Census data: Redistricting takeaways

The release of census data Thursday afternoon promises to set off a firestorm of activity among both parties, both eager to parse the data into the most beneficial map.

Both sides claimed they were happy with data and its effect on the ultimate outcome of the redistricting effort.

14 of the state’s 40 legislative districts fall outside the 5 percent margin that the commission will likely use to determine the size of each district.  According to the state’s population of 8.7 million, the ideal district size is just under 220,000 residents.

Based on the new population numbers, Districts 2, 3, 9, 12, 14, 17 and 30 are all too large, while Districts 10, 11, 15, 27, 29, 32 and 34 all fall more than 5 percent below the ideal population size.

Politically, Democrats control the 3rd, 14th, 15th, 17th, 27th, 29th, 32nd and 34th and Republicans control the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 30th  The 2nd District is split two to one with Republicans controlling the two assembly seats and Democrat Jim Whelan holding the senate seat.

The 34th District is home to Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who is a member of the redistricting committee.

For Democrats, the numbers were somewhat heartening as only a third of the state’s district fall outside their population parameters. Republicans see some key Democrat-held districts ripe to be dismantled.