New congressional maps still lean R

The new draft of proposed congressional maps released today restored some VRA counties to the 1st district. But overall, Dems wouldn't pick up any ground in the latest plan.

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Congressional draft 2
Laura Leslie


The ink is barely dry on the latest version of NC's proposed congressional redistricting maps, but critics are already calling the second draft more racially and politically polarizing than the first round, reallocations of some VRA voters notwithstanding.

Is it true? Well, the tables below show you what's changed from the current maps to the latest proposal. All the numbers are taken from the legislature's own stats for each map. 

African-American Voting Age Pop.DistrictCurrent July 1 draftJuly 19 draft158.40%50.38%52.02%239.73%16.71%15.91%315.95%23.08%17.79%419.00%28.17%30.72%57.49%11.84% 11.78%69.87%14.70%14.37%719.93%16.29%17.03%827.17%19.34%17.91%914.18%11.16%11.86%108.43%10.97%10.83%113.90% 3.00%3.00%1242.87%49.35%49.59%1327.47%14.76%16.57% 

All three "safe Democrat districts" - 1, 4, and 12 - have higher percentages of African-American voting age populations under Draft 2.  Embattled Democratic districts 7 and 13 picked  up a few more minority voters, while District 8 lost some, and 11 stayed the same.

Republican districts 2 and 3 and Democratic district 8 lost minority voters. GOP districts 5, 6, 9, and 10 held pretty close to steady. 

Overall, it looks like slightly more African-American voters would be swept into Democratic districts under Draft 2.

More partisan?

Would the latest draft make the state more politically competitive, or less so?

In a lot of states, we could just look at voter registration to find the answer.  But rural Tarheels are infamous for calling themselves Democrats while voting for Republican candidates, especially for Congress and President. So leaving "party affiliation" aside, here's how folks voted in 2008.  


Percentage McCain Voters in 2008DistrictCurrentJuly 1 draftJuly 19 draft1 (D-Butterfield)36.75%31.27%28.89%2 (R-Ellmers)47.74%55.51%55.71%3 (R-Jones)61.44%55.90%56.23%4 (D-Price)36.87%27.75%27.04%5 (R-Foxx)60.59%56.96%56.83%6 (R-Coble)62.97%55.35%55.70%7 (D-McIntyre)52.17%55.33%57.61%8 (D-Kissell)46.87%55.39%57.45% 9 (R-Myrick)54.56%54.94%54.10%10 (R-McHenry)63.28%56.99%56.56%11 (D-Shuler)52.14%58.00%58.59%12 (D-Watt)29.06%21.52%21.36%13 (D-Miller)40.23%55.74%54.12%
Overall, Democratic districts 1, 4, and 12 get even more Democratic than they were under Draft 1. Battleground district 13 gets a little less red, losing 1.6% McCain voters, but embattled districts 7, 8, and 11 actually get harder for Dems to win.  

On the Republican side, 2, 3, and 6 get more Republican, while 5, 9 and 10 lose a handful of R voters, but are still solidly red.

Or to put it another way: under current maps, Districts 3, 5, 6, and 10 were solid GOP (55% and up). Under Draft 1, districts 2, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 13 would be added, giving the GOP a total of ten districts they'd be likely to win in 2012.

Draft 2 boosts GOP voters in 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 11, while losing a little ground in 9 and 13. But overall, both drafts still put ten seats in likely GOP territory.  

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