April 05, 2005
More thoughts on CD22

Greg comments on the contested primary in CD22 story. He's a bit rough on Bob Stein, and he makes a point about this district and how it was drawn I want to expand on:

It was drawn to be a point or so more Republican than DeLay's old 22nd. Reason being, DeLay saw his support fading in even THAT drawing of the map. Now he's in a district that he can't find that 56th percentage and he's high on the DCCC list of targeted seats. Truth of the matter is that Richard Morrison ran about 6-7% better than the top of the ticket in getting his 42%.

There seems to be an emerging consensus that DeLay, in a show of generosity to his fellow Republicans, made his own district considerably less Republican. DeLay himself pushes that line, and it gets accepted uncritically by reporters and certain analysts alike. As I've said many times, that view does not square with the Secretary of State's report on the new districts, and it does not square with the actual election results. If the overall split in CD22 is more Democratic, it's not because it's a near-swing district; not when Bush carried it with over 62%. It's more Democratic because of Tom DeLay's weak showing. He's trying to spin his performance as being pretty good for a not-so-red-any-more district so it won't look so bad, when in reality, his performance is worse than it looks.

Consider some of the territory that DeLay took on. In Harris County, he now represents the Clear Lake area that used to be Nick Lampson's. I haven't yet compared the 2004 results with 2002, but no one would describe the Clear Lake area as being Democrat-friendly. Besides, DeLay had his best showing in Harris County, with a little more than 60% of the vote, so even if he did take on some enemy territory, he had room to spare.

In Galveston, also former Lampson turf, DeLay got whupped by Morrison but the Presidential race was a tossup. Chris in the comments to the previous post said that Lampson lost this area by a hair in 2002 (I also haven't checked this yet but I'll take his word for it for now). This is genuine swing territory, but it's also fairly small compared to Harris and Fort Bend - 22,173 votes there compared to 109,565 in Harris and 109,829 in Fort Bend.

And speaking of Fort Bend, DeLay represents less of it now (99 precincts) than he did in 2002 (137 precincts). Thirteen of those precincts are in Al Green's CD09, the rest are in Ron Paul's CD14. If you go to the Fort Bend Election Results page and look at the precincts which are now in CD09 but which used to be in CD22 (there are some that were not used in 2002, which I've omitted), you find that the Dem/GOP split was 8474/4076 in 2004, and 4084/2278 in 2002. In other words, DeLay rid himself of a bunch of Democratic voters in Fort Bend. And in doing so, I might add, the candidate he really helped was Al Green, who carried Fort Bend in the primary by a 4114-1367 margin.

Bottom line: If this district is more Democratic than it used to be, it's not because of Tom DeLay's generosity as a mapmaker. It's because of his faults as a candidate. Don't let him tell you otherwise.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 05, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Pretty sure you mean Gene Green's 9th district. Al Green represents the 25th district that was redrawn by DeLay to get Chris Bell out of Congress.

Posted by: Jason on April 5, 2005 5:20 PM