Redistricting Process: Legislative Population Change (since 2000): 477,066
Legislature: Democratic Seats: 8
Governor: Martin O’Malley (D) Members of Congress: 1R 7D
Party Control: Democratic 2012: 61.7% Obama, 36.6% Romney

Map Instructions:

Three maps are available for each state. Each has new district outlines in bold.
Click on each district on the map to see more information.
Click the arrow button to switch between districts that are close together.
New Districts by Party Representation

Redistricting Analysis: No Big Changes in Maryland

Prior to the release of the 2010 Census, Maryland entrusted the drawing of new congressional districts to the Maryland General Assembly. In 2002, the Assembly’s plans for new maps were deemed invalid by the Maryland Court of Appeals, so the 2002 elections were stalled. Every ten years, the governor appoints a five-member committee to spearhead redistricting efforts. The committee submits recommended maps to the General Assembly, which is then charged enacting the maps into law. A proposed plan is supposed to take effect on the 45th day of the legislative session unless the General Assembly is able to pass a plan before then.

On October 20, 2011, Maryland adopted an all new congressional map, based on the changes in the 2010 Census. In a controversial turn of events, this decade’s congressional redistricting changes counted inmates as residents of their last known address, a Maryland law that was challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld Maryland’s decision, allowing lawmakers to move forward with map revisions. Although the map was adopted by the state in October of 2011, the controversial law was challenged in a Federal District Court in December of that year. Maps had already been challenged by Question 5, a referendum presented to voters in November asking for a decision regarding the division of minorities that could potentially empower certain parties. However, the District Court upheld the measure, and voters approved the plans challenged by Question 5, leaving lawmakers on both sides of the aisle disgruntled. The court cited prison-based gerrymandering as a reason for allowing Maryland to adjust Census data for the purpose of making sure district apportionment is fair.

Voters, commentators, and politicians alike were upset in this redistricting cycle. Complaints arose that the process was structured to benefit only incumbents, rather than verifiably providing every voter with an equal vote. Commentators seemed to agree that the plans were drawn by Democratic leaders to shore up existing power structures, and crowd out Maryland’s two Republican representatives in the state.

First District

The former 1st Congressional District of Maryland reached north around Chesapeake Bay, encompassing more than nine entire counties. The sparsely populated panhandle of the state remained in the 1st District after redistricting, though an independent area of the district in the mainland of the state was cut out. Added to the district was a region bordering the northern edge of the state, including parts of Harford, Baltimore, and Carroll Counties. The district now wraps up the panhandle, across the northern border of the state, and juts down somewhat close to Baltimore, though it doesn’t capture much of the urban population.

The demographic breakdown of the district is 82% White, 11% Black, 2% Asian, 3% Hispanic, and 2% Other. The district was previously similar demographically and leaned Republican. With the westward expansion of the district into areas that were previously rated “Solid Republican” by outside analyses, and the removal of areas closer to Baltimore, the Republican Party is likely to be safer in the 1st District in the future. The district was held by Republicans, then by Democrats for one term, returning to the hands of the Republicans in 2010. Incumbent Andy Harris (R) was re-elected in the November 2012 election.

Second District

For ten years, Dutch Ruppersberger has served as Maryland’s 2nd Congressional district representative. The Democrat secured what the New York Times called a “Solid Democratic” district again in 2012, with 65.6% of the vote. Republican Nancy Jacobs won 31.1% of the vote. After redistricting, 79% of the residents of the 2nd district remained in the 2nd district. Sixteen percent of the new 2nd are residents from the 3rd district, and 2% were added from each the 7th and 1st districts. The 3rd district, from which most of the new 2nd residents came, is also strongly Democratic, so the political effect of redistricting likely strengthened Democrats’ presence in the district.

Prior to redistricting, the population of the 2nd district was 59.87% White, 31.4% Black, 3.1% Hispanic, and 3.3% Asian, with 0.2% Native American.[ITS1] Now, the demographics are 55% White, 32% Black, 5% Asian, 5% Hispanic, and 3% other. Geographically, the district expanded to the southwest of Baltimore, and lost some areas south and northwest of Baltimore. The district now wraps around Baltimore, resembling a lobster, with claws winding around the urban center and almost touching ends.

Third District

The 3rd of Maryland is small in size, but dense in population. Covering the urban area around Baltimore, including part of the center of the city, the district now has a demographic breakdown of 63% White, 20% Black, 6% Asian, 8% Hispanic, and 3% other. Prior to redistricting, the breakdown was 70% White, 18.3% Black, 4.9% Hispanic, 4.4% Asian, and 2.4% other. The district is notorious for being one of the most “tortured” districts in the United States, and reportedly took nine hours to traverse, even though Maryland is the ninth smallest state in the country. The Washington Post invited readers to “Name That District”, because the districts snaking shape is so distinctive and strange; it stretches, in an “s”-like shape, with curves reaching all the way into Montgomery County, which lines Maryland’s western border.

John Sarbanes (D), incumbent in Maryland’s 3rd, won the general election again on November 6, 2012. His campaign had raised $53,754.42 in contributions starting in April of 2012, out-raising challenger Eric Delano Knowles (R) by almost $40,000. Sarbanes’ campaign also began with a large lead in fund balances, with a beginning balance of about $980,400. The 3rd has been “blue” since 1927, and is not expected to change hands in coming elections.

Fourth District

Maryland’s 4th covers most of Maryland’s border with Washington D.C., and now spans toward Annapolis’s suburbs. Over 299,000 residents were removed from the district, while 305,393 were added. The district is one of two black-majority districts in Maryland, and has been represented by Donna Edwards (D) since 2008. She won again in 2012 with 77.2% of the vote, defeating Faith Loudon (R), who carried 20.7% of the vote. Prior to redistricting, the population of the 4th was 24.1% White, 54.5% Black, 11.9% Hispanic, 7.1% Asian, and 2.5% other[ITS2]. The demographic breakdown of the district after line re-drawing is much the same, except for a three-point increase of the White demographic, a four-point decrease of the Asian population, and a two-point increase of the Hispanic sector.

The redrawing of the 4th included exclusion of parts of Montgomery County, and the addition of sections of Anne Arundel County. Before the race, Edwards suggested that she was displeased with the addition of voters from Anne Arundel County. The voter turnout in Anne Arundel County was measured at the time to be about two points higher than that of Prince George’s County – a place where Edwards had already gained a certifiable amount of support. Ostensibly, that did not cripple her chances in the 2012, as she was still supported heavily by her constituents. Part of this may be attributed to the consistent makeup of the 4th’s demography.

Fifth District

The Maryland 5th remained mostly the same after redistricting, keeping Democrats in power after in the district after 2012 elections. Exactly 767,369 residents previously resided in the 5th district – 9.5% of those were cut out and the district grew by 3.4%. The demographic breakdown for the new district is 49% White, 36% Black, 4% Asian, 7% Hispanic, and 3% Other.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer (D) was reelected in the 2012 general election, beating Republican challenger Tony O’Donnell with 69.4% of the vote. Hoyer has beaten Republican opponents with a comfortable margin (over 65%) since 1998. He has served the 5th district in Congress since 1981, when he was first elected. He currently serves as House Minority Whip.

Sixth District

Maryland’s new 6th district has seen extensive media coverage due to the power move made by Maryland Democrats. Republican Representative Roscoe Bartlett was ousted in the 2012 election due to lines that the Washington Post said “split minority communities in Washington-area suburbs.” The 6th was previously the state’s most Republican, but since the demographic shift, became much more Democratic. Previous to redistricting, in 2010, the New York Times rated the district “Solid Republican” with a 100% chance of a Republican win for Rep. Bartlett. Democrat John Delaney won the 2012 election against Bartlett with 58.8% of the vote.

Previous to redistricting, 86.9% of the district was White; 6.2%, Black; 3.2%, Hispanic; 2.1%, Asian; and 1.6%, Other. The demographic breakdown after redistricting: 64% White, 12% Black, 10% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 3% Other. The White demographic decreased over 14 points while the Black demographic doubled, the Hispanic demographic tripled, and the Asian demographic quintupled. The district previously lined 90% of the northern border of Maryland, but now only has about 55% of the border, annexing densely populated urban areas surrounding Washington D.C.

Republicans filed a petition to add Measure 5 to the November ballot, which asked voters to either veto or uphold the governor and General Assembly’s new maps. The referendum was approved, meaning that the map for the 6th district was upheld.

Seventh District

Redistricting drastically changed the shape of the Maryland 7th district, adding a large area to the north of Baltimore and removing a densely populated suburb southeast of the major metropolitan area. The demographic breakdown, however, remained within two points of the 2010 breakdown. The current distribution is 34% White, 55% Black, 6% Asian, 3% Hispanic, and 2% Other.

Democratic incumbent Elijah Cummings was reelected in the 2012 election, having served the district since the previous representative, Kweisi Mfume, resigned to take the presidency of the NAACP in 1996. He won with 76.5% of the vote against Republican challenger, Frank C. Mirabile.

Eighth District

Democratic incumbent Chris Van Hollen was reelected to the House of Representatives in the November election after lines had been redrawn. The district’s geography changed from covering a large portion of the suburbs near Washington D.C. to capturing the area surrounding Frederick, Maryland. The 8th picked up much of what was cut from the controversial 6th, while still maintaining a strong Democratic base.

Rep. Van Hollen won by a comfortable margin with 63.4% of the vote against Republican Ken Timmerman who won 32.9% of the vote. The demography reflects the addition of more rural communities, shifting the majority more toward the White population than under the old lines. As of 2000, the population of the 8th district was 52% White, 16.6% Black, 16.6% Hispanic, 12.1% Asian, 2.7% Other. The new demography of the 8th district: 64% White, 11% Black, 13% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 3% Other.

2010 Redistricting Changes:

Old Districts by Partisan Voting Index with New District Outlines
Old Districts by Party Representation with New District Outlines