Saturday, October 1, 2011

O'Malley Floating Trial Balloons? // Final Two Maryland Redistricting Maps Leaked

UPDATE: The intrigue grows! A knowledgeable source thinks these maps are a red herring, because a Democratic 7-1 option is likely to have far more compact districts than pictured here. As to 8-0 or 7-1, our source says there are strong proponents for both.

In an article released this Friday evening, The Washington Post published two new Congressional District maps. These documents appear to represent the final (or near-final) options for Maryland's new U.S. House boundaries. At this stage in the redistricting process, these are likely official leaks. Both maps are below, but read the Post's article for larger versions of the maps.

One of the maps tracks recent attempts on Daily Kos to create an 8-0 all-Democratic map. The second map tracks recent rumors that the true goal in redistricting will be a 7-1 map targeting Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in CD6. Upon seeing both new maps, one source immediately commented that they felt the 7-1 map targeting only Rep. Bartlett is the real map:
"This appears to be classic-O'Malley. Remember when the Bay Bridge toll was supposed to go up to $8, but ended at $6? Or how about when teacher pensions were going to shift to the counties, but it ended up so teachers paid 2% more? The 8-0 all-Democratic map is clearly intended to make the real map look less partisan."

The Washington Post's 8-0 All Democratic Map

The Washington Post's 7-1 Map

Maryland Juice tends to agree with the source's analysis and believes that the true map is the 7-1 version targeting only Rep. Barlett. If true, the new 7-1 map varies significantly from the earlier leaked map. Granted, it still brings CD6 into Montgomery County, but in other ways it differs greatly.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen's CD8 would maintain "downcounty" MoCo but seems to crawl along the County's western perimeter into parts of Frederick and Washington Counties. Rep. Bartlett's CD6, appears to pick up Frederick City, along with the I-270 corridor and Northern parts of Montgomery. Rep. Sarbanes's CD3 would get a chunk of Northeastern Montgomery County, while Rep. Hoyer's CD5 would maintain College Park and keep a presence in Anne Arundel and points south. As a result, Rep. Edwards' CD4 is pinched into a tight strip at some points, narrowly holding together parts of Prince George's and Anne Arundel. The Baltimore-centric CD2 and CD7 have salamander-like features, likely owing to the dense urban pockets within.

We could all be wrong, and perhaps Gov. O'Malley is willing to try and go for an 8-0 map. Better yet, maybe he is willing to gamble on a trickier map and also campaign for the Democratic victories. That seems risky, but if successful, it could land him some big notches on his belt.... for 2016?

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