I'll be honest and say that the current redistricting system isn't good for the state. I've said that when it looked like the dems had control, and I'll still stand by that today. It works well in the GOP's favor this time, but the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's maps were not favorable for us. I do get a chuckle out of the complaints about the 2000's map for the dems because I did not think it was tough enough from a partisan standpoint, but that's my view.
One often proposed alternative is the so called "nonpartisan" commissioner system. I think that's worse. I can vote out a state rep. Commissions are usually made up of political hacks and has-beens who will likely protect their buddy. I do like a computer system based on geography that limits municipal breaks. I'm not for "nonpartisan" redistricting. I do support "nonbiased" redistricting based on geography. Trying to create 15 50/50 districts is impossible without creating strange maps. What there needs to be are maps with minimal municipal breaks. Our congressmen, state senators, state reps, and county commissioners should be from our communities. The democrats didn't like Oakland County being carved up into four different districts. I don't want to see the democrats split Livingston County three ways. Municipal breaks favor Republicans in some areas (Kent County, Livingston County) and democrats in others (Wayne County, probably Oakland County).
The system is what it is, however.
There's pretty good software out there on redistricting. It's called "Dave's Redistricting App." It used estimated 2008 population for Michigan and while it's inexact with the every person requirement, it's fairly close. We're likely going to lose a seat, and unlikely will lose 2 seats when the census results are in.
Here's my preliminary "Screw the democrats" map without running the numbers. It's intended to be a 10-4 map.I'm trying to get the map screen captured, but am unable to do so. If I can get that set up, I'll post it.
District 1 - All UP, Emmet, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Alpena, Montmorency, Otsego, Antrim, Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska, Crawford, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Wexford, and Manistee Counties. Part of Oscoda County. I wanted to protect Benishek here. I gave him less of the sunrise side, in case Sheltrown wants to make a run. I also wanted to make sure the dems have to navigate two bases to win. The UP is less apt to support a Dan Scripps type out of Leelanau/Benzie, while Leelanau is less apt to support the next Joe Mack. Grand Traverse and Wexford Counties are two base counties that can offset Manistee and Benzie Counties. No Bay County helps immensely.
District 2 - Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, Lake, Osceola, Mecosta, Isabella, Newaygo, Part of Clare and Part of Montcalm Counties - I decided to make this less Republican by removing the Allegan County portion, but still solid. Huizenga will win Ottawa big everytime and should offset Muskegon County. Newaygo County should offset Isabella County.
District 3 - Kent, Ionia, and part of Montcalm County. - Little change.
District 4 - I'm least confident about this and am counting on Dave Camp's incumbency. I gave Camp back Clinton and the rest of Shiawassee County, as well as gave him Eaton County.
District 5 - This is where I disregarded all county breaks and made a "Mel Watt" district. I gave Dale Kildee a snake type district from Bay City, through Saginaw, a small part of Tuscola County as a connector (so Camp had Frankenmuth), through most of Northern Genessee County, with another connecter down to Pontiac and Auburn Hills, and connected once more to get West Bloomfield.
District 6 - Fred Upton's district was made a little more Republican by adding Northern Allegan County and Springfield and part of one township (Bedford?) in Calhoun County.
District 7 - Walberg still isn't safe, but loses trades Eaton County and most of his Washtenaw County for Monroe County and Grosse Ile in Wayne County.
District 8 - Mike Rogers loses Clinton and Shiawassee and gets Southern Genesee (Fenton, Grand Blanc, Argentine), most of Washtenaw County outside of Ann Arbor Metro (no Scio, Pittsfield, Ann Arbor, Superior, Ypsi), and gets Western Oakland instead of Northern Oakland. It's similar to the 2000 map (except more Oakland) with two major exceptions. No Scio/Pittsfield Townships. No Flint Township or Swartz Creek.
District 9 - Open. Most of Tuscola, All of Lapeer, Eastern Oakland, Western Macomb County. Most of Troy, all Rochester, Oakland Twp, Northeast Corner of Oakland (Addison?), Warren, Sterling Heights, Utica, Part of Macomb Twp, Romeo, Shelby Twp. I haven't run all the numbers here, but this should be competitive and winnable for the GOP. I think it would go GOP outside of wave elections.
District 10 - Candice Miller should be able to take this. Harper Woods, Grosse Pointes, Eastpointe, St Clair Shores, Fraser, Clinton Twp, Mt Clemens, Harrison Twp, part of Macomb Twp, Lennox, Chesterfield, most of North Macomb, St Clair County, Sanilac County, Huron County.
District 11 - Open Dem - Ann Arbor Metro (Ann Arbor City/Twp, Ypsi City/Twp, Superior, Scio twps), Belleville, Van Buren, Sumpter, Huron Twp, Downriver (Outside Grosse Ile, connector to Monroe, Ecorse, River Rouge), Romulus, Wayne, part of Westland.
District 12 - McCotter should be a little safer losing Redford, Belleville, and most of Westland. Has Livonia, Canton, Northville, Novi, Farmingtons, Southfield Twp (not city), Birmingham, Bloomfield (not West), part of Troy, Clawson, part of White Lake, Waterford, and Independence Twp. I need to run the numbers here. Not safe, but better than before, although I think Peters is incumbent here. I think Peters lost all of the areas here from his district outside of Farmington Hills. All his base areas are elsewhere. West Bloomfield and Pontiac to Kildee. Royal Oak to Conyers.
District 13. Conyers and Levin (depending on him claiming Royal Oak or Roseville). Advantage Conyers. 57%black district. Southfield, Lathrup, Royal Oak, Oak Park, Madison Heights, Ferndale, that whole area. Redford. Part of Dearborn Heights. Inkster. Northwest Detroit. Highland Park.
District 14. Hansen Clarke and John Dingell. Most of Detroit. Dearborn. Highland Park. Ecorse. River Rouge.
I doubt a map similar to this will be tried based on laws regarding county and municipal breaks.All of it will depend on actual 2010 census as well and not 2008 estimates like the program. I'll probably work on a more in depth redistrict proposal once the census numbers are out. I am confident on a 10-4 map. Maybe a gamble map of 9-3-2 with nine lean GOPs and two winnable. I can do that, but I'd rather not since Mike Rogers would be risking it big against a Kildee or Ann Arbor type.
It's going to be interesting to watch.