The latest release of the Political Data Inc. redistricting package allows us to look at the 2010 election results by contest. So, using the congressional results from last election cycle I was able to construct election results as if the Cook plan had been implemented.
An obvious caveat is that these elections never happened. Incumbents who had an easy ride in the existing lines would be fighting a different battle. But it's also true that the challengers - many of which were unimpressive and unfunded - would be cut from a different mold in a newly competitive seat.
In the last part of my redistricting California series, here is a map of what a 120-district unicameral legislature, the Senate and Assembly merged, might look like. I did this map at the same time as the Assembly map.
LD-01: Humboldt County, Mendocino County, most of Sonoma County
Demographics: 78% White, 13% Hispanic
2008 President: Obama 68%, McCain 29% (SAFE DEM: D+15)
LD-02: Most of southern Sonoma County
Demographics: 73% White, 18% Hispanic
2008 President: Obama 74%, McCain 24% (SAFE DEM: D+21)
LD-03: Marin County, Petaluma in Sonoma County
Demographics: 78% White, 12% Hispanic, 5% Asian
2008 President: Obama 77%, McCain 21% (SAFE DEM: D+24)
LD-04: Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Trinity County, Shasta County, Modoc County, Lassen County
Demographics: 83% White, 7% Hispanic
2008 President: McCain 60%, Obama 38% (SAFE GOP: R+14)
LD-05: Tehama County, Glenn County, Colusa County, most of Butte County
Demographics: 77% White, 15% Hispanic
2008 President: McCain 51%, Obama 47% (LEAN GOP: R+5)
LD-06: Sutter County, Yuba County, Sierra County, Plumas County, most of Nevada County, Oroville in Butte County
Demographics: 72% White, 15% Hispanic, 6% Asian
2008 President: McCain 52%, Obama 46% (LIKELY GOP: R+6)
LD-07: Lake County, Napa County, Vallejo in Solano County
Demographics: 58% White, 18% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 9% Black
2008 President: Obama 67%, McCain 31% (SAFE DEM: D+14)
LD-08: Yolo County, Vacaville and Winters in Solano County
Demographics: 60% White, 23% Hispanic, 8% Asian
2008 President: Obama 62%, McCain 36% (LIKELY DEM: D+9)
LD-09: Most of Solano County, southern and eastern Sacramento County
Demographics: 60% White, 16% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 9% Black
2008 President: Obama 56%, McCain 43% (LEAN DEM: D+3)
The black vote is one of the most reliably Democratic constituencies out there. Blacks commonly give Democratic candidates more than 90% of the vote; Democratic presidential candidates in 2000, 2004, and 2008 won 90%, 89%, and 95% of blacks respectively.
Blacks were as reliably Democratic as ever in the 2010 midterm elections. The black vote undoubtedly saved many a Democrat from defeat. Exit polls indicate that 89% of blacks nationwide voted for a Democratic congressman.
In California, however, blacks seemed to have been quite a bit more Republican than this.
AD-48: Culver City, Compton (I had to make this district snake around AD-47 to make that one majority-black)
Demographics: 47% Hispanic, 32% Black, 10% White, 8% Asian
2008 President: Obama 88%, McCain 11% (SAFE DEM: D+35)
The crown jewel of the 2010 Census is out: California. The nation's largest state is, well, even larger than before, at 37,253,956, up from 33,871,648. Divide that out among 53 districts (it was the first time in ages that California didn't gain a House seat, despite gaining more than 3 million residents... it gained at a rate close to the country as a whole), and you have a target of 702,905, which is up from about 639K in 2000.
It may not come as a surprise, but much of the state's growth is Hispanic. Since 2000, the state's Hispanic population grew 27.8%, while the state's non-Hispanic population was almost stagnant, growing only 1.5%. (The Asian population grew 31.5%, but that's a fairly small subset of the overall population.) In 2000, California was 46.7% non-Hispanic white and 32.4% Hispanic, but in 2010, it had drawn much closer: 40.1% non-Hispanic white and 37.6% Hispanic.
Looking at the table, you'll notice that a large number of districts have moved from white pluralities to Hispanic pluralities over the last ten years: the Democratic-controlled 17th, 23rd, and 27th, and the Republican-controlled 21st, 44th, and 45th. (The latter two were also the state's two fastest growing districts, both in Riverside County to the east of Los Angeles.) Two more GOP-held seats in the greater Los Angeles area are also dancing close to the edge of a Hispanic plurality: the 25th, and the Orange County-based 40th. Of course, that doesn't presage an immediate change in voting patterns; given lower Hispanic voter participation rates and the fact that much of the Hispanic population is under 18, changes will be slow to happen. Case in point: the 20th, where incumbent Jim Costa had a close call in 2010 despite it being a 70% Hispanic district! (One other bit of trivia: Pete Stark's 13th moved from a white plurality to an Asian plurality, the only Asian-plurality district outside of Hawaii.)
One other thing you'll notice: despite the fact that California didn't lose a seat, there is going to be substantial reconfiguration of districts, with boundaries moving from west to east. The Bay Area gained little population, and will need to give most of a seat to the Central Valley; likewise, Los Angeles County proper gained little, and will need to give most of a seat to the Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties). Although the Central Valley and Inland Empire tend to be Republican areas in general, most of the growth in those places has been Hispanic, to the extent that "new" seats are probably going to wind up being Hispanic VRA seats carved out of the general overlay of red; on the other hand, the Bay Area and LA proper are already Dem strongholds and have nothing but Dems to lose, so the overall effect is likely to be a wash. Of course, given that this is the first year that California switches to an ostensibly impartial commission, which has no compunction to preserve the incumbent protection intent of the 2000 map and may actually place a premium on compactness, we could see all manner of scrambling that goes well beyond what I'm describing.
While we aren't going into as much detail as we did with Texas, we're adding a few details to California that most states haven't received: each district's representative (as it's well nigh impossible to keep track of which district number is what when there are 53 of them), and the district's racial composition in both 2010 and 2000. The four categories expressed as overall percentages, left to right, are non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic African-American, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic.
Here is my attempt at redistricting the California State Senate. With over 936,000 people per district, satisfying communities of interest becomes a bit more challenging. Here are the districts I ended up drawing.
SD-01: Coastal NorCal (Previously SD-02) (Noreen Evans)
Description: Similar shape to the old district, plus added Del Norte County and the westernmost part of Solano to satisfy district size
Demographics: 68.4% White, 16.1% Hispanic, 5.6% Asian
2008 President: Obama 69.1%, McCain 28.5% (SAFE DEM: D+16)
SD-02: Central Valley and Yolo County (Previously SD-04) (Doug LaMalfa and Lois Wolk unless she moves to the new SD-05)
Description: Similar to previous configuration only I added Yolo County to satisfy population size. Lois Wolk (from Davis and currently in SD-05) would be put into this district and would lose to LaMalfa unless she moved to the new SD-05.
Demographics: 71.8% White, 16.1% Hispanic, 5.5% Asian
2008 President: McCain 49.9%, Obama 47.9% (LEAN GOP: R+4)
SD-03: All of Marin, eastern San Francisco, and SE Sonoma (Mark Leno)
Demographics: 56.4% White, 17.8% Asian, 15.6% Hispanic, 6.7% Black
2008 President: Obama 82.2%, McCain 15.8% (SAFE DEM: D+29)
SD-04: Mountain counties along most of the Nevada border plus some Sacramento suburbs (Previously SD-01) (Ted Gaines)
Demographics: 80.8% White, 10.0% Hispanic
2008 President: McCain 54.1%, Obama 44.9% (LIKELY GOP: R+8)
SD-05: Most of Solano and Sacramento, NW San Joaquin (Lois Wolk if she moves here from SD-02)
Description: Removed Yolo and included more of Sacramento
Demographics: 59.5% White, 18.2% Hispanic, 10.2% Asian, 7.2% Black
2008 President: Obama 53.4%, McCain 44.9% (TOSS-UP: EVEN)
SD-06: Sacramento and some inner suburbs (Darrell Steinberg)
Demographics: 50.3% White, 17.9% Hispanic, 14.2% Asian, 11.8% Black
2008 President: Obama 65.1%, McCain 33.0% (SAFE DEM: D+12)
SD-08: Western half of San Francisco, most of San Mateo (Leland Yee)
Demographics: 46.4% White, 27.6% Asian, 18.3% Hispanic
2008 President: Obama 75.4%, McCain 22.8% (SAFE DEM: D+22)
SD-09: Inland Alameda and Contra Costa (Previously SD-07) (Mark DeSaulnier)
Demographics: 67.9% White, 14.5% Hispanic, 9.3% Asian
2008 President: Obama 63.0%, McCain 35.3% (SAFE DEM: D+10)
SD-10: Western Alameda County and Milpitas in Santa Clara County (Ellen Corbett)
Demographics: 32.9% White, 31.4% Asian, 24.6% Hispanic, 6.1% Black
2008 President: Obama 72.7%, McCain 25.4% (SAFE DEM: D+20)
SD-11: Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz County (Joe Simitian)
Demographics: 58.4% White, 20.2% Asian, 15.9% Hispanic
2008 President: Obama 73.7%, McCain 24.2% (SAFE DEM: D+21)
SD-12: San Jose and part of Stanislaus County (Previously SD-13) (Elaine Alquist)
Demographics: 42.4% White, 31.0% Hispanic, 19.6% Asian
2008 President: Obama 67.4%, McCain 30.9% (SAFE DEM: D+14)
SD-14: Eastern Central Valley and northern half of Fresno (Tom Berryhill)
Demographics: 57.9% White, 28.7% Hispanic, 5.6% Asian
2008 President: McCain 53.6%, Obama 44.7% (LIKELY GOP: R+8)
SD-15: Central Coast (Sam Blakeslee)
Description: Still a Central Coast-centric district, only I removed Santa Cruz, put Monterey completely within the district, and stretched a little further into Santa Barbara
Demographics: 55.1% White, 33.9% Hispanic
2008 President: Obama 57.0%, McCain 41.0% (LEAN DEM: D+4)
SD-16: Western Central Valley (Michael Rubio)
Description: Did some tweaking to keep it sufficiently Hispanic to satisfy the VRA
Demographics: 60.1% Hispanic, 24.6% White, 5.9% Asian, 5.8% Black
2008 President: Obama 55.6%, McCain 42.8% (TOSS-UP: D+2.5)
SD-18: Remainder of Santa Barbara and most of Ventura (Previously SD-19) (Tony Strickland)
Description: This time I was able to keep Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley in the same district and not go over in population
Demographics: 58.5% White, 31.0% Hispanic, 5.5% Asian
2008 President: Obama 59.3%, McCain 38.9% (LEAN DEM: D+6)
SD-19: Antelope Valley, keeping Lancaster and Palmdale together (Previously SD-17) (Sharon Runner)
Demographics: 54.1% White, 27.2% Hispanic, 8.2% Asian, 6.8% Black
2008 President: Obama 53.3%, McCain 44.6% (TOSS-UP: EVEN)
Los Angeles/Orange County
SD-20: Hispanic side of the San Fernando Valley (Alex Padilla)
Demographics: 54.2% Hispanic, 30.4% White, 6.9% Asian
2008 President: Obama 73.2%, McCain 24.7% (SAFE DEM: D+20)
SD-22: From Monterey Park to Diamond Bar (Kevin De Leon)
Demographics: 53.9% Hispanic, 26.0% Asian, 14.8% White
2008 President: Obama 64.9%, McCain 33.2% (SAFE DEM: D+12)
SD-23: West Side L.A. without the Ventura portion (Fran Pavley)
Demographics: 70.4% White, 13.0% Hispanic, 9.4% Asian
2008 President: Obama 72.9%, McCain 25.4% (SAFE DEM: D+20)
SD-24: South Central: Culver City, Inglewood, Compton (Previously parts of SD-25 and 26) (Rod Wright) (Curren Price)
Description: Due to demographic trends, it looks like the black populations of the current SD-25 and 26 will be merged into this district, which means Curren Price and Rod Wright will likely be in the same district.
Demographics: 41.8% Hispanic, 41.7% Black, 7.9% White, 5.8% Asian
2008 President: Obama 89.7%, McCain 9.1% (SAFE DEM: D+37)
SD-25: South Central (Previously parts of SD-25 and 26)
Description: Here I took the Hispanic parts of the current SD-25 and 26. Either of Wright or Price may run here, but an Hispanic candidate is far and away the favorite here
Demographics: 61.4% Hispanic, 14.0% Black, 11.4% Asian, 10.4% White
2008 President: Obama 84.2%, McCain 13.8% (SAFE DEM: D+31)
SD-26: Downtown L.A., Whittier, Pico Rivera (Previously SD-24) (Probably Ed Hernandez)
Description: Hernandez's home is in the new SD-22, though he may move and run here.
Demographics: 79.0% Hispanic, 11.4% White, 5.6% Asian
2008 President: Obama 73.1%, McCain 24.8% (SAFE DEM: D+20)
SD-28: South Gate, Norwalk, Artesia, part of Long Beach (Previously parts of SD-27 and SD-30) (possibly Alan Lowenthal and Ron Calderon)
Description: I shifted Long Beach to the coastal OC district and found that I had too many people in that one, so I shifted part of Long Beach into this district. Part of Lowenthal's and Calderon's districts are put here, so they may face a primary unless one decides to retire.
Demographics: 55.7% Hispanic, 18.2% White, 12.3% Asian, 10.9% Black
2008 President: Obama 70.9%, McCain 27.0% (SAFE DEM: D+18)
SD-29: Northern L.A. suburbs (Previously parts of SD-29 and SD-31) (Bob Dutton and Bob Huff?)
Description: In L.A. and San Bern Counties to satisfy population size, from Arcadia to my hometown Rancho Cucamonga. Huff's home in Diamond Bar was shifted to the 22nd so he may move here.
Demographics: 43.8% White, 34.3% Hispanic, 9.3% Asian, 8.9% Black
2008 President: Obama 54.2%, McCain 43.8% (TOSS-UP: D+1)
SD-31: Most of San Bernardino and in Riverside (Open)
Demographics: 64.2% White, 23.9% Hispanic, 5.2% Black
2008 President: McCain 55.2%, Obama 42.6% (LIKELY GOP: R+9)
SD-32: Coastal Orange County and part of Long Beach (Previously SD-35 and part of SD-27) (Tom Harman and Alan Lowenthal?)
Demographics: 69.3% White, 13.5% Hispanic, 12.6% Asian
2008 President: Obama 49.5%, McCain 48.6% (LEAN GOP: R+4)
SD-33: Garden Grove, Anaheim, Santa Ana (Previously SD-34) (Lou Correa)
Demographics: 54.2% Hispanic, 23.5% White, 17.5% Asian
2008 President: Obama 54.6%, McCain 43.5% (TOSS-UP: D+1)
SD-35: Riverside, Norco, Moreno Valley, Corona (Previously part of SD-37) (Open)
Description: Rapid growth in Riverside County led to this district being excised off the eastern end of the old SD-37
Demographics: 43.0% White, 38.3% Hispanic, 9.2% Black, 5.6% Asian
2008 President: Obama 55.4%, McCain 42.7% (TOSS-UP: D+2)
Outer SoCal and San Diego
SD-36: Most of the rest of Riverside County (Previously SD-37) (Bill Emmerson)
Demographics: 53.7% White, 36.9% Hispanic
2008 President: McCain 49.6%, Obama 48.8% (LEAN GOP: R+3)
SD-37: Temecula, Southern OC, NW San Diego County to Carlsbad (Previously SD-36) (Joel Anderson?)
Demographics: 66.4% White, 21.4% Hispanic, 5.6% Asian
2008 President: McCain 53.5%, Obama 44.7% (LIKELY GOP: R+7)
SD-38: Imperial County and as much of Eastern San Diego as could fit (Previously SD-37 and SD-40) (Mark Wyland)
Demographics: 57.8% White, 31.2% Hispanic
2008 President: McCain 53.2%, Obama 45.1% (LIKELY GOP: R+7)
SD-39: Northern San Diego (Christine Kehoe)
Description: Northern half of San Diego, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Del Mar, Lemon Grove
Demographics: 63.2% White, 14.9% Hispanic, 13.7% Asian
2008 President: Obama 56.9%, McCain 41.4% (LEAN DEM: D+4)
SD-40: Southern San Diego (Previously part of SD-39) (Juan Vargas)
Description: Southern half of San Diego, Coronado, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach
Demographics: 42.4% Hispanic, 32.5% White, 12.0% Asian, 9.4% Black
2008 President: Obama 66.3%, McCain 32.0% (SAFE DEM: D+13)
Before November 2nd 2010, it appeared that Democrats would control the redistricting process because most polls suggested Jerry Brown (D) would become Governor. Brown did win and the Democrats retained their majorities in the state legislature. They, however, lost control of the redistricting process. The voters passed Proposition 20 which transferred the redistricting power from the state legislature to a 14 member commission compromised of 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 4 independents. The commission must draw districts according to communities of interest which are similar communities based on the residents' ethnicities, location and income. Also, at least three members of each party must approve the map before it takes effect. Even if Democrats do not control redistricting the way they used to, they will certainly propose some maps to the committee that will protect Democratic incumbents and eliminate a few Republicans who are in gerrymandered districts. Although the Democrats crafted the 2002 map as a bipartisan plan, the lines resemble a Republican gerrymander. For example, San Bernardino and Riverside County both cast narrow majorities for Obama and have about 5 districts between them. A Democrat only holds one of those districts. The Democrat is Joe Baca (D) but his district does not even touch Riverside County. So Riverside County which voted for Obama and has enough people for nearly three districts does not even have a Democratic representative. Also, Orange County voted for McCain by three points and has around 3 million people, enough population for almost five districts. How many Democratic districts cover at least part of Orange County? The answer is only one: the 47th district represented by Loretta Sanchez (D) which covers Santa Ana and Anaheim. Although Democrats worry that the independent commission will carve up districts leaving Democratic incumbents with no familiar territory, Democrats should not be too worried. The commission likely will weaken many Republicans too.
This leads to why I am drawing this map and it is because I am predicting what the Democrats will propose to the commission. Although the commission makes the final decision, both parties will draw up proposals suggesting what the commission should do. For the Democrats, their proposal needs to protect their incumbents, create more opportunities in the Inland Empire and Central Valley while not drawing convoluted lines. Also, my proposal respects the VRA which requires a certain number of minority majority districts in order to ensure minorities are not underrepresented in the House. For example, I made the 15th and 32nd districts with Asian representatives more Asian. I also created three new districts designed to elect Hispanics because California's Hispanic population is growing rapidly and will need representation. Also, California's Hispanic population is 36% and there are only 8 Hispanic representatives in 53 congressional districts. The problem is that Hispanic turnout rates are low so districts with a Hispanic percentage of 51% will not have enough Hispanic voters to elect a Hispanic representative. If the district is Democratic but has Republican white voters though, there can be enough Hispanics in the Democratic primary to elect a Hispanic candidate. Some of my districts have low Hispanic populations but the population numbers are from 10 years ago so the Hispanic population should be larger. I also created 29 Safe Democratic seats, 5 Likely Democratic seats, 3 lean Democratic seats, 2 Toss Up seats, 2 Lean Republican seats, 2 Likely Republican seats (these could be competitive in a few years if demographic trends continue) and 10 Safe Republican seats. Safe represents a likely 20%+ win for the listed party, likely represents a likely 10%-19% win, lean represents a likely 5%-9% win and tossup represents a likely 0%-4% win. I wanted to create more seats for the Democrats but I did not want convoluted lines because the commission will reject those. Anyway, here are some helpful links and the maps:
Current maps of California's congressional districts: http://www.nationalatlas.gov/p...
A few notes: if you want a better picture of the maps, click on them. Also, the demographics are from the 2000 census (2010 data is not available yet.) Old Demographics means the demographics of the old districts. "Change" represents how the partisan makeup of the district is compared to the old lines.
I dunno how much demand is actually left for California redistricting maps, but here's my latest version anyhow. Since this'll be the last map I post (of California or any other state) until actual Census data is available, I've decided to go all out.
When I posted my original California map that basically disregarded the VRA, and again when I posted my VRA maps of Southern states, I was strongly encouraged to create a new California map that takes the VRA as its starting point. While initially somewhat resistant, I was persuaded that I should do exactly that mainly when I looked over the new California redistricting guidelines and saw that they prioritize the VRA above all other criteria.
Moreover, whereas my initial map used the 2008 population estimates, I wanted to make a map using the more accurate American Community Survey projections. So, I've created the following maps and analysis by this methodology:
1) I first addressed Section 5 preclearance concerns to ensure that none of the four covered counties (Kings, Merced, Monterrey, Yuba) would be subject to a "retrogression" challenge.
2) I then addressed Section 2 requirements that majority-minority districts be drawn wherever compact minority communities permit the drawing of such districts without substantially ignoring traditional redistricting criteria.
3) I then filled in the rest of the map based on the non-partisan criteria specified by the California guidelines (contiguity, geographic integrity, communities of interest, compactness). As such, I altogether disregarded partisan data and incumbent residency as required by law (especially easy to do on the ACS version at Dave's app which doesn't feature partisan data).
4) However, I wanted to know what the partisan effects would be, so I then had to translate my ACS-VRA map into partisan figures - which was easily the most time-consuming part of this exercise.
5) Finally, I was curious to see how the maps I drew would match up with the current incumbents, so I pinpointed where each one lives and identified in which district on my map they would end up.
The resulting maps below feature 37 majority-minority seats of which 15 are majority-Latino and 1 is majority-Asian.
So, I'm finally ready to present all that after the jump. Needless to mention, analyzing California is a daunting task, so I've decided to organize my presentation as follows:
For the purposes of my discussion, I've divided the state into the following regions: (1) Northern California (including Sacramento); (2) the Bay Area; (3) the Central Valley & Central Coast; (4) Los Angeles; (5) Orange County & the Inland Empire; (6) the San Diego Area.
For each region, I've posted some general comments, then listed the 2008 Obama/McCain figures for each district including the incumbent of that currently numbered district, and then posted the relevant maps. I then have three sections of commentary: VRA Implications, Partisan Impact, and Incumbents.
A quick note on the latter: It goes without saying that where the incumbents end up in the new maps is highly speculative. The reason why I decided to look at this anyhow is twofold: (1) at the very least, it gives some sense of how the new maps are likely to scramble the incumbents, even if the actual final arrangement is very different; (2) the places where incumbents are likely to end up together in the same district or where districts are likely to initially end up without a resident incumbent obviously correlate with the most highly gerrymandered parts of the state, and so therefore it's safe to say that the incumbents that are most affected on my map will be the ones at highest risk under the actual maps. Of course, residency within a district is not a requirement to run for Congress, but Congress critters do generally prefer to run where they live - or to move if they have to.
One last note before I get underway: I've played with the California maps enough at this point that I have a rather good sense of what decisions are likely to help Democrats or Republicans. All else being equal, I have generally made those decisions which are most helpful to the GOP. On one hand, I've done this to minimize unfounded accusations of partisan mapping bias on my part. On the other hand, I've done this because I think similar decisions will maximize the likelihood of a map being approved by the Redistricting Commission which requires three GOP votes to pass the maps. On the third hand (?!), I've done this because I would rather see a 'worst-case scenario' for Democrats, with the awareness that the actual maps are likely to be somewhat more favorable, than to promote a rose-colored glasses view inconsistent with the probable outcome. In short, if you are a Republican and you don't like my maps, you probably need to reflect on how consistent your perception of California is with reality.
Here is my attempt at redistricting California's U.S. House seats, following the commission's goal of communities of interest as closely as I could. I included each incumbent's name in roughly which district they'd end up in as a result of this redistricting. I was just not sure where Jerry Lewis would go, and many of the other SoCal reps were rough estimates.
Here are the numbers I ended up with when I finished. (Something odd I noticed in DRA was that when I colored in one block, blocks miles away were also colored in with that same color, like you can see in CA-16 with the color for CA-14.)
Majority-minority with no one majority race: 18 (including the 2 districts that are 50% white; I wasn't sure if they were 50.1-50.4% or 49.6-49.9%)
Here are the maps and descriptions of each district.
CA-01: North Coast + most of Solano County (Mike Thompson (D))