Last November, there was a referendum in Maryland on whether or not to repeal the brand new Congressional map created in the office of Gov. O'Malley and passed by the legislature. The opponents of the map (primarily Republicans and good government groups) pointed to how Winchester in deep red Carroll County was put into the same district as Silver Spring (a dark blue city in very blue Montgomery County) and Taneytown in northwest Carroll County was put into the same district as Ocean City WAY over on the southeast corner of the Eastern Shore. Despite the profound arguments for repeal, the map was affirmed 64.1%-33.9%. Even if the citizens' veto had passed, redoing redistricting would not have gone to a court or a commission, it would have just gone right back to the Governor and he could theoretically make it worse for Republicans. In anticipation of this possibility, I redrew Maryland to create seven Dem districts and a swing district. I followed the prerequisite conditions such as not giving any of Baltimore City to an Eastern Shore district, Steny Hoyer gets College Park, and not giving any of Prince George's County to an Eastern Shore district. However, as good as my map was, it would not satisfy the incumbents nearly enough. For instance, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger does a lot for the Aberdeen Proving Ground and apparently insists it be in his district, Rep. John Sarbanes doesn't want to relinquish Annapolis, and Rep. Donna Edwards wants to hold on to a sizable chunk of Montgomery County (in redistricting, she rose hell over her district losing all of its share of Montgomery County, but in the end her objections were in vain). I played around in DRA and was able to satisfy all incumbents to a decent extent while obeying the prerequisites about Baltimore and Prince George's County and making a map with seven Democratic districts and one swing district. I know this map likely won't happen now, but I like it so much, I'm going to post it anyway.
More below the fold.
MD-01 (blue): Rep. Andy Harris (R-Cockeysville)
VAP: 71.1% White, 21.9% Black, 3.4% Hispanic, 2.2% Asian
50.1% Obama/48.5% McCain; 51.5% Avg Democratic
In order to get this to be a swing district, I had to avoid the northern rim of Harford and Baltimore County and have it swing south at the western end of Baltimore County in order to take in the blue western suburbs of Baltimore. The real MD-01 is even more crazily drawn in that it takes in parts of Carroll County (a dark red county just west of Baltimore County) and that was drawn to be a Republican vote sink. Here, I think we would have fielded a strong challenger and won in 2012. I also think Obama probably would have won here in 2012 as well since Baltimore County, Harford County, Wicomico County, Dorchester County, and Somerset County (the latter three are part of the Eastern Shore) trended slightly blue this year while all other counties in this district trended only slightly red.
MD-02 (green): Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville)
VAP: 65.1% White, 19.7%, 6.1% Hispanic, 7.0% Asian
58.7% Obama/39.6% McCain; 61.6% Avg Democratic
Rep. Ruppersberger has strong ties to the Aberdeen Proving Ground, which is fortunately on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. That makes it easier to give to his district while also having MD-01 run through just north of it and have MD-07 take in the reddest parts of the county to the north of that. In order to stay Democratic, this district also runs through the southern area of Baltimore, has all of North Laurel and Fort Meade, and takes in almost all of Columbia.
MD-03 (dark magenta): Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Towson)
VAP: 64.5% White, 22.8%, 5.9% Hispanic, 5.0% Asian
58.6% Obama/39.9% McCain; 62.0% Avg Democratic
This district takes in the northern part of Baltimore, meanders around the eastern suburbs to Anne Arundel County where it splits in two. The east tendril straddles the shoreline communities until it encompasses all of Annapolis, something that Sarbanes wants to keep in his district. The west tendril meanders through South Gate, passes through the northwest edge of extremely Democratic Prince George's County, and ends with a few fragments of Montgomery County. The real MD-03 also ends in Montgomery County so he should like this iteration too.
MD-04 (red): Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Fort Washington)
VAP: 32.2% White, 52.0% Black, 10.5% Hispanic, 3.4% Asian
78.3% Obama/20.9% McCain; 77.6% Avg Democratic
In redistricting, Donna Edwards raised objections over the Congressional map in that it took away her share of Montgomery County (she used to have White Oak, Fairland, and what used to be Republican Olney and Germantown). The frustrating part of this objection is that it was veiled behind the facade of wanting to up minority voting power in the 8th (which was also being significantly redrawn in order to make the 6th a Democratic district). Her argument against O'Malley's map deflated rapidly when she posted her vision for the DC suburbs. Her alternative map did little to ameliorate this "problem" and was brushed aside. For this map, I gave her Silver Spring in Montgomery County as a peace offering. Just like in the real map, MD-04 also scrapes up a large amount of red precincts in Anne Arundel County.
MD-05 (gold): Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville)
VAP: 49.6% White, 35.0% Black, 9.4% Hispanic, 3.8% Asian
65.2% Obama/33.8% McCain; 68.1% Avg Democratic
Just like last decade, Steny Hoyer gets College Park in Prince George's County. His south Maryland district is designed with a significant amount of Prince George's County so that it is possible for a Democrat from that country to be elected here in the future.
MD-06 (orange): Rep. John Delaney (D-Potomac)
VAP: 66.1% White, 12.0% Black, 9.9% Hispanic, 10.3% Asian
57.0% Obama/41.6% McCain; 56.4% Avg Democratic
John Delaney, who defeated State Sen. Garagiola in the primary despite the district being drawn from him, won the 56% Obama MD-06 over incumbent ex-Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Buckeystown) by 58%-38%. Delaney even won red Washington County on the eastern end of the panhandle. Just like in the real MD-06, most of rural Frederick County is carved out into MD-08, but I went further and put some of the redder precincts of Washington County into MD-08 as well.
MD-07 (dark grey): Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore)
VAP: 42.2% White, 51.1% Black, 2.2% Hispanic, 3.1% Asian
67.2% Obama/31.7% McCain; 64.5% Avg Democratic
In order to unpack this district, I had it take in much of deep-red Carroll County, dark-red uppermost Baltimore County, dark-red upper Harford County, and red Howard County suburban precincts. The result is a significant drop in Democratic performance, but still safe for Rep. Cummings in both a primary and in the general election.
MD-08 (slate blue): Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Kensington)
VAP: 66.3% White, 10.6% Black, 11.2% Hispanic, 10.0% Asian
61.5% Obama/37.3% McCain; 62.3% Avg Democratic
With moderate Republican ex-Rep. Connie Morella long in the past now, they were free to unpack MD-08. It was used to help make MD-06 bluer and to help out other districts in western Maryland from getting too red. That is also what I did, but I went a little further in making MD-06 blue.
This will very likely be the last time I redistrict Maryland since it is now unnecessary and I believe I have hit my zenith with this map that does as much as possible to keep Democratic incumbents mollified while not ceding a district to the Republicans. If it weren't for incumbent interests, I could make MD-01 a lean Democratic district for sure. In finality, I want to say I wish Governor O'Malley made a map like I did. We would be one seat closer to the majority then. Oh well, maybe he'll surprise everyone and reopen redistricting mid-decade, but I wouldn't count on it. What do you think of this final effort of mine?