Thoughts on Missouri Redistricting 2020

Missouri is one of the few states where we didn’t max out in 2010 and we will have a chance at a trifecta in 2020. In 2010 we managed to override the veto of Jay Nixon to eliminate Russ Carnahan’s district and make a 7-2 map with the help of Emmanuel Cleaver who liked his district and told State Reps in his district to approve the map. This meant Cleaver had to be kept safe. But now, with Eric Greitens winning the Governorship, Cleaver should be an immediate target, as he’s sitting in a D+6 (2016 only) district surrounded by two R+20 and R+18 districts with an R+25 district further south to draw from.


My priorities with this map were

  1. Eliminate Cleaver’s seat and replace with a seat likely to be won by a Republican
  2. Strengthen MO-02 district as she has by far the weakest  Republican seat in the state that moved away from us in 2016. Trump won MO-02 by 10. His second weakest Republican district in the state was MO-06 which he won by 31.
  3. Avoid a lawsuit regarding to VRA protections

Here’s the Map:

Here’s what I did to each district

MO-01 (Dark blue): Kept exactly the same. I think this district is losing  population, so it may need to gain precincts, which could be good for us as it could take the worst precincts in MO-02.

2008 Results: Obama 80.2-McCain 18.9; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 20.7%

MO-02 (Green). Removed some of the areas from Crystal Lake Park to Clarkson Valley which swung the worst against Trump. Kept a decent amount of St. Louis County in this district. Added all of St. Charles County and most of Warren, Franklin and Lincoln Counties. This becomes more of a safe Republican exurban district than a safe, but possibly shaky in the future suburban Republican district like it is now. My guess is Trump won it by 20?

2008 Results: McCain 53.4-Obama 45.6; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 59.1%

MO-03 (Purple):Took in the worst swinging areas of MO-02, but removed the “arm” out to central Missouri and the parts of St. Charles County. Added all of Jefferson County and goes southeast all the way down to Cape Girardeau. I like this district because it combined the areas most likely to swing against us in St. Louis county with the areas that swung massively towards Trump. Trump probably won it by 25-30.

2008 Results: McCain 52.9-Obama 46.0; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 58.8%

MO-04 (Red): MO-04 took in all the black areas of Kansas City to avoid splitting up the black population of MO-05 to avoid a lawsuit. It goes from the black areas of KC straight down into heavily Republican southwest Missouri going as far south as Barton County and going as far east as Cole County. Boone County is not in this district anymore. Trump probably won this by 20-25.

2008 Results: McCain 51.3-Obama 47.5; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 56.8%

MO-05 (Yellow): The new MO-05 goes from Independence and some KC suburbs to rural central Missouri

2008 Results: McCain 51.8-Obama 46.8; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 56.7%

MO-06 (Teal): This takes in all the white Democrat areas of KC and loses some KC suburbs and rural areas to MO-05. This is probably the most vulnerable Republican in the state now but Trump probably still won this handily.

2008 Results: McCain 49.9-Obama 48.5; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 55.7%

MO-07  (Gray): Basically the same, loses some of it’s most northernmost counties and goes further east. Easily Safe R

2008 Results: McCain 63.0 Obama 35.6; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 68.9%

MO-08 (Light Blue): Loses Cape Girardeau and some rural areas and takes in Boone County. Considering Trump won the current version of this district by 55, I figured it could take in a lean D county. Still easily safe R.

2008 Results: McCain 57.0-Obama 41.0; 2012 Romney 2 Party %: 63.8%

Here’s a close up of the Jackson County crack

and what I did with St. Louis county here

I think this map did a decent job of achieving my goals. Thoughts?

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  • shamlet July 17, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Effective from a partisan standpoint, but Luetkmeyer is going to throw a fit since you’ve brutally dismantled his district and double-bunked him with Smith to boot. The only way I see this map making sense is if he retires and is replaced by someone from JeffCo. I also think they’re not going to remove the black precincts of KC from the 5th just for the sake of making less of a ruckus. You can still make a pretty decent district if you make sure to keep that strip of white liberals west of Troost out of the seat and replace it with deep-red rurals.

    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

    • HoneyBee July 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      I was counting on him retiring, as he’ll be 70 in 2022 and will already have served 7 terms, much more than most house members serve, but you’re right, it’s possible he’ll still be there, and if so, we’ll have a problem. If he doesn’t retire maybe we can move Boone County to his district, and replace that population by moving a couple heavy GOP areas to MO-02, and just try and hope MO-02 holds on for the decade? It is pretty safe now, but I’m not sure as St. Louis County is getting more and more diverse and Wagner’s district may get worse and worse.

      I thought moving the black precincts to MO-04 would be fine as they’re all still together, but perhaps you’re right? If there’s real risk of the map getting overturned in court if they get moved to MO-04 (I have no idea why it would, but liberal judges, you know), then I’d absolutely move them back to MO-05 just to avoid any risk, but if the only risk of a “fit” is from the Democrats in KC then I don’t really care. We have massive super majorities in the legislature so we should be able to ram any map we want through

      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • HoneyBee July 17, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Got 2012 Presidential 2 Party % numbers and updated the post with them. Romney’s worst district was MO-06 with 55.7% 2 party which translates to a PVI of R+8

    Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • Republican Michigander July 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    How safe is MO-3? That seat I know is a bit traditionally D (Dick Gephart country outside of the Southern St Louis part of his old district)

    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • Greyhound July 17, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      Well, Trump won Jefferson County (Which anchors the seat) by about 35 points last year, and even Greitens won it by 10 for Governor. Baring some kind of White Working-Class Democratic revival, that seat should be pretty safe for us.

      R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

    • HoneyBee July 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      The difference though, is first of all that area of the country has stampeded massively right, and second of all, south st. Louis and the university area in st. Louis county is replaced with some traditionally Republican suburban areas in St. Louis county and heavily Republican Cape Girardeaux. As I pointed out, Romney got 59% of the 2 party vote there which means Trump probably won it by like 25-30

      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • Upstater22 July 18, 2017 at 10:38 am

    A note on population changes:

    St Louis City has lost 2.5% of its population while Missouri overall has grown 1.75% (per census bureau statistics). St. Louis County has also (very slightly) shrunk. That means MO-01 will need to expand and take in more Dem precincts.

    The outer STL suburbs (St. Charles, Warren, Lincoln, Franklin, and Jefferson) are some of the fastest growing in the state. Your MO-02 is likely quite overpopulated. Luckily, these 5 counties went for Trump anywhere between 25 and 50 points.

    The KC suburbs of Platte and Clay are the fastest growing in the state. These have trended right since the beginning of the decade, but Romney actually won Platte by more than Trump, so that is something to watch.

    Southwest Missouri (Springfield) is also growing. Your MO-07 is certainly overpopulated. But by taking Boone County out of MO-04, you have made that one underpopulated.

    Speaking of Boone (Columbia), your map helps to highlight the problem it causes. It’s growing, it’s trending left, and it’s sitting right there in the middle of the state. How do you draw districts to crack KC without drawing one of them to Boone? You solve this by drawing an ugly MO-08 that starts in the southeastern corner and goes all the way up to Columbia. Not the prettiest thing I’ve seen.

    Conservative, because facts are more important than feelings

    • HoneyBee July 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

      How much would you estimate each of these districts I drew will be over/underpopulated in 2020? For 2010 numbers they’re all within 1,000 of each other, but growth obviously changes that. I’d like to fix this but I’m not sure exactly how much to add.

      You’re right about the problem Boone County brings. The other solution is not changing MO-03 and putting it in MO-03, but that brings some other problems because it takes some of the rural very Republican counties in the middle of the state that would ideally be used for MO-04 and MO-05 and MO-06 to make them safe. I figured drawing an ugly MO-08 is the easiest way out as with Trump numbers, MO-08 is absurdly Republican. R+29 is way too Republican for a Congressional district and we should be using a lot of those Republicans elsewhere.

      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • Jon July 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    1. The only way you’d have a VRA lawsuit would be splitting North City from North County; which no Republican map would do or alternatively draw the districts using the racial data instead of the partisan data within the St Louis area; the main court challenges to avoid are those that would excessively split counties. In this case, under a bad MO supreme court there could be a successful challenge over the totally unneeded quadruple split of counties between #3 & #8 (should be cut down to only one such county) and the even worse six? counties crossed between #4 & #5; those splits in the Southern leg aren’t needed and should be cut down to only Jackson plus one more county being split between those districts. (The double cross between #4 & #7 also pointless)

    2. #1 as drawn here looks close to me (if the estimate is correct); other than the weird exclusion of the SW part of St Louis City from it. From both a county integrity and a partisan standpoint, all of St Louis City, even the SW most corner which is the least D portion within city limits should definitely be placed in #1. In addition, the phone numbers of the chairmen would ring off the hook from those in West County complaining about any portion of St Louis City being included in their district. In fact, don’t subtract anything from #1; just add, it’s less than a rounding error on how much you could keeping #1 the same size could be improved on a partisan basis.
    There seems to be an R heavy donor section of St Louis County included in #3; I’d prefer making I-270 (south leg) the boundary (give Franklin county to #3)

    3. #8 as drawn is a complete non-starter unless either Luetkmeyer (who this map gives nowhere to run if the incumbent from #8 runs) retires or alternatively the incumbent from #8 retires.
    Now I do acknowledge the extreme difficulty you’d have making a 7 R 1 D map that doesn’t double bunk Luetkmeyer with another R incumbent; #3 in its current form extends that far Southwest just to give him a seat.

    45, M, MO-02

    • FreedomJim July 18, 2017 at 11:11 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree on reducing county and city splits and it might also help to get 6 farther from the St. Louis media market. However, I do not have enough time or familiarity with Missouri to draw my own map.

  • rdelbov July 18, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Not sure the GOP decides to go 8-1.
    If they did here my three suggestions.

    1st Avoid excessive county splits
    2nd Make CD5 an opportunity seat-lean R and do not shoot for likely R as that can’t be done with too many splits
    Okay here at the starting points.
    1st Literally swap the Clay county parts of the current CD5 and CD6 –Put the larger more R part in CD6–Not a perfect swap but the more R parts in CD5 and more D parts in CD6.
    2nd Give a big swath of SW Jackson county/Kansas City to CD4. Not the worst part of Kansas City but a swath of it. Roughly 1/3 of the county
    3rd plus the four counties to east (JOhnson-Saline-Lafayette Pettis)

    • BostonPatriot July 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Something like this might have a chance at getting through the legislature:

      MO-05 takes 300K from Kansas City that ws 80% Obama 2008, and the rest is deep red Missourah that was 65% McCain. It’s a classic base-vs-base fight. Together it was 53% Obama, so even PVI, and that’s with historic black turnout and before every county in the district trended right in both 2008 and 2016. Cleaver probably can’t hold this in a midterm, and the Democratic primary electorate is guaranteed to give you a Cleaver. Jason Kander is probably the only Dem who could lock it down.

      MO-04 is 55% McCain and takes the rest of Jackson, but otherwise Hartzler has represented the rest for 10 years. She would be the biggest impediment to the map, but Jackson Republicans in the legislature would love this since it gives one of their own a great shot at succeeding Hartzler.

      MO-06 is 54% McCain and pulls out of Jackson to pick up Cleaver’s rural counties.

      MO-07 looks radically different but 2/3 of its population is still in Springfield and Branson. It gives the Joplin area to M0-05 to crack the natural gerrymander in this part of the state, and picks up equally red Ozark nothingness to the east.

      MO-08 requires Smith to be OK with picking up the rest of JeffCo. He should be, as the district is still 56% McCain, getting redder, and it helps Smith’s statewide exposure to have a seat at the Metro St. Louis table.

      Finally, MO-03 swings north and now looks like the old MO-09 Luetkemeyer held for 2 terms. It trades JeffCo for Columbia to appease Hartzler and is 54% McCain.

      • shamlet July 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm

        Very nice. Putting MO-4 to the east of MO-5 is something I hadn’t explored but makes a lot of sense. The only way I’d improve this is to shift a couple rural counties around so that MO-6 can take some Jackson white liberals west of Troost. That makes your MO-5 R-leaning rather than just even. Also I’d try to give Hartzler as much of Cass as possible since it’s her home county.

        R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

        • shamlet July 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

          Also, you drew Smith out of his seat. I’d probably give Franklin County to MO-2 as wave/trend insurance by giving more of St. Charles to MO-3, and then play around with the rurals a little so that Dent goes back into MO-8.

          R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

          • BostonPatriot July 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm

            Whoops! For some reason I assumed Smith was from all the way down in the Bootheel and didn’t even bother to check (I had him confused with the Democrat he ran against in the 2013 special). Here’s a fix for the eastern half of the state:

            Shifting around Jackson and Cass like that would also make sense. I was just trying to avoid a 3-way county split in an effort to make the map look somewhat “clean,” or at least no worst of a gerrymander than the current one.

  • Upstater22 July 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I threw together a little something based on Rdel’s post above using current population estimates and Trump results. The only unnecessary county split is Jackson. After I drew it, I found MO-04 could take a bit more of the Dem areas of Jackson to offload MO-05 and MO-06, but I didn’t go back and redraw. It can be tinkered with to get whatever desired results you want to get. Leutkemeyer is out of a seat. Not much I could do about that with where he lives and wanting to shore up MO-02 while keeping county splits minimized.

    The numbers:
    MO-01: Obama 79.7%, McCain 19.4% — Clinton 73.3% Trump 21.4%
    MO-02: Obama 44.8% McCain 54.2% — Clinton 38.7% Trump 55.3%
    MO-03: Obama 46.5% McCain 52.3% — Clinton 34.5% Trump 58.7%
    MO-04: Obama 43.1% McCain 55.5% — Clinton 30.5% Trump 64.3%
    MO-05: Obama 50.6% McCain 48.0% — Clinton 39.3% Trump 54.2%
    MO-06: Obama 48.7% McCain 49.8% — Clinton 36.7% Trump 57.1%
    MO-07: Obama 35.4% McCain 63.2% — Clinton 24.4% Trump 69.8%
    MO-08: Obama 41.8% McCain 56.7% — Clinton 23.0% Trump 72.6%

    Conservative, because facts are more important than feelings

    • FreedomJim July 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      Good job. Does that mean that 3 and 5 would both be open seats unless an incumbent moves?

      • Jon July 19, 2017 at 7:22 pm

        It looks to me like he included Luetkmeyer in the Green district. If not, it’s only slightly off and he can probably still run successfully in it as is. Wagner can easily run in the purple district to avoid doublebunking him if she doesn’t run for statewide office by then.
        And the D incumbent to #5 would continue to run in the Yellow district under that map even if his house isn’t in it.

        I am though foreseeing a VRA challenge to this map in the KC as drawn; not sure if it would be successful but it appears to have cracked the AAs in and near KC into at least two and probably three districts. (The only reason why such a suit might not be successful is it’s impossible to get any version of District #5 anywhere near 50% AA by VAP anyway.)

        I would however insist on a minor tweak to #1 and the Green district; as drawn my house has been placed in #1. 🙁 Just have the Green district wrap a bit more north in lightly populated areas near the Missouri river and extend it to cover the northern & western parts of Maryland Heights even if you return the apartment complexes to #1. (Swap with the University City /Richmond Heights area precincts that were placed in Green district; that area is trending sharply against us.)

        45, M, MO-02

        • Upstater22 July 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm

          Luetkemeyer is actually in MO-04 in this map. He is in a very unfortunate location for Republicans. It is difficult to draw any pro-GOP map where he gets his own seat. My MO-03 should set up for a St Charles Republican vs Boone Democrat.

          Conservative, because facts are more important than feelings

          • Jon July 19, 2017 at 11:36 pm

            Yes, but Luetkemeyer would run in this version of the Green district anyway because it has most of his current district. There’s no federal requirement for US Congressman to live in their districts (only the state) and SCOTUS ruled earlier that states can’t impose additional requirements.
            Assuming #3 is the purple district, Wagner has sufficient St Charles connections for here to be considered the St Charles candidate in the primary as an incumbent congressman if she runs there.

            But what would happen in actuality by the redistricting committees if they liked the general idea is that the Green district would take in Luetkemeyer’s county and continues to be designated #3.
            Red compensates by taking the needed population from #5
            #5 compensates by taking the needed population from the purple district.
            The purple district compensates by growing an arm to Baldwin in West County and continues to be designated #2 even with it likely to require an ugly looking split of St Charles county.
            They’d also tweak the KC area to avoid the voting rights lawsuit even as it weakens #5 from what you’ve drawn.

            45, M, MO-02

    • shamlet July 19, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      I think you were a little too aggressive about splitting the black parts of KC here. You’re inviting a racial cracking lawsuit if every contiguous >~40% BVAP precinct isn’t in one seat and it looks like you’ve put quite a few middle-class black areas around Bannister Mall into MO-4.

      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

      • Upstater22 July 19, 2017 at 8:43 pm

        That could be. Per the recent rulings, I have made no considerations for race or party affiliation. There are certainly different ways of splitting up Jackson, but after looking at the numbers, no matter how you slice it, 3 GOP districts look like a foregone conclusion.

        Conservative, because facts are more important than feelings

  • Jon July 20, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Here is how I think the redistricting committees will actually do:

    1. Equalize district population across all districts as reasonably as possible (but note they have tools finer than DRA and so can split voting districts to avoid recrossing counties simply to get a closer balance than otherwise possible within DRA) ; in light of how much the St Louis area CDs must gain and Springfield CD must shed.
    2. Protect all R incumbents (both in general election and primaries)
    3. Don’t split more total counties than are currently split (but they might change which ones are split.)
    4. Protect the two D incumbents (both in general election and primaries) unless by then the AA incumbent in #5 has retired and been replaced by a White Democrat in which case they’ll consider going after him.

    Accordingly, the first thing they’ll do is draw #1 : Simply expanding all needed population from #2 (no real choice). but trying to take adjoining D areas (by 2016, 2018, & 2020 numbers; both Presidential and Governor)

    Next they’ll draw #2 : They are likely to notice the trend and decide that it was not the best idea for it to have Arnold, and remove that from the district at the same time as they are dropping adjoining D areas of St Louis County to #1. They’ll give it more of St Charles county, but unless I’m way off on population estimates they aren’t going to have it cross into an exurban county this time but will wait for after the 2030 census to do that.

    Then to complete the primary St Louis area districts they’ll draw #3: Should Luetkmeyer still be in office and as far as everyone knows be seeking relection in 2022, what this means is that #3 will first pick up all needed population in Jefferson County; taking the whole county might be enough; if overkill part of existing #8 stays in #8 but if it needs more they’ll probably give some collar counties south of Jefferson county. It’s otherwise quite similar.

    At this point, it’s #8 that needs to add population, it will probably take it from the southeastern portion of #4 with it being more convenient than #7.

    The next move to avoid painting into a corner will be #6 : If all eight incumbents are still around, It’s more likely that the next map will make this more R, not less. I have no idea if it will need to expand or contract, one portion of the district is quickly growing while another is declining in population.

    This will be followed by #5: Other same proviso, maintain similar partisan ratio instead of trying to take the seat.

    Last will be #4 (and #7), which will contract #7 towards Springfield, giving that territory to #4.

    45, M, MO-02

    • rdelbov July 21, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      I tend to think that MO and TN are good places to be 6-2 and 7-2. I can be persuaded but that is my current thinking

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