Stephen Wolf+ Your Authors @PoliticsWolf @DKElections staff writer covering voting rights, gerrymandering, maps, & poli sci. Get the free Voting Rights Roundup weekly newsletter Mar. 01, 2019 3 min read + Your Authors

Breaking: I've been informed that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's commission on redrawing the 6th Congressional District has chosen the map we submitted for its recommendation. I'll have more details soon, & you can read about our proposal here:  #MD06 #MDpol

If this map were to become law, #MD06 would flip from a 55-40 Clinton district to a 52-43 Trump one to comply with the court's ruling. No districts other than #MD06 & #MD08 would be redrawn, since only #MD06 was struck down

#MD08 would shift from to 65-31 Clinton to a very blue 78-18 Clinton. You can see our calculations for the proposed redrawn districts here: 
And for the existing districts here: 

Via @Bruce_DePuyt, here's the first news story detailing the commission's adoption of our proposed map. Their vote was unanimous!  #MD06 #MDpol

To be clear, just because Hogan's commission chose my map doesn't yet mean it will be implemented. Dems are appealing to SCOTUS, which will hear it this month alongside an NC GOP gerrymandering case. However, a win at SCOTUS against gerrymandering would force #MD06 to be redrawn

That's right. However, any map the Democratic legislature drew would also be subject to judicial review, & if the court found their replacement map was still an unacceptable gerrymander in #MD06, the court could draw its own map, with a good chance of picking the commission's map

Now for some more thoughts & context on Maryland gerrymandering. I wrote a post on this that will run next week, but one logical question is why on earth did I leave six districts on this map a terribly gerrymandered mess? It's because the court only struck down a single district

I wish I could've redrawn all of Maryland's congressional map in a nonpartisan fashion, since those of you familiar with my work know I've drawn nonpartisan congressional maps for every state. But in these types of cases, courts usually prefer minimizing the breadth of changes

Here's what a fully nonpartisan Maryland congressional would likely look like. This first map is a plan I drew myself, but you'll see it's actually incredibly similar to this second map that Maryland **Republicans** themselves proposed as a nonpartisan map back in 2011

While the lines are far neater under both of these maps, you may be surprised that the outcomes would likely be very similar to my map that Hogan's commission chose for redrawing just Districts 6 & 8. Indeed, all 3 of those maps have 6 districts that Clinton won by double digits

Some have proposed nonpartisan maps for Maryland that would create a third GOP district, but those maps simply aren't the likely outcome a court or commission would reach. Don't just take it from this Dem, even the state GOP & GOP plaintiffs suing over the Dem gerrymander agreed!

My map that GOP Gov. Larry Hogan's commission chose would leave several districts severely gerrymandered, despite likely flipping #MD06 to the GOP. But that remaining Dem gerrymandering has very limited partisan impact & was mainly done to benefit certain Democrats in primaries

It was exasperating to watch Maryland Dems draw a gerrymander back in 2012-2012 that only flipped 1 district yet had some of the ugliest districts in America purely because Dem incumbents demanded particular turf for purposes other than partisan advantage: 

I hope the Supreme Court upholds the ruling striking down Maryland's Dem congressional gerrymander because we need a national solution that applies to both parties everywhere. But if you're wondering why the GOP only stands to gain 1 seat in Maryland instead of more, this is why

What's so nuts is how Maryland Democrats easily could have flipped the last remaining GOP-held congressional district with neater lines. They chose that utterly bonkers-looking map in the middle here for reasons that didn't even maximize partisan advantage 

You can follow @PoliticsWolf.


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