Dems blasted in court over ‘extreme’ partisan gerrymandered U.S. House maps

Political scientist Sean Trende has leveled accusations of “extreme” partisan gerrymandering against New Mexico Democrats, alleging that recent redistricting efforts unfairly benefited the Democratic Party. The claims surfaced during the second and final day of a bench trial on the GOP’s lawsuit challenging the process behind the new congressional map, redrawn in response to the 2020 Census.

The GOP argues that the redistricting maneuver, ostensibly aimed at adjusting borders to reflect changes in population, was designed to diminish Republican influence in the state. The trial concluded with closing arguments, and Judge Fred Van Soelen is expected to render a verdict by October 6, potentially impacting the congressional map ahead of the 2024 election.

Republicans attribute the redistricting to their loss of the Second Congressional District in 2022, where Democrat Gabe Vasquez defeated GOP incumbent Yvette Herrell. In the event of a favorable verdict, plaintiffs are urging the court to find a resolution, potentially leading to a redrawn congressional map before the 2024 elections.

The trial also saw subpoenas filed by Republicans seeking testimony from Democrat lawmakers, including Senate leaders Peter Wirth and Mimi Stewart, Sen. Joseph Cervantes, and former Speaker of the House Brian Egolf. However, none of the legislators appeared in court, prompting arguments about legislative immunity. While Van Soelen ruled that lawmakers were protected from testifying about the legislative process, he allowed the admission of text messages and emails into evidence.

Jowei Chen, an associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, testified on behalf of the defense, analyzing the new districts through 1,000 “partisan blind” simulations. Chen argued that the districts created by Senate Bill 1 were not extreme in their political characteristics and could have emerged from a non-partisan map-drawing process. He also noted efforts to prevent any district from having over 60 percent of New Mexico’s oil wells, a condition given by the defense to replicate the SB 1 map approved by lawmakers.

Chen’s testimony faced scrutiny from the plaintiffs, who argued that the division of the oil and gas industry diluted its influence. While Chen acknowledged that he had never been asked to split up an industry in his career, he stated that he was informed by the defense that it was a policy consideration.

Sean Trende, another political analyst, supported the GOP’s claims during his testimony. He argued that the new districts were strategically designed to shift Republican voters out of the Second District and create majorities in all three districts, aiming to “punish Republicans” and entrench Democratic advantages.

Trende’s methodology came under attack during cross-examination, with the defense challenging the admissibility of his data. Trende admitted that the original maps could not be precisely replicated but maintained that his simulations were politically neutral. The trial also featured Brian Sanderoff, president of Research and Polling Inc., who testified that the redistricting process made districts more competitive.

The verdict in the case will show if the heavily gerrymandered districts, which shifted the Second District from an R+14 to a D+4 (an 18-point swing) will hold up for the far-left Democrats.


16 thoughts on “Dems blasted in court over ‘extreme’ partisan gerrymandered U.S. House maps”

  1. We have taxation with out representation for the folks we send to DC, all five are useless and vote for what ever Schumer and the idiot that took Polocie’s place tell them to. One of our senators does not even live in MM, the other had computer help to win. There is no way he could have one without the cheating. As far as our state officials NM leans far left so we get crazy laws that allow our state to kill babies, cut off the sex organs of our children. NM need to wake up.

  2. New Mexico is being used to test how far they can go with cheating in the elections. I think they have done a good job of it so far. The Biden election here in NM was decided in 2 minutes that he won this state. I watched it happen live on television.

  3. Gabe Vasquez does not share the interests or values of most of the people he is supposed to represent in southern New Mexico.

  4. Amen Paul.
    NM will not change as long as we have a Communist Dictator
    that does not believe in the U.S. Constitution in The Governor’s Office.
    She should be impeached and jailed as soon as possible.

  5. Bob Parmelee, past Chairman Santa Fe Cnty GOP

    I left Santa Fe in 2007 and live in central Texas, but I still follow New Mexico politics and make occasional political contributions.
    In addition to your worthy efforts to correct the gerrymandering of CD2, I hope you good Republicans are planning on making an all-out effort to weaken the usual Dim strongholds. Example: informing NM Native Americans about the serious financial damage they will suffer under continued Democrat rule due to the influence of their climate wackos. EVERY issue in 2024 will be favorable to the GOP.

    1. As your direct opposite, ie a Central Texan -and native Texan, who recently moved to Santa Fe, I beg to differ.
      I no longer recognize the free state I grew up in. Texas GOP is now owned by radical fundamentalist fracking billionaires Tim Dunn and the Willis brothers. Dunn Dollars are now flowing into New Mexico.

      Abortion sunk Herrell in 2022. Abortion will really sink Herrell in 2024. The backlash to Dobbs will get worse, and worse, and worse over time.

  6. Disappointed in the pollster Brian Sanderoff. He work is generally very clean and balanced but to see CD 2 as “competitive” rather than left leaning is simply wrong.

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