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I know there have been a lot of Maryland maps posted on DKE in the past two years. I even remember the time when every single diary on the DKE sidebar was about gerrymandering Maryland. So I’ve decided to add my own.

The question you may be asking is, why? Why is this map different from all other maps? Well, here’s why. I made this map with several constraints. First, all 8 districts had to be at least 58% Obama 2008. As it happens, the two least Democratic districts voted 58.7% for Obama, and all the others were more than that. Second, the districts had to be realistic. The districts all had to satisfy both their Democratic incumbents and parochial concerns among other Democrats, and of course the Democratic incumbents had to live in their districts. This includes Steny Hoyer. This means that since Hoyer wants College Park and Greenbelt in his district, then he gets that. This also means that no two Democratic incumbents will have to face each other in a primary. Third, the districts were only allowed to use water contiguity if there was a bridge across the water. Thus, the crossing of Chesapeake Bay is done at the bridge from Chester to Arnold.

How was this done? Follow me past the fold to find out.

First, here is a map of the whole state:

Here is an inset map of the Baltimore area:
Here is an inset map of the Washington D.C. area:
District 1 (blue): Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville)
2008: 59-40 Obama
This district takes in the northern part of the Eastern Shore (the part that is mostly white) and then includes coastal Harford County (which Ruppersberger specifically wants) and parts of North-central Baltimore County (including his hometown of Cockeysville) and northern and eastern sections of Baltimore City. The district is 66% white and 23% black VAP (all demographic numbers below are in VAP). The first draft of this map had Towson in this district, but I had to take it out because Rep. Sarbanes lives in Towson. This also helps grant the wish of the city of Baltimore that three districts include parts of it, as this district, the 7th, and the 8th all include parts of Baltimore. SAFE D.

District 2 (green): Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville)
2008: 60-39 Obama
This is one of three districts that is relatively similar to incumbent’s current district (the others are the 4th and 5th). Hoyer retains Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s Counties, as well as northern Prince George’s County, and he gains Annapolis. The district also loses a few percentage points in the black population, which should keep Hoyer safe from a primary challenge. The district is 59% white and 27% black. This district swung toward Obama in 2012, mainly due to an influx of blacks into Charles County, and Hoyer is completely safe. SAFE D.

District 3 (purple): Donna Edwards (D-Fort Washington)
2008: 71-28 Obama
Seeing as the state legislature ignored Edwards when she wanted parts of MoCo in her district, and instead gave her a heavily Republican section of Anne Arundel County, the legislature should have no problem giving Edwards a district like this. Edwards retains a large, heavily-black section of Prince George’s County, but she gains a narrow stretch of territory through central Anne Arundel County, then crosses the Chesapeake Bay on the creatively-named Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and takes in the southern part of the Eastern Shore, which has a substantial black population. My goal here was to unite the black areas of PG County with areas that were conservative, but still had a sizeable black population. The district is 40% white and 50.1% black, and should be completely safe for Edwards. SAFE D.

Also, as an addendum, you might think that splitting the Eastern Shore violates the rules by ignoring parochial concerns. However, most of the Eastern Shore’s state legislators are Republicans, and since Republicans have no role in the Maryland redistricting process, the Democrats who are in charge of the process should be fine with this. Not splitting the Eastern Shore is a parochial concern among Republicans, while Democrats really have no reason to object to it.

District 4 (red): John Delaney (D-Potomac)
2008: 61-38 Obama
This district is relatively similar to its current version. It contains all of Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties, and then a small part of Frederick and a large swath of Montgomery. The district is 70% white, 9% black, and 10% Hispanic. Delaney had a dominating performance in 2010, getting more than 59% of the vote while Obama got less than 56%, so with the added Democratic performance, Delaney is completely safe here. SAFE D.

District 5 (yellow): Chris Van Hollen (D-Kensington)
2008: 60-38 Obama
This district is also relatively similar to its current version. It contains most of Frederick County, parts of Carroll and Harford, and the areas of Montgomery not near the Potomac River. This district is 60% white, 15% black, 12% Hispanic, and 11% Asian. I’m not sure if Van Hollen lives in this district as drawn, but if he doesn’t, then the border between the 4th and 5th could be easily adjusted so that Van Hollen lived in the 5th. SAFE D.

District 6 (teal): Open Seat
2008: 60-39 Obama
This district is the one open seat in this map. It contains most of Carroll County, including the Comically Dedicated Racists there, and then goes down to Howard to take in a small section of Columbia as well as the Laurel/North Laurel area. The district also includes a large, strongly conservative area of Anne Arundel County as well as some mostly-black inner areas of Prince George’s County. The district is 53% white, 29% black, and 11% Hispanic. Since this district is effectively a pinwheel centered in Laurel, going out in three directions, it would make sense for the Representative of this district to be from Laurel. Any Laurel-based Democratic state legislator would easily win this district. SAFE D.

District 7 (gray): Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore)
2008: 66-33 Obama
This district is the second black-majority district on the map, and the one in the Baltimore area. It takes in almost the entire west side of Baltimore, as well as the heavily-black western suburbs in Baltimore County. It also includes the strongly-conservative northern areas of Baltimore and Harford Counties, as well as a small Republican portion of Anne Arundel. This district is 44% white and 50.1% black, and Cummings would be completely safe here. SAFE D.

District 8 (slate blue): John Sarbanes (D-Towson)
2008: 59-40 Obama
This district takes in an interesting array of areas near Baltimore. It includes Towson, Essex, and Dundalk in Baltimore County, and then the south side of Baltimore City. It then takes in a Democratic-leaning portion of Anne Arundel, and then goes into Howard, where it takes in Ellicott City and the rest of Columbia. This district is 66% white and 20% black, and John Sarbanes would be very safe here.

So there you go. An 8-0 map of Maryland that all Democrats should be happy with. And while the lines may be messy in places, it’s much neater than the current map. If O’Malley & Co. do a mid-decade redistricting of Maryland, I think this is the map they should use.

P.S. Notice how I don't even mention Andy Harris in the descriptions above. This is because he is so screwed under this map that he wouldn't even win 40% in any of the districts. Bye bye Andy!

Comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions are all welcome.


Which state should I redistrict next?

18%10 votes
9%5 votes
7%4 votes
20%11 votes
14%8 votes
7%4 votes
14%8 votes
3%2 votes
0%0 votes
3%2 votes

| 54 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    (-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 Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:48:16 AM PST

  •  Is this really what we should be doing? (0+ / 0-)

    Shouldnt we be pushing for states to follow Iowa and California's model of non-partisan redistricting instead?  Shouldn't we be pushing for federal laws to eliminate or at least curtail the ridiculous practice of partisan gerrymandering?

    After all, the numbers suggest that we would have won a majority in the house with a non-partisan districted map, since we won more than 51% of the vote for House seats.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

    by Brian A on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:08:57 PM PST

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

    but honestly (and after trying this several times) I think trying to satisfy all of their demands makes 8-0 impossible.

    For instance, I love what you do with Edwards' and Ruppersberger's districts, but Sarbanes wanted all three of:
    A) His home of Towson - check
    B) Annapolis - nope
    C) Some DC burbs; I guess Columbia kinda sort is one.

    While Ruppersberger wanted:
    A) His home of Cockeysville - check
    B) Aberdeen - check

    Finally, MD-05's black vote can't be incredibly diluted because Prince George's County black Dems want the seat when Hoyer retires. - check

    There might be some other random sticking point, but those and the VRA are really all the constraints you truly need, though not splitting the eastern shore gets kudos but O'Malley was fine with doing it.  Donna Edwards wanted parts of Montgomery County but her concerns were overridden.

    Like I said, I think it's impossible.  Even my best map couldn't satisfy all those criteria since it kept Sarbanes out of the DC suburbs.  Sarbanes should have just kept quiet and moved while using the opportunity to curry favor with state legislators for allowing a much better map to pass.  It's a pretty open secret that he's going to run for senate eventually anyway.

    Oh well, there's always 2022 when Maryland should be even more Democratic, but I bet the 5th might have to become a VRA district by then.

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

    by sawolf on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:16:08 PM PST

    •  Oh also Van Hollen (0+ / 0-)

      wanted a somewhat more Democratic district than you drew him (not that he needs it) but I think that was just bluster to prevent him dropping to say, 56% Obama.

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

      by sawolf on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:17:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Satisfying everyone's complaints (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is impossible, and some of them were ridiculous.  Sarbanes lives in Towson, wants Annapolis and a chunk of Baltimore as well, oh and while we're at it let's introduce him to DC area voters?  If he wants Annapolis so badly they should have told him to move there.  Van Hollen thinks a 56% Obama district isn't Democratic enough?  John Delaney has something to say about that.

        In this map, the only thing that looks really off is the thin PG-to Eastern Shore link in District 3 (the Edwards seat).  In reality, PG legislators pitched fits at the prospect of their county being united with the Eastern Shore, though maybe they would think otherwise with a black PG incumbent being the beneficiary.  I don't know if Hoyer's district is a potential VRA mandate, but as drawn here and in reality there's a good chance it could elect an African American if he retired, since AA voters would probably be dominant in the Democratic primary and the district's too Democratic to realistically elect a Republican.

        The Baltimore area seats look OK; actually neater than what was produced, and without conceding the GOP a seat.

        37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:34:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hadn't heard that Sarbanes wanted Annapolis (0+ / 0-)

      But I really think that part is impossible. Edwards' district must go north of Annapolis in order to cross the Bay at the bridge, so Annapolis has to either go to her or Hoyer, and it worked out better with Hoyer.

      And also, even without making the map 8-0, it's almost impossible to draw a district that includes Towson, Annapolis, and some DC burbs. That's like, in New Jersey, asking for a district that contained Atlantic City, Trenton, and Elizabeth. I, personally, believe that Sarbanes' demands, as you listed them, are so unreasonable that they should be ignored. And I don't think Sarbanes would get particularly worked up about losing Annapolis, seeing as Annapolis has less than 50,000 people.

      As far as MD-05 is concerned, the district is getting blacker quickly due to blacks from PG County moving to Charles County, so by the end of the decade the district would probably be at least 30% black VAP, maybe more. At that level, a strong black candidate who can appeal to whites in College Park and Annapolis could win a Democratic primary there if/when Hoyer retires.

      (-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 Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:36:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's my best attempt at it: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:



        Skaje had something similar, but as you can see the one piece of the jigsaw puzzle I couldn't fit in was giving Sarbanes some of the DC suburbs, but everything else was satisfied.  PG Dems would like it though, and the 5th could even be bumped up over 30% black VAP if Edwards was okay with that.

        Just for completeness, I forgot to list that Hoyer wanted College Park which your map does give him.

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

        by sawolf on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:59:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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

          two of the rules I used to make my map.

          First, both the 1st and 2nd are less than 58% Obama. This isn't much of a problem with the 2nd, seeing as that's 57.8% Obama, but the 1st is not Democratic enough for me, and it would not be safe for Democrats in years like 2010. This is why the Eastern Shore must be split in a 8-0 map, because otherwise the district with the Eastern Shore couldn't get up to 58% Obama.

          Second, and this also concerns the 1st district: The water contiguity does not have a bridge that crosses over the water. I know that other people may not think that this is important, but I used that as a rule for making my map. That's why Annapolis has to be in either Edwards' or Hoyer's district, because Edwards' district's crossing of  Chesapeake Bay must be done at the bridge.

          I was trying to make an 8-0 map, not a 7-0-1 map. Your map also overpacks the 8th to the detriment of the 1st and 2nd. If your 8th took more of Carroll County, then your 4th could take some of the Republican areas in northern Baltimore County, which would allow your 7th to pick up Cecil County, which would allow your 1st to pick up more Democratic areas. It's like a chain reaction.

          (-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 Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:23:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think it depends on what part (0+ / 0-)

            of the state you use to make a Democratic majority.  In sawolf's map, I think the 1st district is fine as the Democratic vote in PG and Columbia is a safe anchor for a Democratic district, but 2 relies heavily on Baltimore suburbs which are potentially more swingable.

            Basically it depends on what part of the state you're getting the Democratic votes from.  In the map that was actually passed, the 6th district switched Democratic despite being only 55-56% Obama, but the bulk of the Democratic votes were from non-swingable Montgomery County (with a bonus from the quickly Dem-trending parts of Frederick), providing a solid firewall which should keep it reliably Democratic even in a bad year.  If it had relied on the more traditionally Democratic but culturally more conservative suburbs in the Baltimore area a mid-50s Obama percentage would have been shakier, which is why the districts that were anchored in that area were carefully drawn to get their presidential votes into the 60% Obama range.

            37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

            by Mike in MD on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:42:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, it's definitely suboptimal at doing 8-0 (0+ / 0-)

            and wouldn't be my preferred map if I could draw whatever I wanted, but in terms of meeting all of the various Dems' demands this was the best I could do while still targeting Harris.

            I should note that if PG Dems were okay with diluting the 4th down to 50%+1 then the 1st could be made about 2% better and wouldn't really be in play then, not that Andy Harris could win an Obama district anyway.

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

            by sawolf on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:21:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Okay so while thinking about your (0+ / 0-)

            proposed changes, which I could do if I violate the "do not split the shore" it dawned on me that it must, just must be possible to satisfy everyone if you use crossover touch-point contiguity just once.  So I'll be drawing variations of that to see what works.

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

            by sawolf on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:24:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Props for creativity. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But PG County Democrats wouldn't respond very well to anchoring an Eastern Shore district.

    18, FL-07 (school), MD-07 (home). UCF sophomore, politically ambitious, vocally liberal--what else could you need to know?

    by tqycolumbia on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:24:35 PM PST

    •  The portion of the Eastern Shore (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the 3rd has fewer than 300,000 people. The portion of the 3rd in PG County is almost monolithically Democratic. Edwards could win without a single vote from the Eastern Shore, and she could easily win without a single white vote from the Eastern shore.

      More of the district is in PG County than the Eastern Shore. PG County Dems don't have to worry about being dominated by the Eastern Shore, in fact in this situation the Eastern Shore would be dominated by PG County Dems. If I was a PG County Dem, I would have no objections to that.

      (-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 Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:45:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I voted no on question 5, and I hate this proposal.  Brazenly partisan gerrymandering is wrong any way you slice it.  I don't care that the Republicans do it, and I don't care if it's hurting our cause to not redistrict in this manner.  

  •  Anything (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that gets rid of the loathsome Harris is a good deal in my book.  I am stuck with the Teapublican this cycle.  Dr. LaFerla plans to run again in 2014 for the Democratic nomination in MD-01 as it currently stands.  He would be an excellent congressman, and a good, strong advocate of expanding the ACA into single-payer/Medicare-for-all.  Plus, he's adamantly pro-choice.  He can be relied upon to vote for reauthorizing VAWA.

    That said, I'd love to be represented by Rep. Edwards.  And in my county, there are plenty of African-American families that came out here from PG County.

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

    by Noor B on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:45:53 PM PST

  •  No. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyr2k2, bevenro

    Look; I'm in MD-01, and as much as I'd like to be rid of Andy Harris, I really can't support gerrymandering to do it.  That said, I do kinda like the overall simplicity; but that convoluted trip up the Severn River is just wrong.

    "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

    by rb608 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:05:38 PM PST

  •  Solid map (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawolf, ProudNewEnglander

    I like that you tried a number of things that I haven't seen done yet.  There would be opposition to a map like this, but there was opposition to the current map as well.  It's just a question of whether it would be too much.  I think that by 2022 we must be trying something like this, there's no reason to be conceding a single GOP vote sink when the state is getting more Democratic than Massachusetts.

    People will get upset by any deviations, but I think those concerns can be overridden.  Specifically:

    1) Breaking the Eastern Shore.  The governor was okay with this, and there's not a ton of Democratic legislators from the Eastern Shore so who cares if they object?

    2) Connecting PG County to Eastern Shore.  As long as PG County dominates the district, I think they could be persuaded.  The current map used Baltimore City to swamp conservative parts of Baltimore County, and they were fine with it.

    3) Sarbanes not getting every random piece of the state he wants.  Who cares, he's just one congressman, it's not like he controls the Maryland legislature.  I know he has friends, but seriously who cares what he thinks.  His desires are the reason his district looks as jacked up as it does.

    In summary, I really like this map.  I also like how you denied the Eastern Shore any real representation at all.  Why get a conservaDem like Frank Kratovil (or someone like him) back, when we can add another progressive rep from the DC suburbs?

    •  Kratovil (0+ / 0-)

      O'Malley named Kratovil to a judgeship, and I suspect he'll stay there, but he was as progressive as he could get away with--probably more so, based on the 2010 results. If he had a district in line with the statewide averages I think you'd have been pleasantly surprised.

      •  Kratovil was nice to have, but (0+ / 0-)

        he was no Chris Van Hollen or Donna Edwards, and the 6th district (the open seat) in my map could produce someone as liberal as Van Hollen or Edwards.

        (-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 Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:46:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for taking the poll, everyone! (0+ / 0-)

    Texas is the winner. Look for my diary about Texas redistricting in about a week.

    (-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 Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:00:39 PM PST

  •  The Eastern Shore Cannot Be Split! (0+ / 0-)

    Just kidding.

    It's really funny what a mantra it has become, even though Congressman Andy Harris is not even from the Eastern Shore! Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 02:41:38 AM PST

  •  Spiralmander? (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, we had abgin's "baconmander" of New York, but this isn't quite the same.

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