I was doing some thinking lately about what we could do with redistricting if we won back the governor's mansions in Alabama, South Carolina, and the legislature in Virginia in 2010. It looks like we could create at least two more Democratic leaning seats in South Carolina and Virginia alone by reducing the African American percentage to a 49% plurality in the black majority SC-06 and VA-03. We could also at least make AL-06 somewhat more competitive by reducing the black percentage to a 49% plurality in the black majority AL-07.
As for Arizona, AZ-02 could be made much more competitve by bringing the Hispanic majority in AZ-04 down to 50%.
There is no reason why we should have districts that are more than 62% Democratic when these voters could be used to make other more competitve.
Im pretty sure all of these changes would satisfy the Voting Rights Act.
AL-07: Reduce black percentage to 49% plurality to comply with VRA. This drops Kerry percentage to 53% from 64%, leaving it a Democratic district. New PVI: D+6
Old PVI: D+17
AL-06: Raise black percentage to 20%. Raises Kerry percentage from 22% to 35% and drops Bush percentage from 78% to 65% leaving the district solidly Republican but somewhat more competitive. New PVI: R+11. Old PVI: R+25
South Carolina changes:
SC-06: Reduce black percentage to 49% plurality. Drops Kerry percentage from 61% to 55%, leaving it a safe Democratic district. New PVI: D+8. Old PVI: D+11
SC-02: Raises black percentage from 26% to 33%. Drops Bush percentage from 60% to 54%, making it a competitive district. New PVI: R+3. Old PVI: R+9
VA-03: Reduces black percentage from 56% to 48%. Reduces Kerry percentage from 66% to 59%. New PVI: D+11. Old PVI: D+18.
VA-04: Raises black percentage from 33% to 41%. Raises Kerry percentage from 43% to 50%, giving him a narrow win in the district. New PVI: D+3. Old PVI: R+5.
AZ-04: Drops Hispanic percentage from 58% to 50%. Drops Kerry’s percentage from 62% to 56%. New PVI: D+8. Old PVI: D+14.
AZ-02: Increases Hispanic percentage from 14% to 22%. Drops Bush percentage to 54% from 61%. New PVI: R+2. Old PVI: R+9.
What do you think?