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Category: Census

Jan.
9th

Voting data used by state redistricting commission shows most-Democratic, most-Republican districts

If you had any doubt that the state’s redistricting process is highly partisan, you need only look at the detailed data compiled and used by the commission’s partisan demographers.

As each new map was proposed, staffers advising both party’s commissioners knew exactly how that district had voted in past elections. That allowed them to predict how any new set of districts would effect future elections. (Here is a link to the Redistricting Commission final plan with lots of maps.)

One analysis of new congressional districts, for example, looked at how the voters in the new districts had voted in three key elections – the 2010 U.S. Senate race between Patty Murray and Dino Rossi, the 2008 governor’s race between Rossi and Chris Gregoire and the 2008 state treasurer’s race between Jim McIntire and, ahhhh, who did McIntire run against?

That’s the point of using an otherwise obscure race (McIntire, by the way, defeated Republican nominee Allan Martin 51 percent to 49 percent). When the candidates are less known and the campaign is less well-followed it becomes a generic Democrat v. Republican contest and a good measure of a district’s basic political makeup.

From those three, the staff produced a 3-race average. Based on that, here are how the 10 new congressional districts stack up using each district’s Republican vote percentage (with incumbent’s name in parenthesis) : Read more »

Dec.
28th

Pierce County Councilman Stan Flemming declares for newly created 10th Congressional District

The University Place Republican had been planning to run in the new 10th where ever it ended up. Federal law does not require candidates to be residents of the district and Stan Flemming was steering clear of the 9th District as fellow councilman Dick Muri had already announced for that race.

So Flemming was surprised and pleased this morning that the new 10th contains both his home and some of his current council district (at least the district that elected him) and the military bases.

“It was not just nice news, it was wonderful news,” Flemming said. Muri, however, is

Read more »

Dec.
28th

New congressional district proposal shakes up Washington’s political landscape

The Washington State Redistricting Commission outlined a draft congressional plan today that puts most of Thurston County including Olympia in the new 10th Congressional District, while shifting U.S. Rep. Adam Smith’s 9th district northward to become a minority-dominated district that ranges from northeast Tacoma to Renton, south Seattle, and Bellevue. The plan also preserves Tacoma as an urban anchor for Rep. Norm Dicks’ sprawling 6th district that retains the Olympic Peninsula and sends part of Rep. Dave Reichert’s 8th district over the Cascades into Eastern Washington.

The bipartisan draft map appears to leave Democrats with strong positions in five districts including Smith and Dicks, Republicans with strong positions in four districts including Reichert and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the 3rd, which retains a band of south Thurston County, all of Southwest Washington and all of Klickitat County east of the Cascades.
Read more »

Dec.
27th

Washington state Redistricting Commission still not there with deadline approaching

The partisan commissioners met again today for about 20 minutes, long enough to say they still don’t have agreement on Eastern Washington legislative districts or any of the Congressional districts.

They will reconvene this afternoon after two hours of closed sessions. They may or may not show progress.

By state constitutional mandate they must finish all by midnight on New Year’s Day or declare failure and turn the process over to the state Supreme Court.

All four commissioners – one each appointed by House Democrats, House Republicans, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans – said this morning they were getting closer

Read more »

Dec.
22nd

No maps expected today from Redistricting Commission

The commission’s staff hasn’t been given new maps to distribute, so there likely won’t be any new proposals at a meeting this afternoon. But commissioners will provide an update on their efforts to redraw Congressional districts and Eastern Washington legislative districts

And they could meet again as soon as Friday as they creep closer to a Jan. 1 deadline for finishing their work.

At their meeting earlier this week, commissioners heard testimony about their proposals for Western Washington legislative districts, which are almost done except for meshing the two maps at the King County-Pierce County line.

They heard from

Read more »

Dec.
16th

Pierce, Thurston lawmakers could wind up with new voters

State lawmakers in Western Washington are poring over new maps today of what their districts could look like starting with the 2012 election.

Rep. Jim McCune was surprised to see that instead of his relatively safe seat in the rural-to-suburban 2nd district, the bipartisan maps put his Graham home in the ultra-competitive suburban-to-urban 28th district.

“I don’t know why they did that. I’m very popular in my district,” McCune said.

People in Lakewood, University Place and west Tacoma — which form the core of the 28th — likely don’t know much about McCune.
Read more »

Dec.
16th

Draft maps out for Western Washington redistricting

The Washington State Redistricting Commission put out two new legislative maps today – one for northern parts of Western Washington and another for southwest Washington and the Olympic Peninsula. The commission is redrawing the state’s 49 legislative districts to equalize population, and work on congressional maps is just getting started ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline.

Republican Rep. Gary Alexander of Thurston County is among the displaced statehouse incumbents, moving from the 20th district today to the 2nd, which had been centered around Yelm. Rep. Jim McCune, R-Graham, also is displaced from the 2nd to the 28th, where Democratic Reps.

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Nov.
29th

Redistricting at ‘impasse’?

That’s the word Republican Slade Gorton used at today’s Redistricting Commission meeting to describe his negotiations with Democrat Tim Ceis over legislative districts in the north part of Western Washington.

Ceis said that might be too strong but agreed the pair have areas of disagreement.

The report from the other two voting members of the commission wasn’t any more positive. Republican Tom Huff said his bargaining with Democrat Dean Foster over districts in the south of Western Washington has seen only “nominal” progress.

Foster added: “We take two steps forward; sometimes we go back one. Sometimes we go back two.”

It’s clear

Read more »