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Now that Congressman Ron Barber (D-AZ) is assured of victory in the new 2nd Congressional District, I decided to play around some with Arizona's map.  I have already mapped out and discussed the Congressional districts for the 2010's in an earlier diary (read it if you to know how redistricting went down and the partisan and racial statistics of the new districts), where I was hopeful that Democrats would take a 5-4 lead in the next Arizona delegation to the House of Representatives.  Now, with Democrats picking up the AZ-09 and winning back AZ-01, that will come to pass.  For the second time since the 1960's, Democrats will hold a majority of Arizona's delegation to the House.  Here's the map of what the partisan split of Arizona's new districts now look like after the elections:


It was a hard-fought battle, but Democrats ended up lucky in Congressional redistricting in Arizona.  It involved the Governor and legislature impeaching the tiebreaker on the redistricting commission only for the tiebreaker to be reinstated by order of the state Supreme Court.  Long story short, it was a massive victory for justice and ethics.  Now that redistricting and the elections are well behind us, I wanted to see how far you could stretch Arizona's Congressional districts in an alternate universe where there was no commission on redistricting and Democrats controlled the process.  I am not a master of the art of gerrymandering, but I gave it a shot with two separate maps.  All Obama performance percentages are from the 2008 election and the partisan numbers for each district will be followed by the partisan numbers of the actual districts that are now in place.


More below the fold.

Map 1: 5 Democratic Districts Plus 1 Democratic Opportunity


AZ-01 (blue): Rep.-Elect Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Flagstaff)
Voting Age Population (VAP): 54.8% White, 21.1% Native American, 18.6% Hispanic, 2.5% Black, 1.8% Asian
49.0% Obama-49.7% McCain (actual: 47.9% Obama-51.0% McCain)
48.9% Avg D/51.1% Avg R

This districts is 1.6% more Native American than the real AZ-01 and is about over 1% bluer than the real district.  Rep. Kirkpatrick won back her seat this year by getting ~49% of the vote overall against Republican Jonathan Paton.  Under this fantasy map, she should be fine and would have hit 50% this year.  Obama probably performed the same here in 2012 as he did in 2008 as his numbers improved some amongst the tribal nations, but faced a slight red shift in Coconino, Pinal, Pima, and Maricopa County.  However, Obama also showed some improvement in the small Pinto Democratic (Arizonan Demosaurs) counties of Graham, Greenlee, and Gila.  Kirkpatrick outperformed him in those counties as well (even narrowly winning Greenlee County).  It should also be noted that out of the several tribal nations united in this district, the Navajo are by far the majority of them.  In 2001, the people of the Hopi territory objected to any map that drew them in the same district with the Navajo Nation (which completely surrounds them), and so they were put into Trent Franks' district thanks to a tendril that runs along the Grand Canyon all the way to the Hopi lands.  But during this redistricting process, the Hopi did not raise any complaints from what I've read and so were put back in the 1st with the Navajo Nation.

AZ-04 (red): Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Prescott)
Racial stats and partisan performance is meaningless in this ridiculously Republican district.  Obama and Democrats in general get less than 35% here, to give you a clue on how unreachable this district is.

Before I get to AZ-02 and AZ-03, let's zoom in on the Tucson metro area:

Just like in the real map, AZ-01 scoops up the red towns of Saddlebrooke, Oro Valley, and Marana from Gabby's (now Barber's) district.

AZ-02 (green): Rep. Ron Barber (D-Tucson)
VAP: 66.5% White, 24.7% Hispanic, 3.3% Black, 3.1% Asian, 0.8% Native American
49.8% Obama-48.9% McCain (actual: 49.6% Obama-49.1% McCain)
48.9% Avg D/51.1% Avg R

This district essentially stays the same as the real map, except it picks up Santa Cruz County.  Ron Barber had a much closer race than expected this time because the Republicans finally found someone better than Jesse Kelly.  It would not be as close here.

AZ-03 (dark magenta): Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Tucson)
VAP: 51.2% Hispanic, 38.8% White, 3.7% Black, 3.1% Native American, 2.0% Asian
56.1% Obama-42.8% McCain (actual: 56.4% Obama-42.5% McCain)
56.6% Avg D/43.4% Avg R

Just like in the actual map, this district shrinks from Le Paz and part of Yuma County.  It also probes deeper into Maricopa County.  Grijalva will have to campaign, but chances of losing are comfortably low.

For the final part of the first map, we need to zoom in to Maricopa County's districts:

AZ-05 (gold): Rep.-Elect Matt Salmon (R-Mesa)
No point in posting partisan and VAP statistics here either.  Long story short, this district is a few points bluer than AZ-04.
This district is roughly similar to the actual map, except this one bleeds out into a red area of Pinal County.

AZ-06 (teal): OPEN
VAP: 68.7% White, 20.5% Hispanic, 4.1% Black, 3.6% Asian, 1.6% Native American
46.8% Obama-51.9% McCain (actual: 41.2% Obama-57.7% McCain)
45.4% Avg D/54.6% Avg R

This is the opportunity district for Democrats.  It's almost identical, partisan-wise, to the district held by Democrat Harry Mitchell from 2006-2010.  However, this is obviously much uglier.  It takes up middle to upper Phoenix, and stretches to the suburbs to the east and west.  Dave Schweikert likely wouldn't run here as his home of Fountain Hills has been cut out.  However, ex-Rep. Ben Quayle could run here as he likely lives here.

AZ-07 (dark grey): Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Phoenix)
VAP: 53.7% Hispanic, 32.7% White, 8.0% Black, 2.8% Asian, 1.4% Native American
58.5% Obama-40.4% McCain (actual: 64.7% Obama-34.1% McCain)
60.2% Avg D/39.8% Avg R

This district unpacks some (perhaps a bit too much) by reaching out a pseudopod northwest through Glendale and Peoria almost to Surprise.  This district will mean that Pastor will have to campaign, but he'll be fine absent some massive scandal.

AZ-08 (slate blue): Rep. Trent Franks (R-Glendale) & Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills)
This district is the most Caucasian in the whole state and is about equal in its partisan lean to AZ-05.
I unintentionally drew right-wing nutjob Trent Franks and the quieter, less offensive Dave Schweikert.  I suppose Democrats could secretly root for Franks as Schweikert would be tougher to beat in a future statewide race.

AZ-09 (cyan): Rep.-Elect Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix)
VAP: 60.8% White, 24.6% Hispanic, 5.3% Black, 4.7% Asian, 2.8% Native American
52.1% Obama-46.6% McCain (actual: 51.3% Obama-47.4% McCain)
50.1% Avg D/49.9% Avg R

This district that contains all of Tempe shifts a little bluer by specifically taking in the bluer parts of Chandler, Mesa, and Scottsdale.  It also now includes the Salt River Pima-Maricopa tribal community and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.
Former State Senator Kyrsten Sinema will be the first openly bisexual member of Congress.  When she won the primary, I was hopeful, but the Republicans indicated they would make hay of the fact that she was a Green Party supporter of Ralph Nader in 2000 and that she made a rather blunt message to stay-at-home moms six years ago.  They ran ads against her on that, but she won by greater than 3% over Republican Vernon Parker (a percentage that constantly ticks up as the provisional votes are tabulated).

This should be the final partisan split of Arizona's Congressional districts (AZ-06 is an in between color, but more red than blue):



Map 2: 5 More Secure Democratic Districts


For this map, I decided to not do everything I could to squeeze out a 6th district Democrats could win.  Instead, I chose to take the five districts Democrats won this year and draw them safer.

AZ-01 (blue): Rep.-Elect Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Flagstaff)
VAP: 55.1% White, 21.5% Native American, 17.6% Hispanic, 2.5% Black, 2.0% Asian
50.5% Obama-48.3% McCain (actual: 47.9% Obama-51.0% McCain)
49.8% Avg D/50.2% Avg R

This district gets an even higher percentage of Native Americans by picking up the Salt River and Fort McDowell communities by threading through Chandler and Mesa.  It's also bluer and has a definite D lean.  Kirkpatrick probably wouldn't have lost in 2010 if she had this district.

AZ-04 (red): Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Prescott)
Just as red as in the last map, except this time he gets none of Pinal County.


AZ-02 (green): Rep. Ron Barber (D-Tucson)
VAP: 66.3% White, 24.5% Hispanic, 3.4% Black, 3.2% Asian, 0.9% Native American
50.2% Obama-48.5% McCain (actual: 49.6% Obama-49.1% McCain)
49.1% Avg D/50.9% Avg R

An even better district for Ron Barber that also contains Santa Cruz County.

AZ-03 (dark magenta): Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Tucson)
VAP: 53.7% Hispanic, 36.5% White, 3.8% Black, 3.1% Native American, 1.8% Asian
56.6% Obama-42.3% McCain (actual: 56.4% Obama-42.5% McCain)
57.4% Avg D/52.6% Avg R

An even more favorable district than what Grijalva actually got.  It's also not that ugly.


AZ-05 (gold): Rep.-Elect Matt Salmon (R-Mesa)
This district, similar to the real AZ-05, stays packed only in the southeast corner of Maricopa County, but still is really red and out of reach.

AZ-06 (teal): Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills)
This AZ-06 is even redder than the real one and contains Schweikert's hometown.  His only concern would be a challenge from Pinal County.

AZ-07 (dark grey): Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Phoenix)
VAP: 54.6% Hispanic, 31.0% White, 8.5% Black, 2.7% Asian, 2.0% Native American
60.3% Obama-38.5% McCain (64.7% Obama-34.1% McCain)
61.8% Avg D/38.2% Avg R

To my surprise, I was able to use Pastor's district to sop up the remainders of Pinal County (mostly Casa Grande and part of Coolidge), and keep it above 60% Obama.  I think this is probably the best iteration of the 7th that I have ever seen as it keeps Pastor safe and chance of a Pinal County challenge are very low due to a relative dearth of Democrats there.

AZ-08 (slate blue): Rep. Trent Franks (R-Glendale)
McCain got 60.0% here in 2008.  It's still nigh unwinnable.

AZ-09 (cyan): Rep.-Elect Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix)
VAP: 63.4% White, 23.0% Hispanic, 5.1% Black, 4.5% Asian, 2.3% Native American
52.3% Obama-46.3% McCain (actual: 51.3% Obama-47.4% McCain)
50.7% Avg D/49.3% Avg R

This district is now stretched almost to its limits.  It has all of Tempe, the bluer parts of Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, and upper Phoenix.  This district now has an unmistakably blue lean.

Here's how the partisan split of Map 2 should look like:


And that's all for this diary.  Although I tried hard to find some way to get a 6th Democratic district in, there was very great limitations due to the fact that two majority-Hispanic districts had to be kept in place and that after you create 5 Democratic-leaning districts, almost all of the rest of the precincts are some shade of red.  These two maps are close to the absolute limit of what a fantasy Democratic gerrymander could do.  What do you think?  Could it be even stronger?

Originally posted to KingofSpades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks and Phoenix Kossacks.


Which of the two presented maps do you prefer?

31%13 votes
68%28 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

    by KingofSpades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:24:09 PM PST

  •  Yup it could definitely be stronger (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think you can give Barber and Kirkpatrick better districts.  I started a map where the 1st enters the Phoenix area from the north instead of the southeast but haven't finished it yet, but it allows you to put much of Cochise or other conservative areas of the southeast in a Republican vote sink.

    Unfortunately Dems are just too concentrated in the Phoenix VRA seat and Republicans aren't concentrated enough outside of it to draw an ultra effective gerrymander like you can with Colorado, New Mexico, and even Utah.

    NC-06/NC-04; -9.00, -8.41; progress through pragmatism

    by sawolf on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:47:22 PM PST

    •  My gerrymanders are like Ridley Scott's later work (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sawolf, bumiputera

      I want to make a masterpiece, but I hold back for some reason.

      Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

      by KingofSpades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:52:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Live in (0+ / 0-)

    AZ-03 but am just a stone throw from AZ-04.  So glad Raul is still my Congressman.  Thanks for the diaries.  

    Is there any way to zoom the maps on photobucket?  I am a detail nut when it comes to maps (i.e.  like to see the detail).

  •  This (0+ / 0-)

    is also why the Republicans hate the Independent Redistricting Panel and took them to court.  Looks like it really worked.

    Now we need to change our Senators.

  •  The mayor of Surprise, AZ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is Sharon (Marko) Wolcott, a former MN state senator (D), who was senator until 2007.

    I was wondering why they didn't separate the Hopi and the Navajo nations. Thanks for the info and the maps!

    Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -6.75, -3.18, "Everyone's better when everyone's better"- Paul Wellstone

    by WisJohn on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:29:35 AM PST

    •  The Hopi and Navajo came to an agreement (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, WisJohn, sacman701

      where they asked to be placed in the same district. Basically it came down to an understanding that a Democrat representing both Nations would be better for constituent services than a Republican representing one.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)

      by fearlessfred14 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:28:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Again, let me just be nitpicky because it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, CF of Aus

    bothers me, to see the ignorant way some hack reporters dealt with Sinema's statements in a way to come up with some "bipartisan" list of unqualified people running for public office (putting her with Art Robinson and Allen Quist).

    Sinema's comments weren't trashing stay at home moms. It's pretty clear they aren't. What she said was actually very specific:

    "These women who act like staying at home, leeching off their husbands or boyfriends, and just cashing the checks (think that) is some sort of feminism because they’re choosing to live that life."
    She was specifically (and not in a serious or formal capacity) criticizing certain women who, she felt, misconstrued feminism.

    In general, I think Sinema is a very promising legislator. She's literally written a book on bipartisanship, and despite her unfailing liberal principles, she was still able to cultivate good relationships with folks like Russell Pearce. Her record in the Arizona legislature is pretty distinguished as well.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:02:50 PM PST

    •  I know, but it's one of those things (0+ / 0-)

      that can be easily spun to sound very negative.

      Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

      by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 01:36:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Map Two all the way... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There just arnt that many swing voters to risk going for a swing district... Best to lock it up at five seats.

    Why attach Salt River to the first? It seems like that would be invaluable to the 9th and would look less messy there.

    Good to see all three competitive races go our way... Hopefully the legislature doesn't win their redistricting court battle...

    Great stuff as usual.

    Which map do you prefer?

    Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, "If you agree with Bush's economic policy, Cheney's foreign policy, and Santorum's social policy, you loved Romney's speech" - James Carville (aka the Ragin Cajun) on the Colbert Report

    by CF of Aus on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:17:00 AM PST

    •  After thinking about it, I agree. Map 2 is better. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CF of Aus

      Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

      by KingofSpades on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:17:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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