District 6 - The incumbent is Fred Upton and I think his current district is very dangerous (thought so then). The trouble is that making him safe after a certain point hurts Tim Walberg in the 7th. His current district covers Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Berrien, Cass, St Joseph, part of Allegan, and a very small part of Calhoun. It went 52.84% for Bush and 54.09% for Obama. Obama won this district by almost 10%. Add the fact that you have a Chicago influence there, a college town in Kalamazoo, Jon Stryker's gazillions, a sizable minority population by non-Detroit area Michigan standards, and Obama on the ticket in 2012 tailor made for a district like this, and it needs to be watched, regardless of Fred Upton's local strength (right flank issues with conservatives, strong crossvotes).
|Dan's proposed 6th District|
Under the proposed map, I gave him all of Allegan County. That can help or hurt Upton. It would hurt him in a primary, but would help in the general. Northern Allegan is some of the most Republican area of the state. I took away St Joe County for Walberg, and carved up Calhoun County. I tried to finesse this so we didn't have a Howard Wolpe situation like the 80's. I think Allegan County prevents this. I wanted to split the four blue sinks in Calhoun County. Albion, Battle Creek, Springfield, and Bedford Township. Upton gets Albion and Bedford Township. Walberg gets Battle Creek and Springfield. Everyone talks about Battle Creek, but little Albion packs about as big of punch as Battle Creek. It's smaller, but much more democrat by percentage. Under the new proposed map, it's still rough. Obama takes 54.29 of the 2 party vote. Bush 53.83% of the two party vote. It was a 32000 vote Obama deficit under the old plan, and 25000 vote deficit under the new plan. It's a little better, but downticket is stronger here than the 7th.
District 7 - This district changed hands several times. Incumbent Nick Smith won in 02. RINO Joe Schwarz won in 04. Tim Walberg (not Wahlberg) beat RINO Schwarz in 06 and won a close race. Mark Schauer rode the Obama wave in 08, and lost to Walberg again in 2010. The current district is Eaton, Calhoun, Jackson, Hillsdale, Branch, Lenawee, and part of Washtenaw County. This district needed to expand, and it's picking poison. I could expand to Clinton and Barry County, screwing up the Detroit area districts (McCotter especially). I could take a blue sink in Ann Arbor or Kalamazoo sacrificing this district. Even taking Clinton County would be risky for Walberg because of state workers. Walberg actually does well in some swing areas, and ran ahead of McCain. Lenawee County is a swing county and voted for Walberg just as it voted for Clinton and Obama. I tried to finesse this district too. The current district went 51.75% Obama and 54.26% Bush. The proposed district had 55.20% of the two party vote for Bush and 51.54% of the two party vote to Obama.
|Dan's proposed district 7|
I added St Joseph County. Good for Walberg. I also added Monroe County. That was my poison picked. I dropped Eaton, and part of Calhoun. Eaton is more Republican than Monroe County up and down the ticket usually, but they do not like Walberg. That's why it went to Camp or Amash. Walberg's style is better in at least part of Monroe County, although neither would have been my first choice. The other part I dropped was subtle. Scio and Salem Township in Washtenaw County. I dropped Salem to McCottr strictly for population concerns. Scio Township had to go to Dingell. Scio Township alone is a 3000-4000 democrat vote spread that doesn't even need to be in this district. I couldn't find a way to get Battle Creek and Springfield out of the district, but I did remove Albion and Bedford Township. Some of the more republican areas in Calhoun were gone too though. This isn't safe for Walberg, but it is slightly better than the old district, even with Monroe County.
District 8 - This map is much better than it looks for Congressman Mike. As I was running the 08 numbers to this in Genesee and Oakland, (Livingston went in last) I was thinking I was going to have to scrap this and start over. When it was done, I was thinking that this isn't that bad. The map LOOKS bad from a GOP standpoint, but it's actually more republican at the top of the ticket than the current district. The current district was 53.65% for Bush (29000 vote cushion) and 52.53% Obama (25000 vote deficit). The proposed district is 50.75% Obama (5500 deficit) and 56% Bush. The current district has all of Clinton, Ingham, and Livingston Counties, along with part of North Oakland and 1/2 of Shiawassee County.
|Dan's Proposed 8th District|
What looks bad with this map is two things. Taking in a lot of the area in Genesee County, with a couple of blue sinks there. The other one is Pontiac and Auburn Hills. Pontiac had to go somewhere. If it wasn't going to a VRA district, nor to a safe Peters/Levin district (likely under a 9-5 plan), somebody tough has to take it on the chin. I took out Clinton County for Camp, and Shiawassee County as a bridge for Kildee with the blue sink in NW Ingham County. The Genesee County portion came from Kildee, and Lapeer County from Miller.
When you look at vote spreads, Lansing, Lansing Twp, East Lansing, and Meridian Township combine at the top of the ticket for a 27000-45000 vote deficit. Pontiac combines for 13-17000. The Genesee County portion actually voted for Bush in 04. It was a 6000 vote deficit in 08. That's not much different than Mike's portion of Ingham County, where he overperforms the ticket. Lapeer County is an insurance policy, because I didn't want to take more of the republican part of Oakland from McCotter or the proposed open district.
District 9 - Peters (targetted). The current 9th will be carved up. It's a swing district that somehow for reasons beyond my understanding, put Royal Oak, West Bloomfield, and Pontiac in the same district. I understand West Bloomfield due to Knollenberg's strength there. Pontiac was trouble, but better than Southfield. Royal Oak though? Why wasn't that in Levins instead? Give more of Sterling Heights to Miller instead. The current 9th went 50.31% (5500 vote spread) for Bush and 55.86% (48,000 vote sink) for Obama. The proposed 9th had Obama with 52.64% of the two party vote with a 20,000 vote sink and 53.41% of the two party vote for Bush with a 24,000 vote spread.
|Dan's Proposed 9th District|
The trouble with a 10-4 attempt is picking which poison. I split South Macomb, giving the South Oakland parts to Conyers. I counted all of Madison Heights (some with 12th) and none of Fraser (most with the 10th) so the numbers are slightly off, but probably close. Macomb has five major blue sinks, and two light to moderate blue sinks. The major ones are Warren, Center Line, Roseville, Mt Clemens, and Eastpointe. Then there's Clinton Twp (moderate) and St Clair Shores (light blue). If Warren was here, Clinton Twp, Mt Clemens, and Roseville could not be. I didn't like putting Eastpointe here, but it was here or Miller's district, which was already the toughest for an incumbent outside of maybe Upton.
The proposed district has Warren and Center Line, Sterling Heights, Shelby Twp, Bruce, Armada, Ray, and Washington Twps in Macomb County, along with Rochester/Troy, Bloomfield Hills and Twp, Clawson, Birmingham, and Southfield Twp (Franklin/Bingham Farms) in Oakland County. Interesting, I just heard that Marty Knollenberg wants a district to run in. He's from Troy. He could give Peters a good run with this one. No Pontiac, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, or West Bloomfield. Warren and Eastpointe are tough, but nothing comes easy.