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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.

 photo mdflagb_zpsbcbb665a.gif

More below the fold.

Here's my map:
 photo c07c8567-ba7d-4e9f-930d-c337abb489af_zps1d8647b9.jpg

Zoom-in on the Baltimore metro area:
 photo 3054585c-1666-4891-a925-324bf17c61e5_zps5d3d9aae.jpg

Zoom-in on the DC suburbs:
 photo dbb94d56-233a-4688-86dd-9c6765c17fe7_zps0359f490.jpg

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.

 photo StateSeal_obverse.jpg

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?

Poll

If my map were in place what would MD's post-2012 delegation be?

60%35 votes
37%22 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes

| 58 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

    by KingofSpades on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:22:15 PM PST

  •  Last poll option should be "< 4D's" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext

    the "less than" sign didn't show up

    "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

    by KingofSpades on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:26:45 PM PST

  •  Very nice, I had figured that the only way to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, atdnext

    satisfy everyone's demands in a way that wouldn't scuttle the map (like splitting the shore or drawing it into Baltimore) would be to use touch-point but never got around to drawing it myself.

    I can't think of a single reason why MD Dems wouldn't have gone for this and it's a shame they won't re-redistrict when the rest of the house is so obscenely stacked against us.

  •  It Won't Work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59

    You filled in the Magothy and Severn Rivers and much of the Chesapeake bay.   You can't do that.  Fish aren't registered to vote in Maryland.

  •  I for one was delighted to get Donna Edwards in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext

    MD 04--I stood in line with a lot of white people on day one of early voting and a lot of them ended up voting for her.
     

    "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

    by mindara on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:04:13 PM PST

    •  I'm not saying she's a bad representative at all. (0+ / 0-)

      She's great on policy, but those objections she had to O'Malley's draft map reminded me an awful lot of the strategy that Republicans worked on behind the scenes in the post-1990 redistricting cycle (namely the demanding of districts where people of color were concentrated as much as possible in order to make it harder to have Democrats be elected in more districts).  Also, IIRC, months before O'Malley released his new map Edwards signaled willingness to weaken her district in order to help take down Roscoe Bartlett.  When his map did just that at the cost of her losing Montgomery County, the objections she rose came off as surprising and very annoying.

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:06:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At the same time though (0+ / 0-)

        Her objections were completely ignored and did nothing to scuttle a Dem 1st. John Sarbanes (and to a lesser Degree Ruppersberger) is the one whose demands blocked targeting Harris, yet I hardly see any criticism of him over it, then or now.

        As far as Maryland is concerned Edwards gets a pass in my book as Sarbanes' actions speak a whole lot louder than her words. In fact if they both run in a senate primary together I'll donate to her in a heartbeat because this sort of malarkey where you hurt the Dem party for your individual gain and get away with it is the surest way onto my shitlist.

  •  I'm hesitant to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades

    we'd pick up that MD-01, but it'd give us another option for targeting swing districts now.

    ...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 Feb 19, 2013 at 08:32:33 PM PST

    •  Why do you say that? (0+ / 0-)

      As drawn this district would have trended Dem this year, is slightly more Democratic downballot and about 8-10% more Dem than the 2010 one. Add in the fact that Andy Harris is the incumbent and I think Frank Kratovil would have won by a fairly respectable margin last year. I mean who the fuck votes for Obama-Harris? I wouldn't be surprised if Kratovil had won it by 10% as Obama probably won it by a little under 4%.

      •  I doubt we'd have gotten Kratovil. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atdnext

        You seem to assume sometimes that we get either ideal candidates or carbon copies of them.  He didn't seem interested in a rematch.  We may not have gotten anyone else who could compete.  We need a good candidate (even to beat Harris) and they don't grow on trees.  Even the ones we have often don't opt to run.

        ...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 Feb 19, 2013 at 09:37:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are many other Democrats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf

          in MD-1 who might have run, particularly if the district were winnable which might have spared us the problem of our nominee there withdrawing; she after all only was nominated after none of the putatively stronger Dems ran.

          Kratovil is now a judge and doesn't seem interested in an electoral return, but since Harris is such a right wing dipshit another credible, serious Democratic contender could have made a race of it in a more competitive seat.

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

          by Mike in MD on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:03:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, there are others (0+ / 0-)

            who could run and might win and I was aware of that, but does that mean a strong one would have run, and that they would have won?  I am not willing to say that, and I think in an R-leaning district it is ridiculous to say that we certainly would as SAWolf seems to be.  We could say something similar about CO-03.  There were plenty of other Dems who could have run, and Coffman was too extreme for that district, and it was redrawn significantly so that Obama won it (by more than this one) and we got a local Dem to run (of debatable quality) but he didn't win it.

            ...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 Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:00:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't seem interested in a rematch (0+ / 0-)

          because the district would have been a lot tougher than this. I think with this district being pretty much tailor-made for him he'd have run again more likely than not. He was only appointed to that judgeship in December 2011 once it became apparent he wasn't going to be aided by redistricting.

          But even if he didn't, as Mike in MD says there are several other Democrats who would have run as we have a handful of state legislators in the eastern shore who would have been solid gets.

  •  I think it's a modest improvement (3+ / 0-)

    on what was passed, due to MD-1.  We might or might not win it under this map, but that's better than flat-out conceding it as happened under the actual map.  And I don't see any of the 7 Democratic districts as likely to switch under this proposal, even in a bad year.

    Not a fan of some of the shapes, particularly the wide-ranging Sarbanesmander in district 3, but fuck that in light of what the GOP put forth in some other states.

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

    by Mike in MD on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:10:41 PM PST

  •  Screw their demands. (6+ / 0-)

    When I draw MD maps, I say, "You get what I give you, and if you have a problem with it, retire."

    I'm mean like that.

    Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -7.00, -3.13, Coya shouldn't have been sent home.

    by WisJohn on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:17:20 AM PST

  •  Wow. Maryland maps are... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades

    So wild in their squiggles. Your map certainly has plenty of squiggles, but it isn't any crazier than the real map.

    •  It can't be helped (0+ / 0-)

      when two Congressmen live in practically neighboring northern suburbs of Baltimore and one wants to have an area off well to the east, some of Baltimore, and Columbia while the other wants to trace the Cheseapeake to Annapolis, it gets crazy easily.

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:11:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Using your template, which is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, General Goose

    ... F*ing awesome (all credit goes to you), ...

    ... you can easily, while satisfying the demands of all incumbents, make the 1st a better tossup at 53.6 Obama two party vote (53.0-45.7) in 2008 all while keeping every other district at 59.4% Obama or higher of the two party vote:

    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 Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:42:17 AM PST

    •  Also on the 1st (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades

      That would have been R+0 in 2008. It would have been, probably, about D+0-1 in 2012. Easily winnable with someone other than Kratovil, especially given that it is more Democratic downballot (as is the case with alot of Maryland).

      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 Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:45:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, all districts but the 1st at 59.4% or higher? (0+ / 0-)

      Awesome job.  What is the VAP of Elijah Cummings' district?

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:51:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm also wondering (0+ / 0-)

      how you get jpgs of the road map of the redistricting state because whenever I used that function on DRA, it only takes a jpg of the blank map (as in no cities or roads marked).  Do you take screencaps?

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:56:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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