South Carolina's 7th District?

There's been a lot of recent speculation about South Carolina getting a 7th Congressional District. This is big news for a state that once had nine districts, but has only had six since Reconstruction.

Relative to a much smaller House of Represenatives, nine seats was several times the congressional voting power than the state's delegation wields today, where six seats is about 1.5% of the total membership of 435.

Where will the 7th District go? We think the driving consideration will center around representing large population centers. The four that don't have a representative are Aiken, Florence, Horry and Spartanburg. Since Florence and Horry are interconnected, and the Pee Dee and Grand Strand don't have resident members of Congress, a district could be drawn quickly without upsetting incumbents and give this region the ability to seat a congressman.

As Florence is also the only county Clyburn usually loses, we think he'd be ok with losing those voters. Pair Florence with Horry and some of the stray rural counties in that part of the state, and you should get a seat that favors a GOP candidate.

Swing the 1st back to Beaufort, restoring it's historic alignment, pull the 2nd out of the Lowcounty entirely to keep the district's partisan balance from changing much. Nor does the 1st District's change much. Considering Joe Wilson's stronger challengers come from Beaufort County and the rural Lowcountry offsets the votes he gets from the coast, we think Joe would be ok with it.

The 5th loses some population to the new 7th, but the overall political balance, as with the 1st and 2nd, changes very little.

We played around with a rough map of how the 7th could fit in, with some minor other adjustments to the map to speculate about other adjustments that would be required:



3 Response to "South Carolina's 7th District?"

  1. Anonymous 28/12/08 04:53
    Earl:
    The map that you have drawn would make the 4th with too much population....you would have to split Spartanburg ! Not good for us at all!
    However, I appreciate the fact that you are thinking about the possibilities.

    Rick Beltram
  2. Earl Capps 28/12/08 13:26
    Rick - that drawing isn't based on specific numbers.

    I know you'd like for Spartanburg to anchor a 7th District, but the Upstate presently has the largest regional delegation of the state's 4 regions:

    Upstate - Barret, Inglis, Spratt
    Midlands - Clyburn, Wilson
    Lowcountry - Brown
    Pee Dee/Grand Strand - None

    If the Upstate anchors another district, you can expect to hear howls from the rest of the state.

    Just wait for Inglis to move on, get a good candidate, and the 4th District can be represented by someone from Spartanburg. It's not impossible - just ask Liz Patterson. She did it.
  3. 29102 28/12/08 18:25
    Quit making Rick upset

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