My liberal friends over at Bleeding Heartland are trying to predict what Iowa’s congressional map is going to look like for the 2012 campaigns. Before I totally destroy their proposal, I would like to point out that this usually takes a lot of time and effort to do. Krusty Kudos to them. Now let’s compare their map, to the one I created back on January 6th. Just more proof that I’m always setting the agenda in the Iowa blogosphere…
The rules of the game:
The Iowa Code requires that districts have a population as nearly equal as practicable to the ideal population for a congressional district in the plan. Specifically, the Code provides that the deviation percentage variance for any congressional district in a redistricting plan shall not exceed 1 percent.
The Iowa Constitution provides that counties shall not be split between more than one congressional district.
To the maps!
Krusty Konservative Proposal
1st CD – 743,729 (24.9% of state population)
2nd CD – 742,687 (24.8% of state population)
3rd CD – 741,372 (24.8% of state population)
4th CD – 756,017 (25.3% of state population)
Satisfies rules one and two.
Bleeding Heartland Proposal
1st CD – 749,293 (25.1% of state population)
2nd CD – 745,098 (24.9% of state population)
3rd CD – 734,563 (26.6% of state population)
4th CD – 753,429 (25.2% of state population)
Does not satisfy rule one, but satisfies rule two.
Now I don’t know what population numbers they used to generate their map. In fact, I could not find my original notes so the numbers I plugged into their model are slightly different from the numbers I must have used in January. I’ll try and remember where I put those darn things.
The main differences in our two proposals is that while I tried to keep the congressional districts as compact as possible, Bleeding Heartland has a few more wrinkles in theirs. The biggest difference is how we handle the new 3rd Congressional District. We both have a 12 county proposal, but mine gives Warren, Jasper, and Poweshiek Counties to the 2nd CD and picks up some larger counties in North Central Iowa. That makes a huge difference in the 2nd District, where my proposal splits Linn and Johnson Counties and theirs doesn’t.
When creating my map, I took a long hard look at the first redistricting plan which was rejected in 2001. The reason I did so was because I wanted to see how the Legislative Services Agencies dealt with keeping certain counties together.
Here is what I think both proposal tell us.
Congressman King is safe, and will probably have an even better district if that’s believable.
Congressman Latham and Congressman Boswell will be thrown in the same district. Krusty Kudos to Latham for making the move to Ames before the 2006 elections, talk about looking to the future. Boswell is likely to retire giving Iowa four incumbent congressmen in 2012.
Congressman Braley is safe. Now I will admit I think he has a better district in my proposed 1st CD than Bleeding Heartlands.
Loebsack is safe in Bleeding Heartland’s 2nd CD and in trouble in mine. If I had to criticize Bleeding Heartland’s map it would be for trying to make an already liberal 2nd District even more difficult for Republicans. That said as long as Linn and Johnson Counties are together in the same congressional district, it will be tough for a Republican to win.
For now 2012 will have to wait. Iowa Republicans have a Governor and Legislative Chamber to pick up first… And wait a minute… I thought that liberals were supposed to be all artsy and stuff. My make kick’s their maps a$$!
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