Redistricting never ends—and neither does our commitment to bringing you the most up-to-date data for every congressional district in the nation. With new maps now enacted in Alabama and North Carolina, Daily Kos Elections is pleased to publish updates to some of our most used tools.
Maps in other states are likely on the way soon, and we’ll provide fresh data once it’s certain that they’ll be used in 2024. In particular, Georgia’s Republican-run legislature just passed a new map pursuant to a court order, but a judge must still sign off on it before it can take effect.
● Presidential election results by district. Our extremely popular database, which has become the gold standard for this particular type of data, now includes the results of the 2020 presidential election as they would have played out under the new maps in both Alabama and North Carolina.
A federal court imposed a new map on Alabama after state lawmakers refused to comply with the Voting Rights Act and create a second Black-majority district. That new district is numbered the 2nd and would have voted for Joe Biden by a 56-43 margin; the previous white-majority district backed Donald Trump 64-35. As a result, 2nd District Rep. Barry Moore has decided to seek reelection in the new 1st, which will pit him against fellow Rep. Jerry Carl in next year’s Republican primary. The 2nd, meanwhile, will host an open-seat race and will very likely elect a Black Democrat next year.
North Carolina’s new map, meanwhile, is simply a naked power grab by Republicans, who were given the green light to gerrymander after they retook a majority on the state Supreme Court last year. The new boundaries target four Democrats. It makes three districts unwinnably red: Kathy Manning’s 6th, Wiley Nickel’s 13th, and Jeff Jackson’s 14th. It also turns Don Davis’ 1st District into a toss-up. Manning has already said she won’t seek another term, while Jackson is running for state attorney general. Davis will run again, but Nickel has not announced his plans. The candidate filing deadline is Friday.
If you want to dive in even further, click through for our spreadsheets showing all our calculations, as well as county-level data, for both Alabama and North Carolina.
● Congressional district hexmap. Daily Kos Elections’ one-of-a-kind hexmap is designed to show every congressional district as equally sized. We created it because traditional maps tend to render small urban districts invisible while allowing sprawling rural districts to dominate visually. Of course, every member of the House of Representatives gets just a single vote, so our hexmap rectifies this problem.
What our hexmap can’t do, though, is ensure geographic accuracy—some districts in some states will appear to be quite distant from their actual locations. That’s why traditional maps are still valuable, so we’ve provided an updated version of that type of map as well. You can download templates of both maps to use as you like.
The map at the top of this post, for instance, shows which party currently controls each district in the House. For Alabama and North Carolina, we’ve assigned each district to the party that won its predecessor in the 2022 elections, even if that seat is all but certain to change hands next year. We also do the same for open and vacant seats.
● Geographic descriptions and largest places. The way we designate congressional districts in the United States fails in one critical way: Numbers don’t tell you where a district actually is. That’s where our geographic descriptions come in. We’ve carefully analyzed the new maps to come up with qualitative descriptions of each district’s location, doing our best to use broadly familiar terms. For instance, Alabama’s revamped 2nd District is now based in Mobile, Montgomery, and the eastern portion of the Black Belt.
We’ve also gone a step further to provide a quantitative version of the above by calculating the three largest places in each district. Sticking with Alabama’s 2nd, we see that Montgomery makes up 27.9% of the district, Mobile makes up 23.6%, and Phenix City, a small city at the eastern edge of the Black belt, makes up 4.5%. The remainder of the district lives in smaller towns or mostly rural areas that the Census Bureau doesn’t categorize as belonging to any larger “place.”
In addition, we offer a related but different take by breaking every district down according to its three largest metropolitan areas. The Mobile and Montgomery metro areas, unsurprisingly, comprise the bulk of the district, at 37.9% and 31.9%, respectively (though note that they swap order, with the Mobile metro now the larger of the two). The last slot, interestingly, belongs to the Columbus metropolitan area—Columbus, Georgia, that is. Columbus is on Georgia’s western border, just across the Chattahoochee River from Phenix City, which is part of its metro area.
As new maps come online, we’ll keep updating all of these resources. And as a reminder, you can always find all of our data at dailykosdata.com.
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