Republican NC card would give the GOP at least 10 out of 14 congressional seats
The North Carolina Senate Redistribution Committee on Monday approved new dividing lines for North Carolina congressional districts, which would give Republican candidates clear advantages in 10 of 14.
An analysis from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave the plan an “F” rating for partisan fairness, determining that it would likely elect 10 Republicans and four Democrats, and determined that the plan had a Republican bias of 21.4%.
The Fivethirtyeight website said the plan would produce 10 Republican districts, three Democrats and one highly competitive district. U.S. Representative GK Butterfield, Democrat and one of two members of the North Carolina Black House, lives in the highly competitive district.
Senator Ralph Hise, one of the Senate committee chairs, said the plan would likely be put to a Senate-wide vote on Tuesday. He must also clear the House. Governor Roy Cooper does not have the power to veto redistribution plans.
A redistribution is necessary after each census to take into account the growth and displacement of the population. The state’s population has grown enough over the past decade to give it an additional congressional district. Districts should be drawn so that populations are equal or nearly equal.
Many speakers in public hearings last week called for the plan to reflect the state’s electoral performance, where voters were split roughly evenly between Democratic and Republican candidates.
Democrats on the Senate committee criticized the GOP’s plan to unnecessarily divide the state’s largest counties, Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford. Mecklenburg. Wake and Mecklenburg have too many inhabitants for a single district, so they must be divided between at least two districts.
The GOP map divides each of the state’s largest counties into three parts.
“Dividing these three counties three times is not necessary and makes it clear that you have to give a party a partisan advantage,” said Senator Natasha Marcus, a Democrat from Mecklenburg. Part of south-eastern Mecklenburg would be part of a district stretching east as far as Hoke, Scotland and Moore.
No one in the public hearings recommended that a district including southern Mecklenburg extend this far east, Marcus said.
While Democrats criticized the divisions of counties and regions, Sen. Warren Daniel, Republican of Morganton and one of the co-chairs of the committee, said that sometimes we do too many “communities of interest” or keep areas together. who share a geography or major employers.
“Sometimes we share the hair on communities of interest,” he said. “We are all Americans. We are all North Carolina. We travel and shop in the same places as our neighboring counties.
Republicans said they did not take data on partisanship or race into account when developing the plan.
However, voters in predominantly Democratic urban counties are fragmented so that they would be overwhelmed by majority Republican counties.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Guilford County by about 160,000 to 90,000, according to data from the State Council of Elections. Still, Guilford’s population would be split between three strong Republican districts. None of these districts include neighboring Forsyth County, home to other towns that, along with Greensboro to Guilford, are part of the Piedmont Triad.
“To separate us like that, I just can’t understand,” said Sen. Paul Lowe, a Democrat from Forsyth County.
The proposed district would include Forsyth, Yadkin County in the west, and then extend south to Lincoln County.
“When I see Forsyth County swaying – what do we have to do with Lincoln?” Lowe asked. ” I do not understand. I want to get it.
Democrats registered in Forsyth outnumber Republicans registered 103,000 to 73,000. Forsyth is said to be in a Republican congressional district.
While Democrats criticized the Republican plan to split the main counties, Republicans said the plans presented by Democratic sensibilities Ben Clark of Hoke County and Jay Chaudhuri of Wake County divide too many municipalities – far more than the Republican plan. adopted by the committee in a voice vote.
Senator Paul Newton, a Republican from Cabarrus County, read over a dozen municipalities that would be divided according to Clark’s plan, including Cary, Chapel Hill, Fuquay-Varina, Raleigh, Greenville and Winston-Salem.
Clark defended his map, saying he created a district of Sandhills that recognized military bases and veterans living nearby as a community of interest.
“They are tired of being sliced, diced and separated,” Clark said. “They think they deserve the same as every other major geocultural region in the state.”