|Redistricting Process: Legislative||Population Change (since 2000): 613,352|
|Legislature: Republican||Seats: 7 (+1 from 2010)|
|Governor: Nikki Haley (R)||Members of Congress: 6R, 1D|
|Party Control: Republican||2012: 44.0% Obama, 54.6% Romney|
Three maps are available for each state. Each has new district outlines in bold.
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New Districts by Party Representative
2010 Redistricting Changes: Fast Growth Means South Carolina Adds One Seat
The population of South Carolina has been steadily growing since the last census in 2000, and has seen a slight increase in minority populations as well as great urban growth. South Carolina’s population has grown by 15.3%, from 4,012,012 to 4,625,364, in the last decade. The White demographic has gone from 66.1% to 64% of the total population, the Black proportion has slightly decreased diminished while the Hispanic has grown. The Hispanic population increased from 2.4% of the population to constituting about 5.1%. In recent years, principal cities in South Carolina like Charleston and North Charleston have shown more rapid growth than the capital city of Columbia, but every major city is facing concentrated growth.
In this redistricting cycle, South Carolina gained one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, for a total of seven districts. The plan for redistricting South Carolina’s congressional districts was passed by the House on June 15, 2011, then by the Senate on July 26, 2011, and finally signed by Governor Nikki Haley on August 1, 2011. The process for passing redistricting plans in South Carolina follows the standard path for legislation.
Six black voters challenged the plan in federal district court, arguing that the GOP-run legislature of South Carolina had packed African Americans into one district. The district in question contains some of the state’s larger urban areas, including Columbia and North Charleston. The court rejected their challenge on March 9, 2012.
South Carolina’s redistricting plan is also subject to review by the Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act. The Department of Justice pre-cleared the plan on October 28, 2012.
The First District has been shifted south along the South Carolina border, still capturing close to 75% of the coastline. The new district is 73% White and 20% Black according to data recently released on the Redistricting website for the South Carolina House of Representatives. These numbers are not very different from the previous demographics, which were within a point of the new district’s statistics. The district has been consistently Republican since the 1980s, and the changes due to redistricting are not expected to change the district’s Partisan Voting Index rating of R+10.
Before redistricting, South Carolina’s Second District contained half of the southern border of South Carolina. The district has been slimmed down to contain all of the conservative Aiken County and other parts of counties in central South Carolina, losing much of the southern border. The demographics did not change much after redistricting, though the Black population was decreased by about 3 points, from 26.4% to 23%. The White population grew only half a point.
The Thrid District still lies along the northwestern border of South Carolina, even after redistricting, but lost some parts of Aiken County, gaining parts of Newberry and Greenville counties. The demographics have remained much the same with the White population increasing from 75% to 76.9%, and the Black population decreasing from 19.6% to 18.3%. The Third District has had a Republican representative since the mid-90s and maintains a very high Partisan Voter Index of R+17.
The changes to the Fourth District include splitting parts of the district between Greenville and Spartanburg counties, two counties with sometimes differing interests, and creating balance within the district. The Fourth is South Carolina’s wealthiest district and has been Republican since the late 1970s. Redistricting changes are not expected to change the partisan leanings of the district, which, previous to redrawing, had a PVI of R+15.
The Fifth District reaches from the state’s border with North Carolina to the outskirts of Columbia, with a few minor changes made in this past redistricting cycle. The district was made safer for Republicans by conceding multiple counties in the east to the newly created Seventh District.
The Sixth District contains most of central South Carolina, and juts into the cities of Charleston and Columbia to capture choice demographics in the cities’ bounds. Demographics have stayed mostly the same after redistricting, with the Black demographic constituting 55% of the population before redrawing, and 57.5% after. The Sixth District is the only district in South Carolina that is likely to continue favoring Democrats. The urban culture and ethnic breakdown is sure to factor into preferences regarding candidates in upcoming elections.
In the late 1800s, the Seventh District of South Carolina was a majority black district, called the shoestring district due its long, stretching shape. The newly reinstituted district will cover northeastern South Carolina, taking from the First, Fifth, and Sixth Districts. The new Seventh District is 65.2% White and 29.7% Black.