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This is clearly a hypothetical for two reasons: 1) the VRA mandates a majority black district, which this map does not have, and a Democratic gerrymander requires the trifecta, which also won’t happen anytime soon (maybe in 20-25 years?). The map attempt to maximize the number of opportunities Democrats have to win districts, even Blue Dogs.

1st District (blue)

The 1st and 6th districts swap a lot of territory, trying to neutralize the Republican areas. With all of Beaufort and Dorchester Counties in the 1st, this is the more republican of the two. A moderate Dem (Linda Ketner, anyone?) certainly has a decent shot here. The black percentage might be low enough to keep an unelectable liberal African American from getting to the general election. Obama barely lost here in 2008.

49.2% Obama
49.7% McCain
26.4% Black


6th District

This district has dramatically reduced it’s Dem performance, but Dems are packed too much into the current district. While it is not majority minority, this district does have a very healthy dose of black Democrats and the district is the most liberal (and has the highest minority percentage) in the state, so there’s still a very good chance of getting a liberal African American to represent it. North Charleston is here.  It soaks up red areas of Berkeley and Florence Counties to give Dems a chance in the 1st and 4th. Jim Clyburn doesn’t live here but he does represent most of the area and would probably win the district easily, depending on if there was a strong African American to come from North Charleston.

53.7% Obama
45.3% McCain
42.2% Black

Likely D

2nd District (green)

Joe Wilson is a goner in this district, I have to think. Most of Columbia and points to the southwest. The main issue with this district is that a majority of Democrats are black and Democrats might shoot themselves in the foot if the Democrat is too liberal. Obama barely won in 2008.

49.9% Obama
49.0% McCain
33% Black

Toss-Up/Tilt Dem

3rd District (Purple)

Now things start to get really ugly. Takes in very red parts of Lexington County and marches upstate to pull in very Republican areas. This probably sets up a Republican primary between Joe Wilson, who lives in Lexington County (but perhaps not this part) and Jeff Duncan, who lives in Lauren (hopefully Republican parts because I took the Democratic parts of out the district). So it’s possible both congressmen don’t live in the 3rd but Duncan has the upper hand, as he represents far more territory than Wilson. Duncan is a little less reprehensible anyway.

30.7% Obama
67.9% McCain
13% Black

Safe R

7th District

I love this district! This is what makes the map look so ugly (though no more ugly to the North Carolina nastiness next door). Takes in all Democratic areas upstate to try to give us a chance here. It’s still going to be tough, but with the right candidate, we should be able to do it. I even got Clemson in here, and a university shouldn’t be in a ruby-red district anyway (except if you’re Bob Jones Univ).

48.7% Obama
49.9% McCain
31% Black


4th District

This best represents the new 7th district. I try to drown out Republican-heavy Horry County with surrounding Democrat areas that are right now used in the minority-majority district and red 5th district. It’s still tough district, though Tom Rice might be too conservative. We’d need a Blue Dog to b competitive here. If Mike McIntyre won this time around next door, then surely we have a shot here considering this district is bluer than McIntyre’s current district (though he is well-known and popular). Like the 2nd, there’s a decent black Dem population.

47.7% Obama
51.2% McCain
33% Black

Lean R

5th District

The other Republican vote sink. Trey Gowdy and Mike Mulvaney live here. Well, Gowdy might live in the Democratic parts of Spartanburg, but he’d run in this district for sure. So a Republican primary and honestly I’m not sure who would win. I’d give a small edge to Mulvaney, who has represented more territory.

35.2% Obama
63.3% McCain
16% Black

Safe R

The map should generate a 2-2-3 Dem-Rep-Swing delegation. If I had to push, I’d give it a 4-3 Dem map, where the 3rd, 4th, and 5th went to the Republicans. In a year like 2012, where Obama is driving up black turnout, it could go 5-2.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Seems very clear to me that this (0+ / 0-)

    Would be a 5-2 map, this year at least.  Interesting to see, but I bet they'd draw a solid 4-3 without the VRA.

    NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

    by sawolf on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:19:50 PM PST

  •  Could you please posted images in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the diary itself?  It's not that hard.  Now you don't even need to use a third party host.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:22:02 PM PST

    •  can you please advise? (0+ / 0-)

      Personally I would love to, as I know it's easier to read. I've tried a half a dozen times to get the images to post directly to the diary but cannot figure it out. Any tips?

      •  Does Flickr not allow you to share via HTML code? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, GoUBears

        That's what I use with Photobucket and it works no problem.  You just have to remember to insert width="600" before the end (500 for comments) if your images are wider than that, but I like it because it allows people to click through for the larger image and I don't have to resize.

        NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

        by sawolf on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:40:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  here are the instructions (0+ / 0-)

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:42:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You did a good job for avoiding a really ugly map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and your Obama percentages are respectable compared to my best SC map (in electoral terms, not COI, legality or aesthetics). Under DRA precincts, the theoretical max for five Dem districts is 53.7%. My best attempt gets all five in the 52.7-52.8% range by snaking a GOP district from Greenville to Myrtle Beach and using touchpoint once north of Charleston and a bit of water contiguity. I would be really interested to see someone try to make a map with six tossups and a GOP sink; the theoretical max would be 49.2% Obama for the six, but that would require a 21.1% Obama district. I've made a 23.3% district in the second image, which could allow for six 48.8% districts, which would probably be lean R.



    ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -9.85, -3.85

    by GoUBears on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:01:05 AM PST

  •  Is it possible to create (0+ / 0-)

    a Republican gerrymander without the VRA that would produce 7 safe GOP seats?

    I've tried and been unable to do it.

    •  Here's a quick impression (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with all 7 at 44.8% or 44.9%:

      I'm sure it could be neater, but this follows county lines nicely for the most part. I think any GOP 7-0 map requires splitting Charleston with its suburbs and Horry, and the other five districts reaching up north.

      ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -9.85, -3.85

      by GoUBears on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 01:49:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I were the Dems, regardless of whether (0+ / 0-)

    the VRA is in effect or not, I'd pass something like this:


    It's a relatively clean map, with a VRA district the (teal) 6th that is 50.3% black by voting age population, 59.5% Obama, 57.4% Dem average, and largely rural and small cities.  There are also two compact districts based in big cities, the (green) 2nd based in Columbia, which is 33% black by voting age population, and 52.7% Obama, 51.1% Dem average, and the (blue) 1st, which is based in Charleston, is 25.3% black by voting age population, 49.3% Obama (he lost it by 345 votes), and a 44.2% Dem average.  The next best district is only about 41% Obama, but it would give Democrats a good shot at three districts, African American communities a much better shot at real representation beyond just the 6th, and specifically a district for African Americans who don't live in Charleston or Columbia.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:40:11 AM PST

    •  and tweaking the precincts in the Charleston subur (0+ / 0-)

      suburbs I can get the 1st to 50% Obama.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:06:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is an amazing map (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, GoUBears

        Very much a communities of interest map as well, which makes it even better. It also reflects the partisan balance in the state well.

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 03:14:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I gotta admit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        I like your map more than mine. It's very clean, is mindful of COI, and we'd have a Safe D, Likely D, and probably Lean D (1st) seats. My map gets you 1, maybe 2 more Dems, but it's much uglier, and ignores VRA.

        P.S. Thanks for the instructions! Going to give it a try.

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