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Detroit Area:

This map is basically an improvement off a old map I drew here, and more or less represents about the strongest gerrymander I think we could get under a Democratic trifecta. I decided to ignore the county splits thing for this version since that's only statutory and easy to get around. Of course, we're unlikely to get a Democratic trifecta in the next decade and would be better off trying to get an independent redistricting commission via ballot initiative, but the map shows what a huge difference there is between the 10 seat's we'd have under a Democratic triefecta and the 5 seats we have under the current Republican one and what it's costing us in the house. 10-4 describes what I think would happen if the map was enacted now. In the long term, it would have 3 Republican vote sinks, 8 seats that are more or less safe for Democrats, and 3 seats that range from tossup to lean D. The 2006 average numbers correspond to a 5 point Republican win statewide, which is a ridiculously pessimistic scenario (as the state is D+4) and probably the absolute floor for Democrats in federal races. Details below the fold.

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District 1 (Blue, Dan Benishek):
2008: 52.0% Obama, 46.3% McCain
2006: 47.6% Dem, 52.4% Rep

I tacked on a bunch of Dem leaning or light red coastal stuff on both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to the UP district, most notably Traverse City, Bay City, and Manistee. Obama didn't really overperform much in in UP in 2008, so this district should be solidly lean Dem. Benishek would have lost this district this year and possibly in 2010 as well.

District 2 (Green, Dave Camp):
2008: 47.5% Obama, 50.8% McCain
2006: 40.3% Dem, 59.6% Rep

Northern Michigan Republican vote sink. The district's shape is pretty much completely determined by where the Democratic districts need to go. Dave Camp lives here and would own this district.

District 3 (Purple, OPEN):
2008: 58.3% Obama, 40.1% McCain
2006: 46.3% Dem, 53.7% Rep

This is a New Democratic seat. I more or less surgically liberated Grand Rapids from the rest of Kent County and attached it Muskegon and the most Democratic rural areas and small towns I could find. Obama won the resulting district by 18 points, more than his statewide average, however the 2006 average has the Republicans winning by 7.4, better for Republicans than state wide. However, realistically, this seat is probably D+5 or 6, and should be relatively safe for any Democrat assuming minority turnout doesn't suck in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

District 4 (Red, Justin Amash, Bill Huizenga):
2008: 39.7% Obama, 58.6% McCain
2006: 70.0% Dem, 30.0% Rep

Monster Republican vote sink encompassing suburban Kent County and the Dutch Coast. Would probably feature an epic primary between Justin Amash and Bill Huizenga.

District 5 (Yellow, Fred Upton):
2008: 55.0% Obama, 43.4% McCain
2006: 46.2% Dem, 53.8% Rep

Fred Upton should have this southwest Michigan district locked down, but when he retires or is primaried, it's no worse than a tossup and probably slightly Dem leaning. I swapped out the very conservative Allegan County for Calhoun county, home of Battle Creek. Mark Schauer could run here if he wanted.

District 6 (Teal, Dan Kidlee):
2008: 59.5% Obama, 38.9% McCain
2006: 51.3% Dem, 48.7% Rep

I use the Flint district to sop up all the Republican voters in Livingston county. It drops Bay city to the 1st, but keeps Saginaw. Mike Rogers lives here, but would be a fool to run here. Safe Democrat.

District 7 (Grey, OPEN):
2008: 57.4% Obama, 40.9% McCain
2006: 47.0% Dem, 53.0% Rep

What a difference attaching the Lansing district to Jackson instead of Livingston County makes! While he doesn't live here, most of Mike Roger's constituents are here and this is the only place it makes any real sense for him to run. However, while it's dangerous to county any incumbent out, he'd probably lose. The district is pretty close to the statewide average in both years, so it's probably about D+4. Gretchen Whitmer would beat Rogers in a pinch, however any competent Dem would probably be favored. If Mike Rogers did hang on, this seat would go Dem when he retired.

District 8 (Slate Blue):
2008: 60.2% Obama, 38.2% McCain
2006: 51.3% Dem, 48.7% Rep
It's not so much a question of whether Tim Walberg would lose but to which Washentaw county Dem, now that this district contains the whole county, including An Arbor and Ypsilanti. Ann Arbor state Senator Rebekah Warren is probably a good bet. Watching Walberg go down in flames would be hilarious to watch.

District 9 (Cyan, Cadince Miller):
2008: 44.6% Obama, 53.6% McCain
2006: 35.9% Dem, 64.1% Rep

Cadince Miller's thumb districk sops up all the Republican stuff in Northern Oakland and Macomb County to make a very effective Republican vote sink. Also, Kerry Bentivolio lives here and if he didn't try to primary Miller that'd be a crime against comedy.

District 10 (Pink, Gary Peters):
2008: 55.5% Obama, 43.0% McCain
2006: 45.2% Dem, 54.8% Rep

Gary Peters lives here and I'd be somewhat annoyed if he didn't run here, considering that I made Dingell and Levin's districts a bit less Democratic to strengthen this district. This district's partisanship is a pretty much exactly the D+2 his 2008-2010 district was, and he won that district in 2010. Peters would have this district on lockdown, and while Republicans might have a shot if he retired, it still leans Dem.

District 11 (Chartreuse, Sandy Levin):
2008: 57.1% Obama, 40.9% McCain
2006: 49.1% Dem, 50.1% Rep

This district stretches out to take in Democratic Port Huron, and while it goes through some pretty conservative turf to do so, it's partisanship is pretty similar to the district I drew a year ago, since I took out the conservative Northern Macomb county areas that were in that district. On the other end, it loses some southern Oakland county turf to Peters and Dingell. Should be relatively safe even when Levin Retires.

District 12 (Cornflower Blue, OPEN):
2008: 79.5% Obama, 19.5% McCain
2006: 69.8% Dem, 30.2% Rep
50.0% Black VAP

Eastern Detroit black VRA district. Hasen Clarke could run here, as could Gary Peters if he really didn't feel like a team player and thought he could survive the primary. However, I'd imagine that a lot of ambitious Detroit Politicians would jump on this.

District 12 (Salmon, John Conyers):
2008: 77.1% Obama, 21.8% McCain
2006: 67.4% Dem, 32.6% Rep
50.0% Black VAP

Black VRA district for John Conyers. Nothing to see here, move along.

District 14 (Goldenrod, John DIngell):
2008: 59.6% Obama, 38.9% McCain
2006: 49.3% Dem, 50.7% Rep

Well, it's messy and required looping most of the way around John Conyers' district from Dearborn to southern Oakland County, but I kept all the Democratic districts in the Detroit Metro intact. This district is probably D+6 or 7 and should be safe even when Dingle retires.


Would Mike Rogers hold on in the new MI-7?

14%4 votes
14%4 votes
70%19 votes

| 27 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Drawing Michigan is a lot of fun, especially when you realise that you can effectively use Lansing and/or Washtenaw County as weapons, swamping neighbouring Republican counties.

    And props for your MI-3. I tend to think Democratic maps should stick to the spirit, if not the letter, of the redistricting law, but doing it your way makes that seat a lot safer. And it's always good to see a map that makes proper use of the Democratic strength of Muskegon.

  •  Mike Rogers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just FYI, Mike Rogers lost Ingham County by half of what John McCain did in 2008. He's runs really well in Ingham County. I wouldn't say that Gretchen Whitmer or anyone for that matter would beat him "in a pinch." Counting him out so flippantly would be a grave mistake for your side under this map.

    Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

    by IllinoyedR on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:18:38 PM PST

    •  I agree that Rogers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Englishlefty

      has a somewhat decent chance of holding on, but ultimately It's a D+4 district and I suspect this race would be pretty close to Schilling-Bustos this year. I have no doubt that Rogers has some crossover appeal, but he's also hasn't had a real campaign run against him in a while.

      I also don't think that the way I drew the district is a Mistake, since there's not much I can do to make it safer. I guess if I wanted to get really messy, I could throw Saginaw in this district instead of the flint based district, although that might make Dan Kidlee sweat a bit in rough years.

      •  I drew an alternate version (0+ / 0-)

        that puts Saginaw in the Lansing district:

        MI 7 60.0% Obama 38.4% McCain, 49.6% Dem 50.4% Rep
        MI 6 57.3% Obama 41% McCain, 49.2% Dem 50.8% Rep

        It's uglier and breaks the redistricting law again, but I'm assuming that'd be repealed. And I think it really does kill Rogers, since I'm having a really hard time seeing a Republican winning a 60% Obama seat. (For that matter, there are currently no Republicans in 57.4% Obama seats, but I'll concede that it might be possible if they started as an incumbent).

        Dan Kidlee should also be fine, although he might complain.

    •  he'd still lose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sapelcovits, BeloitDem, James Allen

      He'd draw a serious opponent instead of the scrubs he normally gets. He might still be able to beat a scrub.

      SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:26:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a good map, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I'd rather see Livingston County as part of a Republican vote sink in the Detroit suburbs than tacked onto a Genesee County-based district.

    Also, I like your Muskegon-to-Grand Rapids idea, but I think it would be better to replace Muskegon with Kalamazoo. Because in what you have, Kalamazoo is pretty much wasted, while Muskegon could be used to make the 2nd more Democratic.

    And how's this for an idea: Flint + Saginaw + Midland. Bye-bye Dave Camp.

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), new ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:47:46 PM PST

    •  The reason I put Livingston in with Genesee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      is that otherwise I need another Republican vote sink, which I didn't want to do.

      Also, drawing a district on Kalamazoo requires going through a lot of very conservative territory, and pretty much gives up on the SW Michigan district. This way, we still get a solidly Democratic district at least a 50-50 shot at the Upton district when he retires or is primaried.

      •  Then maybe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        borodino21, BeloitDem

        You could put Livingston into the Republican vote sink and take out Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac Counties and add them to the Flint district.

        This would make the 9th a more effective vote sink because Livingston is redder than the thumb counties, and it would also make the Flint district safer for Kildee.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), new ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:45:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm messing around with alternative maps (0+ / 0-)

          but, wow, that's a good idea. I'll post a few in a bit.

        •  This is definitely my favorite alternate map: (6+ / 0-)

          MI-6: 59.1% Obama, 39.1% McCain, 51.5% Dem 48.5% Rep
          MI-7: 60.0% Obama, 38.4% McCain, 49.6% Dem 50.4% Rep
          MI-9: 43.3% Obama, 55.0% McCain, 34.1% Dem 65.9% Rep

          Dan Kidlee's district doesn't really get any safer, but it allows MI-7 to get safer without getting any more Republican, and that district was pretty much already safe.

          MI-6 drops Saginaw into the 7th and Livingston County into the 9th while picking up most of the thumb from the 9th.
          MI 7 picks up Saginaw from the 6th while dropping undesirable parts of Ingham and Jackson Counties into the 9th.
          And MI 9 drops the thumb into the 6th while picking up Livingston from the 6th and Eastern Jackson and Ingham Counties from the 7th.

          My favorite part of this map? It throws THREE Republican incumbents (Rogers, Bentivolio, and Miller) into the 9th, and they'd probably all run there. I guess Rogers could run in the 7th if he felt like taking one for the team and essentially making a suicide run, but he probably has more constituents in the 9th than Miller or Bentivolio.

    •  Also, since congressmen don't need (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Englishlefty

      to live in their districts, throwing Midland in a Dem district isn't enough to kill him unless you deny him a R-leaning northern Michigan District to run in, which is pretty much impossible.

  •  I'm rather fond of this map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not least because it's similar in concept if not in detail to one I've worked on.

    Ignoring incumbents, assuming a 50-50 national vote split, and assuming MI is about a D+3 PVI, I'd score it as 2 never vote Rep in a million years (12,13), 4 Dem unless there's an open seat in a really bad year (6,8,11,14), 3 Dem-ish (5,7,10), 2 toss-up (1,3), 1 pretty much forever Rep (2), and 2 Rep until hell freezes over (4,9). So, even assuming Benishek, Rogers, and Upton survive immediately, as long as there's a good GR Dem for the 3rd you'd be at 8D/6R, which is a pickup of 3 districts, and ultimately you could be at 11/3.

    Now, interestingly, if you define a gerrymander as the ability to win  a majority of the districts with a minority of the votes, this isn't really a gerrymander. At a 50/50 vote split, I'd call it a 7/7 map (actually 6.5D/7.5R, because the 7th district would be pretty evenly split). The Reps could get to a 6/8 split with about 51% of the vote, while the Dems could get to 8/6 with about 51.6%. So actually, this looks like a pretty fair map for both parties, and it illustrates how hard it is to do a real Dem gerrymander in a state where Reps are spread pretty evenly in lots of territory with 55-65% R majorities, and Dems tend to be concentrated in areas with 65-90% majorities.

    Anyway, good work on this one!

  •  Miller (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Englishlefty, bumiputera

    Candice Miller lives in Harrison Twp. which you put in the 11th district against Levin.  So Bentivolio would be the only incumbent in the 9th you drew.  

    •  Interesting, I thought she lived further north (0+ / 0-)

      although I knew she was in Macomb county.

      I wonder if she might be convinced to run in my 11th instead of the 9th to avoid a primary against Rogers in my alternate map, although she'd probably lose, and It's pretty easy to boost the D performance in my 11th at the expense of the 14th.

  •  Anything (0+ / 0-)

    Anything that would finally seperate Ingham County from having to share a district with Livingston County I'd be for.  There is nothing these two ever have shared.

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