The census has just released its data for New Jersey. Not wasting any time, I have made my post-census redistricting plan for New Jersey. This isn't a partisan gerrymander, I already did one of those. My goal is communities of interest and reasonable compactness, what a good-government redistricting should look like.
New Jersey has 8,791,894 people. That's 12 districts with 732,657 or 732,658 people each. And it has to be exact or else someone will sue. However some states don't require exact population equality. For example Arkansas and West Virginia don't allow county splitting. While New Jersey's 21 counties are too big for that, you can keep districts close to the ideal population without splitting any of the 566 municipalities. I think NJ should start doing this. In 1960 Newark had more people than a Congressional district, but that is no longer the case.
All districts are within 1% of the ideal population. No one has any grounds to complain about population inequality. I also minimized county splits.
Counties with fewer than 300,000 people were not split at all.
Counties with fewer than 500,000 people were not split more than once.
No county was split more than twice.
I numbered the Congressional districts from south to north. Most districts are already numbered from south to north and I fixed the ones that aren't.
As devoted Swingnuts are aware by now, the Census Bureau has produced its first batch of redistricting-level data. Because Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia all have state-level elections this year, they get bumped to the head of the line. So that means we now know the current population of each congressional district as presently drawn. While the Census Bureau didn't exactly make this data available in the most accessible format, the greasemonkeys down in the Skunkworks at SSP Labs have crunched the numbers, and here's what they look like. Note that the "Deviation" column means how far off each current district is from the new ideal (and in the case of LA and NJ, we divided by their new seat totals of 6 and 12 respectively):
New Jersey has 40 State Legislative districts. Each district elects 1 Senator and 2 Assemblymen. The State Legislature will be up for election in November 2011, so NJ will need to have its districts ready a year earlier than most other states. Currently the State Senate has 24 Democrats and 16 Republicans. Wikipedia has an excellent map of the State Senate makeup here. (The 14th just turned blue in a special election.) The districts are drawn by a bipartisan commission made of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans appointed by their respective parties. Some Republicans including Governor Christie claim the current map is an unfair gerrymander favoring the Democrats. I disagree.
New Jersey has 8.7 million people (2007 estimate). Each of the 40 Senate Districts must be within 20% (43,413) of the ideal population (217,067). Municipalities can not be split unless they are more than 1/40 of the entire state's population. Only 2 cities are that big: Newark and Jersey City. The restriction on splitting municipalities makes the 20% rule necessary.
Redistricting will undoubtedly be a top - if not the top - topic around here over the next year or so. To get your engines started, here are a few early items from around the nation:
Indiana: Gov. Mitch Daniels released his list of legislative priorities for 2011, and it looks like he's trying to burnish his bi-(or non-)partisan cred with this plank:
"Indiana must have a fair redistricting based on geographic and community of interest lines - not politics. And I'll only sign one that meets that test."
Daniels' commitment will be seriously tested on this part of his platform, seeing as the GOP now controls both houses of the state lege (in addition to the governor's mansion, of course). Incoming House speaker Brian Bosma also claims he's a supporter of such reforms. We shall see.
Alabama: Meanwhile, down in Alabama, Republicans also control the trifecta - and seeing as it's their first time, they're licking their chops. As the Birmingham News puts it:
The likely result is a new congressional map that protects all six Republican congressmen and keeps intact the majority black district home to the only Democrat, according to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks.
Illinois: The upper hand is on the other foot in Illinois, one of the few redistricting bright spots for Dems. With Team Blue in charge of the trifecta here - and the Prairie State on track to lose a seat in reapportionment - the only question is which Republican freshman will get tossed in the woodchipper. Sadly, we have quite a few to pick from: Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling, Jim Walsh, and Bob Dold! But it'll still be satisfying to see one of these guys get axed. (And if we're really lucky, two of `em will get tossed into a single district together.)
New Jersey: For whatever reason, New Jersey chooses to be a freak state, holding its state-level elections in odd-numbered years. This is good news for horserace bloggers, but probably a pain in the ass for the folks in charge of drawing state lege district lines. They have to produce a map by Feb. 1 - which is barely a month after the Census Bureau will releases its state-level population data, and a month or so before they release redistricting-level data. In any event, I suggest you read the linked story, which details how Dems succeeded in getting a very favorable map ten years ago - circumstances which are unlikely to obtain this time around.
Dave's Redistricting App: I realize there are quite a few new SSP members these days, so it's possible not everyone is familiar with the awesome (and free!) Dave's Redistricting App. It does exactly what it sounds like it ought to do - you can draw and re-draw maps to your heart's content. The eponymous Dave often stops by in comments and with diaries of his own, in case you ever have questions. He's also always looking for assistance in compiling partisan data for the app, so if you want to help improve the program, please click the link to find out how!
Here is a 10-2 NJ plan that is fairly compact, preserves communities of interest, and still has 2 VRA districts. It only splits a small handful of cities, and minimizes splitting counties.
Unlike some other states, NJ has just barely enough minorities in the same place to fill a VRA district(and it gets harder every census), so VRA districts can't be used to soak up Republican votes.
Note: Obama vs McCain numbers for new districts don't count votes for other candidats, so they always add up to 100%.
11:33pm: Party's moved next door.
11:31pm: AR-02 has been called by AP for Elliott, now 54-46. She'll face Tim Griffin... probably not as good a matchup for Dems as Wills.
11:29pm: Angle's back in the lead in NV-Sen! 35, to Lowden's 33, with 21 for Tarkanian. 14% in. I'm sure we'll see lots of back and forth gyrations in this one as different counties report. Lowden has small lead in Clark, while Angle has a much bigger lead in Washoe.
11:27pm: AP has called GOP primary in NJ-12 for Scott Sipprelle, rich guy, over teabagger opposition, but only 54-46. Rush Holt probably not very scared. GOP primary in NJ-06 is still 50-50, with Diane Gooch trailing by 100.
11:25pm: Add a couple more New Jersey races to the list of races where no-name teabaggers held moderates down to so-so numbers. Leonard Lance only racked up 56% in NJ-07, and Chris Smith in NJ-04 held to 69%. Both were 'yes' votes on cap & trade.
11:21pm: All the Arkansas House races are super close. In AR-01, it's Causey 51, Wooldridge 49, with 94% in. In AR-02, it's Elliot 52, Wills 48, with 91% in. And in AR-03, it's Womack 50, Bledsoe 50, with Womack up by about 200, although that's only with 75% in.
11:15pm: ME-Gov (R) called for Paul LePage. Looking like he'll take on Libby Mitchell in the fall.
11:12pm: Only 1% reporting, but the AP has already called NV-Gov (R) for ex-judge Brian Sandoval. Even the RGA supported him over Jim Gibbons.
11:10pm: Oh yeah, poll closed in California ten minutes ago.
11:01pm: In Iowa, the AP calls IA-03 (R) for Brad Zaun, who will take on Leonard Boswell. In IA-02, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of the dreaded ophthalmologists will rematch against Dave Loebsack.
11:00pm: The AP calls AR-Sen for Blanche Lincoln.
10:51pm: A smattering of precincts and early votes coming in from Nevada, including Clark County (Las Vegas). Gibbons is losing big time to Sandoval in NV-Gov, 57-23. Chicken Lady ahead of Angle 36-33 with Tarkanian at 20.
10:48pm: Ganja break OVER! Maine is now up to 38% in. Libby Mitchell has extended her lead to 34-26 over Rowe, and Paul LePage is cruising.
10:43pm: How baked must they be in Maine right about now? Been at 12% since... whoa... are those Cool Ranch Doritos?
10:40pm: Chad Causey looks like he might hold out over Tim "The Hangman" Wooldridge in AR-01. Meanwhile, Joyce Elliott now has a lead over Robbie Wills in AR-02. And in AR-03, teabagger fave Cecile Bledsoe is beating Steve Womack 54-46. Bledsoe is both a teabagger queen and sort of the establishment choice - I dunno, though, it was a weird race.
10:37pm: We're pretty confident in calling ND-AL for state Rep. Kristi Noem, who beat the more-or-less establishment choice, SoS Chris Nelson. You only need 35% to avoid a runoff in SD, and Noem has a 41-36 lead with most of the votes in.
10:32pm: Halter took a brief lead for a moment there, but it's back to where it was.
10:27pm: AR-Sen is 51-49 Blanche, but Halter is still behind where he needs to be, according to our model. If you want a fuller explanation of how our model works, click here.
10:23pm: With 12% reporting, Terry Branstad is up just 51-40 over Bob Vander Plaats in IA-Gov (R).
10:13pm: Can't wait to see those NV-Sen results start to roll in (soon, I hope). Meanwhile, our friends up in Maine seem to be on the first ganja break of the evening.
10:19pm: It's a moveable feast - join us in the new thread.
10:09pm: I think I forgot to mention that the AP called SD-Gov (R) for Dennis Daugaard a few minutes ago. He'll take on Scott Heidepriem in November.
10:06pm: In AR-01, Chad Causey is a little bit behind where he needs to be from round one in order to beat Tim Wooldridge. In AR-02, Joyce Elliott trails slightly, but she's actually out-performing her first-round share by a lot, suggesting she'll take the win. See our model for more.
10:03pm: With 12% reporting in Maine, Paul LePage has a 34-17 lead over Les Otten on the R side, while it's a very tight 31-30 for Libby Mitchell over Steve Rowe on the D side.
10:00pm: It's ten o'clock - do you know where your polling place is? Well, it's closed now if you live in IA, MT or NV.
9:52pm: Ayup - the AP calls a runoff between Haley and Barrett. Monster failures on the part of McMaster and Bauer.
9:45pm: We project that Nikki Haley will miss out on avoiding a runoff by about 5,000 votes. Meanwhile, in SC-04, Gowdy is down to 42%, but Inglis is at just 26%, and the AP has called it for a runoff between those two men.
9:44pm: That's funny - AR-01, AR-02 and AR-03 are all 51-49 right now.
9:39pm: Compared to his round one showing, Halter is doing three points worse in the territory that's already reported.
9:35pm: Hmm, so, things aren't really looking so hot for Bill Halter so far. Lincoln's up 53-47, but much of what's reported is (narrowly) Halter country.
9:33pm: AP calls it for Jon Runyan in NJ-03 (R). His 56% looks pretty unimpressive, if you ask me.
9:31pm: It seems all but certain that the GOP primaries in SC-01 and SC-03 (both open seats) will go to runoffs. No one has more than 30% in either race.
9:23pm: While NJ-06 and NJ-12 are not high on anyone's takeover lists, the establishment GOP picks in each race - Diane Gooch and Scott Sipprelle - are both trailing teabaggers, as nj1122 points out.
9:19pm: John Runyan, the establishment choice by a hundred yards in NJ-03, is only up 54-46 on Justin Murphy with about 38% in.
9:15pm: Back in SC-04, Trey Gowdy has 49.6% of the vote with 50% reporting. That rounds up to 50, of course, but he'll actually need 50%+1 to clear the runoff hurdle.
9:13pm: In SD-AL, establishment fave Chris Nelson only has a narrow lead over Kristi Noem, 41-39 with 25% in.
9:12pm: With 19% of the vote in in SD-Gov (R), Dennis Daugaard has a huge 53-21 lead over Scott Munsterman. Daugaard is generally considered to be the more conservative contender.
9:11pm: Blanche Lincoln up 54-46 with about 2% reporting.
9:09pm: Oy. Let's hope not.
9:07pm: Note that our model for Arkansas is being thrown off right now by the absentee votes. As more votes come in, it should start to make more sense.
9:03pm: Polls have also now closed in the western part of South Dakota (they closed in the east an hour ago).
9:00pm: The AP has called SC-Gov (D) for Sheheen, who wins the Dem nod without a runoff.
8:56pm: No results in from Maine yet, but we also have a model (more of a back-of-the-envelope projector) that aggregates results by county for ME-Gov.
8:51pm: Meanwhile, in SC-04, our model is predicting a runoff. Trey Gowdy has 44% and Rep. Bob Inglis has a truly feeble 26%. Even if Inglis survives to a runoff, he'll be in extremely bad shape.
8:50pm: With a little over a third of the vote in, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen is pulling an impressive 58% in SC-Gov (D), while Jim Rex trails at 23 and Robert Ford is at 19. Sheheen might avoid a runoff here. On the GOP side, Nikki Haley is at 46 and Gresham Barrett at 26.
8:48pm: Looks like a handful of votes have shown up in Arkansas, but zero precincts are listed as reporting, so I'm guessing absentees and the like.
8:33pm: We have a bitchin' model for the AR-Sen runoff, which you can check out here. We'll keep it updated throughout the night so that you can see our latest projections.
Polls have now closed in Arkansas, and we're still counting votes in ME, NJ & SC.
I thought it would be interesting to use Dave's Redistricting App to show that it was possible to create minority-majority districts in places that people might not necessarily expect, yet are indeed possible. I know that most of these districts will probably never be created, but it was an interesting chance to see what districts could be created. Technically, the definition of a majority-minority district according to the Supreme Court is any district that is less than 50% white (a coalition district), not necessarily a majority for one specific group. So some of these districts are +50% for one group, such as black or Hispanic, others have a plurality for another group, while others are just less than 50% white. So here are some of the districts I looked at:
Racial stats: 51% Asian, 29% white, 12% Hispanic, 4% other, 3% black
This is an Asian majority district in the Bay Area. While several current districts have an Asian plurality with current Census data, none of them have an Asian majority. This district would probably elect an Asian representative, most likely Rep. Mike Honda, who already represents many Asian areas in San Jose. I think this might be the first Asian majority district to ever exist outside of Hawaii.
It was actually possible to create a district in the Denver area that is majority-Hispanic. I linked Hispanic areas in the cities of Lakewood, Denver, Commerce City, Longmont, Brighton, and Greeley. Most of the voters come from Diana DeGette's 1st district and Ed Perlmutter's 7th district, although Jared Polis's 2nd district and Betty Markey's 4th district also lose some voters. I assume this district would elect a Democrat, possibly Diana DeGette, or possibly someone else.
By linking minority areas in the cities of Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, New Britain, and Hartford, it was possible to create a district that is majority-minority in Connecticut. The district has the homes of John Larson and Rosa DeLauro, and takes in all of the major urban centers in the four eastern and central districts, so it would probably help Republicans in some of the other districts. While the district is less than 50% white, it is almost evenly split between the district's Hispanic and black populations, so it would be interesting to see what would happen in an election here.
By connecting heavily black areas in Indianapolis and Gary, it is possible to create a district that is plurality (yet not majority) black. I assume that Andre Carson would run here and win, although he would probably be challenged in the primary by Pete Visclosky. However, this district is more Indianapolis, so I think Carson would defeat Visclosky. This district would be incredibly Democratic either way, I'm sure Obama broke 75% here, maybe even 80%.
Racial stats: 39% white, 34% black, 21% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 2% other
This district connects minority areas in Atlantic City, Camden, and Trenton, and could probably be made even less white than this version is. Battle Royale between John Adler and Robert Andrews that would allow a minority candidate to slip through the primary? Thanks to andgarden for this idea.
1st district (blue): 53% Hispanic, 37% white, 5% Native American, 2% other, 2% black, 1% Asian
2nd district (green): 51% Hispanic, 42% white, 4% Native American, 1% black, 1% other, 1% Asian
3rd district (purple): 55% white, 22% Hispanic, 17% Native American, 2% other, 2% black, 1% Asian
As it stands now, all three New Mexico districts are majority-minority, although Dave's Redistricting App shows a Hispanic majority in only one district, the current NM-02, with updated 2008 numbers. So I wanted to see if it was possible to create not just one, but two Hispanic majority districts. I accomplished this task without too much difficulty, although I admit that it looks a bit strange. The 2nd district remains almost unchanged, although it picks up Torrance County and Hispanic-majority San Miguel County and loses the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs. Meanwhile, the city of Albuquerque is split in half, along with the northern and eastern edges of the state. The Hispanic western half of Albuquerque as well as other Hispanic areas to the north and east of the 2nd district, as well as Santa Fe go into the 1st district. Meanwhile, the mostly white eastern half of Albuquerque is put into the sprawling 3rd district, which goes from Gallup and Farmington in the northwest all the way down to Hobbs in the southeast.
This would set up an interesting chain of events assuming the three Democratic congressmen currently in office (Heinrich, Teague, and Lujan) were still in office. No one would probably want to run in the new 3rd district, which is the white-majority district and the most Republican of the three. Teague would most likely run in the 2nd district, which is similar to his current district, although he would have to move as his home in Hobbs is now in the 3rd district. Meanwhile, Lujan and Heinrich would probably face off in the 3rd district, although I imagine Lujan would be the favorite since he represents much of this district already and there is now a Hispanic majority in the district. Meanwhile, a Republican would likely win the 3rd district seat, although perhaps I am wrong since New Mexico is a pretty Democratic state on the whole and this district still has significant Hispanic (22%) and Native American (17%) populations. This map would never occur with a Democratic legislature/governor, although perhaps the Republicans would attempt this if they controlled the state government, which is highly unlikely for now.
This district actually inspired the rest of the diary after I thought of it over the summer. This new majority-black district links African-American areas in the cities of Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, and manages to look cleaner than even the current NC-12 (Mel Watt's district). It would almost certainly elect a black Democrat, and at the same time would take pressure off of other Republicans such as Pat Tiberi and Mike Turner. If Steve Chabot was elected in 2010, he would probably have to run against Boehner or Schmidt in the primary as this district would take up much of the current OH-01's turf in Cincinnati. If Steve Driehaus hung on in 2010, I think he would probably lose the primary to an African-American, although who knows what would happen.
Also, several people have said that they have been unable to keep OH-10 as a majority-black district in Cleveland without going into Akron.
The main way I did this was by taking a lot of the population from Dennis Kucinich's district, which puts his district 270,000 people in the red, which makes it almost a given his district will be combined with Sutton's district in my opinion.
I know that there are a lot of pockets of black and Hispanic voters in East Texas, so I wanted to see if it would be possible to make a minority-majority district in East Texas without going into Houston or Dallas at all. So I was able to make a meandering district that picks up minority voters in Galveston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange, Huntsville, Lufkin, Longview, Tyler, Texarkana, and Paris. It looks a bit like Cleo Fields' old district in neighboring Louisiana, although this district emerges at just 33% black. Still, that might be enough to put a black Democrat through the primary and into office, as the entire district is just 44% white overall and many of those white voters are Republicans and wouldn't vote in the Democratic primary anyway. I made this district before Dave put in the partisan data, so I haven't calculated the presidential numbers yet, although I imagine that it was probably in the low 50s for McCain, nowhere near as Republican as the current East Texas districts.
So I know that many of these districts are highly theoretical, but I still thought it was an interesting exercise in seeing what is possible and what may even be required by law someday as voting rights law evolves. Let me know what you think of these districts and this subject!
The census should show that New Jersey will lose one congressional district. Currently, New Jersey has 8 Democrats and 5 Republicans representing it in the House of Representatives. The independent comission should aim for a bipartisan plan. I combined the districts of Rush Holt (D) and Leonard Lance (R) in a district that leans Democratic but Lance can win in it since it contains most of his current district. I strengthened all the other incumbents and kept the 10th and 12th district African American and Hispanic majority respectively. For this map, I tried to not make it too convoluted because realistically, I do not see that happening. Also, I calculated the partisan data for these districts by town and I tried not to split the towns. I had to in a few cases but the partisan data should be accurate most of the time. Also, I calculated it for the top two candidates only. Here are some helpful links
District 1 Rob Andrews (D) Haddon Heights
Demographics: 17% African American, 10% Hispanic and 68% White
Partisan data: Obama McCain Percentages
Camden 132785 57336 70%-30%
Gloucester 73201 56669 56%-44%
Salem 3927 2309 63%-37%
Total 209913 116314 64%-36%
Communities of interest: Camden, Pennesauken
The district grows a bit more Republican. I removed the Democratic neighborhoods in Burlington County to help strengthen the 3rd district. I also added more of Gloucester County and the areas I added are marginal. I also added a heavily Democratic slice of Salem County. Overall, I made mostly minor changes so Rob Andrews should have no trouble with reelection. Status is Safe Democrat
District 2 Frank LoBiondo (R) Ventor
Demographics: 9% African American, 11% Hispanic and 76% White
Partisan data: Obama McCain
Cumberland 21720 14211 60%-40%
Cape May 22893 27288 46%-54%
Atlantic 58904 41306 59%-41%
Burlington 13718 16638 45%-55%
Ocean 60834 85988 41%-59%
Salem 1882 2733 41%-59%
Total 179951 188164 49%-51%
Communities of interest: Vineland, Atlantic City, Berkeley
LoBiondo looks safe in his current district but since Obama won his current district 54%-45%, a bipartisan plan would strengthen him. To strengthen LoBiondo, I mostly removed Democratic areas. I removed Democratic parts of Salem County and some Democratic areas in Cumberland County. I also removed small parts of Atlantic County but Obama barely won them. The main additions in Burlington County are Medford and Southampton which lean Republican. To completely shore up LoBiondo, I added about half of Ocean County and McCain won a 25,000 vote margin in the portion I added. These changes help boost McCain's performance from 45% to 51%, ensuring LoBiondo safety and his successor's safety too. Status is Safe Republican.
District 3 John Adler (D) Cherry Hill
Demographics: 20% African American, 10% Hispanic and 64% White
Partisan data: Obama McCain
Salem 10235 9774 51%-49%
Atlantic 8926 8596 51%-49%
Gloucester 4065 3646 53%-47%
Cumberland 13199 8149 62%-38%
Camden 26474 16483 62%-38%
Burlington 116496 71652 62%-38%
Mercer 23577 2157 92%-8%
Total 202972 120457 63%-37%
Communities of interest: Cherry Hill, Burlington, Trenton
I definitely strengthened Adler so he will have no problems with reelection. I strengthened him a bit too much though. I removed all of heavily Republican Ocean County while adding territory in South Jersey that leans Democratic as well as more Democratic territory in Burlington County. I also added Trenton which voted 92% for Obama so that brings up the Democratic total. I had to give Adler Trenton because I do not see Christie signing a bill with Trenton in the 7th district. Overall, Adler should have no problem in this district. Corzine won it in his unsuccessful Gubernatorial run in 2009. Status is Safe Democratic.
Communities of interest: Toms River, Lakewood, Freehold
Chris Smith seemed safe already, even with Democratic parts of Mercer and Burlington Counties inside his district. He lives in the Democratic parts of the old district. I removed his home from the district and placed it in the 7th. He would probably not mind moving though as long as his district is safer. I increased McCain's percentage from 52% to 57% by removing most of the Democratic areas along the Delaware River and adding more Republican areas in Monmouth County. Smith should have absolutely no problem here. Status is Safe Republican.
Northern New Jersey
Northwest New Jersey
District 5 Scott Garrett (R) Wantage
Demographics: Hispanic 6%, Asian 6%, 85% White
Partisan Data: Obama McCain
Sussex 28840 44184 40%-60%
Warren 20628 27500 43%-57%
Morris 19274 26364 42%-58%
Passaic 35201 44572 44%-56%
Bergen 60808 76821 44%-56%
Total 164751 219441 43%-57%
Communities of Interest: Newton, Rockaway and Montvale
This district does not go through large changes but the few I made strengthen Garrett. I removed marginal towns in Bergen County such as Bergenfield and Ridgewood. I mostly did this because the 9th district needed room to expand. I added in some Republican townships in Morris County. I also kept Garrett's home, Wantage in the district. Increasing the McCain percentage here should keep Garrett safe for until he retires. Status is Safe Republican.
District 6 Frank Pallone (D) Long Branch
Demographics: 11% African American, 13% Hispanic, 16% Asian and 58% White
Partisan Data: Obama McCain
Monmouth 62963 54210 54%-46%
Middlesex 102139 63016 62%-38%
Total 165102 117226 58%-42%
Communities of Interest: Edison, Asbury Park, New Brunswick
Pallone's district gets a bit weaker. I removed Plainfield to give more African Americans to the 10th and since I tried to keep town boundries intact, I removed the small Democratic slice of Somerset County. I replaced it with Woodbridge and Edison which lean Democratic even though Christie barely won them. Still, Pallone is entrenched here and since the minority population is growing quickly here (the white population was 65% in 2000,) this district should grow more Democratic. Pallone should not have trouble. Status is Safe Democrat.
District 7 Rush Holt (D) Hopewell vs. Leonard Lance (R) Clinton
Demographics: 9% African American, 8% Hispanic, 13% Asian and 69% White
Partisan Data: Obama McCain
Mercer 80943 44967 64%-36%
Middlesex 66727 47797 58%-42%
Hunterdon 22211 28800 44%-56%
Somerset 44197 31149 59%-41%
Burlington 1005 1336 43%-57%
Total 215083 154049 58%-42%
Communities of Interest: Ewing, North Brunswick
This district may at first look like a sure win for Holt because he has represented his district since the 90's and this district contains most of his old territory. Lance is a freshman but he is a moderate. He also ran a great campaign in 2008, winning against Linda Stender (D) by nine points in a district Obama barely carried. Stender was a good candidate and she almost beat Mike Ferguson (R) who formerly represented the 7th district in 2006. Also, the territory here is less Democratic than it looks with high income independents who swung heavily toward Christie in the Gubernatorial race last year. About the areas in the district, I had to remove Trenton because I think Christie would never sign a plan putting Lance in the same district as Trenton. Still, the district is Democratic with other parts of Mercer County as well as Democratic areas in Middlesex County. Overall, this should be a tough battle but Holt should win. Status is Lean Democratic.
Urban New Jersey
8th District Bill Pascrell (D) Paterson
Demographics: 11% African American, 29% Hispanic, 7% Asian and 53% White
Partisan Data: Obama McCain
Passaic 78056 27980 74%-26%
Essex 70,000 (+- 1,000)42,000 (+-1,000)62%-38%
Union 37,000 (+-1,000) 35,000 (+-1,000)51%-49%
Bergen 7888 8031 50%-50%
Total 193,000 (+-2,000) 113,000(+-2,000)63%-37%
Communities of Interest: Westfield, West Orange, Paterson, Clifton
I had to split some towns in this district so the vote totals are not exact. Overall, his district gets more Democratic by a few points. I removed all the Republican parts of Passaic County, leaving only Paterson, Clifton, Passaic and a few small Democratic suburbs. Obama won 74% of the vote in the 8th district's part of Passaic. I added most of western Union County which Obama and McCain split but most of the time, Republicans should win that area. I also added a slice of Bergen County which is also split between Obama and McCain. These changes should not affect Pascrell much because Paterson and neighborhoods in Essex County keep this district strongly Democratic. Status is Safe Democratic.
9th District Steven Rothman (D) Fair Lawn
Demographics: 7% African American, 20% Hispanic, 16% Asian and 56% White
Partisan Data: Obama McCain
Bergen 154063 100073 61%-39%
Hudson 26,000 (+-1,000)13,000(+-1,000)67%-33%
Total 180,000 (+-1,000)113,000 (+-1,000)62%-38%
Communities of Interest: Jersey City, Englewood, Hackensack, Garfield
Rothman's district gets a touch more Republican but does not make many changes. I gave the district some northern Bergen County suburbs such as Bergenfield and Tenafly which lean Democratic. The only areas I removed were Fairview and North Bergen which are heavily Democratic. These changes should not affect the composition of the district strongly. Status is Safe Democratic.
10th District Donald Payne (D) Newark
Demographics: 55% African American, 17% Hispanic and 23% White
Partisan Data: 82% Obama, 18% McCain
Communities of Interest: Plainfield, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, East Orange, Newark
Since I split most of the towns in the district, I decided to just estimate the partisan data. Also, Payne's district changes a bit. I did not remove many areas from it but I added Plainfield and the marginal Union County suburbs for a few reasons: Plainfield has an African American majority and since the 10th is New Jersey's African American majority district, I decided it should be included. Also, the 10th helps shore up the 8th by taking in some marginal suburbs. I am not sure if the New Jersey legislature would go for this but since it would help keep the 10th African American majority, they would go for it. The district still remains heavily Democratic. Status is Safe Democratic.
I weakened Frelinghuysen a bit by removing all of Republican Sussex and Warren Counties. I also removed parts of Morris County too. The new areas I put in the district are mostly in Somerset, Union and Essex Counties. The new areas are marginal but Obama overperformed in most of the district so Frelinghuysen should still be very safe. Status is Safe Republican.
12th District Albio Sires (D) West New York
Demographics: 10% African American, 53% Hispanic, 7% Asian, 30% White
Partisan Data: Obama 76% McCain 23%
Communities of Interest: Linden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark
Since I split too many towns in this district, I had to estimate the partisan data. Overall, the district experiences few changes. I added all of North Bergen as well as Fairview in Bergen County. I also added a few neighborhoods in Elizabeth but besides this, I made few changes. Sires's district gets more Hispanic and he remains safe. Status is Safe Democratic.