The maps GOP legislative leaders have proposed would likely help Republicans strengthen their hold on the Assembly and keep them in position for a veto-proof majority in the Senate.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, noted Republicans took public input submitted from around the state and considered submissions from the guv’s People’s Maps Commission, “so we are confident that these maps are fair for all Wisconsinites.”
A review of the proposed maps shows if they had been in place for the November election, Dem Joe Biden would’ve won more votes than Donald Trump in fewer Assembly seats than under current lines.
Under the current maps, Biden won 37 Assembly districts as he took the statewide contest by more than 20,000 votes. Under the proposed lines, he would’ve won 35, according to a review of data posted by the Campaign Legal Center. The group describes itself as a nonpartisan organization that “advances democracy through law at the federal, state and local levels.”
Both the existing Senate map and the one proposed yesterday have 11 Biden districts.
Still, the GOP proposal would make two suburban Milwaukee seats significantly better for Republicans.
Biden won the 5th SD by 9,455 votes under the current lines, according to a WisPolitics.com analysis of presidential vote by district. Under the proposed map, he would’ve won the seat represented by Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, by about 570 votes.
Biden lost the suburban Milwaukee 8th SD by 167 votes. He would’ve lost the proposed 8th by about 5,900 votes. The seat is now represented by Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills.
Meanwhile, the heavily Dem 4th and 6th Senate districts would get even more Dem under the proposed map.
Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, slammed the proposed maps, released late yesterday, as “gerrymandering 2.0.”
“What Republicans have unveiled is simply a minor retooling of maps that were already found unconstitutional by the courts, using the same corrupt and secretive methods as last time around,” Hintz tweeted after the maps were rolled out.
Going into the process, Republicans approved a resolution stating one of their criteria for the maps was to retain as much of the current districts as possible while accounting for population growth.
According to the Legislative Reference Bureau memos on the maps, the average core retention rate for Assembly districts is 84.2 percent on the proposed maps and 92.2 percent for Senate seats.
A WisPolitics.com review of the maps shows six majority Black districts in the Assembly and two Hispanic districts.
They also would maintain two majority Black Senate districts while creating a new majority Hispanic district by voting age population.
The latest draft maps from Gov. Tony Evers’ People’s Maps Commission would create fewer majority Black and Hispanic districts than exist under current law. The commission, which released a second round of drafts yesterday, plans to produce a final proposal in early November after gathering public input.
Dane County helped drive the state’s population growth over the past decade, growing at 15 percent while the state saw an overall increase of 3.6 percent.
Still, the map Republicans drew would maintain 12 Assembly seats that include a significant portion of the county.
The map would accomplish that by shifting territories. For example, the 80th AD now includes much of Verona, Mt. Horeb and rural southwestern Dane County, along with areas around New Glarus in Green County and part of Iowa County around Blue Mound State Park.
Under the proposed map, the district would shed Barneveld in Iowa County and Monticello in Green County while moving farther north along the western edge of Middleton. The current district also splits Verona between the 80th and the 79th. It would all be in the 80th under the proposed map.
The seat is now represented by Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Mt. Horeb.
See more on the Campaign Legal Center analysis of the Assembly map here.
See more on the CLC analysis of the Senate map here.
At the congressional level, the proposed maps would strengthen the GOP’s numbers in western Wisconsin’s 3rd CD.
Biden only won the Dane County-based 2nd and Milwaukee-based 4th last fall.
Meanwhile, Trump won the 3rd by less than 5 points. Under the proposed maps, he would’ve taken that district by about 7 points.
The 3rd would retain much of its current shape. But Stevens Point would move into the 7th CD, which covers most of northern Wisconsin.
See the CLC analysis of the congressional map here.
Meanwhile, the second round of drafts from Gov. Tony Evers’ People’s Maps Commission would still result in fewer majority Black and Hispanic districts than under current law, according to a WisPolitics.com review.
And Republicans would also continue to have an advantage when looking at the Assembly and Senate districts by the results at the top-of-the-ticket in the 2018 guv’s race.
In announcing the new drafts, the commission focused on the overall racial composition of the proposed districts.
For each of the new Assembly versions, minorities are a majority of the voting-age population in nine districts when adding the Black and Hispanic populations together.
For the new Senate drafts, one has two districts where whites are a minority of the voting-age population, while the other has three.
Still, when looking at the voting-age population for Blacks and Hispanics separately, there are six Assembly districts and two Senate seats with Blacks making up a majority of the voting-age population. There are also two Assembly seats where Hispanics make up a majority of the voting-age population.
One of the new drafts includes two majority Black Assembly districts by voting-age population and one majority Hispanic district.
The corresponding Senate map includes one majority Black district.
The second revised Assembly map includes two majority Black districts and two majority Hispanic districts.
The corresponding Senate map has one majority Black district.
The commission is seeking public comment on the new drafts through Oct. 27. It then plans to produce a final proposal in early November.
See the release here.