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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Duke Won Again and Democrats Will Probably Lose, Again

Posted by on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:34 AM

Good morning, everyone. It's important to note here that Thursday is little Friday. News is as follows:

1. Yesterday, Republican lawmakers unveiled a court-ordered, redrawn map of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts, and it is something:


PHIL BERGER'S TWITTER
  • Phil Berger's Twitter
Here's the old map, for comparison:

gerrymander.png


So while it looks a little less like the Republicans threw spaghetti at a North Carolina-shaped wall to craft the state's congressional lines this time, the redrawn map is not exactly the improvement Democrats had in mind. Which new district will you be in? How will the proposed new districts affect the Triangle's members of Congress? 

From WRAL:

The proposed map completely disregards the race of voters and is based primarily on the voting results of recent elections to guarantee Republicans maintain their 10-3 advantage in North Carolina's delegation to the U.S. House. Other factors used to draw the map include making districts roughly equal in population and contiguous in area, splitting as few counties and precincts as possible and not pitting incumbent members of Congress against one another.

Under the proposal, the twelfth District would cover most of Mecklenburg County instead of snaking along Interstate 85 from Charlotte to Greensboro. The 1st District would continue to sprawl across the northeast part of the state, stretching west into Durham but not as far south and east as previously.

The Thirteenth Congressional District, which now covers parts of the Triangle and spreads east down to Wayne County, would shift about 100 miles to the west, covering Greensboro west to Iredell County.

That move would shift Republican Thirteenth District Congressman George Holding into the Fourth Congressional District, where he would be pitted against longtime Democratic Congressman David Price. The Fourth District would include all of Orange County and parts of Wake and Durham counties under the proposed reconfiguration.

And here's a statement from Congressman Price:

“The new districts are no more legitimate than the old. A three-ten split in the House delegation does not reflect the current demographics or voter registration of our state, where more than 50 percent of the popular vote for House seats went to Democrats in the last presidential cycle. The fact that Republicans decided to maintain the current partisan split of seats before they began drawing these new maps demonstrates that they did not set out to ensure fair representation.”

The new districts map will go before the House and Senate today during a special legislative session. Democrats will probably present their own redrawn map of the state's congressional districts, Republicans will ignore it, and the court will still have to approve the newly drawn 1st and 12th congressional districts (unless SCOTUS grants a stay). I'm guessing we won't be getting that independent redistricting committee everyone's been calling for anytime soon.

2. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton polling way ahead among Republican and Democratic voters in North Carolina. Trump leads his closest contender,  Texas Senator Ted Cruz, by double digits, 29 percent to 19 percent, while Hillary polls ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 59 percent to 35 percent. Sanders is closing in, though: a month ago, Hillary was leading him 59 percent-26 percent. 

Republicans will vote in South Carolina's primary on Saturday. Trump holds a big lead there, too, though Florida Senator Marco Rubio received a high-profile endorsement from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley yesterday. As professional conservative Twitter-troll Ann Coulter points out, however, Nikki Haley isn't all that popular with everyone in South Carolina. So "Mario Rubio" may not fly there as well as the Donald will:



click to enlarge img_0428.png


3. Right, so there was this basketball game in Chapel Hill last night, and, as a UNC alumna and lifelong fan, I was going to come to this blog all ready to gloat this morning. But Carolina choked and Duke won by one point in the final seconds of the game. Coach Roy Williams said his team's loss "was tough to swallow," which, as the (#5-ranked) Heels' fourth loss against (#20-ranked) Duke in a row, you're telling me. It would be like if Hillary Clinton lost New York to Mario Rubio in the 2016 presidential election—go ahead and explore that semi-thought-out metaphor. The final score of the game was 74-73; find out more about it all over Facebook.

4. Moving on quickly, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend: warm, sunny, highs in the sixties thanks to a high pressure system coming through. This will be perfect for eating and drinking outside if you're so inclined; downtown Raleigh, you may as well enjoy those picnic tables on Fayetteville Street while you can because they could be gone soon. The N&O reports that the City of Raleigh's Appearance Commission will have one more meting next Wednesday before finalizing its Drunktown rules. 

That's it, y'all. See you next week. 

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