Skip to main content

The result of Washington's bipartisan redistricting commission was an embarrassment for Democrats. The Democratic negotiators fairly clearly sacrificed the interests of the party to give our incumbents safer districts than they needed and make Denny Heck a very happy man. To do so, they unnecessarily sacrificed the Dem-leaning swing district in eastern King County and even turned the seat of Jay Inslee, who was running for Governor, into a swing seat.

But what if we had done slightly better in 2010, and Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene had won their races? This diary is my attempt to draw a map that the commission might have produced while trying to protect 7 Democratic incumbents. I used the following criteria while drawing the map:
1. Give all incumbents safe districts (52% Murray or greater for Democrats, 51% McCain or greater for Republicans)
2. Wherever possible, maintain the geographic bases of the incumbents in their districts.
3. Give Republicans a substantially safer 3rd district than they'd get under a court map to get them to play along.
4. Draw a map that isn't too messy for the commissioners to pass it with straight faces.



This diary has been posted to DK Elections, an official Daily Kos sub-site. Please read the DKE Mission Statement. DKE's focus is on electoral politics rather than policy. Welcome aboard!



WA-1 (blue, "Jay Inslee")
59.4% Obama, 38.8% McCain
52.6% Murray, 47.4% Rossi
Inslee might not like this district, but it was necessary to give the other incumbents districts as safe as I gave them. The district gets 3 or 4 less points Democratic, and drops his Bainbridge Island home, becoming a mostly Snohomish County district by geography (although a good chunk of the population is still in King County). Still, the district is D+6 or 7, so it should be safe, and Inslee can still run for Governor as long as he holds off on telling the negotiators until the map is drawn.

WA-2 (green, Jay Rick Larsen)
57.5% Obama, 40.5% McCain
52.7% Murray, 47.3% Rossi

Rick Larsen gets a safer district that takes in most of the cross-sound stuff that used to be in Inslee's district while dropping the conservativish stuff in western Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. After surviving 2010, he should be safe.

WA-3 (purple, "open")
47.4% Obama, 50,5% McCain
42.1% Murray, 57.9% Rossi

This seat, is, as they say, the price of doing business. Dropping all of Thurston and Cowlitz Counties (Olympia and Longview, respectively), it maintains most of conservative Lewis County and heads across the Cascades for more conservative turf, avoidnig both Yamika city and the Indian reservation. The resulting district is probably R+5ish, and would be great for Jamie Herrera Beutler.

WA-4 (Red, Doc Hastings)
40.7% Obama, 57.3% McCain
35.1% Murray, 64.9% Rossi

Not much to see here, Doc Hasting's district is still punishingly red.

WA-5 (Gold, Cathy McMorris Rogers)
46.1% Obama, 51.4% McCain
41.7% Murray, 58.3% Rossi

McMorris Roger's district gets a smidgen bluer, but it's next to impossible not to unless you split Spokane, which I figure she wouldn't want, and it's still safe.

WA-6 (teal, "Norm Dicks" )
57.3% Obama, 40.6% McCain
52.6% Murray, 47.4% Rossi

This district drops the southern end of Tacoma into the new 10th, however, it makes up for it by picking up Bainbridge Island from the 1st and Pacific and Cowlitz Counties from the 3rd. The partisanship stays about the same, and should be relatively safe.

WA-7 (grey, Jim McDermontt)
83.3% Obama, 15.2% McCain
80.6% Murray, 19.2% Rossi

This district remains a Seattle-based district, containing all of the city and consisting mostly of the city. However, it drops some of the southern suburbs for northern ones. A Green is more likely to win here than a Republican.

WA-8 (slate blue, "Suzan DelBene")
60.4% Obama, 38.2% McCain
52.6% Murray, 47.4% Rossi

This district drops its Pierce County component, become an entirely King County suburban district. In so doing, it gets a few points bluer and becomes completely safe for Suzan DelBene.

WA-9 (cyan, Adam Smith)
58.5% Obama, 39.8% McCain
52.9% Murray, 47.1% Rossi

Adam Smith's district picks up the southern Seattle suburbs from the 7th as well eastern Pierce County from the 8th, while dumping it's stuff in Western Pierce and Eastern Thurston County into the new 10th. The result is a district that's maybe half a point more Democratic than the old district. Unlike the ridiculous map the commission produced, however, it does not take in a large chunk of Seattle and the eastern suburbs and become needlessly ridiculously Democratic. If Dave Reichert were to attempt a comeback, this would probably be the place to do it, as it contains his Pierce County Base, however, it would be an uphill battle, especially against an established moderate incumbent like Adam Smith.

WA-10 (Pink, "Denny Heck")
56.6% Obama, 41.5% McCain
52.3% Murray, 47.7% Rossi

This new district is made up of parts of the old 3rd, 9th, and 6th, and is more or less taylor made for Denny Heck. It consists of Thurston County (Olympia), Western Pierce County (including the south end of Tacoma), and some of the least Republican parts of Lewis County. It's the least Democratic district held by a Democratic incumbent, but it's still probably D+4ish and someone like Heck could keep it locked down easily.

So there you have it. What could have happened if a pair of races had went slightly differently in 2010. As you can see, 2010 hurt us even in places with "bipartisan" redistricting processes.

Originally posted to BeloitDem on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 01:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Koscadia.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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

  •  Nice map (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fuzzybigfoot, atdnext

    I envisioned something like this when I looked at what redistricting would look like had Dems won all races within 5% in 2010, but didn't actually draw it.

    What would also be interesting to see is what redistricting would have looked like had it taken place after 2008 since you would have Reichert, Baird, and maybe Heck to accommodate.

  •  It was a very sad day when this map passed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext

    And we have enough BS on our table, considering Tim Eyman, our extremely regressive tax structure, a crappy state legislature, etc.  We are a very sad state right now. :'(

    •  Excuse me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeloitDem, atdnext

      I meant our current map.  The map you drew is just fine.  :) ;)   Sorry

      •  I knew what you meant (0+ / 0-)

        I did, after all, devote over a whole paragraph to how bullshit the actual map was.

        •  I don't think it's that bad. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          atdnext, Englishlefty

          It gave the 10th district to the Democrats and created a 1st district that tilts Dem.  It's D+4 (according to wikipedia's new map numbers) and was won by almost 8% by Delbene.

          "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

          by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:25:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. It isn't horrible. (3+ / 0-)

            It's perhaps just more generous to Republicans than it could have been (if the commission wasn't as obsessed with incumbent protection).

          •  They didn't "create a 1st district that tilts Dem" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jncca, James Allen

            They turned a prexisting solid Dem first and turned it into a swing district, while moving the 8th from lean D to lean R, despite most of the population growth being in Democratic areas, all to give Adam Smith and Rick Larsen much safer districts than they needed. We could have gotten a much better map from a court which our incumbents (and Denny Heck for that matter) would have been fine in, but the Dem negotiators didn't pick that fight because they care more about Democratic incumbents getting mildly spooked than Democratic control of congress.

            •  It is not swing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Englishlefty

              D+4 isn't all that swingy.  And Obama won the new CD-8 in 2012.  And if the growth is indeed in the Dem areas, it will slide away from him all over again.  As will WA-01, since its King County portion is quite large.  Also, court maps will not produce a radically better map.  the only change between what they came up with here and what a court would do is make a somewhat bluer CD-8.  Other than that, not much change.

              "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

              by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:23:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  At least on 2008 numbers (0+ / 0-)

                WA-1 was D+1 or 2. And the difference between the WA-8 the commission drew and what a court would have drawn is the difference between R+ 1 or 2 and D+6ish, and with Dave Reichert as the incumbent, that's the difference between likely R and likely D.

          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

            The current map gives the Democrats 60% of the seats in a state that isn't even overall 60% Democrat. I think it is a pretty good deal for the Democrats.

            Age 25, Republican, WA-03 (represented by wonderful Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler), getting married in June :)

            by KyleinWA on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:07:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That a bogus arguement and you know it (6+ / 0-)

              If you want to pass a national proportional representation scheme, I'm all with you, but until then, it's perfectly natural for states that lean heavily towards one party to get more than their exact proportion in seats. I mean, I don't go around complaining about the fact that Republicans hold 100% of the seats in Oklahoma despite them only having like 2/3ds of the voters.

              •  BUT (0+ / 0-)

                OK is pretty evenly Republican thoughout the state. WA is not evenly Democratic all over the place. You can not compare the two at all.

                So given that the state, one that has pretty striking differences in politics in different regions, and is drawn by a bi-partisan committee, 60% of the seats is nothing is be upset about.

                Age 25, Republican, WA-03 (represented by wonderful Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler), getting married in June :)

                by KyleinWA on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:43:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You see, you just acknowledged that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Allen

                  Proportion of population doesn't necessarily equate to the proportion of of districts the party will get under a good CoI map. The fact is that over three quarters of Washington's population is west of the Cascades, a region that, with the exception of Lewis County and some conservative suburbs in Clark County, is largely moderate to liberal. The fact is that unless you really think that a court would have crossed the Cascades for district 8, any court map would have produced 7 D+ districts and a 3rd that was closer to R+2 or 3 than the +5 or so I drew (although admittedly, some of the D+ districts would have been less safe than what I drew).

                  •  Yes, under a court map (0+ / 0-)

                    I am pretty certain WA-8 would hve spilled over the Cascades. Given that that region is one of the few areas that connect western WA and eastern WA (and is probably the most commonly used), and that cities like Wenatchee have far more connections economically and culturally with eastern King County than places like Yakima have with Clark or Cowlitz Counties, I would fully expect a court to draw a map that has WA-8 being the western WA seat that spills over into the east.

                    Age 25, Republican, WA-03 (represented by wonderful Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler), getting married in June :)

                    by KyleinWA on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:15:20 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why don't you draw your own map for us then (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BeloitDem

                      showing what you think a court or California-style commission might draw? I'm genuinely interested as mine is the only one I've ever seen and I was very unsatisfied with how the 3rd district turned out.

                    •  Are you really trying to tell me (0+ / 0-)

                      That random towns in the middle of nowhere like Wenatchee have a lot in common with Seattle suburbs? You can't even have a neat Cowlitz-Clark CoI district, you're already including places like Lewis and Pacific County. It makes a lot more sense to follow the Coumbia river.

                      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                        Clark/Cowlitz/Lewis/Pacific counties are very much tied together. Places like the area around Yakima are not like us culturally or economically other then they have shipping down the Columbia. Even with that our ties are still pretty seperated.

                        But places like Wenatchee send their goods into Seattle to be shipped via I-90. They get Seattle TV stations. They are far more connected to eastern King County then eastern WA is to southwest Washington.

                        Age 25, Republican, WA-03 (represented by wonderful Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler), getting married in June :)

                        by KyleinWA on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:35:49 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  that's not what matters necessarily (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          BeloitDem

                          these districts are generally too large to compose a single community, unless you're talking about a city as large as Seattle.  There will always be disputes about how to combine smaller communities together, and they're not really fruitful.  It is more important to not divide communities than to try to create commonality between communities where little truly exists, like trying to come up with a link between Wenatchee and Seattle beyond just the road that links them.

                          ...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 Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:19:21 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  But what does the map have to do with it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atdnext

        I thought WA's map was okay and didn't get the whining over it.

        "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

        by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:27:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Call me crazy but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Englishlefty

          my expectations from the outset (based on what a few were saying) was that the map produced would give the 10th to the Democrats for a 6-4 map.

          "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

          by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:26:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That may have been a reasonable prediction (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, James Allen

            since it was somewhat predictable that the commission would place the highest priority on incumbent protection. But it'snot what a court would have drawn and not a deal we should have taken, and completely something we should be mad about. Any court drawn map would have kept the 8th on the West side of the Cascades, and probably would have kept it in King County. They certainly wouldn't have drawn something like what the commission drew, which splits Seattle and sacrifices a Democratic seat in Congress to keep Smith and Heck happy. The 8th should be ours, but it isn't because some insiders cared more about keeping incumbents happy than advancing the interests of the Democratic Party.

  •  I have to imagine WA-03 will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14

    trend in our direction. The Portland Metro is supposed to gain 1 million residents in the next 20 years. I can't imagine those residents will lean Republican. Jamie Herrera Beutler is probably on borrowed time. She doesn't strike me as particularly moderate. Not too mention Dave Reichert's seat.

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 01:50:42 PM PST

    •  I dunno, the rest of the 3rd is conservative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeloitDem

      Granted, the Dem was pretty weak. He couldn't even get an endorsement at the state convention, the 3rd's delegation didn't coalesce around a candidate iirc.

      I hope you're right though. That creepy Don Benton just barely made it to the state senate by 70 votes.

      •  Plus other parts of the 3rd are seeing a lot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atdnext

        of Hispanic populaton growth.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:03:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Except for Lewis County, the 3rd really is swing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        A major push by NativeVote could be enough to turn this district blue. This district has a high concentration of Hispanic and Native American voters and a real effort to register both could make a real difference in Clark and Pacific Counties.

    •  Dave Reichert's seat is probably easier (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeloitDem, ArkDem14, atdnext, Englishlefty

      He's not the person who seems like he's going to be in it for much longer before retiring.  He has recurring health problems that makes life difficult for him.

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:30:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is always (0+ / 0-)

      had to predict what an area will look like politically in 20 years that doesn't already lean strongly one way or the other. But lately WA-3 has been trending towards the GOP. Lewis County is as red as ever. Cowlitz County has moved from a strong Democratic county to a swing county. The only die hard blue areas left in WA-3 are the dying coastal areas that are shrinking in population. True the Hispanic population is growing, and has been for more then a decade. But as we have seen WA-3 in that time has been getting a bit more Republican and I would point to WA-4 next door. A high percentage of Hispanics seat that is blood red.

      Who knows what the future holds. But for now, the trend is more in favor of the GOP then the Democrats in WA-3.

      Age 25, Republican, WA-03 (represented by wonderful Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler), getting married in June :)

      by KyleinWA on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:36:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very well done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext

    Quite neat and plausible

    "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

    by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:29:18 PM PST

  •  So, you believe in Gerrymandering? (0+ / 0-)

    I trust you won't be complaining about the Republican's redistricting antics?

  •  Your map doesn't look bad. (0+ / 0-)

    It doesn't look any more gerrymandered than the real WA map. The key difference is that you don't dump so much of Blue King County into Adam Smith's district like the real map did. I'm not too worried about Suzan DelBene going forward, but it would have been nice if she could count on (more of) a solid King County base every cycle.

  •  The problem with the Washington map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Englishlefty

    (And those in Minnesota and Colorado) is that the districts with the central cities are over-packed with Democrats even though there is no VRA reason to do so. If McDermott could satisfy himself with a district where Obama got 60% instead of 80+%, it would make drawing the rest of the state a lot easier.

    •  I blame traditions. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atdnext, Englishlefty

      In Colorado, it's tradition to never split Denver.  In Washington, it's tradition to never split Seattle (although they did a little bit this time by giving some of the south side to Adam Smith).

      "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

      by KingofSpades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 11:13:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem with the 7th (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Englishlefty, James Allen

      Is there isn't really anywhere to unpack it to. Any non-baconriffic way of splitting Seattle results in just spreading a super-blue city into heavily blue suburbs. We wouldn't get substantial unpacking under either a commission or a court map, which are our options in the state. The bigger problem is Smith and Larsen getting sqeamish after 2010 (and Denny Heck having friends), and the Democratic commissioners caring more about that squeamishness than protecting Democratic interests in the 1st and the 8th.

      •  also (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades

        there are limits in the region because of the islands and where bridges are.  You can use ferries, and have to in some places, but they really tie one's hands.

        ...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 Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:45:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, in my D gerrymander of WA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          It was hard to gerrymander out McDermott's seat.  I finally got it to one that goes out int the red counties just east of King and then shoots back to take in almost all of Lewis County.

          "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." -Voltaire

          by KingofSpades on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:52:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  But that would lead... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      To some unintended consequences that at least many on the front page wouldn't like. If WA-07 were as diluted as you'd like, that seat would likely be filled by a more moderate Dem (like Suzan DelBene or Adam Smith).

      In addition, would Seattle really get proper representation from a crew of (likely suburban based and more moderate) Dems representing bits and pieces of the city instead of having 2 Dems with large chunks of the city (as it is now)?

    •  McDermott doesn't decide what the map looks like (0+ / 0-)

      ...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 Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:44:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry but, (0+ / 0-)

    your third district is illegal. Under Washington State law, contiguity is established by transportation. Lewis and Skamania counties do not border under that criteria. Depending on whether the Edmonds ferry terminal is in the 2nd, you could have another non-contiguous district under state law, and no one's really sure whether a judge would uphold a summer-only pass (eg SR 20) to connect the parts of your 4th district.

    •  There most definitely is a road (0+ / 0-)

      connecting Lewis and Skamamia counties, it's just not a highway.

      •  FS-23, and I've driven it, (0+ / 0-)

        but there's no way it would ever count as a connecting transportation link by the statutory language - just like the fact that you can take a private boat directly from Point Roberts to Ilwaco doesn't mean they are contiguous.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site