California Redistricting

Calif. on the verge of approving new Congressional map. Here’s a look at Valley districts.

Although the California Redistricting Commission had initially looked to finalize the state Congressional map on Sunday, further changes to the districts, along with countless hours of work tweaking an all-but-finalized Assembly map, kept the commission from reaching the finish line. 

Instead, the commission is targeting Monday to set the nation’s largest Congressional map in stone with a vote scheduled to take place by 6:15 p.m. 

But after countless discussions regarding Old Fig Garden, Modesto and the “arm” that juts through parts of Tulare and Kings Counties, the map the panel settled on over the weekend will likely become reality, barring any eleventh-hour disruptions. 

Here’s a look at the Congressional districts for the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the incumbents who line up closest to them, with data provided courtesy of the California Target Book: 

The new 3rd Congressional District

Nickname: “PLACER-SAC”
Incumbent with most overlap: Tom McClintock (R–Elk Grove)

If Rep. Tom McClintock (R–Elk Grove) makes a run at the new district that runs from north of Lake Tahoe down to Death Valley, he will stay in a Republican favored district, albeit one that is less so than his current position. 

The new 3rd Congressional district will have a Republican edge with 39.23 percent voter registration, compared to Democrat rate of 32.47 percent. 

That marks a 6.76 percent Republican voter registration advantage, a notable drop from the 10.84 percent rate in his current district, California’s 4th Congressional. 

The 3rd district featured a razor-thin 2020 presidential contest, with 49.66 percent of the new 3rd Congressional district voted for former President Donald Trump while 47.88 percent filled out their ballots for President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, Trump held a 9.74 percent advantage in 2020 in McClintock’s current district. 

The new 5th Congressional District

Nickname: “ECA”
Incumbent with most overlap: Josh Harder (D–Turlock)

The final iteration of the hotly-debated ECA district will land with much of Modesto and Turlock grouped in with California’s gold country and north Fresno. 

Rep. Josh Harder (D–Turlock) lines up for the ECA district but will likely seek reelection in a neighboring district because of an exceedingly large Republican advantage. 

The new 5th district will see Republicans hold an 11.52 percent voter registration edge of Democrats, with voter registration splits among the major parties running 42.83 to 31.31 percent in favor of the GOP.

Harder’s current 10th Congressional district gives him a 5.85 percent Democrat lead. 

Unsurprisingly, voters in the new 5th Congressional district favored Trump by a 12.30-point margin in 2020. 

The new 13th Congressional District

Nickname: “StanisFresno”
Incumbent with most overlap: Jim Costa (D–Fresno)

The 13th Congressional district combines southern Modesto and southern Turlock with Merced, Madera and the westside of Fresno County. It is one of the Valley’s Voting Rights Act Districts, featuring a bare majority of citizen voting age residents of Hispanic descent.  

Assuming the map is approved Monday, Democrats would enjoy a hefty 13.49 percent lead over Republicans.

However, while Democrats make up 42.46 percent of the district, the seat is a slight downgrade for Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno), who would leave behind a 19.56 percent Democrat advantage in his current 16th Congressional district. 

Republicans make up 28.97 percent of the district. 

Voters in the new 13th district favored Biden by 11.16 percent in 2020. 

The new 21st Congressional District

Nickname: “FresTulare”
Incumbent with most overlap: Devin Nunes (R–Tulare)

While outgoing Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) was actively eyeing a version of the new 5th Congressional district before his shock retirement announcement earlier this month, his current 22nd district has undergone perhaps the most dramatic shift of the entire region.

The new 21st Congressional district shifts to cover north Visalia, Sanger and much of south and central Fresno.

The shift came amid an embrace by mapmakers to create a second of three Hispanic-majority seats in the San Joaquin Valley under the direction of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

With the realignment, the new 21st district moved from a seat that held a 4.91 percent Republican voter registration advantage to one that will feature a 16.75 percent Democratic voter registration edge.

Biden carried a 20.35 percent lead over Trump in 2020 in the 21st district. 

The new 22nd Congressional District

Nickname: “KingTulaKern”
Incumbent with most overlap: David Valadao (R–Hanford)

Rep. David Valadao’s (R–Hanford) already heavy Democrat district would maintain similar registration numbers as south Hanford and much of Bakersfield are paired together. 

Notably, both parties will lose voters in the new district. Valadao’s current 21st district has Democrats with a 43.48-27.26 percent edge over Republicans. 

The new 22nd Congressional district will have 43 percent Democrats compared to 26.08 percent Republicans – a 16.92 percent Democrat edge. 

In 2020, voters in Valadao’s current district favored Biden by 10.87 percent even though the Congressman retook his seat from Democrat T.J. Cox. 

Voters in the new district supported Biden by 13.24 percent. 

The new 20th Congressional District

Nickname: “Fresno-Kern”
Incumbent with most overlap: Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield), the House GOP Leader, will head into a very favorable, very sprawling district that snakes from west Kern County to east Tulare County and Clovis. 

The Fresno-Kern district also includes the ever-infamous “arm,” reaching across the south Valley to include southern Visalia, north Tulare and Lemoore. 

McCarthy currently enjoys a 10.56 percent Republican advantage in his current 23rd district, anchored in Tulare County and Kern County. 

His new district will favor Republicans by 21.11 percent as Republicans hold a 47.48-26.37 percent lead. 

The voters of the new 20th district supported Trump by a 24.93 percent margin in 2020.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.