We talked about some of the changes to the Jackson area under the new Congressional maps drawn by a panel of federal judges earlier. Basically, Gregg Harper will pick up Voting Districts 1, 5, 15, and 47 while 46 and 79 are headed to MS-02 and Bennie Thompson. VTD 15 fits in with the Republican leanings of MS-03 but the other three are South of the traditional North Jackson base of MS-03 and include VTD 47 which is more than 80 percent black and gave Obama 93 percent of the vote. It won’t make a difference on Election Day, but was interesting in that not all moves lined up with the respective districts.
Here is what else these moves mean: The state capitol and governor’s mansion will now be represented by Harper rather than Thompson who previously had that territory. But Harper is now reaching into downtown and toward I-20 in Hinds county. He isn’t even that far from Jackson State now.
In Madison county, the massive Gluckstadt precinct is now in MS-03. This makes sense. The precinct, with more than 10,000 residents, gave John McCain 82 percent of the vote in 2008. Is there a bigger precinct in the state? Shifting to MS-02 are Canton 3, Cedar Grove, and Ratliff Ferry. Of those, Cedar Grove is the only Republican precinct.
Beyond the demo’s that we have talked about, here is how the new districts voted in 2008. MS-01 would have been 62/ 37 McCain; MS-02 would have been 64/ 35 Obama; MS-03 would have been 61/ 38 McCain; MS-04 would have been 68/ 31 McCain. So really not that different on any front.
Here is the funny thing when you look at this: Of the Republican districts, MS-03 is considered the most Republican despite the fact that it has the highest BVAP of the three and gave Obama a higher percentage than MS-01 and MS-04. Remember, when this seat was open in the strong Democratic year of 2008, Democrats failed to field a serious candidate even as they had a nice pickup in the First. And when you look in the district for potential candidates, do you see any?
The district may only be 61 percent white, which is low for a Republican district, but it is as safe for the GOP as any. White voters simply don’t vote Democrat here (63 percent white VAP, 61 percent McCain). As is, this district is good for Harper or any Republican for at least ten years