With 2020 Census numbers finally available, states now can really get going on drawing new Congressional and state legislative maps. That includes here in Virginia, where we’ve got a bipartisan redistricting commission – comprised of politicians and citizens (selected by the politicians, basically) – that will be very busy the next few months. For an idea of what “fair” maps might look like, see below for what Chaz Nuttycombe has put together as a first cut for the State Senate and House of Delegates. These will be very helpful to keep handy as the redistricting commission gets to work, so we can compare what they come up with to the maps developed by independent, non-partisan, outside experts…
- First, Chaz’s first draft of a “fair” House of Delegates map has 60 districts won by Democrat Ralph Northam in the 2017 gubernatorial election vs. 40 won by Republican Ed Gillespie. That compares to a 55D-45R House of Delegates split right now, so it seems that after redistricting – assuming it is “fair” – Democrats have upside potential of maybe 5 seats or so. That corresponds to what I’d been told recently by a senior Virginia Democratic elected official, that Dems could pick up 5 House of Delegates seats after redistricting due to population shifts alone: 2 in Northern Virginia, 2 in Hampton Roads, 1 in the Richmond area. As for Republicans, my source told me that Republicans could lose 2 seats in SW Virginia, 2 in Southside Virginia and 1 in the Shenandoah region.
- Chaz also notes that this “fair” map is 67 Kaine-33 Stewart. Of course, since that was a federal election (for U.S. Senate), it’s not really comparable to a state legislative election, particularly in a non-gubernatorial year, so I wouldn’t use that for comparison, particularly.
- As for the State Senate, Chaz has it at 24 Northam – 16 Gillespie, which compares to the current 21D-19R State Senate partisan makeup. And again, population shifts are likely going to result in less representation relatively speaking for SW Virginia and Southside, versus MORE representation for rapidly growing areas like Northern Virginia.
Yes. A State Senate seat in SWVA is gonna have to move up to NoVA. In my first fair State Senate draft, SD-38 goes from SWVA to PWC. https://t.co/heqcdBCHsH
— Chaz Nuttycombe (@ChazNuttycombe) August 15, 2021
- Also, check out Dave’s Redistricting Map for some possible Congressional, State Senate and House of Delegates maps – “Most Proportional,” “Most Competitive,” “Best Minority Representation,” “Most Compact,” “Least Splitting.”
- And check out these Congressional district maps by Christian Heiens, a Republican and the 2018 VPAP pundit.
Another one pic.twitter.com/EzZb5nrHQa
— Christian Heiens 🏛 (@ChristianHeiens) August 15, 2021
UPDATE Monday morning: Here’s a “fair map” by Chaz Nuttycombe for Virginia Congressional districts, which has it at 7 Northam-4 Gillespie and 9 Kaine-2 Stewart. Obviously VA06 and VA09 stay deep-red, with VA01 and VA05 lighter red, while VA03, VA08 and VA11 are dark blue, VA10 and VA04 blue, VA02 and VA07 light blue.