This is clearly a hypothetical for two reasons: 1) the VRA mandates a majority black district, which this map does not have, and a Democratic gerrymander requires the trifecta, which also won’t happen anytime soon (maybe in 20-25 years?). The map attempt to maximize the number of opportunities Democrats have to win districts, even Blue Dogs.
The 1st and 6th districts swap a lot of territory, trying to neutralize the Republican areas. With all of Beaufort and Dorchester Counties in the 1st, this is the more republican of the two. A moderate Dem (Linda Ketner, anyone?) certainly has a decent shot here. The black percentage might be low enough to keep an unelectable liberal African American from getting to the general election. Obama barely lost here in 2008.
This district has dramatically reduced it’s Dem performance, but Dems are packed too much into the current district. While it is not majority minority, this district does have a very healthy dose of black Democrats and the district is the most liberal (and has the highest minority percentage) in the state, so there’s still a very good chance of getting a liberal African American to represent it. North Charleston is here. It soaks up red areas of Berkeley and Florence Counties to give Dems a chance in the 1st and 4th. Jim Clyburn doesn’t live here but he does represent most of the area and would probably win the district easily, depending on if there was a strong African American to come from North Charleston.
Joe Wilson is a goner in this district, I have to think. Most of Columbia and points to the southwest. The main issue with this district is that a majority of Democrats are black and Democrats might shoot themselves in the foot if the Democrat is too liberal. Obama barely won in 2008.
Now things start to get really ugly. Takes in very red parts of Lexington County and marches upstate to pull in very Republican areas. This probably sets up a Republican primary between Joe Wilson, who lives in Lexington County (but perhaps not this part) and Jeff Duncan, who lives in Lauren (hopefully Republican parts because I took the Democratic parts of out the district). So it’s possible both congressmen don’t live in the 3rd but Duncan has the upper hand, as he represents far more territory than Wilson. Duncan is a little less reprehensible anyway.
I love this district! This is what makes the map look so ugly (though no more ugly to the North Carolina nastiness next door). Takes in all Democratic areas upstate to try to give us a chance here. It’s still going to be tough, but with the right candidate, we should be able to do it. I even got Clemson in here, and a university shouldn’t be in a ruby-red district anyway (except if you’re Bob Jones Univ).
This best represents the new 7th district. I try to drown out Republican-heavy Horry County with surrounding Democrat areas that are right now used in the minority-majority district and red 5th district. It’s still tough district, though Tom Rice might be too conservative. We’d need a Blue Dog to b competitive here. If Mike McIntyre won this time around next door, then surely we have a shot here considering this district is bluer than McIntyre’s current district (though he is well-known and popular). Like the 2nd, there’s a decent black Dem population.
The other Republican vote sink. Trey Gowdy and Mike Mulvaney live here. Well, Gowdy might live in the Democratic parts of Spartanburg, but he’d run in this district for sure. So a Republican primary and honestly I’m not sure who would win. I’d give a small edge to Mulvaney, who has represented more territory.
The map should generate a 2-2-3 Dem-Rep-Swing delegation. If I had to push, I’d give it a 4-3 Dem map, where the 3rd, 4th, and 5th went to the Republicans. In a year like 2012, where Obama is driving up black turnout, it could go 5-2.