The results are in!
Thank you kindly to the folks who took the time to fill out this first survey. While this is a small sample size–which I’m hoping will grow over the weeks to come–it gives insight into how some of Raleigh’s most informed citizens feel about the redistricting process.
Judging from the results, even if the maps survive the court system in time for the March primary, they probably won't be popular among voters.
So let’s get right into it.
While participants were split on if the maps would stand in court, about 75 percent said they don’t think the maps are exactly fair. Of those, 43 percent say the Congressional districts are extremely gerrymandered in favor of Republicans and won’t stand a chance in court (there’s already lawsuits calling for an injunction to stop the maps from being used in the primary). About a third of you said that while the maps are probably unfair, they'll likely stand in court.
Just over 11 percent of folks said the maps were fair. More people said they didn’t have an opinion.
The results aren’t too surprising, given Raleigh’s increasing status as a political no-man's-land for Republicans (I'd be willing to bet most of you tend to vote blue). While city council elections are nonpartisan, no Republican has held a seat on the Wake County Board of Commissioners since Democrats swept the board in 2014.
The new maps divide Wake County into three new voting districts. While the two districts encompassing northern Wake County, Durham, and Chapel Hill will lean heavily Democratic, Republicans created a third competitive district by combining southern Wake County with Alamance, Chatham, Randolph, and even parts of Guilford counties.
Should the map stand up in court, a red wave could mean there’s a chance the predominantly liberal Wake County gets a Republican member of Congress in 2023.
More than two-thirds of you believe a non-partisan map drawing partisan conducted by an independent party would be the fairest way to update districts moving forward. That seems to be the popular line among Democrats and just might be the outcome mandated by courts at the end of all this (whenever that is).
About 11 percent of you think we should stick with the partisan process, but with more regulations to curtail packing and cracking districts. The same number of you thought an algorithm maximizing competition would be a better option.
Human error aside, it seems the machines won't be designing North Carolina's political destiny yet.
I always like to throw in a fun question at the end of heavy politics. It seems you guys really like carbs. Stuffing earned the most votes, followed by mashed potatoes. Sorry, green beans: no one likes you. Shockingly, no one chose the option of chugging straight gravy, either. Cowards!