Revised/Updated: North Carolina’s New Congressional Districts – Say Goodbye to Democrats Miller, Shuler and Kissell; McIntyre has Fighting Chance

by johndavis, July 5, 2011

“Republicans drew the districts with growth projections in mind to ensure that they will be safe all the way to the end of the decade.”  John Davis Political Report Post July 6, 2011       Vol. IV, No. 14     Revised/Updated North Carolina’s New Congressional Districts: Say Goodbye to Democrats Miller, Shuler and Kissell; McIntyre
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“Republicans drew the districts with growth projections in mind to ensure that they will be safe all the way to the end of the decade.”  John Davis Political Report

Post July 6, 2011       Vol. IV, No. 14     Revised/Updated

North Carolina’s New Congressional Districts: Say Goodbye to Democrats Miller, Shuler and Kissell; McIntyre has  Fighting Chance

John Davis Political Report Subscribers First to Receive Comprehensive Analysis

Last Friday, subscribers to the John Davis Political Report were the first in North Carolina to receive a comprehensive analysis of the new congressional districts proposed by the legislative reapportionment committees.  Today, I am sending a Revised/Updated edition of that reportInformation presented in bold italics has been added. There are new links with each district analysis that provides hundreds of facts about each of the proposed new districts.  Check them out!

The July 4th half-price sale on an annual subscription to the John Davis Political Report is being extended for the remainder of July!  Now only $245 for a Premium Annual Subscription!  Click HERE to Print Subscription Reply Form. Subscribe online here!

Key Conclusions:

  • Under the new congressional districts, the partisan advantage will shift from 7 Democratic and 6 Republican to 8 Republican and only 3 guaranteed Democratic districts, with 2 that will depend on the strengths of the candidates and the prevailing partisan winds of the given election year.
  • President Obama carried 8 NC congressional districts and Sen. McCain 5 in 2008.  Under the 13 new districts, Obama would only carry 3 (Butterfield, Price and Watt).
  • Only 4 of the current districts gave McCain a 55%-or-greater vote in 2008 (Jones, Foxx, Myrick and McHenry).  There are now 10 districts that would have voted for McCain for president at 55% or greater (all but Butterfield, Price and Watt).  The same 10 districts would give US Sen. Burr a 60%-or-greater victory.
  • Gov. Perdue carried 9 of the 13 congressional districts in 2008, all but one greater than 50%. Under the new districts, Perdue would carry 5 (Butterfield, Jones, Price, McIntyre and Watt).
  • GOP gubernatorial nominee Pat McCrory only carried 4 congressional districts in 2008 (Foxx, Coble, Myrick and McHenry). If the election were held under the new congressional districts, he would add Elmers, Kissell, Shuler and Miller to his wins.

Key District-by-District Conclusions

  • U.S. House District 1, currently held by Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield, did not undergo any change that will impact the likely outcome of congressional races for the next 10 years. It is still a majority-minority district where Democrats have a 68% registration advantage over the meager 16% Republican registration.  Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 1 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 2, currently held by Republican Congresswoman Renee Elmers, has become a significantly more Republican-friendly district. This district was held throughout the last decade by Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge. The new district has 39% Democratic registration and 36% Republican registration, a 3% Democratic advantage. However, under the old map, Democrats enjoyed a 23% advantage with 51% registered Democrats to only 28% registered Republicans.  Elmers squeaked out a win in Republican friendly 2010.  She will still have to work hard to hold this seat, but the new map gives her an advantage at the starting line.

Key County Changes:  Harnett County, home to both Elmers and Etheridge, is now split into three congressional districts (Price, Elmers and Coble), with about half remaining in the new congressional district.  Elmers now has all of Sampson County and keeps all of Johnston County, both reliably Republican counties.  This district no longer has any of the Franklin County and Nash County precincts, making it a stronger Republican opportunity district. New territory includes precincts in Wake, Cumberland and Wayne. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 2 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 3, currently held by Republican Congressman Walter Jones, will likely always elect Jones as long as he runs. Jones and his father have held this district for over four decades. However, this district is now a swing district that could be won by a strong conservative Democrat once Jones retires. Remember, there are lots of eastern North Carolina “Reagan Democrats” in this district.  Democratic registration increases considerably under the new maps from 41% to 49%; Republicans lose market share from 35% to 30%.  McCain would still beat Obama in this district by about 56% to 44%. However, Perdue would defeat McCrory under the new maps by 55% to 44%, whereas she beat McCrory in this congressional district in 2008 by 49% to 48.4%.

Key County Changes:  Onslow County and almost all of Carteret County, both Republican friendly, have been moved from Jones’ district to McIntyre’s district. Major counties:  District 3 has all of Duplin, Jones, Dare, Beaufort and Craven Counties, and substantial parts of Pitt, Nash and Lenoir. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 3 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 4, currently held by Democratic Congressman David Price, did not undergo any change that will impact the likely outcome of congressional races for the next 10 years. It is still a solid Democratic district where Democrats now have a 35% registration advantage over Republicans (54% Democrats to 19% Republicans, with 27% Unaffiliated).

Key County Changes:  Conservative “Reagan Democrats” precincts in northern Orange and northern Durham with a history of voting Republican in federal races have been taken out of Price’s district and moved to Miller’s district.  That’s good for Price, a Democrat, and bad for Miller, a Democrat.  Precincts in southern Wake County with a history of voting Republican in federal elections have been taken out of Price’s district and put into Republican Renee Elmers’ district, a move that helps both camps.  Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 4 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 5, currently held by Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, has a bit fewer Republicans and more Democrats but Republicans still outnumber the loyal opposition and will continue find this district a safe harbor for GOP candidates.

Key County Changes:  Although Foxx loses Surry and Stokes counties to Miller, she keeps some of the most Republican districts in the state. Wilkes, Yadkin and Davie counties are 3 of the only 6 counties that voted for Herbert Hoover in 1932!  GOP precincts in Rockingham and Forsyth counties have been taken out and put into Miller’s district. Not good for Miller.  Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 5 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 6, currently held by Republican Congressman Howard Coble, has fewer Republicans and more Democrats but would still choose McCain over Obama by 55% to 44%, whereas under the old configuration McCain defeated Obama by a much wider margin, 63% to 36% (Statewide: Obama 49.7%; McCain 49.4%).

Key County Changes:  Coble looses his share of Davidson and Rowan, keeps all of Moore County and much of what he had in Randolph, Guilford and Alamance Counties.  He picks up most of Chatham County, almost all of Lee, and portions of Harnett and Cumberland. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 6 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 7, currently held by Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre, has 9% fewer Democrats but still gives McIntyre a fighting chance. Although McCain defeated Obama here under the old map by 5%, McCain would defeat Obama here under the new maps by 55% to 44%. On the other hand, Perdue would still beat Republican gubernatorial candidate McCrory here by 6 points, but not nearly as bad as the 11 point shellacking she gave him here in 2008.  McIntyre maintains a fighting chance.

Key County Changes: Onslow County and almost all of Carteret County (94%), both Republican friendly, have been moved from Jones’ district to McIntyre’s district.  Major counties:  District 7 has all of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender. Democratic-friendly parts of Cumberland, Duplin and Robeson counties have been taken out of this district.  McIntyre still has a fighting chance here, but not much more than a fighting chance. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 7 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 8, currently held by Democratic Congressman Larry Kissell, has been reconfigured in such a way that Kissell can no longer win.  This district was held by GOP Congressman Hayes for most of the decade. It now has more registered Republicans and fewer Democrats and a shifted from a 52% Obama district to a 44% Obama district. Likewise, it has shifted from a 47% McCrory district to a 53% McCrory district. Gov. Perdue carried this district by 51% in one of the best years for voter registration and turnout of Democrats in modern political history. In the absence of the extraordinary advantage that Democrats enjoyed as a result of the historic campaign of President Obama, this now becomes a very difficult district for them to hold.

Key County Changes:  Parts of three strong Republican counties, Randolph, Davidson and Rowan, have been added to House District 8, strengthening the prospects of Republicans regaining their seat once held by GOP Congressman Hayes.  Several reliably Democratic precincts in Mecklenburg County have been moved into Congressman Mel Watt’s U.S. House District 12, taking “about 37,000 African Americans away from Kissell,” reports the News & Observer/Charlotte Observer.  Mecklenburg County had 17% of the district under the old map; only 5.5% under the new map.  Cumberland County had 20% of the old district; none of the new district. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 8 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 9, currently held by Republican Congresswoman Myrick, did not undergo any change that will impact the likely outcome of congressional races for the next 10 years. It is still a GOP stronghold where Republican gubernatorial nominee McCrory, former mayor of Charlotte, won the district with 65% of the vote and would win again with 67% of the vote as it is newly configured.

Key County Changes:  Myrick lost friendly precincts in Gaston County to Congressman McHenry. However, that loss is offset by a gain of GOP precincts in northern Mecklenburg County (Town of Davidson), southern Iredell County, and new precincts in northeastern Union County Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 9 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 10, currently held by Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry, has about 5% fewer Republicans but continues as a GOP stronghold.  President Obama would still lose to McCain here by 57% to 42% and Perdue would still lose to McCrory here by about that same margin.

Key County Changes:  McHenry picks up all of Gaston County, his home county and solid Republican territory.  He loses GOP strongholds Mitchell, Avery and Caldwell, as well as and Burke County, to Shuler’s district.  McHenry picks up all of Polk County and the eastern side of Buncombe County, including Asheville. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 10 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 11, currently held by Democratic Congressman Heath Shuler, has now become a safe harbor for Republicans. The anchor for Democrats in this district has always been Buncombe County, particularly Asheville.  Not only has half of Buncombe County, including Asheville, been put into Congressman McHenry’s safe Republican district, but several of the most Republican counties in the state have been moved from districts held by Congresswoman Foxx and Congressman McHenry to Heath Shuler’s district.  Keep in mind, this district was held by Republican Congressman Charles Taylor for 12 years. It was already a leaning Republican district.  Shuler, an exceptionally strong and attractive candidate, has been able to hang onto the seat because he is a great candidate and he votes like a Republican.

Key County Changes:  Shular picks up Mitchell, Caldwell, Burke and Avery Counties.  All but Burke County are reliably Republican counties. Avery and Mitchell counties are 2 of the 6 counties that voted for Herbert Hoover against Roosevelt in 1932. Now that’s Republican!  He loses the eastern half of Buncombe County, including Asheville, and all of Polk County. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 11 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 12, currently held by Democratic Congressman Mel Watt, did not undergo any change that will impact the likely outcome of congressional races for the next 10 years. It is still a majority-minority district where Democrats have a 64% registration advantage over the meager 16% Republican registration. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 12 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

  • U.S. House District 13 is currently held by Democratic Congressman Brad Miller.  As expected, North Carolina Congressman Miller has been drawn into a district he cannot win. Turnabout is fair play. When he chaired the NC Senate reapportionment committee 10 years ago, he drew himself a congressional district he could not lose.  Now he’s in a district he cannot win. Registered Democrats plummeted from 51% to 41% and Republicans increased their ranks from 26% to 37%. Under the current district, Obama received 59% to only 40% for McCain. Under the new map, McCain would beat Obama by 56% to 44%. Amazing! Perdue’s market share plummets under the new map from 57% to 45% while McCrory’s market share increases from 39% to 52%.

Key County Changes:  Stokes and Surry counties, both reliably Republican in national elections, have been added to Miller’s district.  Reliably Democratic precincts in Guilford County have been removed. Conservative “Reagan Democrats” precincts in northern Alamance, northern Orange and northern Durham counties have been added.  Republican precincts in western Guilford County and eastern Forsyth County stay. Click here for counties in district and county % of district.

NOTE:  Click here for complete U.S. House District 13 statistics, including population and registration demographics, as well as statewide election results for election years 2004, 2008 and 2010, available on the General Assembly web site.

Surprises & Interesting Notes:

  • All 13 incumbents still reside in their new districts (no double bunking).
  • There is no third majority-minority district as many had speculated.
  • Despite the Republican-friendly change in the rematch in of the congressional districts, one Democrat, North Carolina Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper, would still carry all of them.
  • The basis of the new map is the old map. At a glance, they look very similar.
  • The changes in the maps are as politically significant as they are subtle; illustrating the extraordinary sophistication of today’s remapping technology.
  • Republicans drew the districts with growth projections in mind to ensure that they will be safe all the way to the end of the decade.

Knowing early how campaigns are likely to end takes the uncertainty out of politics, thereby saving you a lot of your time and your money.  That’s what the John Davis Political Report is all about.

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