This morning, the US Census bureau released the demographic data that the Massachusetts legislature will need to redraw its Congressional Districts. The actual data is only up on the Census website in limited form, but the Boston Globe summarized the information: Boston and Springfield lost population, while Lawrence, Plymouth, Revere, Shrewsbury, & Worcester gained some. This should give at least a rough approximation of where the lines are going to be drawn. I’ve broken down the current cities by CD and Representative:
Now, there are some things that have to be remembered about the above list.
- Somebody on that list is going to get lose his or her job next year. There are ten Members of Congress, and only nine seats.
- Nobody on that list wants lose his or her job. They’ve been remarkably reluctant to try for the Senate seat in 2012, and nobody’s announced a retirement.
- There is no Republican to target. Let’s not pretend that this would not be considered the optimal solution.
- Boston may become… problematical. Boston currently is barely a majority-white city; the Boston Globe article above indicates that there was significant increase in the minority population. A significant change in the demographics of Boston will only fuel a drive to redraw the districts along more traditional, Democratic-approved racial gerrymandering lines.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m competent to draw a redistricting map for Massachusetts; but this looks like there’s going to be an unholy mess for the legislature to resolve. Too many districts with significant population shifts and not enough seats at the table; and everybody is going to be calling in existing favors in order to stay politically alive. If we still had a dueling culture, this would be the kind of situation that would result in mutual mass slaughters; as it is, expect that, twenty years from now, politicians will still be knifing each other in the metaphorical back over this redistricting process. That’s how these things go.
Should be fun to watch!