Redistricting Process: Legislative Population Change (since 2000): lost 54,804
Legislature: Republican Seats: 14 (-1 from 2010)
Governor: Rick Snyder (R) Members of Congress: 9R, 6D
Party Control: Republican 2008: 57% Obama, 41% McCain

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: Michigan, the Only State Losing Population

Michigan lost a seat in Congress due to reapportionment after the 2010 census, bringing its count from 15 U.S. House representatives to 14. This is the fourth decade in which Michigan has forfeited one seat in Congress due to a decrease in population. Michigan’s population decreased by 0.6% between 2000 and 2010, with a total change of 54,804 from approximately 9.94 million to 9.88 million. Over the decade, however, the Hispanic population in Michigan increased. Hispanics previously constituted 3.3% of the population and as of 2010, made up 4.5%. Other notable changes in minority groups were the increase in the Asian population from 1.8% to 2.5% of the population as a whole, and the relatively stable status of the Black population which increased from 14.2% to 14.3% of the whole during the course of the decade. Although total population decreased, the White demographic increased as a proportion of population from 78.6% to 80.2%. Between 2000 and 2010, Detroit lost roughly 25% of its population, reflecting a major shift of jobs and homes to the suburbs.

The Michigan Legislature holds the full responsibility of redrawing districts. The redistricting process is treated as normal legislation, so plans could be subjected to a gubernatorial veto. A bill was introduced in 2008 to create an independent redistricting commission that cut out elected officials who stand to gain from crafty redistricting, but the plan was never passed.

After the release of the census, Michigan created a Redistricting Committee for each of its legislative houses to draft the maps. Elections that year had left Republicans in complete control of the state government. In August of 2011, a Republican-proposed plan was passed – Governor Rick Snyder signed the plan, Senate Bill 498, into law on August 9. At the time, Republicans held 63 seats in the Michigan House and 26 in the Senate, and Democrats held 47 seats in the House and 12 in the Senate.

The decision to pass the Republican plan was challenged by a coalition of advocacy groups and was vocally opposed by Democrats in the House due to what they called unlawful gerrymandering. Members of opposing coalitions claimed that the new districts would pit Democratic candidates in Detroit against each other. With the implementation of the plan, the GOP would combine consistently Democratic parts of Oakland and Macomb counties and gain ground in other districts. Although legal attempts were made to challenge the passage of the plan, a three-judge panel dismissed the case. The lawsuit charged the plan with diluting the representation of minorities and making Black incumbents run against one another. The panel ultimately sided with the majority of plan supporters, stating that the opposition was “too factually underdeveloped” to hold clout.

The district analysis for most districts seems to be missing the first part which analyzes the demographic/physical changes in the districts.

First District

The First District of Michigan includes the entire Upper Peninsula of the state and extends down through a significant part of the Lower Peninsula. Although the district is historically Democratic, it elected a Republican to Congress for the first time since the 1930s in the 2010 elections. The Republican winner, Dan Benishek, displaced incumbent Bart Stupak after Stupak voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amidst great controversy at home. The district was divided on the issue and thus elected Dan Benishek, who received $50,000 of unsolicited donations within the first 48 hours following the vote. The redrawn First District has taken on some Democratic-leaning areas in lieu of other Republican-leaning areas conceded to Districts Four and Five. This change has given Democrats hope of regaining the seat; former State Representative Gary McDowell will oppose Rep. Dan Benishek in November.

Second District

The Second District of Michigan has been rated “Solid Republican” by the New York Times, and was predicted to have a 99.7% chance of electing Republican Bill Huizenga in 2010. Huizenga was elected, defeating Democrat Fred Johnson III and out-fundraising Johnson by $529,516. Republican Pete Hoekstra had previously served as Congressman for the district for nine terms, but left the district to run for governor. The Second District spans most of the west coast of Michigan and, after redrawn lines, has forfeited some ground at the north and south borders to Districts One, Six, and Four. The changes do not appear to be cause for any shift in the district’s future voting tendencies.

Third District

The Third District holds the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids. The district has also been labeled as a “Solid Republican” district by the New York Times, but will see a marginal increase in contention by Democrats in 2012. According to the Washington Post, the newly drawn Third District has become more favorable for Democrats. The shift is reflected in Roll Call’s decision to change the label on the district from “Likely Republican” to “Leans Republican.”

Fourth District

Prior to redistricting, the Fourth District spanned from just north of Lansing through central Michigan, all the way to Grand Traverse Bay. After reapportionment, the district covers almost all of central Michigan, a region which has been consistently Republican since the 1970s. Roll Call labels the district “Likely Republican.” Representative Camp has never faced opposition in the Republican primaries, has held his seat in the Fourth District since 1993, and has never won with less than 60% of the vote. Representative Camp ran against Democrat Jerry Campbell in 2010 and won by a safe margin, outspending his competition by $2,094,020.

Fifth District

The Fifth District is a largely industrial area, containing Flint, a major city, and most of the coast of Saginaw Bay. The district is rated by both the New York Times and Roll Call to most likely remain Democratic, Changes in the district include expansion to the north of Saginaw Bay, an area that formerly leaned Republican, but is not expected to tip the balances away from Democrats in the Fifth District.

Sixth District

On July 29 2012, a poll was conducted by the Lansing-based EPIC-MRA, a polling authority that concluded that Republican incumbent Fred Upton would keep hold on the Sixth Congressional District of Michigan. Upton was said to be a key player in redrawing districts in 2010, and tailored his own district to be slightly less competitive. The change constitutes a raised border (toward Holland, MI) to the north of the district, covering more of the coast, and a taken-in border near Portage and Kalamazoo. Since he was elected in 1986, Rep. Upton has won with at least 58% of the vote.

Seventh District

The Seventh District has seen competitive primaries or general elections almost every election cycle since 2002. The district was rated a tossup by the New York Times during the 2010 election, which saw a standoff between Democrat incumbent Mark Schauer and Republican Tim Walberg. Former representative Schauer had displaced Walberg in 2008, only to lose to Walberg in 2010. The 2011 redistricting plan relocated former Rep. Schauer outside of the bounds of the district into a strongly Republican district where he chose not to run. The Seventh District thus became more favorable for Republicans as Rep. Walberg runs for re-election against Democratic challenger Kurt Haskell. Former representative of the Fifteenth District, John Dingell, was drawn into the Seventh District after redistricting, but opted not to run.

Eighth District

Before redistricting, the Eighth District of Michigan spanned some area north of Lansing and reached the outskirts of Detroit. After lines were redrawn, the district had to shrink because of fast growth in the area and declining numbers in other districts. A few of the counties drawn out of the district, like Clinton County, were strongholds for long-time incumbent Mike Rogers(R), who will be up for re-election in 2012. Democrats have held office in this district in the past, but Representative Rogers won the 2010 election with 64.1% of the vote.

Ninth District

Democratic representatives Gary Peters and Sander Levin, previously of the Ninth and Twelfth districts, respectively, will face off in what was one of the most controversial moves by the Michigan Republican Party in the redistricting process. Representative Peters was long seen as the most likely victim of the need to cut one seat, and chose to run for re-election in the newly drawn Fourteenth District against heavy competition after having represented the Ninth for almost four years. Rep. Sander Levin, likely winner of the Ninth, won the Democratic nomination with his extensive experience in having held the Twelfth District since 1993, and for having held the Seventeenth District for the ten years prior. Also, due to changes post-redistricting, almost 75% of Levin’s current district went into the new Ninth, making it all the more controversial when media speculated that Levin would have to compete with fellow Democrat Peters.

The suburban areas surrounding Detroit that previously made up the Ninth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth districts were dismantled and strategically redrawn so that the GOP could strengthen potential hotspots for Republican newcomers. The GOP has little hope of winning the Ninth, but in threatening Levin and displacing Peters, the party has largely increased the chances of Thaddeus McCotter holding on to the Eleventh, a district which, without the diluted threat of Democratic opposition, will likely do more than just “Lean Republican.”

Tenth District

One of the primary mapmakers in 2011 was Representative Candice Miller (R), the representative for the Tenth District. Her district in the east of Michigan borders Lake Huron, and prior redistricting could only capture more land to the west, moving into fellow Republican Mike Roger’s stomping grounds, or into one of two Democratic leaning districts, the Fifth and the Ninth. Representative Miller made sure to hold on to 95% of her previous district, only making a small change by pushing the Fifth District out of the eastern peninsula. Miller was first elected to represent the district in 2002.

Eleventh District

Minority populations in the old Eleventh District have grown significantly compared to other areas of the state, and the changes after redistricting reflected that growth in areas outside of Detroit. The district was removed from some of the areas that were accountable for the district’s majority support for President Obama in 2008, and now stretches out to safer, independent and right-leaning suburban area. The areas removed from the Eleventh District now belong to the consistently Democratic Twelfth and Thirteenth districts, and the areas gained were taken from what used to be the Ninth.

Twelfth District

With former Twelfth District Representative Sander Levin being redrawn out of his district and into the Ninth, Representative John Dingell, who previously held the Fifteenth District seat since 2002, will run for the now safely Democratic Twelfth. Rep. Dingell also had a long run in the Sixteenth district, serving as its representative from 1964 until 2002. In the redistricting process, Republicans forfeited the new Twelfth District, essentially the old Fifteenth District, by extending the bounds of the Fifteenth into southern Detroit and adding the more conservative Monroe County to the Seventh District, which only “Leans Republican” and needed some support.

Thirteenth District

Detroit makes up about half of this district, which is 59% Black, 27.6% White, and 10.5% Hispanic or Latino. During the 2002 redistricting the old Fifteenth District became the new Thirteenth, maintaining a high Black population sitting at 60.8%. The minority population and the urban culture have ensured that this district will not likely ever be Republican if conditions stay the same. The Thirteenth District has always been a district covering some part of central Detroit, but in this past redistricting cycle, legislators have shuffled communities between the Thirteenth and Fourteenth districts, and displaced the incumbents in both districts.

Representative John Conyers represented the old Fourteenth since 1993 and before that the First since 1965, but will run for the Thirteenth to continue representing his base in Detroit’s West Side. Conyers is a civil rights-era icon running in an area where remembrance of the civil rights battle is held in high regard. Conyers still lives in the Fourteenth District, but is physically steps away from the boundary of the new Thirteenth.

Fourteenth District

Demographic changes between censuses in the Fourteenth saw a two-point drop in the Black population, mainly due to an increase in the Arab population in Dearborn combined with migration between counties. Following redistricting in 2011, Dearborn was moved into Representative John Dingell’s Twelfth District, and the Fourteenth was extended across the traditional boundary of the 8 Mile Road, capturing a large number of minority voters.

The new boundaries of the Fourteenth post-line drawing moved the Pointes from the Thirteenth to the Fourteenth drawing discontent from residents who alleged the dilution of their political influence.

2010 Redistricting Changes:

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