Rep. Destin Hall, head of the Republican NC House redistricting committee, floated this proposed map for congressional districts late yesterday. It puts Watauga back entirely in the 5th.
Political scientists Chris Cooper of Western Carolina University, Eric Heberlig of UNC-Charlotte, Michael Bitzer of Catawba College and Asher Hildebrand of Duke University expect Democrats to win the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th and 12th congressional districts under Hall's plan, while Republicans would likely win the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 13th districts.
The redistricting experts are divided on which party might capture the 8th and 14th districts.
Bitzer said those two districts in Hall's plan are likeliest to be the most competitive. It's too early to say which way they lean until Hall provides precinct-level data, Bitzer said.
A highly skeptical chorus greeted Hall's trial balloon on his Twitter feed. Among the more provocative responses was one from Vegan Pythagorean:
So you're going to release intentionally inadequate maps to force the court to draw the maps. Then you'll claim a rigged Dem court unfairly put Dems in power and you'll run on that issue to get GOP judges on the court who will allow partisan gerrymandering and your eternal rule.