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One of the more puzzling things about Wisconsin's recent round of redistricting was the contrast between the legislative and congressional maps. The legislative maps were diabolical pieces of work, whereas the congressional map, while clearly gerrymandered to help Duffy, went nowhere near as far as it could have. This, of course, begged the question of what would have happened if the legislature had gone all-out and drawn a North Carolina style map. This diary attempts to answer that question.

Now, the goods:

Eastern Wisconsin Close-up:

The map completely shreds Communities of interests and laughs in the face of compactness, while using Water continuity on Lake Winnebago. It's ability to clear the necessary power players in the WI Republican party is also questionable. Jim Sensenbrenner might complain about being put in a 46,5% Obama district, Tom Petri might not like all the new territory, and Reid Ribble is probably drawn out of his district, (I don't know exactly where in Appleton he lives), although it would be easy to fix if republicans were drawing the map with block groups. The map is probably 4-3-1 Republican, although the swing seat probably leans slightly R. Detailed analysis below the fold.

District 1 (Blue, Ryan):
Old:
2008: 51.4% Obama, 47.2% McCain
2010: 41.3% Dem, 58.75% Rep
New:
2008: 47.2% Obama, 51.5% McCain
2010: 37.4% Dem, 62.6% Rep

This district gets much more Republican by dropping Kenosha and Racine and going further into Jefferson and Waukesha counties. It probably goes from about R+3 to R+7, and should be pretty safe for Ryan, especially considering that Obama lost the district by over 4 points in his absolute romp statewide in 2008.

District 2 (Green, Baldwin):
Old:
2008: 68.9% Obama, 29.2% McCain
2010: 63.9% Dem, 36.1% Rep
New:
2008: 70.4% Obama, 28.2% McCain
2010: 66.2% Dem, 33.8% Rep

This district, in my opinion, is one of the more devious in the map. I know some people have tried to relieve Ryan of Kenosha and Racine by drawing a Milwaukee to Kenosha district, but the problem with that is that it winds up having Sensenbrenner eat a lot of Milwaukee, reducing his ability to take in some of Petri and Ribble's democrats. So instead, I had Tammy Baldwin's district snake along the Illinois border and come up to take the cities instead.

District 3 (Purple, Kind):
Old:
2008: 57.6% Obama, 40.7% McCain
2010: 47.0% Dem, 53.0% Rep
New:
2008: 60.4% Obama, 37.8% McCain
2010: 50.6% Dem, 49.4% Rep

This district is a mess. It's basically a tour of all the dem leaning mid-sized to small cities in western and central Wisconsin it could fit. Not only does it take in Stevens point, to snakes up to take in Wausau and the Lake Superior coast, while sacrificing most of it's rural turf. this is a pretty solid democratic vote sink.

District 4 (Red, Moore):
Old:
2008: 75.0% Obama, 23.8% McCain
2010: 70.9% Dem, 29.1% Rep
New:
2008: 74.0% Obama, 24.8% McCain
2010: 70.0% Dem, 30.0% Rep

Don't be fooled by the fact that this district gets a point more Republican. It needed to pick up 40K people, and throwing in the north shore suburbs was the best way to do it. This is still a huge Democratic vote sink.

District 5 (Yellow, Sensenbrenner):
Old:
2008: 41.1% Obama, 57.7% McCain
2010: 33.4% Dem, 66.6% Rep
New:
2008: 46.5% Obama, 52.1% McCain
2010: 36.9% Dem, 63.1% Rep

Sensenbrenner's district keeps an anchor in Waukesha and Ozaukee counties, but the proceeds up to take in a lot of Petri and Ribble's Democratic turf. The district runs up the Lake Michigan shore to take in Sheboygan and Manitowoc, and Jaunts across Lake Michigan to take in Oshkosh and Appleton. Sensenbrenner would probably not be happy with a district that is over 5 points more Democratic than his old one, but his chances of losing would still be pretty low.

District 6 (Teal, Petri):
Old:
2008: 49.8% Obama, 48.9% McCain
2010: 38.5% Dem, 61.5% Rep
New:
2008: 49.5% Obama, 49.0% McCain
2010: 39.2% Dem, 60.8% Rep

Petri's district starts out 20K people behind the population target, and then loses Oshkosh, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc, so it needs to make up the population somewhere. It goes three place to do this: down into deep red Washington County, over into some of the Dem-leaning rural wester parts of the state just north of Madison, and up into the light red but sparsely populated areas in the north. The partisanship of the district barely changes, geting a tad more republican based on 2008 numbers and a tad more democratic based on 2010 numbers, and Petri would probably still be pretty safe. Still, I doubt he'd like the number of new constituents he would need to introduce himself to.

District 7 (Grey, Duffy):
Old:
2008: 55.8% Obama, 42.4% McCain
2010: 46.0% Dem, 54.0% Rep
New:
2008: 52.4% Obama, 45.9% McCain
2010: 42.1% Dem, 57.9% Rep

Sean Duffy a long with Paul Ryan, is the prime beneficiary of this map. Kind's district takes in Wisconsin Rapids, Steven's point, Wausau, and much of the Lake Superior coast (although not all the way over to Duffy's native Ashland). In addition, Petri's district east Rhinelander and Merrill, two small dem-leaning cities. in exchange, Duffy gets a lot of Kind's less Democratic rural turf and Ribble's reddish rural turf in the northeast. The Democratic performance in this district drops by about 4 points, however, the district would still only be about R+1, and would be quite competitive.

District 8 (Slate Blue, Ribble):
Old:
2008: 53.5% Obama, 45.0% McCain
2010: 42.7% Dem, 57.3% Rep
New:
2008: 51.1% Obama, 47.4% McCain
2010: 39.9% Dem, 60.1% Rep

Ribble's district is quite the mess. It drops it's northern rural turf and much of Appleton, and instead snakes down to take in the blood-red area around West Bend. The democratic performance drops by 2.5-3 points, the district is now somewhere around R+4 or R+5. It could be competitive in really good years for Democrats, but would be extremely tough.

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