Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Redistricting Nevada: How the Special Masters Redid the Senate

Until last weekend, Nevada Republicans had high hops of retaking the State Senate. But when Judge Russell's panel of special masters released the new Senate map, Republicans suddenly changed their tune. Why? Ralston touched on it this morning. They thought the deck was stacked in their favor, so they're no mad that they were nonetheless given a junk hand.

But as even Ralston had to admit today, it's downright ridiculous to expect a fairly drawn map that favors Republicans when there are still 65,000+ more registered Democratic voters than Republican voters in this state. So what's in this Senate map that really scares the Nevada GOP? Let me reveal it to you.

Early this week, I did my best to adhere to the contours of the special masters' map in Dave's Redistricting App in drawing these districts for myself. Here are my estimates of the partisan breakdown of the possible new Nevada Senate.

Safe Republican Seats:

SD 12 (Incumbent: Joe Hardy)

SD 14 (Incumbent: Don Gustavson)

SD 16 (Incumbent: Ben Kieckhefer)

SD 17 (Incumbent: James Settlemeyer)

SD 19 (Open)

Safe Democratic Seats:

SD 1 (Open)

SD 2 (Incumbent: Mo Denis)

SD 3 (Open)

SD 4 (Open)

SD 7 (Incumbent: David Parks)

SD 10 (Open)

SD 11 (Open)

SD 13 (Incumbent: Sheila Leslie)

SD 21 (Incumbent: Mark Manendo)

So right from the start, Democrats have a 9-5 advantage in safe seats. Republicans almost have to sweep the remaining competitive districts just to retake the majority! However in glancing the more marginal seats below, that doesn't seem too likely.

Clark County

SD 5 (Incumbent: Shirley Breeden-D)
Henderson-Green Valley/Silverado Ranch

Estimated US-Pres 2008
56% Obama (D)
42% McCain (R)

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
52% Harry Reid (D)
43% Sharron Angle (R)

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
50% Brian Sandoval (R)
45% Rory Reid (D)

Race Rating: Leans Democratic

SD 6 (Incumbent: Allison Copening-D)
Las Vegas-Summerlin/Northwest

Estimated US-Pres 2008
56% Obama (D)
42% McCain (R)

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
53% Harry Reid (D)
43% Sharron Angle (R)

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
50% Brian Sandoval (R)
46% Rory Reid (D)

Race Rating: Leans Democratic

SD 8 (Incumbent: Barbara Cegavske-R)
Las Vegas-Summerlin/Spring Valley

Estimated US-Pres 2008
51% Obama (D)
47% McCain (R)

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
48% Sharron Angle (R)
47% Harry Reid (D)

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
55% Brian Sandoval (R)
40% Rory Reid (D)

Race Rating: Leans Republican

SD 9 (Incumbent: Elizabeth Halseth-R)
Southwest Vegas

Estimated US-Pres 2008
59% Obama (D)
39% McCain (R)

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
54% Harry Reid (D)
41% Sharron Angle (R)

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
49% Brian Sandoval (R)
47% Rory Reid (D)

Race Rating: Leans Democratic

SD 18 (Open)

Estimated US-Pres 2008
50% Obama (D)
48% McCain (R)

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
50% Sharron Angle (R)
45% Harry Reid (D)

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
57% Brian Sandoval (R)
38% Rory Reid (D)

Race Rating: Leans Republican

SD 20 (Incumbent: Michael Roberson-R)
Henderson-MacDonald Ranch/Silverado Ranch

Estimated US-Pres 2008
54% Obama (D)
44% McCain (R)

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
50% Harry Reid (D)
45% Sharron Angle (R)

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
52% Brian Sandoval (R)
43% Rory Reid (D)

Race Rating: Tossup

Washoe County

SD 15 (Incumbent: Greg Brower-R)
Reno-Northwest

Estimated US-Pres 2008
55% Obama (D)
42% McCain (R)

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
50% Harry Reid (D)
44% Sharron Angle (R)

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
57% Brian Sandoval (R)
37% Rory Reid (D)

Race Rating: Tossup

Now do you see why Nevada Republicans are running scared? The Senate map looks downright atrocious for them in 2014, when Halseth and Roberson are up, and they're left with absolutely no pickup opportunities. And next year, Greg Brower will be forced to defend turf less friendly than Bill Raggio's gerrymandered wonder while Breeden and Copening become harder for the GOP to defeat.

But hey, this is exactly what the Republicans asked for! They encouraged Sandoval to veto the maps passed by the Legislature in hopes of sending redistricting to court. And they were licking their chops when the case landed in Judge Russell's court. The Republicans got everything they wanted in the redistricting process, so how on earth can they complain about the results?





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