Maps that Should Terrify Republicans

Building on Don’s post from earlier this morning (“Does the RPV have the guts to scuttle the GA?”), I would add to the list of fundamental changes Republicans should seek to enact before they lose control of the General Assembly¬† — redistricting reform.

Here’s what Virginia’s congressional districts look like now after Republican gerrymandering, according to the FiveThirtyEight blog Atlas of Redistricting: Five Republican-leaning districts, four Democratic-leaning districts, and two swing districts.

Here’s what the congressional map would look like after the districts are gerrymandered to favor Democrats: Seven Democrat-leaning districts and four Republican-leaning districts.


And here’s what the districts would look like if drawn to be geographically compact without favoring either party: three Republican-leaning districts, three Democratic-leaning districts, and five competitive districts.


What are the chances of seeing something resembling the third map? About zero. Republicans will cling to the hope that they can miraculously hold on to a General Assembly majority and control of the redistricting process. Democrats smell blood in the water, and they will be satisfied with nothing less than the second map.

As always, Virginia will remain a state where politicians pick their voters, not a state where voters pick their politicians.

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10 responses to “Maps that Should Terrify Republicans

  1. The practical reality is 21-19 in the Senate and 51-49 in the House barely qualifies as “control” and there is that guy on the Third Floor….so divided government is a reality in Virginia. What little political power the waning GOP majority has should not be squandered on worrying about most of the stuff you and DJ are writing about. Gerrymandering ain’t going away and the courts enforce a form of gerrymandering themselves with their interpretations of the Voting Rights Act.

  2. I expect the GOP to regain a few of the seats lost in the House in the 2017 election. I expect the newer Democrats to vote no on any tax reform bills that would give back to taxpayers some of the windfalls caused by the impact of the federal tax reform and the recent South Dakota sales tax case. They will likely push for more spending on schools. However, the LCI formula so screws most NoVA districts such that the net result of higher state and higher state aid to schools is money going out of the district. Who does Delegate X represent? Her district or taxpayers in the rest of the state? It’s one thing to say NoVA gets screwed by the LCI. It’s another thing to vote to make it worse.

    • I see the GOP losing seats in the house in 2019. They will also lose the senate. Politicians from both sides of the aisle kept a muzzle on the conformity issue during the 2018 session. The only place you read anything about it is on this blog. Even if you’re right the next census will confirm what we already know – more people in urban areas, fewer people in rural areas. What is the RPV plan to effectively operate as a minority? Hint: They have none.

    • Gerrymander or not, the next redistricting process will add more weight to Northern Virginia and other urban areas that would benefit from a revisit to the Local Composite Index. I hate to break it to you, TMT, but it isn’t only the Democrats who want to retain any windfall revenue from federal tax reform, and I agree with the Supreme Court decision yesterday. Deep down Delegate X worries most about the primary voters in his or her party, but if the incumbents lose the power to choose a primary, they will then worry most about the likely mass meeting attendees – usually the hard core party advocates. Not good….

      • You don’t spend enough time in NoVA. People from both sides of the aisle are furious about the fact that for every dollar we send Richmond, Fairfax County gets about 23 cents in return. The new County Executive Bryan Hayes had to commit publicly to develop a plan to start reversing the situation. Do you really think people want more illegal immigrants in Fairfax County sucking up tax dollars?

    • TMT, I just don’t see this Congressional election or next year’s GA election being about how VA carves up the federal tax windfall. It’s going to be dominated by popular reaction to the inhumanity and tone-deafness and sleaze of the current federal administration, mirrored this year by the RPV and its Senate candidate. Yes, more funding for our schools may be the short term outcome, it’s a satisfying quick fix even though there are lots of other priorities. The blue wave is coming to a Congress near you, and Virginia will likely be swept up by it also. Plan on it.

      • This November you are probably right. But by 11/19 things can be a whole lot different. I see the second coming of Spiro Agnew’s Silent Majority. Whereas the intellectual-class and the upper-class are apoplectic over Trump, the middle class and working class are coming around. The ranks of the #neverTrumpers in the Republican Party are depleting fast.

        What was it that Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid” (Not that I direct that epitaph to you Acbar … like Slick Willy, I re-quote him as a commentary to everybody.

      • So Acbar where was your rage when Obama did the very same thing with immigrant families? Did you see where the photo of the crying child is fraudulent? Her family said she was never separated from her family.

        I don’t like Trump. Didn’t support him in 2016. But compared to the Media he’s General Eisenhower to their Joseph Goebbels.

        • Dog whistles! I freely grant you that what Obama did got a different reception in the MSM because of who was doing it. It wasn’t right then, and isn’t now. Saw last night that we have something like 12K unaccompanied minors in federal custody and that sure as hell wasn’t just from DT. The difference: BO was defensive about it, asked repeatedly for better funding for border processing and did DACA on his own when he couldn’t get Congress to act; whereas DT brags about locking ’em up, then blames the “Democrats’ law” patently falsely, then links any DACA extension to building his wall, and now wants any reforms to “wait until after the red wave this fall.” These differences at the top may not matter to the kids and parents involved, but they say volumes to observers about our identity and morals as a nation.

  3. Re the maps: You reap what you sow.

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