I do not envy Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. As chairman of the Democratic Governor’s Association and a presidential aspirant, O’Malley is under tremendous pressure to deliver at least one new Democratic House seat to bolster his party’s chances of reclaiming the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. The map proposed by his Redistricting Commission bowed to that national pressure.
But the only way to create seven Democratic districts in Maryland (a state where Republicans routinely win 40 percent of the statewide vote and dominate every part of the state except central Maryland) is to take the substantial African-American vote in Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County and use it to dilute the Republican areas. There is clear evidence of this in the recently proposed map.
Baltimore City voters are used to offset Republican votes in Baltimore, Howard, Harford and Anne Arundel. Montgomery County voters offset western Maryland (and Anne Arundel, and Baltimore County) and Prince George’s voters dilute Southern Maryland (and Anne Arundel).
This is an effective way to gerrymander a state, but the result is reduced minority voting power.
[Continue reading Todd Eberly’s post at The FreeStater Blog.]
Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.