A non-Senate race post here at MassKos. It's established that Massachusetts is about to lose a seat in the redistricting. I haven't seen any proposed redistricting maps, perhaps such things are floating around out there and I haven't been looking in the right places. But I'll speak from my ignorance then maybe I'll get an edumacating about what to expect!
I'm from western Mass, and it's my expectation that this redistricting will mark the end of there being two western Mass. House seats. Both MA-01 and MA-02 have these eastward outgrowths deep into central Mass. Now as it happens, that probably serves a Dem Party purpose in MA-03 absorbing some fairly Republican parts of Worcester County into MA-01 and MA-02. But it makes little or no sense for Great Barrington and Gardner to be in the same district. In both cases, those chunks of central Mass get politically subsumed in considerably larger parts of western Mass.
From the insider game, which of course plays a huge role in this, there's another reinforcing point, that Olver is the sitting incumbent who is reaching the point when it's time to retire anyway. If the redistricting does compress western Mass into a single district with Neal as the rep., you'd have one of the most liberal districts in the state represented by one of the most conservative members of the state delegation. Fun primaries could ensue.
Does my speculation make sense, or perhaps there are people that have some particular knowledge on what to expect in the redistricting?