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October 01, 2020, 01:56:23 am
News: First US presidential debate discussion thread link:

https://talkelections.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=400306.0

  Talk Elections
  General Politics
  Political Geography & Demographics (Moderator: muon2)
  US House Redistricting: General (search mode)
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Author Topic: US House Redistricting: General  (Read 112603 times)
Skill and Chance
Concerned Citizen
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Posts: 5,802
« on: September 15, 2019, 04:22:31 pm »

Currently making a fair map of Texas that respects county lines and communities of interests as much as possible. Basically it would get really ugly for Republicans really quick based on population estimates. Democrats would have four seats in Dallas County alone, another safe seat in Tarrant County, a second swing seat in Tarrant County that voted for Trump and O'Rourke, three seats in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos MSA. Five seats in Harris County (two light blue, Dem-trending seats), one seat in Fort Bend County, two in Bexar County, one in El Paso County, and three south Texas Democratic seats (I cleaned up the ugly bacon strips and gave Hidalgo County its own seat, another seat is Cameron plus the remainder of Hidalgo, and another is Webb to southern Bexar). Another light blue seat in the Corpus Christi MSA plus the south Texas rurals. Only seat Republicans would gain is the successor to TX-23.

And the Collin County seat I'm drawing would have only been Trump +9. O'Rourke almost definitely won that.

So that's 20 Democratic seats and another 3 swing seats that are also trending Dem fast. Republicans better hope that they control the map drawing process indefinitely here since when the time comes that they don't, they're gonna lose a ton of seats in the metros

The way the process works in Texas, Republicans are already assured of being able to gerrymander the state legislature in 2021.  If Democrats flip the lower house (where a majority of seats were won by Beto and more than 3% left of the state), they can force a court map for congress for 2022, but the lower house would be favored to flip back R under the new map (there are limitations on county splits so it's not a sure thing) unless 2022 is a Dem wave.  Mid-decade congressional redistricting is legal in Texas and has been done before.  Republicans would just gerrymander the congressional map in 2023 instead of 2021 unless Democrats flipped TX-GOV in 2022.

The best medium/long term recourse for TX Dems would be through the state supreme court, which is elected statewide R vs. D and 3/9 seats are up every 2 years.  If they are routinely winning statewide while losing the legislature due to gerrymandering/equal CVAP districting, taking control of the state supreme court and getting an PA/NC style decision throwing out the maps sometime during 2023-27 is plausible.   
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Skill and Chance
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 5,802
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 05:48:09 pm »
« Edited: September 15, 2019, 05:52:10 pm by Skill and Chance »

TX is going to be weird because there there is a contingent of the statee GOP party, who like the AR dems of 2010, think that 2018 was a one  off. Unless the dems flip the lower chamber or do something else  seriously scary like win court seats or get the 38 EVs (requires a wave) that contingent has just as much a chance of deciding the fate of the  maps as the 'fear' contingent, who would probably surrender a few more seats to the dems than they currently have (24, 22, new 37 in Austin) to lock down the other 22 even as the state continues to move  leftward. the fear contingent would want to draw something similar to the CA Map from 2000 which works with the incumbent dems to produce a map that can survive the incoming demographic transformation while giving incumbents  what they want.

That's a good point, and they might very well make a deal on an NJ 2011/CA 2001 style incumbent protection map in the House (and this group also might block CVAP redistricting for fear of driving Dem turnout through the roof in the 2022 midterm. 

The interesting part is the state legislature.  Any deadlock, whether because of a Dem lower house or because the GOP can't agree on a map in either chamber, sends redistricting to a backup commission of the Speaker of the TX House, the Land Commissioner, the Comptroller, the AG, and the LG with majority rule to adopt a map.  So this commission is guaranteed to be at least 4R/1D, but 4 of them are  facing statewide reelection in just 2 years in what could be a worse than 2018 environment in TX if Trump has been reelected.  They will have a strong incentive to be less explicitly partisan in drawing districts than the state legislature was in 2011.

I don't think a serious R gerrymander is getting through lower house even if Republicans retain a narrow majority there.  There will be a group that wants to go for broke and thinks they can get back to 2/3rds, and there will be a group that wants to make a deal with enough Dems to override an Abbott veto and look bipartisan for the statewide voters and for the state courts that may flip by mid-decade.  IDK who wins.  Worth noting the Republican speaker was elected with some Dem support and some Tea Party R opposition.

In the state senate, a hard R gerrymander is much easier as 1. the districts are yuge, bigger than US House seats, and 2. the state constitutional restrictions don't apply there.     
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Skill and Chance
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 5,802
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 08:26:48 pm »
« Edited: September 15, 2019, 08:30:09 pm by Skill and Chance »

TX is going to be weird because there there is a contingent of the statee GOP party, who like the AR dems of 2010, think that 2018 was a one  off. Unless the dems flip the lower chamber or do something else  seriously scary like win court seats or get the 38 EVs (requires a wave) that contingent has just as much a chance of deciding the fate of the  maps as the 'fear' contingent, who would probably surrender a few more seats to the dems than they currently have (24, 22, new 37 in Austin) to lock down the other 22 even as the state continues to move  leftward. the fear contingent would want to draw something similar to the CA Map from 2000 which works with the incumbent dems to produce a map that can survive the incoming demographic transformation while giving incumbents  what they want.

That's a good point, and they might very well make a deal on an NJ 2011/CA 2001 style incumbent protection map in the House (and this group also might block CVAP redistricting for fear of driving Dem turnout through the roof in the 2022 midterm. 

The interesting part is the state legislature.  Any deadlock, whether because of a Dem lower house or because the GOP can't agree on a map in either chamber, sends redistricting to a backup commission of the Speaker of the TX House, the Land Commissioner, the Comptroller, the AG, and the LG with majority rule to adopt a map.  So this commission is guaranteed to be at least 4R/1D, but 4 of them are  facing statewide reelection in just 2 years in what could be a worse than 2018 environment in TX if Trump has been reelected.  They will have a strong incentive to be less explicitly partisan in drawing districts than the state legislature was in 2011.

I don't think a serious R gerrymander is getting through lower house even if Republicans retain a narrow majority there.  There will be a group that wants to go for broke and thinks they can get back to 2/3rds, and there will be a group that wants to make a deal with enough Dems to override an Abbott veto and look bipartisan for the statewide voters and for the state courts that may flip by mid-decade.  IDK who wins.  Worth noting the Republican speaker was elected with some Dem support and some Tea Party R opposition.

In the state senate, a hard R gerrymander is much easier as 1. the districts are yuge, bigger than US House seats, and 2. the state constitutional restrictions don't apply there.     

Agree with you on the state senate. Hell, if dems take the lower state house, then things may get even weirder, with situations like Dems trading away their voice on congressional and senate maps for unilateral action to gerry up the state house, similar to what VA dems did in 2010 in regards to the state senate. TX has a lot of potential map outcomes, depending on how the state votes in 2020 and who is elected to each of the three chambers.

I don't think that's likely.  Why wouldn't Abbott just veto and send it to the 4R/1D backup commission?  They would get another swing at the congressional map in 2023 after contesting the lower house on an R drawn map.  It's more plausible that the commission draws a polite, compact R leaning map for fear of statewide blowback in 2022, but it just isn't enough for them to take it back because the state is changing too fast and they get divided control for the decade and a court map that sticks.  Or they do narrowly get the lower house back, only for Governor Allred to veto the 2023 congressional gerrymander.  Or 1 side gets a trifecta in 2023 but the state supreme court blocks mid decade redistricting.
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Skill and Chance
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 5,802
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 07:42:41 am »

Actually, I'm not sure I like the AR Dems comparison.  Romney got >60% in AR in 2012.  If the 2024 Dem candidate got >60% in Texas while losing the election, how the maps are drawn will be completely irrelevant and Dems would control everything there by the 2026 election at the latest. 
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