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This map is predicated on the idea that Democrats are vastly underperforming in Texas, and that things are only going to get better. A map that gives Democrats a majority of seats seriously weakens some of them, but with a serious GOTV effort, most should be able to survive a 2010-style Republican wave. I always wanted to ensure as few Democrats as possible ended up in conservative districts.

CD1 (Blue)- El Paso to Lubbock. White-23%, Black-4%, Hispanic-70%. Obama/McCain-53/47. Dem/Rep-50.6/49.4. This district is designed on the hopeful assumption that heavily Hispanic counties in West Texas will continue to trend left. It's a tossup district unless the Democrats can get their act together and increase turnout. This is also successful in ensuring Democrats in Lubbock don't get swallowed up into an ultra-red district. Beto O'Rourke is neither assured victory in the primary or the general. Lean D.

CD2 (Yellow)- El Paso to Piedra Negras. 20/2/76. O/M-53-46. D/R- 55/45. Slightly better than CD1 but Pete Gallego can't cruise to re-election in this largely rural border district. From the Big Bend town of Alpine, Gallego overperformed Obama in the smaller, more Republican counties, making me more comfortable in giving him a potentially tougher district. Likely D.

CD3 (Red)- Laredo to Bryan. 28/4/66. O-51/M-49. D/R-53/46. An even more ambitious district and the first in an effort to break-up the deep blue border counties. It circumvents Bexar County and takes in a lot of red areas but still remains comfortably Hispanic. Henry Cuellar has a solid base of support here. Lean D.

CD4 (Brown)- McAllen/Beeville/Victoria. 22/3/73. O50.7, M-49.3. D/R-52-48. Obama underperformed the Democratic average here and it is by no means safe. Republicans would have a fighting chance here but it tilts to Democrats. What's worrying is that there is no incumbent, which puts it in a substantial deal of danger. State Reps Ryan Guillen or Oscar Longoria could good candidates here. Lean D.

CD5 (Green)- Harlingen-Corpus Christi- 15/1/82. O60-M39. D/R- 61-38. Finally, a safe district. Though not for want of trying, this is about as unpacked as I could get the third of four fajita strip districts. Ruben Hinojosa will be fine here. Safe D.

CD6 (Blue)-Brownsville-Corpus Christi-Lake Jackson. 24/2/71. This is a more Republican district that the one Blake Farenthold unexpectedly won in 2010. Still, the Democrats won't be caught napping in this coastal district. Filemon Vela's the likely candidate. Likely D.

CD7 (Black)- San Antonio- 25/5/65, O56, M44. D/R-52-48. Not the Democratic vote sink that Joaquin Castro ended up with this time around, but one of the safer South Texas districts. Likely D.

CD8 (Light pink)-San Antonio- 29/7/61. O55, M44. D/R-51/49. Another tilt Democratic district, but Bexar County is going left rather than right. Lean D.

CD9 (Light blue)- San Antonio-Austin. 31/12/53. O60,M39. D/R-56/44. This is only majority Hispanic by VAP, but should be a full-out Hispanic district before too long. It's also pretty safe. Likely D.

CD10 (Brown)- Austin-Schertz. 69/4/20. O-58, M-42. D/R-51/49. You can't create a Hispanic district centred around Austin without weakening Lloyd Doggett, but he's a proven fighter and he won't be able to rest on his laurels in this district. Likely D.

CD11 (Light green)- San Antonio-Kerrville-Austin. 72-3-19. O30,M70. D/R-26-73. Our first Republican district, and boy is it unfriendly to Dems. It takes in the ruby red exurbs of San Antonio and Austin combined with some rural districts to the west. Safe R.

CD12 (Blue)- Austin-Killeen-Waco. 45/18/28. O55,M45. D/R-48-52. I wouldn't have thought this part of Texas could conceivably hold a district too liberal for Chet Edwards, but here we are. I was unwilling to let all the Democrats in Waco and Killeen go to waste, so I created this snaking district. It trended to the right in 2012 so I'm unwilling to call it for either party. Right now I would designate it as a genuine tossup.
CD13 (Navy Blue)- Houston- 17/43/33. O75,M27. D/R-70-29. I couldn't get this to a black majority district so a heavy plurality will have to do. Ultra-safe Democratic and will suit Sheila Jackson-Lee just fine. Safe D.

CD14 (Lurid pink)-Houston-Pasadena. 20-10-65. O54,M46. D/R-55-45. East Houston's Gene Green might make a run here, but this one was designed as a Hispanic majority seat. Lean D.

CD15 (Orange) -Houston. 26-12-56. O-54,M46.D/R-50/50. Another Hispanic majority seat, but it is probably the least safe of the bunch. At this stage I'd be unwilling to even designate it tilt Democratic. Tossup.

CD16 (Lime Green)- Houston-La Grange. 56-8-26. O32,M68. D28,R71. Houston is one of the most Republican big cities in America, so something had to give. This reaches in to the reddest parts of central Houston but also holds a lot of counties to the west. Safe R.

CD17 (Red)- Houston- 28-20-38-11. O58, M41. D/R-52/48. One of the most diverse districts as well as one of the most Asian. Lean Dem.

CD18 (Yellow)- Fort Bend County. 28-28-26-14. O-58, M42. D/R-53-46. African-Americans make up the narrowest of pluralities here but Al Green should hold on in the primary. This is another part of Texas that is trending blue, so it won't be Lean D for too long. Pete Olson also lives here and could well give Green quite a bit of trouble. Lean D.

CD19 (Khaki)- Galveston-Beaumont. 54-20-21. O42,M58. D/R-45/55. This features some ancestral Dem turf but is an uphill climb for Team Blue. Nick Lampson could give this a go but wouldn't be favoured. Craig Eiland is another potential candidate for what is slightly better than a suicide run. It's strange to think how this seat has such a good bench. Steve Stockman lives here and may just be crazy enough to have trouble in the general election, but I doubt it. Randy Weber also lives in the district and currently represents more of the district. Likely R.

CD20 (Dark pink)- The Woodlands. 70-6-17-5. O-26,M-74. D/R-22/77. It's hard to imagine that such a compact, non-rural district could be so insanely Republican. But there we are. There's no hope for Democrats here, or for any of the remaining districts until we get to Dallas-Fort Worth. Kevin Brady lives here, and Ted Poe also might take a run for it (I think he's been drawn into Sheila Jackson-Lee's district). Safe R.

CD21-(Spring Green) League City-Kingwood. 66-4-26. O-23, M-73.  Another option for Ted Poe, as well as Steve Stockman, who doesn't live here but represents much of it already. Safe R.

CD22- (Dark grey) Nacogdoches, Lufkin, College Station. 73-11-11. O-30, M-70. It's hard to believe that Charlie Wilson was successfully re-elected multiple times to a district even remotely like this. Bill Flores doesn't represent much of this district but could make a run here. Kevin Brady is another potential candidate here. Safe R.

CD23- (Yellow) Temple-Waco-Waxahachie. 72-9-15. O-30, M-70. Another dire district for Democrats, with John Carter and Joe Barton both living at opposite ends. Safe R.

CD24- (Purple) Tyler, Longview. 70-16-11. O-29, M-70. This East Texas district is pretty much the same as Louie Gohmert's current district, so any hopes of getting rid of him are pretty much impossible. Though Paul Sadler lives here and might put in a respectable showing. Safe R.

CD25- (Salmon) Texarkana, Kaufman. 76-10-10. O-29, M-71. Another East Texas district that stretches across the Oklahoma border to Dallas. It's similar to Ralph Hall's current district, and should suit him well until his untimely death sometime in the mid-23rd century.

CD26- (Green-Grey) Plano, McKinney. 64-8-12. O-38, M-61. Believe it or not, this is one of the least safe Republican seats I've drawn. Sam Johnson will retain this seat. Safe R.

CD27- (Light blue) Carrollton, Garland- 60-9-20. O-40, M-59. The only Republican seat in Dallas County. This will be a Battle Royale between Kenny Marchant and Pete Sessions. Safe R.

CD28- (Red) Mesquite-Garland. 38-18-36. O55,M45. D/R-49/51. Obama may have won this comfortably but I still see this as very much a swing seat. The absence of a majority race makes this up in the air as to who makes it through to the general. This is probably the most favourable district for Jeb Hensarling to run in without having to carpetbag. Lean D.

CD29- (Green)- Dallas-Irving. 19-15-61. O64-M35. The Metroplex has been crying out for a Hispanic majority seat and it was easy to draw. Domingo Garcia may have a better run in this seat after losing to Marc Veasey in the current CD33. Safe D.

CD30- (Peach)-Dallas-Arlington. 23-43-27. O72, M28. Again, an African-American majority district in DFW is a bridge too far. Still, all the action will be in the primary in this seat and a black candidate would be heavily favoured. Safe D.

CD31 (Toothpaste Green)- Fort Worth. 38-19-37. O55, M45. D/R-51-48. Marc Veasey just won a much safer Fort Worth seat but he would probably do okay here. This would also be cut out for Wendy Davis. Kay Granger could prove a hassle if she ran here, but there's a better district for her. Lean D.

CD32- (Orange) Fort Worth, Cleburne. 75-5-14. O32, M68. Kay Granger would probably be the most likely candidate for this seat, but Joe Barton also represents a decent sized chunk of it. Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams could also run here. Safe R.

CD33- (Cornflower Blue) Denton, Bedford. 72-6-14. O35, R65. Kenny Marchant could also run here, but it's much better suited to Michael Burgess. Safe R.

CD34- (Light green) Wichita Falls, Sherman. 80-4-12. O26, M73. Mac Thornberry represents much of this district now but doesn't live here anymore. In fact, the only congressman who lives in this district, Roger Williams, doesn't currently represent any of it. Despite all the displaced Republican congressmen, this district will probably go to a newcomer. Safe R.

CD35- (Light purple) Abilene, San Angelo, Midland. 73-3-20. O22, M77. Michael Conaway is the most likely congressman from this district, which is the unfriendliest district to Democrats in the state, and probably the entire country. Safe R.

CD36- (Light orange) Lubbock, Amarillo. 66-5-26. O23, M76. Mac Thornberry and Randy Neugebaeur will have to fight it out in this ultra-Republican, west Texas district. Safe R.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You've put a lot of effort into this... (3+ / 0-)

    but it doesn't seem likely to happen, except as a theoretical exercise. Remember in 2003 when the Republican legislature pushed through a mid-decade gerrymandering in the other direction.

    Besides, I don't believe in gerrymandering, not even when it benefits us short-term. Safe-seat Dems in a state like Texas would just turn into corrupt schmucks who do whatever lobbyists and pet donors want. We should push for independent commissions to create genuinely competitive seats.

  •  We seem to get a lot of these (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mokurai, kleinburger, PDiddie

    Like the previous comment said, you put a lot of work into this, it's well reasoned, and I recommended it.

    BUT ....  we seem to get daily redistricting maps that really are never going to happen.  I just think if you want to really talk about Texas (where we do need to spend more time, attention, and money on as Democrats) wouldn't it be better to highlight maybe the 10 state legislative races we have the best chance to make competitive next cycle?  Because that's what's going to need to happen to ever make a map like you propose a reality.  (Re)building the state party has to start there.

    •  Yes, we do (5+ / 0-)

      There is nothing wrong with this kind of intellectual enterprise. I try to dabble with maps that are more realistic, yet fit a specific purpose or mode, but this one is interesting.

      Besides, one of the core focuses of DKE - which is where this diary is quite naturally - is redistricting and all its accoutrements. If you're going to comment in someone's diary, why comment and tell them that their diary is stupid (which is basically what you just did)?

      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 Jan 10, 2013 at 07:31:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really no idea why people knock (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheUnknown285

      maps for not being possible as that's usually the entire reason why people do them in the first place.  The best states to redistrict are the ones that Republicans have a stranglehold on so you can see what's possible.  A GOP gerrymander of CA would be incredibly interesting to see!

  •  The West Texas boarder districts are interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txcatlin, James Allen, KingofSpades

    We discussed this some in yesterday's live thread, but the Hispanic citizenship levels and turnout are appallingly low in rural West Texas.  Throwing in some of El Paso and that might change things a bit, but I would be curious if Dems could really bring the voters home in those seats.

  •  Doesn't seem a lot of DK front pagers know.. (8+ / 0-)

    what SSP was. Many users create gerrymander maps as diaries. Some realistic, some not. I've learned quite ab it about redistricting, state legislatures, congressional districts, etc. from these type of exercises and the maps that many have shared on SSP and DKE.

    Really great work here man. With a map like this, perhaps the TX Democratic party would emphasize more voter registration and GOTV in some of those marginal districts (especially rural areas with high hispanic populations).

  •  This is a map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Englishlefty

    that would be considered a dummymander except for the fact that dummymanders are when you try to maximize seats and make seats at low levels of partisan performance.  Here, you lowered several seats in partisan performance, but you didn't maximize the number of Dem seats over-all, so I'd it call super dummy-mangered.  I think you have seriously endangered far too many seats from San Antonio on down, with El Paso to Lubbock being a needless endangerment.  We'd have a very good chance of losing this seat in a mid-term election I'd think.  I think you planned to much for the future and not enough for the present when it comes to this region.

    •  Lower D results could create long-term benefit (0+ / 0-)

      I think it's actually good to make those west/south texas seats more competitive. Because those have been safe seats forever, there's no incentive for the reps holding those to work for their wins, and by having these non-competitive elections it drags down our performance in statewides since turnout is absolutely pitiful. If we had incumbents that worked those districts, they'd be totally out of reach.

      Other than that, I'd tweak Houston area a little bit- particularly, trying to turn the Jefferson County seat into a winnable one. Not sure how much it would improve it, but some of southeast Harris County is red, but better than parts you could excise from Brazoria and Galveston in exchange. In addition, you could run it into Baytown, and probably still accomplish the goals of the rest of your seats while adding in a potential win.

      Great job overall, once again highlighting how we're marginalized far beyond where we should be in Texas.

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    I know I commented above with respect to the validity of such diaries, but after digesting this map in its entirety I feel I have to make these comments:

    1) This is a dummymander. Out of districts 1-10, Democrats would only win the 5th normally. Republicans would be favorites for the rest.

    2) Piedra Negras is a Mexican city. The Texan side town is Eagle Pass.

    3) Is Gene Green's district majority SSVR? If it isn't majority SSVR. Which, by the way (for all reading), does not mean 50+1% SSVR, but rather adjusted SSVR. I.E. is the SSVR % larger than all VAP other categories combined? You can get this with SSVRs down into the high 30s. T

    Take, for example, a district with the following VAP similar to Gene Green's current district:

    75% Hispanic, 10% Black, 10% White, 5% Other.

    But with an SSVR of (which doesn't match Green's district) 35%.

    That's basically 35% eligible Hispanic, 10% Black, 10% White, and 5% Other, but notice that 35% is larger than the 25% of everything else eligible. After standardizing to 100% the actual demographics are 58% Hispanic, 17% Black, 17% White, and 8% Other.  

    With this map, I'd expect Democrats to actually win only 8 seats regularly - only 5, 9, 13, 14, 18, 39, and 30, with maybe 31 additionally - the rest of them are pure tossups.

    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 Jan 17, 2013 at 04:38:13 PM PST

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