo is split in 2. The Rochester district is meant to be the Slaughter district. However the Massa district brushes up against Rochester, and includes more of Monroe County than before. The northern 1/3 of Buffalo is in the Chris Lee district, making it too Democratic for him to get elected. The southern 2/3 of Buffalo is in the Higgins district. The Higgins district doesn't change much. Cattaraugus and Allegany look big on a map but they have very few people, so the district gets bigger without changing much.

26, male, Dem, NJ-12

[ Parent ]
For decades the Repubs split Rochester county to prevent a Democrat from winning a district.  The great irony is that in 2012, the Democrats will split Rochester to ensure the election of two Democrats.

[ Parent ]
Rip Peter King's district apart
It's pretty easy to do. Give districts 1, 2, and 4 a few little pieces, district 5 a bigger piece, and put his home in Seaford and the most Republican parts with district 6 (a black majority district), and put the remainder with random parts of NYC.

[ Parent ]
King's too easy to deal with
For a dismantled district.  It just needs a relatively even mix between Brooklyn or, better, Manhattan.  Poof...he's gone.  We didn't dismantle NY-13, and we don't need to do it here.  Both could easily be safe Dem, especially if Manhattan's growing.

30, male, Democratic, CO-01

[ Parent ]
I'd create a new NYC district
and swallow King's district among several different ones.  

I'm going to give redistricting NYC metro a try tonight.  I think it will be significantly easier than doing Upstate.  (although much tougher in using the software for it.)

[ Parent ]
I propose a contest between Massa and Arcuri
Whoever has the more liberal voting record in the next 4 years can have Ithaca.

26, male, Dem, NJ-12

lol, Massa would do better
with a Monroe County district, Arcuri needs Ithaca anyway.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
I've got a map
that slashes Peter King's district into several pieces and creates a new district in NYC.

How do I add pictures to a diary?

Use the image tags from image shack or flickr
HTML embedding works.

[ Parent ]

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