Three for You, Three for Us


In search of a bipartisan compromise, one or both co-chairs of the Redistricting Commission came up with novel instructions to the panel's Republican and Democratic consultants for drawing Virginia's 11 congressional districts.

  • Start in Hampton Roads and Richmond (CD 3 and 4) to match as closely as possible the largely African-American districts drawn by a federal court in 2018.
  • The Democratic consultant would draw the three blue districts in Northern Virginia (CD 8, 10, 11) and the GOP consultant would handle three red districts in Soutwest, Southside and the Shenandoah Valley (CD 5, 6, 9)
  • That would leave room to compromise on the three remaining districts -- one in Virginia Beach (CD 2) and two encompassing a big swath of Tidewater, the Richmond-area and the Piedmont (CD 1, 7).

The approach resulted in two statewide maps that would yield similar political outcomes: 5 Democratic districts, 5 Republican districts and one more competitive district (CD2) that leans Republican. (The state's current congressional delegation is 7-D, 4-R.)

Map/Analysis of Democratic Plan

Map/Analysis of the GOP Plan

But the latest approach didn't appear to move the eight Republicans and eight Democrats on the Commission closer to consensus. Democrats raised the issue of political fairness, saying both maps would favor Republicans in a state that President Biden won by 10 points last year.

No votes were taken Thursday, so it's unclear exactly what instructions will be provided to the consultants in advance of Monday's meeting. In the past, the citizen co-chairs have used their prerogative to give mapmakers direction between public meetings.

 

Oct. 15, 2021

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