Some Thoughts on Census Data by LD
The Washington State Redistricting Commission released census data by legislative district at its Aug. 16 meeting. This was taken from data provided by the US Census as part of its population count once every ten years.
Lisa McLean is the Commission’s Executive Director. She highlighted the specific districts that needed the most adjustments.
Those who need to grow are 19th and 24th on the Olympic Peninsula. The 14th, 15th, 16th and 3rd in Spokane.
In the Puget Sound area, you can see that 43rd, 36th, 28th, and 1st are…the ones that need shrinking the most.
A key element to examine in trying to predict a significant change in LD partisan support is the differential in partisan performance between LD lines.
So, for example, the 36th must shrink given the influx of new residents in the Queen Anne and Ballard areas. But this very progressive neighborhood is next to other very progressive neighborhoods. Highly progressive voters who must leave 36th are unlikely to change the party makeup of 43rd, 46th, 32nd, or 34th, which are also highly progressive.
By comparison, the 3rd and 24th are two Democratic districts that need to attract more voters who are likely to come from more Republican areas than the districts themselves. The 3rd elected three legislative Democrats with an average of 21 points in 2020. It will have to capture voters from the 4th and/or the 6th, both now represented by Republicans.
It is possible that the 3rd will become more Republican as a result. However, a 20 point shift is unlikely. The 3rd will remain reliable and safe for Democrats.
However, if the 3rd takes too many voters from its border with the 6th LD, many of whom are likely more progressive than the 6th arrondissement average, it’s possible that the reduction in Democratic votes could move the swing 6th arrondissement into the red column. reliable.
In other words, the need for voters in the 3rd district may reduce the opportunity for Democrats in the 6th.
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The 24th is also problematic for the Democrats. It’s a 53% Democratic district that’s surrounded by other districts that also need to add voters. The 40th and 10th both need voters, so the 24th is unlikely to get votes from those geographically separate regions to the northwest.
The 23, 35 and 19 also need votes. 23rd and 35th will likely gravitate to Tacoma and Puget Sound to get them. So the 24th is likely to reclaim those conservative areas that those districts leave behind in places like Mason County.
These new voters will likely be more Republican than the 24th average, which means this will likely put significant partisan pressure on a district that is about 54% Democratic.
If the Democrats were to lose the 24th, that would mean the last significantly rural district would go to the Democrats, now that all of eastern Washington (outside of the 3rd) has reliably passed to the Republicans.
It will also be worth looking at the Yakima region in September, when the first draft maps are released. This region was split in two during the last redistricting, in part to dampen Democratic performance in the region.
However, all districts in the region must add voters. Each of these districts, especially the 14th, 15th, and 16th, will likely need to gain more geography from its western borders, though the 16th may take some 8th near the Tri-Cities.
The question for the Yakima area is whether the city will get its own representation or if it will remain divided. (The answer is that it will likely remain divided so Republicans can hold on to the area without a new Blue Island.)
In Puget Sound, almost every district is shrinking due to greater population growth. 32nd, 11th and 46th are notable exceptions, though these won’t have much partisan impact.
Where the impact will be felt is on the east side. Some will remember when 45th, 48th and 41st were swing neighborhoods. This hasn’t been the case for years, but it has been the case for the past few years in the 5th in the North Bend area.
These numbers suggest that the 5th will be solidly Democratic for years to come, much like its other eastern neighbors, as its geographic center will have to shift considerably westward due to the compression of the Puget Sound districts on its flank. Where is. This squeeze will draw 5th to Puget Sound, forcing it to drop the more conservative votes on the east side of the district.
31 could be an interesting neighborhood to watch. It is an over 60% Republican district currently based in eastern Pierce County. But he will have to give up 7,000 voters, decreasing. And, it’s likely going to have to move significantly westward given the likely void of shrinking districts on its western edge. It is possible in 10 years, we will talk about 31 as we talk about 5 today: a former Republican stronghold that was destroyed by the population influx in the center of Puget Sound.
Now all this still has to be settled in the Commission. But, if demographics are fate, it looks like some of these districts are bound for some change.
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