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The redistricting commission has just unanimously approved the draft of 80 new Assembly districts, creating more swing districts statewide and packaging three Sacramento-area Democrats in the same district.

A preliminary analysis of the draft districts by Bee database reporter Phillip Reese shows 51 would be considered safe for Democrats, 24 safe for Republicans and five in the swing category. That's an increase in competitive seats from the current district make-up, which has 52 safe Democratic seats, 26 safe GOP seats and only two swing districts.

Reese's formula for determining safe and swing districts applies current voter registration figures and the outcome of the Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman gubernatorial race last November. Districts that have a registration advantage for one party but chose a gubernatorial candidate of another party are considered swing. Of course there are other factors at play in particular districts that could increase the number of swing districts.

The Assembly maps approved today, which will serve as a starting point for further public comment, also have Democratic Assembly members Roger Dickinson and Richard Pan bunched with Davis Democratic Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada in a Sacramento-West Sacramento-Davis district.

Reese's analysis shows Yamada could move her home less than a mile south and find herself in a relatively safe Democratic district that has no incumbent and stretches across much of Solano County.

There's also now a heavily Democratic district covering Elk Grove and South Sacramento with no Assembly member currently living in it. Republican Assemblywoman Beth Gaines of Roseville remains in a heavily Republican district. GOP Assemblymen Dan Logue of Linda and Jim Nielsen of Gerber reside in the same proposed district.

Democratic Assemblywoman Alyson Huber of El Dorado Hills remains in an evenly divided district.


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