Skip to main content

New Jersey has one of the worst congressional maps for the Democratic party. I hope you can see in this diary why I tell it. The current balance of power in the congressional delegation from New Jersey is a lot different than the picture that gives a really Democratic map. The map of New Jersey would be the second most biased map after the map of Michigan, following my own numbers.

Not always the redistricting commissions work well in order to draw a fair and not biased map, and this in one example. The Redistricting system is working bad for the Democratic Party in New Jersey. It only do minor changes from the basis of the old Republican maps. and it lead to keep the advantage for the Republicans in the maps decade after decade.

As always I drawed these maps finding the limits for a Democratic map. I was finding as always the highest possible number of (safe) seats for the Democratic Party. But this time you will see nicer districts. And it is a very Democratic map.


 photo NJ10D2R_zpsd3dc4c9f.jpg

In this map there are 8 D+6 districts and 2 more D+5. To draw all them as D+6 would require a lot uglier map and I doubt if it would be possible. This map is very close to the limits but also respects lots of county, city and town limits in order to draw it nicer than other times. The especial nature of the VRA districts (NJ-08 and NJ-10) makes more difficult to draw a nice and enough Democratic NJ-11.

NJ-01: R Andrews (D) and F LoBiondo (R)

 photo NJ-01_zps5e323430.jpg

NJ-02: Open

 photo NJ-02_zpsc0f1b19c.jpg

NJ-03: C Smith (R), J Runyan (R) and J Saxton (R)

 photo NJ-03_zps5bea9b67.jpg

NJ-04: Open

 photo NJ-04_zpsaadeb06a.jpg

NJ-05: S Garrett (R), C Christie (R), C Todd Whitman (R), J Chiesa (R), D DiFrancesco (R), J Courter (R) M Ferguson (R), and M Pappas (R)

 photo NJ-05_zps1c08b1ca.jpg

NJ-06: F Pallone (D) and K Guadagno (R)

 photo NJ-06_zpsafb4bfc6.jpg

NJ-07: Open

 photo NJ-07_zps4ae40313.jpg

NJ-08: A Sires (D) and W Martini (R)

 photo NJ-08_zps34ce5df7.jpg

NJ-09: W Pascrell (D) and S Rothman (D)

 photo NJ-09_zps63837eed.jpg

NJ-10: D Payne (D) and R Codey (D)

 photo NJ-10_zps96b3fd71.jpg

NJ-11: R Frelinghuysen (R) and W Bradley (D)

 photo NJ-11_zpsf4b8300f.jpg

NJ-12: R Holt (D), L Lance (R) and R Zimmer (R)

 photo NJ-12_zps99f5e951.jpg


1.- New York 27-0 map (28-0 then still)
2.- Maryland 8-0 map
3.- California 53-0 map
4.- Illinios 18-0 map
5.- New Jersey 10-2 map

These 5 maps would mean 32 US House seats less for the Republicans. They can be happy with the Democratic party giving them advantage.

All the keys for a majority in the US House in the future are in the Democratic voters and in the Democratic Party hands.

Plus. A majority of D+5+ seats can be drawed if the Democratic voters and the Democratic party want it.

Would you like a US House with a majority of D+5+ seats? Would you like a US House with a D+5 median seat? I see a clear option of drawing it, even finding nice looking districts. It requires time and work, but I would be able to do it.


I designed time ago a formula for a measure of the biass of the congressional maps. A result of 0 mean no biass for the PVI of the districts from the state average PVI. A positive result means a pro-Republican biass in the current map. A negative result means a pro-Democratic biass in the current map. These are the results for every state:

+0.464: MI
+0.408: NJ
+0.360: OR
+0.340: WA
+0.322: IL
+0.272: CA
+0.250: MN
+0.250: PA
+0.248: NY
+0.233: NM
+0.225: WI
+0.164: VA
+0.150: ME
+0.138: MD
+0.131: OH
+0.100: NV
+0.086: CO
+0.040: CT
+0.011: MA

=0.000: HI
=0.000: VT
=0.000: RI
=0.000: DE
=0.000: NH
=0.000: IA
=0.000: MT
=0.000: ND
=0.000: SD
=0.000: AK
=0.000: KS
=0.000: WV
=0.000: AR
=0.000: ID
=0.000: OK
=0.000: UT
=0.000: WY

-0.031: NC
-0.033: NE
-0.041: FL
-0.050: MO
-0.143: SC
-0.143: AL
-0.150: KY
-0.167: LA
-0.222: IN
-0.222: TN
-0.250: MS
-0.286: GA
-0.300: AZ
-0.313: TX

As you can see there are more states with a pro-Republican biass and the pro-Republican biass is bigger in overall terms. Also for a good number of states only the VRA requirements are keeping a pro-Democratic biass in the maps.

The fact that a 33% of seats (4 of 12) would change of hands under this pro-Democratic map, proves that the current map is a very pro-Republican map. And even a 50% of the delegation of New Jersey in the US House would change of hands without the VRA requirements under a pro-Democratic map. The alone limit that helps to the Republicans keeping two districts in this map is the VRA. It is necessary to draw NJ-08 and NJ-10 as Democratic vote sinks in order to respect the VRA rules. The VRA work not always in favor of the Democratic party. Without the VRA this map finding the limits would be a clear and nice 12D-0R map.

Also the Republicans take benefits from the VRA requirements (in states like NJ, MI, PA,...). They should love a little more the law.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent job (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, KingofSpades

    This would have very easily gone 10-2 in 2012 and for the foreseeable future.

    I had drawn one last year that tried to keep a seat for Rothman but didn't quite finish it. Almost all the Dem districts were Likely D or above but a few were just D+3 or D+4 in 2008 (though that's safe in 2012 New Jersey).

    •  I think D+3 and D+4 would be enough too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      I think D+3 or D+4 districts only can give some trouble in a wave year like 2010. But I think it would be so rare. They are close to the safe limit.

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

      There was one seat though that may not have been safe enough (it took in parts of Morris County and was about 53%-54% Obama.)

      I should have thought about trying to crack the Jersey City area to get more Dem votes.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

      by Alibguy on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 08:19:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great work! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, James Allen

    You even did the majority-Hispanic and majority-Black districts without insane racial gerrymanders.

    "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

    by KingofSpades on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 07:04:39 PM PST

  •  The southern end of 6 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, abgin

    The Spring Lake/Manasquan area is very Republican.  Why not swap it for a nearby area that's less Republican, like Eatontown?

    •  Habitually I draw not a seat safer (0+ / 0-)

      than the necessary, for keeping the rest of the seats a little easier. The goal by this way is not to draw the red districts as red as possible (it helps but it is not the goal).

      Being very difficult to move this improvement to the D+5 seats I prefer to let NJ-04 a little less red.

    •  Spent a little time in Spring Lake (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was surprised at first it is Republican. It seemed really well off with a pretty vibrant culture but it makes sense that much of it could be from well off people who live in Manhattan and own houses there but don't live there permanently.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

      by Alibguy on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 08:21:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another masterpiece! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great work!

  •  Bill Pascrell's gonna be pissed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RevolutionRock, abgin, demreplib33

    But in any event, he'd probably take the district with Paterson in it, whether he lives there or not. And some of your names listed are questionable, to say the least, about whether they'd run for the House, but that's secondary to the impressive work of art you've created.

    "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 - ! | Yard signs don't vote.

    by gabjoh on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:14:35 PM PST

    •  Thank you ) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, demreplib33

      The listed names mean not that they want or they will run for the US House. NJ is not a state with high number of high level politicians and it is a way to see where is every one. The current incumbents are bolded as a way to emphasize who would be the incumbent or incumbents in every case.

      It is so difficult to draw a clean map for northern New Jersey. This is one of the few ways, if not the alone. Habitually when there are enough options for the Democratic Party I try to give one district to every important politician, but in this case it would lead to a lot uglier map and some less Democratic district.

      Thank you.

    •  Pascrell turns 77 next month (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Pissed or not, he won't be around much longer.

  •  Good job! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, davybaby

    I did one a while back. It had a similar outcome.

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

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

    by Alibguy on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 08:19:37 AM PST

  •  Super excited (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To see another abgin map! It's been a while. Great work!

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:07:55 PM PST

  •  I'd love to see what you can do with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ohio or Michigan, or if your computer can handle it California (mine cannot). I've done every other state than those three and Oregon though usually not as messy looking as your 11th district, but I think you could definitely get our 2012 seat count past 290 with the vast majority of those perfectly safe. I'd be really curious to see what your maps would do if you did every state.

    Thus far I have:
    state D-R-swing
    AL 3-4
    AR 2-2
    AZ 5-3-1
    CA - haven't done, guessing 45 D seats? Really don't know
    CO 5-2
    CT 5-0
    FL 16-11
    GA 8-6 (9-5 or 8-5-Barrow is probably possible)
    ID 0-1-Minnick
    IL 14-4
    IN 3-3-3
    IA 3-1
    KS 1-3
    KY 1-3-2
    LA 3-3
    ME 2-0
    MD 8-0
    MA 9-0
    MI - haven't done, guessing maybe 10-3-1?
    MN 7-1 (really 5-1-Peterson-Walz)
    MS 2-2
    MO 3-4-1
    NE 1-2
    NV 3-1
    NH same, but if others get you over 295 then 1-1
    NJ 10-2
    NM 2-0-1
    NY 24-3
    NC 8-5
    OH - haven't done, at least 11-5 though
    OK 1-3-Boren
    OR - haven't done, 5-0 if aggressive, safer 4-1 if not
    PA 13-5 (really 12-5-Critz)
    RI 2-0 safer for Cicilline
    SC 3-4
    TN 3-5-1
    TX 18-17-1 could probable do better
    UT 1-2-Matheson
    VA 7-4 but wwmiv/ProudNewEnglander did great 8-3s
    WA 8-2
    WV strong Rahall seat, open one for Gainer in '14, R vote sink
    WI 6-1-1

    Some were dirtier than others like Alabama, while ones like Kentucky could do a lot better with county splits but I don't have data for that. I could email you my entire folder of the best maps if you would like to play around with them, just PM me.

    •  So here's my New Jersey 10-2 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, HoosierD42, James Allen

       photo NJDem10-2Compact_zpsdd2ea7b1.png
       photo NJDem10-2CompactNewark_zps7d0d2c69.png
       photo NJDem10-2CompactSummary_zps9c4fd854.png

      It's a good deal cleaner than yours in North Jersey though it does use some minor water/shoreline contiguity in Hudson County. Every district is 55% D average or greater, the same as the state, while every district is at or above 58% Obama and the South Jersey districts over 60% Obama. Every incumbent D we had in 2011 is given a district where they would be secure although Rush Holt's base is put in the 3rd he'd be fine. Additionally rather than vote sink Garret this one makes the vote sink in North Jersey likely to favor the less conservative Lance while clearing the way for us to easily win all the D districts in the area by getting all three Republicans to run in the vote sink. This map would be safe for 10 liberals even in 2010.

    •  It would be interesting can do a review of all (0+ / 0-)

      the states finding the limits. But this can require more time than the time that can have a person out of his job.

      Until now I can assure to you that it is possible:

      HI: 2-0-0 map
      VT: 1-0-0 map
      NY: 27-0-0 map
      RI: 2-0-0 map
      MD: 8-0-0 map
      MA: 9-0-0 map
      CA: 53-0-0 map
      DE: 1-0-0 map
      IL: 18-0-0 map
      CT: 5-0-0 map
      ME: 2-0-0 map
      NJ: 10-0-2 map
      WA: 10-0-0 map
      OR: 5-0-0 map

      For a total of 153 safe districts D+5+ from only these 14 states.

      When a 27-0-0 map for NY is doable (and a little nicer than a 28-0-0 map), it means that also are doable all the combinations under this for NY: 26-1-0, 26-0-1, 25-2-0, 25-1-1, The question is to fix the level that you want or you need for a safeD majority in the US House.

      For the following states I have not still enough numbers to tell where would be the limit, but like we can see in your numbers, it is possible to have a strong majority of solid Democratic seats, doing it right in the next Redistricting process. I would tell that even can be possible without the protection of the VRA in the reddest states.

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

      I've done that one before but my DRA got messed up and I don't have the pics anymore.  It was at least 10-3-1 without trying too hard.  I think I got it to 11-3 by making the Ann Arbor district much less Dem and having the GOP southern seat go all the way to Lake Michigan to take in Dem voters normally paired with Ann Arbor.  I need to figure out how to get those maps back because I was pretty proud of the that monstrosity.

      But agreed, I'd love to see Michigan from you!  That is an extremely fun one considering how much room for improvement there is.

    •  Nitpicks with your numbers (0+ / 0-)

      1. In FL I could probably draw at least 17 Democratic districts without the map looking too ridiculous.

      2. You can easily draw a 5-4 Dem map in Indiana.

      3. Kansas can handle both a Democratic district and a swing district.

      4. North Carolina (I feel that you should know this) can be drawn 9-4 Dem.

      5. My Ohio map was 10D-4R-2S (with one of the swing districts being a 55% Obama seat in Dayton that would go Dem easily if the Rep was anyone other than Mike Turner).

      6. PA can be 13-4-Holden.

      The rest I agree with.

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

      by ProudNewEnglander on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 03:06:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I'm not saying those were the limits (0+ / 0-)

        just the most effective ones I had drawn. I'd love to see a more aggressive Florida, but mine was 16-11 with many D+5 districts and it still was about as ugly as I was willing to tolerate. Indiana I totally need to redo as it doesn't make sense to have 3 swing districts. North Carolina I'm working on 9-4 as we speak, Ohio I haven't done, Pennsylvania I wanted cleaner, and that's about it. In Kansas I just drew a simple Kansas City to Lawrence to Topeka district that was about D+4 in 2008. I think you'd have to make a pretty ugly map with a safe district and one swing, but I could certainly try putting Witchita and Manhattan in the 2nd to push the envelope, but I still think you can't do much better than Lean R with Jenkins in there.

        Anyway, all of these maps together were designed to produce the highest number of safe seats with the goal of 295 so that a permanent 2/3rds majority would be attainable and only then would I produce extra seats. New Hampshire is an obvious exception, but it could easily produce 1 safe seat and Lean R seat as well. But a North Carolina 8-5 is probably more realistic since Kissell, Miller, and McIntyre all would have wanted to keep safe seats, but who knows for sure.

  •  FYI (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, Stephen Wolf, James Allen

    There are a considerable number of votes missing from the New Jersey data set that is currently on DRA. I'm just about done with a replacement file, finally! I only need a couple township maps to finish (Morris & Collingswood) so I'll likely be forwarding a proper data set to Dave soon after the New Year.

    More importantly, the missing votes are not evenly distributed. The McCain votes are primarily missing from South Jersey and the Obama votes are primarily missing from North Jersey. The current data also has quite a few other issues (misplaced wards, votes consolidated by township and distributed by VAP, and obviously all those zero precincts).

    Take a look at Lakewood in Ocean County for instance. This is the reddest part of New Jersey and there are almost no votes assigned there in the current DRA data set. By example, voting district 36 in Lakewood has 22 McCain votes and 2 Obama votes on DRA. The correct figure should be 1502 McCain votes and 6 Obama votes.

    My advice would be to hold off on working with New Jersey on DRA until my replacement data is uploaded, probably sometime in January. I don't know how much of a difference the corrections will make on the CD level, but you may want to reassess your map then.

    •  Thank you very much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, roguemapper

      The work with the DRA is very helpful.

      Im missing a lot the 2008 results in the maps for Oregon and New Mexico (I know not if there are not for some state more). I hope you can include them )

      •  isn't New Mexico in there? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        roguemapper, abgin

        If you'd like to send me a map for Oregon, or you could just post some images, I could try to figure out the results for you and maybe help you figure out how to get what you want.

        ...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 Dec 25, 2013 at 10:53:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  After begin with states like NY, CA or IL (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          I'm going from the bluest to redder states. I have a 10-0 map for Washington very advanced. Oregon, New Mexico and Michigan would be next in line. They are very interesting states, and I hope I can draw maps for your home state.

          Without the data in the VRA is very difficult to draw concrete maps finding the limits. But my estimations give a good prospect for a map of Oregon.

          If you wish, it would be helpful to know more about the legal requirements and your requirements for a good map of Oregon.

          It will take time.

          •  the legal requirements (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I don't know about things like touch-point or water contiguity, but you do need "transportation connections" according to current law, which I take to mean a road or maybe even a rail line, a bridge, a ferry. I would even say a direct bus route should work, but that only matters in a couple spots. Unless the bus works, then you have to put Curry County in the same district as Coos County. The transportation connection requirement really makes intricate gerrymander tough in some areas like Curry-Coos, but also because there are only so many roads going over the Cascade mountain range. Its why I always have to draw districts with the road map on.

            I don't know if you can make all of the districts equally Democratic very easily, but as we've seen in elections both of the 4th and 5th districts, despite being fairly marginal in PVI, are still fairly solid for Democrats. Republicans have only won the 5th once since the 1980s, and that was in 1994, of course. So I'm not sure you'd need to get them all around D+4 to D+5. Especially if a district had a lot of the coast, because those areas vote more Democratic down ballot. That would save Democrats to help overcome eastern and southern Oregon in other districts.  I did take a look a couple times at making a 5-0 map, but not in a while. I'll try to look at it again sometime soon.

            ...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 Dec 25, 2013 at 07:36:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  OR & NM (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        abgin, James Allen

        I'm still missing some maps & precinct results for Oregon. I plan to start on the parts I have in January, while also seeing about how to get the maps & data I still need. I don't have an ETA for it right now.

        I'm currently working on Rhode Island. I'll be sending that one along with New Jersey. I hope to send Alaska & Montana with Oregon, but I'm not too confident that'll happen. Things get pretty busy for me again in mid-January.

        New Mexico has election data on DRA. Is there a problem with it or did you mean a different state?

        •  Yes I have a trouble with New Mexico (0+ / 0-)

          In the data for the 2008 election I see negative numbers for the number of votes to other candidates, and the percentages are also giving not right numbers. Something like 785%.

          I appreciate a lot the work that you are doing. It is very good.

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

            The '08 Obama/McCain/Other figures seem fine to me on the updated VTD map. I pulled the CSV file to be sure and I'm not seeing any negative figures when I do the Other column. It would be a rather easy state to fix if I could find an issue with it.

            Have you worked with it recently? If you get another problem with it then give me a screenshot and I'll look over it.

  •  This is gets a cheers! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I saw the over-view map and thought it'd MD 2002-2012 type of gross in north jersey.  Not at all!  Very well done!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site