Category Archives: House

Alabama Map Ruling Stayed; Redistricting Update

By Jim Ellis

Alabama redistricting map (Click on the map above or go to DavesRedistricting.org to see interactive map)

Feb. 9, 2022 — On a 5-4 vote, the US Supreme Court voted to stay the lower court ruling that invalidated the new Alabama congressional map. A Republican three-judge panel had ruled that a second majority minority district could have been drawn among the state’s seven congressional districts, and thus disqualified the plan on Jan. 23.

Writing a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh stated that the lower court decision was made too close to the 2022 election, meaning that the judicial process would not have proper time to hear the appeal and make an educated ruling prior to the state’s scheduled primary election. The ruling does not mean the appeal was granted, but merely postpones hearing the case to a later date.

Analysts say the stay ensures that the original map will be in place for this year’s election. It does not mean, however, that the map won’t be altered for the 2024 election and beyond.

The new plan is virtually an extension of the current map, which elected six Republicans and one Democrat in the 2020 election. It was a curious original decision, not only because the judges that ruled against the GOP map drawers were appointed by former President Donald Trump (2) and the late President Ronald Reagan (1), but that the same map footprint stood unencumbered for the past 10 years.

The major change made from the current map to the new draw came in the 7th CD, which is the Voting Rights district. The legislature, however, had no choice but to make a substantial change. AL-7 was 53,143 people short of reaching the state’s congressional district population quota of 717,754 individuals.

The previous ruling also postponed the Jan. 28 candidate filing deadline for the Alabama US House candidates. Those running for all other offices have now already filed and been qualified for the respective party primary ballots. The congressional candidates will now file on Feb. 11.

Redistricting Notes

• Summarizing the legal action in other states, the North Carolina map has been disqualified and the legislature will now return to redraw the congressional and state legislative maps. As has been the case throughout the previous decade, the partisan Republican legislature and the partisan Democratic state Supreme Court continue to go back and forth over the issue of partisan gerrymandering.

• The lower court ruling in Michigan rejected the Detroit area Democratic current and former state legislators’ claim that the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission members violated the Voting Rights Act in drawing the city of Detroit’s congressional and state legislative maps. Unless an appeal is granted, the new Michigan maps will stand for this year’s elections.

• The Kansas legislature adjourned without voting to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto of the state’s congressional map. The hasty adjournment move, however, allows the legislature to reconsider the veto override. Without a successful override vote, the map will go to the courts for a redrawing of the Kansas City metro area.

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North Carolina Map Rejected

Rejected 2022 North Carolina Congressional Redistricting map (click on map above or here to go to an interactive map at DavesRedistricting.com)

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 8, 2022 — In what has almost been a decade-long game of gerrymander ping pong, the state Supreme Court on Friday rejected the new North Carolina congressional and state legislative maps, thus repeating their actions from the two previous times the panel’s majority disqualified a Republican legislature’s map.

The vote was 4-3, with all four Democrats voting in favor of declaring the map a partisan gerrymander, consistent with their past action, while the three Republicans voted to uphold the plans.

We are again looking at a relatively quick re-draw situation because the twice-postponed North Carolina primary is now scheduled for June 7. If an agreement cannot be reached, it is possible the candidate filing deadline and statewide primary are again postponed.

The high court’s move was expected, but this is a serious setback to Republicans from a national perspective since North Carolina appears to be the only state where the party can gain multiple seats through redistricting.

It is likely that the inter-party pairing of Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk) and Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) will be re-drawn when a new congressional version is passed. The Greensboro area has been the major focal point of this and the previous maps, with the partisan Republican legislature and partisan Democratic court continuing to battle over a map that will eventually become the state’s 2022 political playing field.

As drawn, the legislature’s map — under North Carolina law and procedure, the governor, in this case Democrat Roy Cooper, has no veto power over redistricting — would have returned either 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats or possibly has high as 11 Republicans and 3 Democrats. Under the current draw, the Republican advantage is 8-5.

North Carolina gained one seat under national reapportionment, and the last iteration of the state Supreme Court map, ordered before the 2020 election, resulted in the Republicans losing two seats, one in Raleigh and the other in the Greensboro area.

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House Money: Year-End 2021

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 7, 2022 — The Federal Elections Commission finally posted the year-end 2021 campaign financial disclosure numbers, and the Daily Kos Elections site statistical team has already compiled the totals for both the House and Senate.

We concentrate on the House financial picture since all of the competitive Senate races will feature each party’s nominee having more than enough funding with which to communicate their message to the targeted voter segments.

Our first table illustrates the House leadership’s fundraising totals, as they are a key focal point of national funding for their candidates. With a close House partisan division, and a large number of competitive races slated for November, the political dollars will be flowing abundantly.

The text shows the member’s name (party identified by color: red = GOP; blue = DEM ), the amount (in thousands) raised in the 4th quarter of 2021, the cash-on-hand reported in the member’s campaign account on Dec. 31, 2021, and how much the income each campaign committee reports for the entire 2022 election cycle.

Leadership

NAME ST-DIST 4TH QTR CASH-ON-HAND CYCLE-TO-DATE
McCARTHY, KEVIN CA-20 $3,758       $8,350       $14,890
PELOSI, NANCY CA-11 $2,844       $5,420       $15,941
SCALISE, STEVE LA-1 $2,652       $6,524       $12,888
STEFANIK, ELISE NY-21 $1,078       $3,140       $5,050
CLYBURN, JIM SC-6 $523       $2,452       $1,761
HOYER, STENY MD-5 $443       $1,164       $1,916

$1 Million in Qtr 4 – Non-Leadership Incumbents

NAME ST-DIST 4TH QTR CASH-ON-HAND CYCLE-TO-DATE
SCHIFF, ADAM CA-30 $2,806       $16,766       $9,997
PORTER, KATIE CA-47 $2,515       $16,125       $10,231
CRENSHAW, DAN TX-2 $2,115       $4,516       $10,794
CHENEY, LIZ WY-AL $2,043       $4,715       $7,221
JORDAN, JIM OH-4 $1,448       $8,532       $6,891
OCASIO-CORTEZ, AL. NY-14 $1,422       $6,236       $9,879
KIM, YOUNG CA-40 $1,216       $2,564       $4,009
GREENE, MARJORIE T. GA-14 $1,185       $3,512       $8,690
JACKSON, RONNY TX-13 $1,126       $1,079       $2,450
KRISHNAMOORTHI, RAJA IL-8 $1,108       $11,551       $4,447
GOTTHEIMER, JOSH NJ-5 $1,041       $12,012       $3,950
SCHRIER, KIM WA-8 $1,002       $4,022       $3,026

$1 Million in Qtr 4 – Open Seats & Challengers

NAME ST-DIST 4TH QTR CASH-ON-HAND CYCLE-TO-DATE
FLOWERS, MARCUS GA-14 $1,321       $1,544       $4,603
LUTTRELL, MARCUS TX-8 $1,186       $1,618       $1,923
HUNT, WESLEY TX-38 $1,004       $1,555       $2,029

Most Cash-on-Hand – $3 Million +

NAME ST-DIST 4TH QTR CASH-ON-HAND CYCLE-TO-DATE
SCHIFF, ADAM CA-30 $2,806       $16,766       $9,997
PORTER, KATIE CA-47 $2,515       $16,125       $10,231
GOTTHEIMER, JOSH NJ-5 $1,041       $12,012       $3,950
JORDAN, JIM OH-4 $1,448       $8,532       $6,891
McCARTHY, KEVIN CA-20 $3,758       $8,350       $14,890
SCALISE, STEVE LA-1 $2,652       $6,524       $12,888
HARDER, JOSH CA-9 $867       $6,316       $3,660
OCASIO-CORTEZ, AL. NY-14 $1,422       $6,236       $9,879
DELGADO, ANTONIO NY-19 $708       $5,481       $3,219
DOGGETT, LLOYD TX-37 $166       $5,476       $582
PELOSI, NANCY CA-11 $2,844       $5,420       $15,941
SHERRILL, MIKIE NJ-11 $771       $5,078       $2,911
THANEDAR, SHRI MI-13 $5       $5,000       $5
CHENEY, LIZ WY-AL $2,043       $4,715       $7,221
HOULAHAN, CHRISSY PA-6 $464       $4,545       $2,005
CRENSHAW, DAN TX-2 $2,115       $4,516       $10,794
SLOTKIN, ELISSA MI-7 $957       $4,509       $3,894
KHANNA, RO CA-17 $310       $4,330       $3,556
FOSTER, BILL IL-11 $383       $4,264       $917
LaHOOD, DARIN IL-17 $550       $4,244       $2,080
SCHRIER, KIM WA-8 $1,002       $4,022       $3,026
SHERMAN, BRAD CA-32 $244       $3,956       $1,083
PALLONE, FRANK NJ-6 $362       $3,836       $1,296
BROWNLEY, JULIA CA-26 $223       $3,658       $930
SCHRADER, KURT OR-5 $427       $3,563       $1,408
GREENE, MARJORIE T. GA-14 $1,185       $3,512       $8,690
CONNOLLY, GERRY VA-11 $199       $3,497       $1,079
KILMER, DEREK WA-6 $258       $3,464       $1,147
KIM, ANDY NJ-3 $761       $3,300       $3,369
CHU, JUDY CA-28 $214       $3,177       $656
STEFANIK, ELISE NY-21 $1,078       $3,140       $5,050
JEFFRIES, HAKEEM NY-8 $787       $3,119       $3,046
SPANBERGER, ABIGAIL VA-7 $776       $3,036       $3,066

Michigan House Action Wave

Michigan Congressional Redistricting Map. (Click on image to go to FiveThirtyEight.com to see interactive map.)

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 3, 2022 — Though the Michigan congressional lines are in litigation and filing time is still more than two months away in preparation for the state’s August 2nd primary election, Tuesday was a busy day on the Wolverine State’s US House front.

First, in the paired Republican incumbent 4th District where Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) is seeking re-election and appears ready to face fellow Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), a third candidate announced that he would not abandon his own Republican campaign despite seeing an unfavorable district draw.

State Rep. Steve Carra (R-Portage) said that he intends to remain in the new 4th Congressional District race despite potentially having to face two incumbents and not having any of his current state House District lying in the new 4th. His legislative district will now be fully contained in Rep. Tim Walberg’s (R-Tipton) new 5th CD that stretches the width of Michigan along the state’s southern border. Carra earned former President Trump’s endorsement in his pre-redistricting bid against Rep. Upton.

When queried about the difficulty of the paired nomination race for a non-incumbent such as himself, Carra said, “It doesn’t matter whether there’s one or two status quo Republicans in the race.”

For his part, Rep. Upton is not yet committing to run for a 19th term, saying he wants to further study the new district and see whether the courts disqualify the current map. A group of current and former Democratic state legislators have filed suit against the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission claiming the members violated the Voting Rights Act with their draw of the congressional and state legislative districts in Detroit and Wayne County.

The 4th District will be one of the most interesting primary campaigns in the state and possibly the nation if Huizenga and Upton ultimately face each other. With Carra coming to the race with the Trump endorsement and potentially testing just how much the ex-President’s support actually means, he becomes a wild card entry.

Another incumbent who did not fare well in the redistricting process is freshman Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids). His 3rd District moves from an R+9 to a D+3 seat according to the FiveThirtyEight statistical site. Dave’s Redistricting App scores the CD at 50.1 percent Democratic and 46.5 percent Republican. President Biden would have carried the new 3rd, 53-45 percent. Therefore, Rep. Meijer, along with potential primary problems because he, too, voted in favor of the Trump impeachment, has a difficult political road ahead.

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Redistricting Boom Hits

New York 2022 redistricting map. (Click on map to go to FiveThirtyEight.com’s interactive map to see breakdown of each Congressional district.)


By Jim Ellis

Feb. 2, 2022 — The redistricting boom that political observers were awaiting has hit. The New York legislature unveiled their new congressional map, and akin to what the Democratic leadership passed in Illinois, the Empire State plan decimates the Republicans just as expected.

As we will remember, New York lost one congressional seat in national reapportionment (by just 89 people statewide) thereby reducing the delegation size to 26 seats. The current 27-district map yields 19 Democrats and 8 Republicans. The new map is projected to reduce the GOP contingent to just four seats.

Starting on Long Island and knowing that Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is leaving his 1st District to run for governor and understanding that the four districts covering the island are a cumulative 148,780 people short of the per congressional district quota of 776,971 residents, means major differences for these seats.

The map drawers brought the 1st District further west, the only thing they could do to capture the number of needed new people, and as a result were able to turn this R+10 district according to the FiveThirtyEight statistical site into a Biden +10.8 percent seat according to an analysis in the Washington Post.

Note that because the New York presidential election was so lopsided, largely because the Trump campaign never tried to become competitive, using just the 2020 presidential numbers to project voter history is likely slanted even more distinctly toward the Democrats. Once more analyses come into the public domain, we will be better able to pinpoint the partisan trend in each new district.

The 1st District draw makes Rep. Andrew Garbarino’s (R-Sayville) 2nd much redder. His CD, designed to now follow the open 1st District’s borderline to the south, would register as a Trump +14.3 percent district as compared to the previous R+8 calculation from FiveThirtyEight.

The plan would then improve both Rep. Tom Suozzi’s (D-Glen Cove) open 3rd District (Biden +14.2 percent) as it moves further into Queens, and Rep. Kathleen Rice’s (D-Garden City) 4th CD. The latter district would record a 12.1 percent Biden performance, up from the 538 total of D+9.

All of the New York City Democrats would again retain safe seats. The big change would come in the Staten Island-Brooklyn district of freshman Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island). Her current 11th CD voted for Trump in 2020 by a 10.5 percent margin (538: R+13). Under this plan, the Washington Post rates the newly configured 11th for Biden with a +9.9 percentage point spread. Former Rep. Max Rose (D), who Malliotakis unseated in 2020, is back for a re-match. If this map becomes law, as expected, the 11th District playing field will be greatly altered.

The upstate region also significantly changes. Freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones’ (D-Westchester County) district becomes slightly more competitive, from a D+17 to a Biden +13.3 percent. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) would go from representing a district that 538 rated as even between the two parties to a Biden +8.3 percent edge. Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) would see his 19th CD strengthen from R+4 to Biden +10.0 percent.

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Rep. Jim Cooper to Retire;
Alabama Map Tossed

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 27, 2022 — The Tennessee state Senate passed the state House version of the new 9-District congressional map on Tuesday, which led to a political move. The redistricting plan now goes to Gov. Bill Lee (R), and he is expected to sign the legislation.

Retiring Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville)

Upon passage of the new map that would significantly change the Nashville area, veteran Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) quickly announced that he will not seek re-election later this year.

The map drawers divided Davidson County, which houses the Democratic city of Nashville, and split it among three districts: Cooper’s 5th, Rep. John Rose’s (R-Cookeville) 6th CD, and Rep. Mark Green’s (R-Clarksville) TN-7.

The effect creates a new 5th District that moves from a victory margin of 60-37 percent for President Biden to a seat that former President Trump would have carried 54-43 percent according to the Daily Kos Elections site statisticians. Both Reps. Rose and Green would continue to have solid Republican seats even with the Davidson County additions to their districts. Under the plan, the Tennessee delegation is expected to move from 7R-2D to 8R-1D.

Cooper is serving his 16th term in the House, winning his first election from the state’s east/southeastern 4th District in 1982, which he represented until he ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 1994. He returned to the House from the Nashville district in 2002 when then-Rep. Bob Clement (D-Nashville) left the seat to challenge then-Sen. Fred Thompson (R), the same man who defeated Cooper in his statewide bid.

During his second tour of duty in the House, Rep. Cooper was not seriously challenged for re-election. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee where he chairs the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. He also is a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and the House Budget panel. It appeared that Cooper was preparing for a Democratic primary challenge this year, but that is moot now that the new 5th District becomes decidedly Republican.

Rep. Cooper is the 29th Democrat not to seek re-election. Counting the Democratic and Republican retirements along with the new and created (through redistricting) open seats, the House will see a minimum of 50 new members coming into office at the beginning of 2023.
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Redistricting Challenges – Part II

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 26, 2022 — Yesterday, we covered the US House members whose districts have changed to the point of having seats where a majority of their new constituencies are unfamiliar. Today, we delve deeper.

To reiterate, a total of 28 states have now completed their redistricting process, and 41 incumbents seeking re-election in these places will be in new seats where a majority of the electorate has not previously seen their names on the congressional ballot.

Interestingly, many of the changes are positive for some of the members in question, because the new constituents are favorable to the incumbent’s party. Others, however, face potentially tough re-nomination or re-election battles, and some will see challenges coming from both Republicans and Democrats.

In 16 specific instances the outlook is seriously negative as nine Democratic members and five Republicans face major challenges toward continuing their congressional careers.

The members in the worst situations are those paired with another incumbent. Illinois Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) faces freshman Rep. Marie Newman (D-La Grange). Casten has only a quarter of the new Chicago suburban constituency as compared to Newman’s 42.9 percent carryover factor. Her home base in La Grange, however, is not included in the new 6th District.

Remaining in Illinois, neither paired Republican Reps. Mary Miller (R-Oakland) nor Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) have large constituencies in the new 15th CD. Rep. Miller has only a 34.7 percent carryover factor from the current 15th but is larger than her opponent’s, Mr. Davis, 30.8 percent figure coming from his 13th CD.

Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) has announced that he will run in his state’s new 4th District, meaning a pairing with veteran Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph). He has only 25.1 percent of his constituents in the new 4th as compared to Upton’s much stronger 68.8 percent carryover factor. Still, Rep. Upton says he is unsure as to whether he will seek re-election to a 19th term.

Staying in Michigan, Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomington Township) has decided to enter in a paired battle with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills). He has only 26.7 percent of his current 9th District constituency in the new 11th CD as compared to Rep. Stevens’ having 46.1 percent coming from her current 11th District. Her home base of Rochester Hills, however, does not carryover, while Rep. Levin’s base in Bloomington Township becomes the anchor population in the new CD.

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