Analysis: The bluest, reddest and most competitive districts in the Roundhouse
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Those are just a couple of the findings of an analysis by Capitol Report New Mexico that looks at which Roundhouse districts are the most blue, which ones are the most red and which ones are the most balanced between the two major parties.
We looked at all 70 districts in the state House of Representatives and all of the 42 districts in the state Senate, after the latest redistricting lines were drawn earlier this year.
In the House, a number of districts are lopsided in the favor of Democrats. Some 29 districts have 50 percent or more registered Democrats and in 13 districts, Democrats hold a 60 percent or more edge in registration over Republicans.
In the the Senate, nearly one half of the chamber’s 42 seats (19) have a 50 percent or higher percentage of registered Democrats in districts, including seven districts with 60 percent or higher.
There are Republican-heavy districts in New Mexico — they’re just not as numerous or deep.
The GOP has no districts in the either the House or the Senate that crack the 60 percent level. Seven Republican districts top 50 percent or better in the House of Representatives and four districts come in at 50 percent or higher in the Senate.
Here are the most Republican districts in each chamber:
So that’s a look at the most lopsided districts. How about the districts that have the slimmest margins between Democrats and Republicans? We drilled down into the numbers and — not surprisingly — found a lot more incumbents from both parties getting challenged in the November general election:
Nearly 1 out 5 registered voters across the state’s districts don’t identify with either Democrats or Republicans. Instead, they register as “Decline to State.” Here are the districts with the highest levels of DTSers, where there’s a high percentage of races being challenged this November:
A note of caution: New Mexico is a politically complex state and voters in some districts act counter to the party registration numbers.
For example, we discovered that in House District 67 in the eastern part of the state, Democrats have a registration edge of 49-37 percent over Republicans yet the GOP’s Dennis Roch has represented that district in the last two elections and has no opposition this November. What gives?
“Northeast New Mexico has a history of having a higher percentage of registered Democrats than Republicans,” Rep. Roch told us. “But the voters here will vote Republican in legislative and national elections … Don’t try to get somebody to run against me,” Roch said with a laugh.
The 2012 voter registration numbers come from the Secretary of State’s website. Hat tip to Brian Sanderoff of Research & Polling, Inc. for supplying us with voter registration numbers for 2010 and a thank-you to Rio Grande Foundation intern Ben Suggs for suppyling us with the numbers in spreadsheet form. Any mistakes in the charts are my own.