Analysis: Stumbo's plan would make 1st and 5th more Democratic; 2nd and 4th more Republican

11/15/2011 05:16 PM

The initial redistricting plan House Speaker Greg Stumbo released Tuesday would increase the number of registered Democrats in the 1st and 5th congressional districts by 30,000 while making the 2nd and 4th districts safer Republican seats, according to a Pure Politics analysis.

All four of those districts are currently represented by Republicans.

Stumbo said this version plan is a starting point for the redistricting debate.

His plan, if adopted, would likely increase the competitiveness of the 1st and 5th districts through both the addition of more urban Democratic counties and the subtraction of rural counties with Republican majorities.

For instance, the 1st District — represented by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield — would gain Daviess County with the city of Owensboro while shedding heavily Republican Counties along the Tennessee border, such as Monroe, Clinton and Cumberland, as well as Adair and Casey counties.

And the 5th District — represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers — would get Boyd County with the city of Ashland, while losing Republican counties such as Wayne and McCreary.

In both cases, the 2nd District would get those southern Republican counties. It would take the 2nd District — represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie — from having 56 percent registered Democrats and 37 percent Republicans to having 48 percent registered Democrats and 46 percent Republicans.

Stumbo’s suggested plan makes the 2nd and 4th districts more Republican than even the map the congressional delegation requested. The 2nd District would be the most radically changed under this initial draft. Just 11 of its 24 counties would remain from the current district configuration.

Stumbo’s plan also makes the 6th District slightly more Democratic, which would benefit Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler.

Here are the breakdowns:

Voter Registration of Stumbo’s Plan

…………Democrats ……….Republicans ……..Other
1st …….. 65.5% ……………….. 30% ………….4.5%
2nd ……. 48% ……………….. 46% ………….6%
3rd …….. 59% ……………….. 33% ………… 8%
4th ………48% ……………….. 42% ………….10%
5th ………52% ……………….. 44% …………. 4%
6th …….. 61% ……………….. 32% …………. 7%

1st District — Trades Daviess, Hancock, Breckinridge and half of Ohio counties to the 2nd District in exchange for Cumberland, Clinton, Monroe, Metcalfe, Russell, Casey, Adair and part of Lincoln.
2nd District — Loses Shelby, Spencer and Nelson to the 4th; Washington and Marion to the 6th. Gains Cumberland, Clinton, Monroe, Metcalfe, Russell, Casey, Adair and part of Lincoln from the 1st; the rest of Lincoln plus Boyle, Garrard and Jessamine from the 6th; and Wayne and McCreary counties from the 5th.
_3rd District _— Remains in Jefferson County.
4th District — Loses Fleming, Nicholas, Robertson, Harrison and its parts of Scott and Bath counties to the 6th; and Boyd, Carter and Elliott to the 5th District. Gains Shelby, Spencer and Nelson counties from the 2nd.
_5th District _— Loses Wayne and McCreary counties to the 2nd; its small part of Bath to the 6th. Gains Estill from the 6th and Boyd, Carter and Elliott counties from the 4th.
_6th District _ — Loses Jessamine, Garrard, Boyle and its part of Lincoln to the 2nd District and Estill to the 5th District. Gains part of Bath from 5th and the rest of Bath from the 4th, as well as Fleming, Nicholas, Robertson and Harrison from the 4th and Washington and Marion from the 2nd.

Current District Registration

…………Democrats ……….Republicans ……..Other
1st …….. 61% ……………….. 34% ………….5%
2nd ……. 56% ……………….. 37% ………….7%
3rd …….. 59% ……………….. 33% ………… 8%
4th ………50% ……………….. 40% ………….10%
5th ………51% ……………….. 46% …………. 4%
6th …….. 57% ……………….. 35% …………. 8%

*Congressional Delegation Request *

…………. Democrats ……….. Republicans ……Other
1st ……… 61% ………………… 34% ………….. 5%
2nd …….. 56% ………………… 37% ………….. 7%
3rd ……… 59% ……………….. 33% …………… 8%
4th ……… 49% ……………….. 42% ……………. 9%
5th ……… 49% ……………….. 47% …………… 4%
6th ……… 60% ……………….. 32% …………… 8%

The incumbent members of Congress aren’t saying much about the latest draft.

“There are a variety of potential maps from a number of sources that we have seen, but at the end of the day, this is the responsibility of the General Assembly of Kentucky,” Chandler said in a statement Tuesday.

Guthrie, who is in his second term as the 2nd District congressman, said he wants to keep Owensboro and Daviess County in that district — even though Stumbo’s map actually makes the 2nd District safer for a Republican like Guthrie.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed serving Daviess County and always look forward to my visits to the area. I will use any influence I may have with my former colleagues in the General Assembly to maintain Daviess County in the 2nd District,” Guthrie said.

Stumbo released a statement later Tuesday saying that while members of Congress seem to have different preferences for the redrawn map, ultimately their fate is in state lawmakers’ hands.

“Ultimately, it falls to the members of the Kentucky General Assembly to reach a final determination of the congressional boundaries. While members of Congress have different ideas as to how the maps should be drawn, the Legislature will debate and resolve the various proposals.”

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