This time, we’ve got an internet application to play with.
The task of dividing Missouri into 8 districts with the population estimates is still a nightmare.
When it comes down to it, the best possible deal for an 8 district map is a 4/4 delegation split. Best possible, without a gerrymander. Currently the delegation is 5 Republicans/4 Democrats.
With all the momentum of under two hours of work, here’s an attempt to split the state into 8 districts with a 4/4 split.
First, the STL districts.
The 1st district (Blue): 738926 people, 45% white, 49% African-American
The 2nd district (Green): 738908 people
The 1st district walks a balance between helping the 2nd, and also keeping the legislators in that area happy enough to actually approve such a map. The 1st moves west into Maryland Heights and south in the city of St. Louis. Ideally, the district would still go 2 to 1 for Democrats, at the very least. A drop from 3 to 1, but still a good solid district. Here’s a before/after of the lines. Most of the tracts moving from the 1st to 2nd were coincidences from the tractpoking that was done to form the district.
The 2nd district includes the homes of Todd Akin and Russ Carnahan. The district also includes a chunk of Akin’s STL county district (except for Chesterfield). As well, a part of Jefferson County, and Russ’ South County district are in the district unsplit. Ideally the district would be 50/50.
As for the third district (pop. 738910)
Officially, this district is open. It combines Boone County, one of the emerging Democratic votegetting counties, with the rapidly blueing St. Charles county. Along with the I70 corridor and some other counties in the area.
As for the 4th district.. it’s a sign of the ridiculous nature of the 4th that you can’t fit it into an image on the minimum zoom.
Yes, really. The realities of the corridor district kind of makes this district ridiculous. As well, Sam Graves and Blaine Luetkemeyer both live in this district. The population in the new 4th is 738858. The only split in it not already covered is two tracts in Camden County near Osage Beach (which are in the 9th district, instead of the 4th). Unfortunately for candidates, this district is huge, covers multiple TV markets. As well, we can only break it down by region. Buchanan and Platte should be Dem friendly, the Northwest Corner is more Republican, North Central Missouri is a fusion of co-ops and Republican voting, the Northeast corner of Missouri could be a good Dem area. The Northeast part of the district between Kirksville and Moberly could also produce a good showing for Dems. But a lot of this depends on who the candidates are, and if they’re great at exhaustive campaigning. 44 counties in one Congressional district might be a record for this state.
The 5th district (pop. 739048) is slightly more compact.
The temptation to put some of the Republican parts of Jackson County somewhere else is still there. But when the county is 60/40 blue, then it’s not a huge pain to have to put up with parts of EJC, or with Cass County. Cass County kind of got cut up in the quest to get within 100 of the ideal district population.
As for the 6th district (pop. 738852), it’ll be more competitive when it’s opened up by retirement. But it’s a challenge.
The district obviously adds Clay County. It loses a sliver of Jackson County, along with Webster County and parts of Cass County. The district also gains ground in Polk, Camden and Phelps Counties. Ideally, the combination of traditionally Democratic areas in West Central Missouri and Clay County could outmuscle the traditionally Republican lean of the rest of the district.
My apologies to Phelps Countians for the splitting of their county.
The 4th and 6th could switch numbers on this map so that Ike Skelton is the incumbent in the 4th, Sam Graves is the incumbent in the 6th, and they won’t have to order cards with new district numbers on them.
As for the 7th (pop. 738989).. it is what you think it is
It picks up the rest of Taney County, Webster County, a tract in Wright county, and Ozark County. It loses part of Polk County. It’s still very Republican.
How about the 8th district (pop. 739114)?
The eighth loses it’s portion of Taney County, loses part of Phelps and Wright counties, loses Ozark County. It picks up Southern Franklin and Southern Jefferson Counties, along with Crawford and Ste. Genevieve counties. As to how the 8th splits when a non-Emerson is on the ballot, i’m not particularly sure. But when the two biggest counties in the 8th are strong Republican (Cape and Butler), then that’s a lot of votes to start with.
When it comes to redistricting, barring a great compromise, the map will be drawn or approved by a panel of Federal Judges. But the Republican plan will be closer to 6/2 if they act as how they usually act. They’ll keep the 4th as is and wait. They’ll put Southern Clay County in the 5th. They’ll stack Democrats in the 1st. Russ Carnahan’s house will end up in a Republican 2nd or the 8th.
Basically.. redistricting will be very unpleasant this year unless something unexpected occurs.
But until we get the real numbers, we’re left to mess with an online application in an attempt to see how many counties can fit into one Congressional district. When the real numbers come out, then the computers hidden in the basement of the Capital will be put to work with all the electoral and socioeconomic stats to form the ‘perfect map’
Which will then be exposed within several cycles.
But it’s raining in the KC area. So why not have a diversion for a bit?