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 »