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    Redistricting Blues

    Redistricting Blues

    I posted a few weeks ago about the status of redistricting in various states, and how Republicans at the state level were using their power wisely to solidify the current hold on power in the House by creating a greater number of safe seats rather than trying to expand the number of competitive seats.

    Now this news from North Carolina, where it seems that Republicans are managing both to preserve seats and to expand competitive seats, via Roll Call:

    The Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature passed a Congressional redistricting map into law late Wednesday, solidifying a substantial GOP political edge in the Tar Heel State for the next decade.

    Democrats currently have a 7-6 advantage in the state’s Congressional delegation, but it is almost certain to be substantially reduced during the 2012 elections. The new map significantly endangers Democratic Reps. Mike McIntyre, Larry Kissell, Heath Shuler and Brad Miller.

    Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue cannot veto the map under North Carolina law. However, under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, either the Justice Department or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia must approve the map before it can be enforced.

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    Comments

    What’s your opinion of “majority minority” districts? To me it just seems to create hyper liberal congressmen, I don’t see how it helps their constituency. If you could split up these areas, they would probably be more representative of the diverse ideas between a selected minority group, even if sometimes represented by a white person. Currently it creates the stereotype that minorities are all uberliberal sheep who vote mainly by skin color.

    “either the Justice Department or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia must approve the map before it can be enforced.”

    Translation: the map is doomed.


       
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      Aarradin in reply to DougV. | July 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      Not likely, actually, they knew full well there would be a legal challenge before even starting the process. The 2 (unconstitutional) VRA districts are preserved, and all districts have roughly equal numbers of voters. There are ALWAYS legal challenges when R’s redraw districts, its no secret what you need to do to get your plan approved.

      Also, they revised the map after one of the Congressmen in a VRA district complained, prior to voting on it.


     
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    bob aka either orr | July 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

    “Majority minority” districts do have an unintended side consequence. They enable reapportioners to draw more districts that are likely to elect more conservative representatives, since these districts don’t have the balance that a “liberal” minority presence would provide. The idea also creates some strange bedfellows… like what’s happening in Illinois (search Illinois redistricting lawsuit).


     
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    Aarradin | July 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    We’ll see next year if they’ve been successful. The plan *should* see the Republican delegation increase from 6 of 13 to 10 of 13 (districts 1, 4, and 12 being packed with D’s, the rest are competitive or lean R). Also, they strengthened Renee Ellmers district, which she freed from the ‘chokehold’ Bob Etheridge had on it last year.

    They basically took the 4th, which was reasonably competitive, and gerrymandered it to cover the D’s base in Raleigh and Fayetteville (without making it a majority minority district), which helps 4 surrounding districts all become several points more R (3 of which are currently D, the 4th being Ellmers district). They also swapped a couple counties out west in Heath Schuler’s district to make it very difficult for him to hold.

    If you object to this whole process, I’ll just point out that the D’s controlled the gerrymandering in NC ten years ago and went ridiculously overboard with it (the justice department doesn’t lift a finger when Republicans get screwed by the process). Aside from the 4 urban areas, now contained in the 4th and 12th districts, and the heavily black 1st district in the NE of the state (a VRA district), NC is mostly conservative. The new districts will result in a congressional delegation that reflects this fact.

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