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Looking At Congressional Redistricting

April 19, 2011

On Monday, we posted proposed Congressional redistricting maps where we had very few wholesale changes, but important changes nonetheless. You can view that map here. Right now, I wanted to provide a close-up of some of those changes.

A good portion of these changes affect the Second District in some way because of the population losses in Bennie Thompson’s district.

Northwest Mississippi

Starting in the north, we moved most of Panola into the Second District, leaving just the eastern and southeastern portions of the county in the First. Much of western Panola shares many of the agriculture characteristics of the Second so it made sense in that regard. Further, most of the precincts moved were majority black- or at least had a high percent of black voters. To keep Batesville basically in tack, we did have to move a couple precincts that were more than 80 percent white. Also, took one majority black precinct from southern Tate county just to help with deviation numbers.

Southwest Mississippi

Other significant add-ons to the Second include all of Adams and Wilkinson. They were both previously in the Third, but with populations that are 56 percent and 70 percent black, respectively, they should fit in with the Second. We also moved four precincts (three that are majority black) from Franklin into the Second.

Central Mississippi

The Second District was also affected by changes in the central part of the state. To keep numbers balanced, Leake, which was split between the Second and Third, has been moved entirely into the Third and most of Attala would move to the Third (I believe both are better fits with MS-03 anyway). Two majority black precincts from southwest Attala would stay in the Second. Also moved the majority black Ratliff Ferry precinct in Madison to the Second (from the Third).

One thought here is that the Gluckstadt precinct stays in the Second. It is a pretty large precinct, and more than 80 percent white. This could potentially be moved to the Third; and in return all of Attala would stay in the Second.

Other changes in the central part of the state included moving the one Webster precinct in the Third to the First and the one Winston precinct in the First to the Third. This unites both those counties. Also moved all of Choctaw to the Third.

Most of these changes were made because of Lowndes county. It is currently entirely in the First, and we kept it that way. Some could argue it is a better fit for the Third (especially if MUW is consolidated with Mississippi State), but that wouldn’t work numbers wise. Basically, we didn’t want to break up the county, especially the city of Columbus, so we made the other changes.

Southeast Mississippi

The Fourth District didn’t need many major changes. Marion county was split and we moved the entire county in the Fourth. Also moved the couple Jones county precincts that were in the Third to the Fourth. The biggest change was losing all but two Jasper county precincts. And that was purely political. Steven Palazzo had his worse showing in the northern part of the district in 2010 in Jasper. Therefore, we moved Gene Taylor’s strongest precincts to the Third leaving just a couple of the most Republican precincts in the southwestern part of the county in the Forth.

Final numbers

Below is the population of each district, along with the deviation as a result of the changes.:

Racial breakdown is as follows:

MS-01: 70 percent white, 26 percent black
MS-02: 31 percent white, 66 percent black
MS-03: 63 percent white, 33 percent black
MS-04: 71 percent white, 23 percent black

Stay close by. We have one more redistricting proposal to come. And it’s an interesting one (to say the least).

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. LeBeau0605 permalink
    April 19, 2011 11:16 am

    When does all this come about? Do we have a date? Or is it in the distant future.

    • Ivehadbetter permalink
      April 19, 2011 12:20 pm

      The Constitution requires us to do it by next year. The Legislature made/is making an attempt this year in order to avoid back-to-back elections. Congressional races aren’t until next year anyway so there is no rush for them.

      The deadline for qualifying for Legislative races is June 1.

    • April 20, 2011 8:00 am

      Legislature will handle it next year.

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