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Remap stuff

Monday, May 3, 2021

* Wall St. Journal editorial

After this week’s release of decennial Census apportionments, the 2022 redistricting battles are underway. If you’ve been reading the press, you know what to expect: Republicans will gerrymander relentlessly to squeeze more GOP House seats out of red and purple states, while Democrats will model high-minded good governance and draw maps without regard to politics.

OK, maybe not exactly. The post-2010 liberal zeal for nonpartisan map-drawing seems to be abating in places where Democrats are in power. See how the political winds are blowing in two blue states, Illinois and New York, that each lost a congressional seat in the latest Census count.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned in 2018 against partisan gerrymandering, saying he would “pledge to veto” any 2022 map drawn by the state Legislature. He insisted on “an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map.” Last month Republicans in the Legislature proposed to create a redistricting commission appointed by the state’s Supreme Court.

But as the partisan pens meet paper, Gov. Pritzker now says he’ll be satisfied with a map drawn by his legislative allies. In a recent press conference he walked back his veto pledge and scored Republicans for objecting to Democratic-controlled redistricting. “I hope the Republicans will choose to work with Democrats on the map. Right now it looks like they’re just saying no,” he said.

* But the Journal is just being the Journal. The bottom line for Kyle Kondik at Sabato’s Crystal Ball

All told, this adds up to a possible 6-1 Republican edge among the new House seats being drawn. Combine that with the loss projections laid out above, and Republicans come out of this hypothetical reapportionment scenario with a net two-seat gain: They lose four seats to the Democrats’ three, but they win six of the seven new seats.

* And this person at Sabato’s Crystal Ball claims that Illinois Democrats made a colossal mistake with their map-making ten years ago…


What saved them was the suburbs and exurbs, which reacted strongly against President Trump’s election. The Dems picked up two seats that they’d actually created for Republicans.

* Politico on what comes next after Cheri Bustos’ announcement last week that she won’t run again

Political insiders say lawmakers will likely redraw Bustos’ 17th District to include all of Rockford and more of Peoria, two cities that are split between Bustos and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (16th) in Rockford, and Bustos and Rep. Darin LaHood (18th) in Peoria. Here’s the current map for reference.

Rockford and Peoria are two urban areas that already lean blue, and pulling them into one district (except for the part of Peoria where LaHood lives) would solidify it as a Democratic district.

At least two Rockford Democrats have already fielded calls about possibly running. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara told Playbook his focus is “solely on the city of Rockford.” McNamara, who is being sworn in to his second term today, said, “We need someone like Cheri who stands up for cities and towns and the everyday people who live there, not just companies.”

And state Rep. Maurice West II said, “we’ll see.” He said, “It would be smart” to see Rockford represented by one person.

Probably best not to make too many plans before the map is drawn, however. Lauren Underwood’s district needs more Democrats to shore her up, so it’s possible they could move her 14th District 30 miles west to Rockford.

* Dan Vock at the Center for Illinois Politics takes a look at Democratic hints here they they could use ACS number to draw the new district maps

If Democrats try to redraw their districts with a different set of data, that data will most likely come from the American Community Survey (ACS). The U.S. Census Bureau also produces the ACS, a survey that gives researchers a glimpse of what America looks like in the years between the decennial headcounts.

“The decennial census is designed to capture, in a snapshot, all of the people living in the country on April 1st,” Young says. “The American Community Survey is designed to tell folks how people live in that neighborhood, not who lives there, but how they live.”

Their different purposes mean the Census uses different methods to conduct them.

Census workers fan out into neighborhoods, knock on doors, send postcards and ask neighbors to get an accurate population number for the once-a-decade Census.

But the ACS is essentially a massive poll. It uses sampling to estimate the number of people in an area and many characteristics about them. To do that, the Census Bureau sends surveys to about 3.5 million addresses every month of every year. Those surveys cover many topics not covered by standard Census questionnaires.

* And finally…


I told you not to expect much.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments »
  1. - PublicServant - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:12 am:

    === The post-2010 liberal zeal for nonpartisan map-drawing seems to be abating ===

    When you try to overthrow democracy, then expect the sane party to give you a fair shot, you’re barking up the wrong tree.


  2. - SWIL_Voter - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:17 am:

    I was for non-partisan maps until the GOP went cancel culture on democracy. Now I favor whatever best marginalizes that death cult


  3. - JS Mill - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:17 am:

    Based on what we know about population loss in Illinois, it makes sense that rural Illinois would lose a seat. Rural Illinois is overwhelmingly red.

    I would say they need to think on that, but that does not seem to be their strong suit these days.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    === What saved them was the suburbs and exurbs, which reacted strongly against President Trump’s election. The Dems picked up two seats that they’d actually created for Republicans.===

    1,000% this. Good stuff.

    The irony that comes to mind as we look at IL-12 and IL-13 is the IL-6 and IL-14 being unwinnable to Republicans for two cycles straight because of the Republicans that were nominated.

    I was comically chided by “Lucky Pierre”, being a “defeatist” to Republicans winning congressional seats.

    If one just looks at the irony of FOUR seats and the real impact Trump had in reshaping what Rauner began with Rauner’s own loyalty baloney… then throw in Schneider, Foster and Krishnamoorthi, all three “easy holds”… 13/5 and now a real probability of 13/4 is really more about the evolution (I feel the devolution of Republicans, but that’s another story for another day) of the Dems finding real footholds thanks to Trump.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:22 am:

    === Based on what we know about population loss in Illinois, it makes sense that rural Illinois would lose a seat. Rural Illinois is overwhelmingly red.===

    I can’t think of any logical reason you don’t draw out Mary Miller and make downstate a battle between Bost, Davis, and Miller.

    Why would the Dems draw out one of their own?

    “Maybe” you flip Bustos more red, but very proportionally flip Kinzinger more blue, thus the 13 seats remains well in play.


  6. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    “Rural Illinois is overwhelmingly red.”

    Yep, and will carry Baily to the nomination.

    Unless that well-funded “moderate” Republican some commenters prophesize raises their hand.


  7. - Socially DIstant watcher - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    Haven’t seen the numbers but someday it’ll be time to split the earmuffs and make two hispanic districts. Is this the year?


  8. - Norseman - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    PublicServant nicely dealt with my first point.

    === What was the biggest gerrymandering backfire this decade? ===

    I’m always dubious of the use of overdone modifiers by writers like “biggest,” “worst,” etc.

    In any event, let’s hope that the Dem maps do better this decade.


  9. - Arsenal - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    ==Based on what we know about population loss in Illinois, it makes sense that rural Illinois would lose a seat. Rural Illinois is overwhelmingly red.==

    Yes, and that’s prrrrrrobably what’ll happen, but those districts are already huge and there’s a lot of other things they want to accomplish with this map (preserve the VRA districts, protect Underwood, etc.). So it’s still most likely that Miller gets double-bunked with someone, but it’s not quite as easy as just flipping a switch.


  10. - TNR - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    JB was unwise to climb out on this limb during the campaign. It played absolutely no roll in his victory…and reversing course now will cost him very little. Editorial boards, corporate-funded reform groups, and political geeks like us obsess on redistricting — with good reason. But ordinary folks really don’t give a darn.

    Vetoing a map would shift JB’s relationship with the Dems in the legislature from mediocre to cataclysmic. Not worth it.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    === So it’s still most likely that Miller gets double-bunked with someone, but it’s not quite as easy as just flipping a switch.===

    It’s pretty easy.

    You’re swallowing one district. Just one.


  12. - dirksen - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:52 am:

    that’s a weird analysis on Bustos’ district. The most Dem portions of Peoria and Rockford are already in her CD. Adding in the rural parts of those two cities will only make it more likely an R gets elected. Agree that best bet is to give Underwood Rockford to shore up her seat.


  13. - Loop Lady - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 11:28 am:

    This is huge…think of all the folks who could be turned away
    with a few if the recent GOP laws passed…


  14. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 11:29 am:

    My recollection is a bit fuzzy, but I remember that incumbent Dem Reps in Congress put forward the congressional map to Madigan et al for approval. It was basically an incumbent protection map, not a win seats for a decade map.


  15. - Candy Dogood - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    Elected officials, especially tenured elected officials, are not very likely to be up to date on population trends or changing demographics. Even an attempt to weigh something in your favor is still going to reflect your biases, but that’s part of the process. Not everyone recognizes that working with the same people over the course of a couple of decades is a reflection of an organizational problem.

    Looking back on decisions made in 2010 regarding redistricting and trying to suggest flaws and errors isn’t a really a productive process. Especially when the DCCC and national political branding for the Democrats just generally sucked during the Obama administration, and in addition to GOP Daddy Rauner’s money coming into the party in 2014, Jerry Costello’s successor was an incredibly lazy campaigner. People that think a former general, especially an adjutant general, is someone that is going to be a productive hard working candidate or public official or a “self starter” as never spent any meaningful time with staff officers — the people who are literally doing all of the work by design.

    Sitting here in 2021 trying to imagine that we’ll know what political trends will exist in 2024 is a foolish exercise. The Trump Administration should have taught everyone involved in politics that they cannot rely on the past to guide them for how people will act going forward because whatever people say their priorities are could just be a part of the Big Lie.


  16. - IL4Life - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    Chicago Tribune needs to stop getting its information from organizations that find any small data point and use it to root for Illinois to fail in order to enact the preferred policies of Ken Griffin and Dick Uihlein


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    === incumbent Dem Reps in Congress put forward the congressional map ===

    That was in 2001. 2011 was a much different story.


  18. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 12:06 pm:

    Thanks Rich. 2001, 2011…as I said, my recollection is hazy. Might be all the booze.


  19. - Barstool in Hamel - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    -And this person at Sabato’s Crystal Ball claims that Illinois Democrats made a colossal mistake with their map-making ten years ago…-

    IL-12 & 13 were drawn with Jerry Costello and John Shimkus in mind, not future races.


  20. - phocion - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    The big question I have is whether the new Congressional map will include a second Hispanic-majority district. Hispanics make up 17.5% of Illinois’ total population, while Blacks are at 14.6%. Whites are 60.8% and Asians are at 5.9%. Despite this, the current Illinois map was drawn to provide for 3 majority Black districts and only 1 majority Hispanic district. Will Chuy support a new Hispanic district? Will Black leadership abide by “losing” a seat?


  21. - Jibba - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    Coleman says what I said last week. There aren’t enough Dems to win both 12 and 13, but they could be grouped into one district, which is better than winning neither. And shore up 14 with Rockford, which keeps the same number of Dem districts. Eliminating Mary Miller is a goal that pales in importance.


  22. - Blake - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 2:06 pm:

    I wonder if we may be surprised at individual area’s population numbers. Those ACS numbers that underestimated Illinois’ population probably didn’t evenly underestimate around the state.


  23. - Anonymous - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    Jerry Costello wasnt


  24. - Anonymous - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    Jerry Costello wasnt


  25. - anon - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:41 pm:

    as forthcoming as Cheri


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