Now that full precinct data has been released for the 2016 general election in North Carolina, an analysis of the results in the various congressional districts is possible. And the findings indicate that Democrats might sorely regret being successful in last year’s lawsuit overturning the previous congressional plan, enacted in 2011 (Rucho-Lewis Congress 3). Their legal success may cost them potential gains in the state’s congressional delegation in next year’s elections.

The following is an assessment of Donald Trump’s percentage of the two-party vote in each congressional district, under both the old, overturned plan and the newly enacted contingency plan used for the 2016 elections:

CD/2011 Districts/ 2016 Districts
1 / 29% / 31%
2 / 58% / 55%
3 / 62% / 62%
4 / 24% / 29%
5 /61% / 59%
6 / 58% / 58%
7 / 62% / 59%
8 / 64% / 58%
9 / 52% / 56%
10 / 62% / 63%
11 /67% / 65%
12 /23% / 29%
13 /53% / 55%

Of course, Trump won statewide by 4% in each plan. But the distribution of his votes in each district, under each plan, is somewhat different. Under the old plan, Trump won the Ninth and Thirteenth Districts by 52% and 53%, respectively. This is well within the competitive range and would have made the incumbents occupying those seats (Robert Pittenger and George Holding) decent targets for Democrats. By overturning the old map, Democrats shot themselves in the foot by forfeiting the opportunity to claim those two districts in the future.

This result should give Democrats pause as they attempt to overturn the current legislative maps with charges of racial gerrymandering. The 2018 elections of course haven’t happened yet but it certainly appears they’re in a worse position than they would have been otherwise had they not been successful in the courts.

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