Perhaps I have not written enough about the Missouri State Senate in all the years of writing about elections and more technical stuff involving Missouri politics. But this timeline might give you an idea of why I have not written about the Missouri Senate often in the last 3 years.

1999-2001: The margin is 18 Democrats and 16 Republicans.

November 2000: Republicans pick up their 17th seat when Bill Foster defeats Jerry Howard in the 25th district. But the Democrats vacate 2 seats with Lacy Clay’s election to Congress and Joe Maxwell’s election as Lt. Governor. The Republicans vacate a seat when Sam Graves is elected to Congress.

January 2001: Republicans pick up their 18th seat when John Cauthorn defeats Robert Clayton in the 18th district. They retain the Sam Graves seat, and the Democrats obviously retain the Clay seat. This marks the first since since 1946 that Republicans had a majority in the State Senate

2002, etc: The Republicans picked up 2 seats in 2002 (picking up the 2nd [St. Charles], 20th [Seat that moved west to SW MO], and 34th [Buchanan/Platte] and losing the 26th). They picked up 3 more in 2004 (The 3rd [SE MO], 17th [Clay County], 21st [West Central MO] and 31st [Lower Case R] and they kinda lost the 1st (but that’s a redistricting oddity). While various special elections produced flips like Barnitz picking up Steelman’s seat, the special election where Bill Alter won with 30% because 3 Democrats ran.

Democrats made some progress in 2006, picking up the 18th (Shoemyer), winning back the 22nd (McKenna) and getting Chris Koster to switch parties. The . Then in 2008, they lost 3 seats, the 1st, 19th, and 31st. Then in 2010, they lost 3 more seats. The good news is that we’re not probably not losing 3 more seats in 2012 paring the redistricting commission selling St. Louis and Kansas City.

So the standings are now 26-8. That’s why I’m not huge into talking about the Senate and Senate elections, because most of the drama involves stuff not happening because the Republicans can’t get along, instead of Democrats being able to do anything on their own. That, and the “paper bag of money” campaign finance system really comes into play for the Senate elections.

You can stop drinking or shielding your eyes around this point of the post.

But anyways, let’s do a bit of a background post followed by some possibilities of what might come in 2012.

Before one-man one-vote, the Missouri Senate was malapportioned, but it was not as bad as the Missouri house (which every county had one seat until 1967).

Here’s how the Senate districts looked in 1963:

It’s safe to say that the “Dallas County to Washington County” worm will not be revived in the 2012 map. But trends that will be seen in the maps in the last 50 years involve counties (outside of the metropolitan counties) rarely being split and also the boothill always gets split in multiple pieces (especially since it’s not possible to have a Poplar Bluff to Cape Girardeau district).

But with one-man one-vote advocating the once-controversial idea of all districts having relatively equal population, the 1967 map changed a bit.

Jackson County got an extra district. St. Charles/Warren Counties got their own district. And the world didn’t radically change.





You can kind of notice some evolving going on, can’t you?

The 2002 districts had a range in population from 159100 (the 3rd) to 170302 (the 25th) when they were drawn. And after the 2010 census, the range is 140093 (the 4th) to 242885 (the 2nd).

So fixes are in order, obviously.

The “ideal” population is 176145, up from an ideal population of 164565 ten years ago. As you can see from the range used in 2002, there’s a shot there’ll be districts within the 5% of the ideal, which means a range of around 168K to 185K.

The counties with the population to support their own district(s) are St. Louis (998954, 5 districts plus a majority in a 6th), Jackson (674158, 3 districts plus a majority in a 4th), St. Charles (2 districts), St. Louis City (1 district and a majority in 2nd district), Greene County (1 district and a majority in a 2nd district), Clay County (1 district), and Jefferson County (1 district).

The counties with the population to have a majority of people in a district: Boone, Jasper, Franklin, Cass, Platte, and Buchanan.

With the possible deviations from 176145, a few possibilities can be seen before we go to the commissioners maps.

1) St. Charles County could just get split 2 ways. Both districts would be around 180K. If St. Charles is split evenly, then the rest would likely go into a district with Warren or Lincoln Counties.

2) Jasper and Newton counties are perfectly paired. Their combined population is 175518.

3) Platte and Buchanan Counties will likely continue their marriage as well. Combined their population is 178523.

So let’s look at the maps.

Map A was proposed by Commissioner Doug Harpool.

One of the more interesting quirks of this map involve moving district numbers around. The 18th is moved to SE Missouri for some reason. The 27th is moved to NE Missouri. Now, if Missouri elected all 34 members in 2012, that wouldn’t matter as much. But with the odd-numbered districts up in 2012 and the even numbered up in 2014, it’s kind of a prickly issue. The designations of 18th and 27th could be easily retained as is.

Also, there’s a case of switching the 29th on this map to be the 31st, the 24th on the map to be the 29th, and the 31st on this map to be the 24th. Although with the odds/evens, my idea would mean that St. Louis resident John Lamping would be technically representing a fork shaped district in West-Central Missouri. But if he likes the Ozarks enough, he could always establish residency at a lake house. But those are cosmetic comments.

As for the Harpool map in the metro areas.

The surplus of Jackson County is paired with the surplus of Clay County. His STL map pairs Lembke and Schmitt in a district which includes Clayton, Kirkwood, and Richmond Heights. It also pairs Lamping and Chappelle-Nadal and puts Jane Cunningham in a much bluer district, while making West County the surplus and giving it to Brian Nieves.

14 of the 33 districts don’t split any county lines (and the 3rd and 12th provide enough info without partial counties), so I checked the results from 5 elections (2 ‘generic’ elections from 2008 [Koster and Zweifel], 1 ‘good Dem performance in a bad Dem year’ (Robin Carnahan in 2004), 1 ‘Dem-friendly’ election from 2006 [Susan Montee] and 1 ‘Dem-unfriendly’ election from 2010 [Susan Montee]).

Two Harpool districts were won by all 5 candidates. The 3rd outside of Jefferson and the 19th. Several districts were won by 2 or more candidates. The 21st and 27th were won by Montee06 and Robin04. The 29th and 34th were won by Koster, Montee06 and Robin04. Montee’s 2006 performance was unusually good for a downballot Dem in the outstate areas, as she also won the 12th and 31st. So take it with a grain of salt.

The range of percentages from the 5 campaigns, from highest to lowest was.. (Montee 06 is highest and Montee 2010 is lowest unless noted otherwise)

3rd: 49.9% to 61.05%

6th: 36.65% to 46.6%

12th: 32.6% to 52.2% (Zweifel is the low mark, as he was facing 12th district Senator Brad Lager)

16th: 33.9% to 44.9%

18th: 29.8% to 43.7% (Koster is the high mark)

19th: 48.3% to 57.55%

21st: 40.4% to 52.8%

24th: 28.2% to 38.7%

25th: 35% to 49.5%

27th: 41.5% to 53.1%

28th: 31.9% to 39.4%

29th: 43.8% to 55.5%

31st: 38% to 50%

2nd: 22.2% to 32.7%

33rd: 33.9% to 42.8%

34th: 46.8% to 55.1%

So, the other 18 districts split with 2 in St. Charles, the West County/Franklin District, 7 districts in STL, the Jefferson County district, the Springfield district, the Greene/Christian donut, the Clay County district, and 4 Jackson County districts. Those 18 could split 11-7 D in good years (with 6 wins in STL/STLCo, a hold of the JeffCo district, holds of the 3 KCMO districts, and a win in Clay County). Then the 3rd/19th/29th/34th are winnable with an outside shot at the 21st/27th. Finding a plausible scenario of Democrats getting 17 seats from this map is always a good sign to it’s abilities. I might be underselling Dems in the proposed 15th and Springfield too.

So with those happy thoughts out in the open, how about Map B proposed by Republican commissioner John Maupin?

When your party has a 26-8 advantage. You’re obviously going to propose a very status-quo friendly map. (And you’ll also pair historically-Republican Cooper County with Boone County to help our the Republican Senator from Boone)

The map moves the historically Republican Putnam County from the 18th to 12th. Macon county moves from the 21st to the 18th. Montgomery County moves from the 16th to the 18th. Randolph County moves from the 19th to the 21st. Cooper County moves from the 21st to the 19th. Pettis County moves from the 28th to the 21st (very historical!). Vernon County moves from the 31st to the 28th. Moniteau and Morgan Counties move from the 6th to the 28th. Osage and Gasconade move from the 16th to the 6th. Dallas County moves from the 28th to the 33rd. Douglas and Webster Counties move from the 20th to the 33rd. Ozark County moves from the 29th to the 33rd. Howell, Oregon and Shannon Counties move from the 33rd to the 3rd. Ste. Genevieve County moves from the 3rd to the 22nd. Lincoln County moves from the 2nd to the 26th.

So, how about a look at the metro areas?

That tail in the Springfield district might blow Maupin’s shot at a “neat and tidy redistricting award”.

The KC area map keeps 3 Dem districts (The 11th goes into redder territory, but the Southern Clay area will make up for it). Moving the 11th into Southern Clay means that the Clay County district is more Republican-friendly. Think of Clay County like an unusual sandwich. Republicans in the north, a mix of Rs and Ds in the middle, Democrats in the South. The Congressional map put the Democrats in the Jackson County-anchored 5th and this map is following in that tradition of putting them where they can’t hurt Republicans. Now, it’d be far more logical to have a Clay County district that is mainly suburban and put Smithville and other northern areas into another district. But this is redistricting, not logic.

As for St. Louis, he tried real hard to make the 24th into a dependable Republican district, stretching the 24th from Ellisville to Bridgeton to Richmond Heights. The 1st losing South St. Louis is expected, and they’re rolling the dice that Affton doesn’t cause problems electorally. Moving the 7th into Northwest Jefferson County means that Jefferson County, has the population for one whole district, will not get that district. But the 22nd becomes a Democrat sanctuary district by adding Ste. Genevieve County.

So let’s go back to the results sheet to see how this map slices up the state.

One district is won 4 of 5 candidates (SD19 is won by Koster, Montee06, Zweifel, and Robin04 and lost by Montee10). SD3 is won by Koster and Montee06. SD31 and SD34 are won by Koster, Montee06, and Robin04. So let’s take a look at the ranges. (Once again, best is Montee06, worst is Montee2010, unless otherwise noted)

SD3: 43.5% to 54.9%

SD6: 34.9% to 45.15%

SD12: 33.1% to 52.1% (Zweifel is the low-point here, look to the previous list for why)

SD16: 36.9% to 46.6%

SD18: 42.1% to 53%

SD19: 47.2% to 56.6%

SD21: 42.5% to 55.2%

SD25: 34.4% to 49.1%

SD26: 40.6% to 52.6%

SD27: 30% to 44% (high percentage is Koster’s)

SD28: 35.6% to 46.3%

SD29: 28.5% to 39.1%

SD31: 39.3% to 50.7%

SD32: 22.75% to 33%

SD33: 32.3% to 40.4%

SD34: 46.8% to 55.1%

So, in the 18 districts which weren’t listed above, the Dems would hold the 8 seats they currently hold. The Republicans would have the upperhand in the 1st, 7th, and 15th in STL, the 8th in Jackson County, both St. Charles County seats, both Greene County seats, and Clay County. And maybe the 24th turns competitive in the decade. As for the 16 districts listed above, the Dems would have a good shot at 4 of them (3rd/19th/21st/34th). So if they run the table, the Senate is still 22-12.

In closing…

1) the districts in St. Louis County will be vital. Currently the St. Louis County delegation is 4-2 Republican (a flip from 4-2 Democratic before 2008). With the right lines, the delegation could return to 4-2 Democratic in the next two elections.

2) Clay County is also going to be important. The Harpool district is more competitive than the Maupin district (which puts North KC into a Democrat sanctuary with Independence).

3) A Boone/Howard 19th has 172K people in it and is bluer than a Boone/Cooper 19th (which has 180K people). The logistics of getting from Boone to Howard and Boone to Cooper are another matter. But at the same time, Howard County could benefit from not being on the other side of a river in it’s State Senate district.

4) There are areas outside of Kansas City and St. Louis that can be won by Democrats. The 3rd and 21st will be important in 2012. Winning back the 19th is vital. Hopefully future statewide campaigns don’t go the route of the last statewide campaign in those areas.

5) Seriously, Jasper and Newton Counties in the 32nd. I’m not sure why Dade County is still with the 32nd on the Maupin map. Does the ecosystem fall apart if you take Dade County and put it in another Republican district? There’s no road that takes you directly from Jasper to Dade Counties. Look it up.

6) I doubt much will be done to alter the division of the Boothill. But a district of just Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry, Scott, and Stoddard Counties is very close to the ideal population. The 25th may look a bit more odd without Stoddard County, but with all the 5% deviation districts that they’re gonna do, they could do a district with a .00012489 deviation (22 people away from the ideal). Just an idea.

7) I’m not exactly expecting a split of Kirksville and Hannibal in the 2012 Senate map. I’m hoping the Ste. Genevieve to Shannon area winds up in the same district. Hopefully the judges who draw the map don’t put Southern Clay and Independence into a vote-sink. And hopefully the St. Louis County Senate delegation isn’t 66% Republican in a strongly Democratic county soon.

8) Maps don’t make elections. Candidates make elections. So all this goes out the window if the Democrats don’t/can’t compete in winnable districts. Missouri’s campaign finance system is incredibly incumbent friendly. There’s only two ways to get around that, get the law changed via initative (and prepared to do that over and over) or neutralize their strength with a combination of money and hard work and money and money and money.

And thus ends a mandatory minimum look into the Missouri State Senate and elections. Hopefully the Senate Democratic Caucus gains enough members to field a baseball team in 2013.