Georgia’s new congressional district map could be bad news for Barrow

I’ve been posting maps as they’ve become available as Georgia redistricting continues. The new state house maps prompted me to ask: Will 2011 redistricting finally kill off the endangered White Georgia Democrat?

And now the proposed new map of districts for the U.S. House raises some serious questions about John Barrow’s viability in the newly drawn 12th district. This map is still under review by lawmakers, but it does something that I expected: all of Chatham County now falls into the 1st district currently held by Jack Kingston. That means the heavily black and Democratic portions of east Savannah — where Barrow could expect to rack up a 10,000 vote margin — are no longer part of the 12th. As I’ve noted before, there’s no chance of a serious Democratic challenge in the 1st district even with all those additional Democratic voters included.

I’ll try to crunch some numbers about some of this in a bit and post a follow up. By the way, you can find an interactive, zoomable map here.

[UPDATE: Democrat John Barrow beat Republican Ray McKinney by less than 22,000 votes in 2010 in Georgia’s 12th district. Back of the thumbnail calculations looking at the 2008 race between Obama and McCain, suggest that the new 12th would swing about 25,000 votes to the right. I.e., the 12th district would go from a moderately safe Democratic seat to one which would seem to lean slightly Republican. That’s back of the thumbnail, as I said, and I’ll do a longer post when someone runs some better numbers.]

Here’s the new map, which puts the new 14th district in the northwest portion of the state: As it turns out, the new district is actually the 9th in the northeast portion of the state, with the 14th district being a renaming of the current 9th district (not sure why!):

As a point of comparison, here’s the current map: