Two more new maps came out this morning: the Senate Democrats’ alternative congressional plan, and a proposal for Senate districts from the Legislative Black Caucus.
House Democrats are expected to release their own House map around 2:30 this afternoon.
Senate Democrats’ Congressional
The Dems’ congressional plan, also titled “Fair and Legal,” looks substantially more like the current map than the GOP proposal does. The 13th (Miller) would go back to its current form, dropping down into Greensboro again. The 4th (Price) would return to the Triangle area. Asheville would be back in the 11th district (Shuler).
Under the Dems’ plan, four districts – 3, 5, 6, and 10 - would have voted for McCain by more than 55%, and four districts – 1, 4, 12, and 13 - would have voted by the same margin for Obama.
The remainder – Districts 2 (Ellmers), 7 (McIntyre), 8 (Kissell), 9 (Myrick), and 11 (Shuler) would all be in swing territory.
By comparison, the latest GOP congressional map has 8 districts that went 55+% for McCain, 2 that voted for McCain at more than 54%, and 3 – districts 1, 4 and 12 - that would have voted Democrat.
Legislative Black Caucus’s Senate
Again using the 2008 election results as a snapshot, the LBC’s Senate map would create 24 Republican districts at 55% McCain or above, 17 Democratic districts at 55% Obama or above, and 9 swing districts.
Like the Senate Democrats’ map, it contains 4 districts where the majority of registered voters are African American. But it doesn’t create any majority-minority districts where the BVAP (Black voting age population) reaches 50%
The LBC map includes a lot of country groupings that neither the Senate Dems nor the GOP came up with. Its district deviations are slightly higher than the other two plans, but all fall within the allowed 5% margin.
About the criteria
There are a lot of different methods out there for calculating how voters in a given district are likely to lean in any given race. On this blog, I’ve been using the 2008 results as a snapshot. This does not give a complete picture of voting behavior by any means. But it IS a readily available ppoint of comparison, and it's a better indicator than voter affiliation, which is often not predictive in North Carolina especially at the congressional and presidential levels.