Saturday, October 29, 2011

Redistricting Nevada: How the Special Masters Redid the Legislature... Again

In case you missed it, Judge Russell directed the special masters to tweak with some of the legislative districts in Clark County before granting his final approval to the new redistricting maps. And while the Congressional map is untouched and no district east of The 15 or north of the Clark County line is affected, the potential balance of power in Carson City is destined to shift even more if the Nevada Supreme Court approves of this set of maps.

So what changes from the previous Assembly and Senate maps? Let me explain.

And let me start with the Assembly. Here are the districts that change:

AD 2 (Incumbent: John Hambrick-R)
Las Vegas-Summerlin

Estimated US-Pres 2008
Obama (D) 52%
McCain (R) 47%

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

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
Brian Sandoval (R) 56%
Rory Reid (D) 41%

New Race Rating: Tossup, same as previous

AD 5 (Incumbent: Marilyn Dondero Loop-D)
Spring Valley

Estimated US-Pres 2008
Obama (D) 55%
McCain (R) 43%

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
Harry Reid (D) 51%
Sharron Angle (R) 44%

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
Brian Sandoval (R) 52%
Rory Reid (D) 44%

New Race Rating: Tossup, Previous Race Rating: Safe Democratic

AD 9 (Open)
Southwest Vegas: Summerlin South, Rhodes Ranch

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

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

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

New Race Rating: Leans Democratic, Previous Race Rating: Tossup

AD 34 (Incumbent: William Horne-D)
Las Vegas-Summerlin

Estimated US-Pres 2008
Obama (D) 60%
McCain (R) 38%

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
Harry Reid (D) 57%
Sharron Angle (R) 38%

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

New Race Rating: Safe Democratic, Previous Race Rating: Leans Democratic

AD 37 (Incumbent: Marcus Conklin-D)
Las Vegas-Summerlin, Northwest

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

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

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
Brian Sandoval (R) 55%
Rory Reid (D) 41%

New Race Rating: Tossup, same as previous

So Republican John Hambrick remains vulnerable, but Democrat Marcus Conkin becomes more vulnerable as fellow Democrat Marilyn Dondero Loop now joins the "Endangered Legislators' Club". However not all the changes are bad for Assembly Democrats, since AD 9 flips from a tough Northwest Vegas Tossup district to an easier Southwest Vegas pickup opportunity. And while William Horne wasn't in too much danger previously, his new district virtually assures his political career in Carson City continues.

So what about the Senate? Here's what changes there:

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

Estimated US-Pres 2008
Obama (D) 55%
McCain (R) 43%

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

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
Brian Sandoval (R) 51%
Rory Reid (D) 45%

New Race Rating: Leans Democratic, same as previous

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

Estimated US-Pres 2008
Obama (D) 53%
McCain (R) 45%

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
Harry Reid (D) 49%
Sharron Angle (R) 46%

Estimated NV-Gov 2010
Brian Sandoval (R) 54%
Rory Reid (D) 42%

New Race Rating: Tossup, Previous Race Rating: Leans Republican

SD 9 (Incumbent: Elizabeth Halseth-R)
Southwest Vegas-Summerlin South, Rhodes Ranch

Estimated US-Pres 2008
Obama (D) 58%
McCain (R) 40%

Estimated NV-Sen 2010
Harry Reid (D) 53%
Sharron Angle (R) 42%

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

New Race Rating: Leans Democratic, same as previous

Here, Democrats need not worry too much. SD 6 and SD 9 are slightly weakened, but I still have a hard time seeing Republicans being able to keep 9. And they will probably need "the perfect storm" to pick up 6. And in the process of weakening those 2 seats, SD 8 becomes a better pickup opportunity for Democrats. Republicans should really be careful what they wish for.

Overall, Republicans don't really gain any competitive advantage with the new Legislature maps. But nonetheless, their target strategies will have to change in the west end of Vegas. Marilyn Dondero Loop and Marcus Conklin are much more vulnerable, while the AD 9 open seat and William Horne are not. And SD 6 becomes a bit more approachable, but in turn SD 8 is more threatened.

We'll have to see how the Nevada Supremes rule on this, but so far it looks like we'll be in for some wild rides in 2012 and 2014.

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