Rhode Island Overview

Redistricting Process: Congressional redistricting is controlled by the legislature and governor, although no specific power is enumerated in the constitution. During the last redistricting, the state formed the Special Commission on Reapportionment comprised of 16 legislators and civilians. The Speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader each selected three legislators and three private citizens, while the Senate and House minority leaders each selected two legislators. This committee, however, is solely advisory, and any plan must be approved by the regular legislative process. The governor has veto power over the legislature’s redistricting plans.

Governor: Independent Lincoln Chafee

Legislature: Democrats control both chambers.

Number of Congressional Seats in 2011: 2 (no change from 2010)

2011 Ideal District Population: 526,284

Current District by District Politics and Demographics:

1st District– Democrat David Cicilline

2010 Congressional Results: Cicilline 50.6%

2008 Congressional Results: Patrick Kennedy (D) 69%

2006 Congressional Results: Kennedy 69%

2004 Congressional Results: Kennedy 64%

2008 Presidential Results: McCain 34% Obama 65%

2004 Presidential Results: Bush 36% Kerry 62%

District Population: 519,021

Over/Under Populated by: 7,263

White Population: 397,882

African American Population: 28,157

Hispanic Population: 56,918

See more demographic information from the 2010 Census for the 2nd District.*

2nd District– Democrat Jim Langevin

2010 Congressional Results: Langevin 60%

2008 Congressional Results: Langevin 70%

2006 Congressional Results: Langevin 73%

2004 Congressional Results: Langevin 75%

2008 Presidential Results: McCain 37% Obama 62%

2004 Presidential Results: Bush 41% Kerry 57%

District Population: 533,546

Over/Under Populated by: 7,262

White Population: 405,803

African American Population: 23,403

Hispanic Population: 73,737

See more demographic information from the 2010 Census for the 2nd District.

*In some browsers, the link to the 2010 Census page may link to a table of demographics for several states as opposed to the districts for the specific state.  If this occurs, click the “Back to Search” link at the top of the page and then click on the arrow next to “Geographies” in the left column.  Select “All Congressional Districts within Rhode Island” and then close the box.  Click on the link for “Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age and Housing Occupancy: 2010” and the correct table should appear.

Redistricting Process taken from Rose Institute study “Redistricting in America.”