Just when you thought you hadn’t seen enough maps…
Actually, this is the one we have been intently awaiting. And at first glance, it looks like Harris County does not get a new majority-minority (or Hispanic opportunity) district. What does seem to be the case is that Hispanics still seem to be in every corner of Harris County, making up almost 24% of voting age population (VAP) in CD2; about 20% VAP in the new CD36; 38% VAP in CD18; 38% VAP in CD9; 23% VAP in CD7; 29% VAP in the new CD34; and, of course, 72% VAP in CD29. Take a look at the Spanish Surname Voter Registrations (SSVR) and each of these percentages takes a big drop, though.
Note: One hopeful note is that CD2 would be 45% minority. As election day numbers go, Poe will likely get his usual number of votes, but I can see that number dwindling at every cycle. If Poe ever retires or decides to run for something else, any new face would probably not have an easy ride.
Could a new Hispanic-opportunity district have been created? The numbers make it seem like so. I’m wondering if this will be argued before the judges on Friday. Whether created or not, there is much work to be done on the voter registration side (and re-registration), and then on the GOTV side.
From State Rep. Carol Alvarado: “I am pleased with the drawing of a new Latino seat based in Bexar County, the minority coalition district created in Tarrant County, and the restoration of the Latino opportunity seats in South Texas and San Antonio-West Texas. However, it is disappointing to see that Houston did not receive a new Latino opportunity district.”
SIGH OF RELIEF
What seemed like a sudden rush of wind coming in from Central Texas was Dem activists giving a collective sigh of relief at the separation of Joaquin Castro and Lloyd Doggett. Castro stays in CD35 and Doggett can stay in CD25, both which seem winnable for Dems given previous voting histories.
And just as I was thinking of moving to Austin. Oh well.
I’ll be scoping my favorite Texas blogs to see what the rest of us are thinking on this version of the CD map. I’m sure we’ll all find something, have different takes, etc.
Update: And stealing from Kuff’s last line of his thoughts…
Another Update: From Greg Abbott, Republican AG:
Perhaps worst, in the name of protecting Hispanic voting power, the court seems to be discarding already elected Republican Hispanics in favor of drawing maps that may elect Democratic Hispanics. That is not and should not be the proper role of the court or the proper application of the Voting Rights Act.
What Abbott seems to forget is that the candidates elected should be of Hispanics’ choosing, not that they necessarily be Hispanic. Given the Republican re-draw, Hispanics were being short-changed of their opportunity to choose a candidate in all sorts of ways. So, yes, it is proper application of the VRA.