Standard redistricting disclaimer while everything winds its way through the courts: Go read Michael Li for the latest.
There’s a lot going on today. But at the same time, there’s very little really happening. Today is about one thing: Greg Abbott owning the media cycle. How to pull that off? Shake hands with Henry Cuellar and accept his map, take the least disputable suggestions from other plaintiffs and say that you’ve “incorporated” their ideas into the plan.
Unfortunately, there’s no agreement, which is what the San Antonio judges asked for. It’s just a divide and conquer move today. A few interesting tidbits to be found in it, though. Here’s how they view the southwest part of Houston, plus HD26 in Fort Bend County (click to embiggen):
Reading through the numerous testimonies Michael linked to over the weekend, it became obvious that the plaintiffs weren’t going to push for HD26 to be anything different. That’s a shame. And given the SCOTUS opinion, it seems very plausible that we’ll be stuck with the Charlie Howard Memorial Water Faucet District for the decade.
But the return of what is ostensibly the HD137 and HD149 distinct districts is somewhat promising. HD149 is relabeled as HD136 now, but that seems to be a step in the right direction. There’s a bit of Meyerland added to HD137 here, which means that it’s not available for HD134. That might be good news for Sarah Davis. Not so much for two candidates in HD137 … including one that I’m happily slaving over voter data for. It’s pretty easy to see who the move in HD137 helps if you know what to look for. It’s also somewhat suggestive of a particular Dem helping hand on this map. I’ll leave the mystery for you to decide.
Not pictured is HD144 on the east side of the county. It looks to remain a competitive district, with a slight Dem lean. A little bit promising there. If the state is caving on those matters, I think there’s a chance for a good, solid win for minority voters in urban counties. Just wait and see if the court raises an eyebrow at Greg Abbott and wonders how on earth he’s calling this an agreed upon plan. I’m betting that that’s the case.