Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Michigan census numbers in. Some observations.

Yesterday was the day was the big day with the official census numbers being released. I'm going to look at this more in depth as more data is shown.

The big news is that Detroit lost 230,000 residents over the past 10 years. It is down to 713,777, smaller than Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. This is a city that was once a world class city before the so called "progressives" ruined it from Jerry Cavanagh onward to Coleman Young and all those city council and school board members who kept getting re-elected time and time again. Detroiters made their decisions, and now have to decide if they want to make a comeback, or do the same old thing, blame everybody else, and vote 93% Democrat again and again. It's their choice. I just hope that 93% of the 230,000 who left Detroit don't bring their crappy voting habits with them and ruin the areas they move to. Detroit CAN come back, if Detroiters want to and put the effort needed to come back.

Swing State Project, a left wing blog actually does a real good job looking at the districts. Michigan lost a district, so most areas have to shed population. Some were big enough where they have to shrink. One of these districts will be eliminated, and it will be from the Southeast part of the state.

Benishek - MI-01 - 650,222 - needs to gain 55,752
Huizenga - MI-02 - 698,831 - needs to gain 7,143
Amash - MI-03 - 694,695 - needs to gain 11,279
Camp - MI-04 - 686,378 - needs to gain 19,596
Kildee - MI-05 - 635,129 - needs to gain 70,845
Upton - MI-06 - 671,883 - needs to gain 34,091
Walberg - MI-07 - 676,899 - needs to gain 29,075
Rogers - MI-08 - 707,572 - needs to shrink 1,598
Peters - MI-09 - 657,590 - needs to gain 48,384
Miller - MI-10 - 719,712 - needs to shrink 13,738
McCotter - MI-11 - 695,888 - needs to gain 10,086
Levin - MI-12 - 636,601 - needs to gain 69,373
Clarke - MI-13 - 519,570 - needs to gain 186,404
Conyers - MI-14 - 550,465 - needs to gain 155,509
Dingell - MI-15 - 682,205 - needs to gain 23,769

If Michigan is going to keep two federal voting rights act districts (black majority) which is likely to avoid a court challenge (and it helps Republicans in other districts), the loser will likely be Sander Levin. They are going to have to pick up suburban black votes, and the most likely places are Southfield, Oak Park, Lathrup Village, Royal Oak Township, and maybe Eastpointe and part of Warren these days. It won't be hard in Michigan. The "tipping point" is alive and well, and I believe the number in Michigan historically has been 20-25%. I'd argue it at 15% actually.

Whether the tipping point is good or bad depends on who you ask. What I think is this. Those (of whatever color) leaving Detroit, Highland Park, Inkster, etc have choices and decisions to make. They can do what brought harm to the old city, to make a change. Communities are struggling with that right now. Southfield awhile back had a big story of the clash between recent Detroit transplants and longtime residents (both who were black). As far as the flight goes, it is what it is. Is it racist? Some of it is, especially when it comes to school decisions. Is it bad? I'd say it's a case by case basis based on the individuals moving to town. If people are leaving because of hard working people who look different are moving to town and control their kids, bettering their way of life, then it is bad. Those are good neighbors like any other. The good part of "diversity" came to Howell. Some of the whites nearby were more trouble than the blacks and Hispanics. If people are leaving their areas because gangbangers are moving to town, then its a whole different matter. That's why I judge tipping points and white flight on a case by case business. Some areas I think it's due to the former, some the latter.

The counties that lost population are:
Alcona (Slight R) - Sunrise Coast -6.6%
Alger (Slight D) - UP -2.6%
Alpena (Slight D) - Sunrise Coast -5.4%
Arenac (Slight D) - Sunrise Coast - -8.0%
Bay (D) - Bay City -2.3%
Berrien (R) - SW MI -3.5%
Branch (R) - South Central MI -1.2%
Calhoun (Swing) - Battle Creek Area -1.3%
Charlevoix (R) - NW MI -0.5%
Cheboygan (R) - NE MI -1.0%
Chippewa (Slight R) - UP -0.1%
Clare (Swing) - North Central -1.1%
Crawford (R) - North Central -1.1%
Delta (Swing) - UP -3.8%
Dickinson (slight R) - UP - 4.8
Genesee (D) - Flint area -2.4%
Gladwin (Swing) - North Central -1.3%
Gogebic (D) - UP -5.5%
Huron (Slight R) - Thumb -8.2%
Iosco (Swing) - Sunrise Coast -5.3%
Iron (Slight D) - UP -10.0%
Keweenaw (Slight R) - UP -6.1%
Luce (Slight R) - UP -5.6%
Mackinac (Slight R) - UP -6.9%
Menominee (Swing) - UP -5.1%
Montmorency (R) - NE MI -5.3%
Oceana (Slight R) - West MI -1.1%
Ontonagon (Swing) - UP -13.3%
Oscoda (R) - NE MI -8.1%
Presque Isle (Swing) - NE MI -7.2%
Roscommon (Swing) - North Central -3.9%
Saginaw (D) - Saginaw area -4.7%
St Clair (Swing) - Thumb/Port Huron -0.7% (That surprises me)
St Joseph (R) - SW MI -1.8%
Sanilac (R) - Thumb -3.1%
Schoolcraft (Slight D) - UP -4.7%
Shiawassee (Swing) - Mid MI -1.5 (Surprises me)
Tuscola (Slight R) - Thumb -4.3%
Van Buren (Swing) - SW MI - 5 people
Wayne (D) - Detroit/Downriver -11.7%

The counties that gained population are:
Allegan (R) - West Michigan +5.5%
Antrim (R) - Northwest MI +2.1%
Baraga (Slight R) - UP +1.4%
Barry (R) - West MI +4.2%
Benzie (Slight R) - Northwest MI +9.6%
Cass (Slight R) - Southwest MI +2.4%
Clinton (Slight R) - Lansing Area +16.5%
Eaton (Swing) - Lansing Area +3.9%
Emmet (R) - NW MI +4.0%
Grand Traverse (R) - Traverse City area +12.0%
Gratiot (R) - Mid MI +0.4%
Hillsdale (R) - South Central +0.3%
Houghton (R) - UP - +1.7%
Ingham (D) - Lansing/East Lansing +0.5%
Ionia (R) - West MI +3.8%
Isabella (Swing) - Mt Pleasant +11.0%
Jackson (Slight R) - South Central +1.2%
Kalamazoo (Slight D) - SW MI +4.9%
Kalkaska (R) - NW MI +3.5%
Kent (R) - Grand Rapids area +4.9%
Lake (D) - NW MI +2.4%
Lapeer (R) - Thumb +0.4%
Leelanau (Slight R) - NW MI +2.8%
Lenawee (Slight R) - SE MI +0.9%
Livingston (R) - SE MI +15.3%
Macomb (Swing) - Detroit Area +6.7%
Manistee (Swing) - NW MI +1.0%
Marquette (D) - UP +3.8%
Mason (Slight R) - NW MI +1.5%
Mecosta (R) - NW MI +5.6%
Midland (R) - Midland area +1.0%
Missaukee (R) - North Central +2.6%
Monroe (Swing) - SE MI +4.2%
Montcalm (Slight R) - West MI +3.4%
Muskegon (D) - West MI +1.2%
Newaygo (R) - West MI +1.3%
Oakland (Swing) - Detroit area +0.7%
Ogemaw (Slight D) - NE MI +0.3%
Osceola (R) - North Central +1.4%
Otsego (R) - North Central +3.7%
Ottawa (R) - West MI +10.6%
Washtenaw (D) - Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti +6.8%
Wexford (R) - NW MI +7.4%

The population losers are the industrial centers first which are most democrat. The thumb, Sunrise Coast/SE MI, and the UP lost population. Whether that's considered losing or winning depends on who you ask up there. The big gangs are in Macomb County, Grand Rapids/Holland area, College Town areas, Livingston/Monroe Counties, and Northwest MI. Surprising to me was small gains in Lapeer and losses in St Clair and Shiawassee County.

Outside of Marquette area, Ann Arbor burbs, and Lansing burbs, more democrat areas lost population. Republican areas and swing areas mostly gained. Hopefully the newcomers don't bring what screwed up their old home to these areas, like what happened in Bath Township in 2008. That's always a concern. Like the doctor's first rule says, do no harm. If you're moving to an area that's a good place to live, the first thing to research is how it got that way.

With redistricting here, the big losers will be likely Wayne County, Sander Levin/Gary Peters, and possibly Benishek, Camp, and Kildee, although that's admittedly stretching it.

Wayne County loses on state rep/senate representation due to population loss. Simple as that. As for Levin and Peters, their problem is that they are white democrats, which are always a favorite target for two reason. 1. They are stronger statewide. 2. Voting Rights Act protects, especially on congressional levels, minority majority interests. Many Republicans outside the districts often like VRA districts because it packs a bunch of democrats in an area. If we're stuck with John Conyers no matter what we do, then let's help other reps that need it. I expect two VRA districts. Whether Conyers in Palmer Park and Clarke on Detroit's Eastside are combined into one remains to be seen, but I don't expect that. Personally, I'd rather go after Peters or Levin anyway.

Since Detroit's lost over 200K, there's not enough for two fully Detroit based districts anymore. Since Metro Detroit is still very segregated, VRA districts can still be enacted. I would not be surprised to see one district catch more of of the changing burbs to shore up McCotter's district (Redford, Westland, along with Inkster and most of Detroit) and the other taking in Southfield, Oak Park, and maybe even S Warren/Eastpointe and/or Pontiac.

As for Benishek, Kildee, and Camp, all have to expand some. Kildee, or less likely Beniskek/Camp will likely have to take some of the thumb from Miller. Benishek can probably secure himself with Grand Traverse County, but that costs Camp. Camp is in Midland. He can take some of the slight dems on the sunrise coast, but you have Bay County nearby as well. His district is right now safe for him, but it's more tenuous on paper. I wouldn't feel safe there. Another issue with Bay County is Jim Barcia. Barcia is a very popular former Congressman/State Senator with strong pro-2a credentials. His old district was much of the sunrise coast, thumb, and Bay/Saginaw Counties. I doubt Camp or Benishek would want to take him on. I expect for that reason that Bay County will stay with Kildee. Once I see possible maps updated, I'll see what can be done.

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