So right now we have an 8-3 Congressional delegation. Given how our state is fairly even politically (Obama won nationally about the same margin that he did in VA) and theoretically the Senate Dems and House Repubs have to agree on a “fair” Congressional delegation map if I were a Senate Democrat without looking at specific precincts and broadly taking into account population trends here is what I would realistically want. My main caveat is that the GOP has to protect Cantor at all costs which with a split control we’d likely have to compromise on:
1. VA-09 needs to significantly extended. This district is about 9% under ideal population. While now it is R controlled we had a strong feeling that once Rick Boucher retired that this district would flip. Guess that came a bit early. This will be a safe R seat but it should take territory from the 5th/6th that would likely still be conservative. It would have to get creative with Goodlatte’s and Hurt’s respective homes in Roanoke and Chatham though.
2. VA-02 and VA-03 are both under ideal by about 8%. Both need to expand. I am not sure what the impact would be with the VRA and Scott but his district is solidly Democratic so he can afford more territory. Wittman’s district is over populated (about 9%) so possibly a swap with Wittman giving Rigell and Forbes giving Scott new area would work to make these districts about ideal populations.
3. The biggest issue is that VA-10 is way over populated (about 19%!!) so a swap of NoVa territory with Connolly and Wolf would likely still result in too big of a district. While Wolf is unfortunately likely safe as long as he is in office, his retirement should have the goal of creating a swing district. His district is going to have to be condensed and I would force VA-05 and/or VA-06 into NoVa as there is no way that the GOP would ever allow Cantor’s district to get any more liberal. Protecting Cantor needs to be the GOP’s #1 priority. While I don’t read that he is going to lose soon based on him not clearing 60% this year, in a good Democratic year if his district was partly NoVa based he could face a potentially very competitive race and you simply can’t have that if you are the GOP. Your House Leadership should never have a seriously competitive race. Cantor has a huge mouth and if a top tier contender ever emerged a lot of money would be spent on that race. Ideally I’d like to create a district that would put VA-05 or VA-06 in a position for Perriello/other strong Democrat to win in by putting a district with C’Ville up to NoVa outskirts that would have the goal of making it a swing district. I am sure the GOP realizes this and will attempt to avoid this at all costs.
Population link (see page 9): http://dlsgis.state.va.us/Ref/…