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Competing Missouri maps
Competing Missouri maps

A special redistricting-only edition of the DK Elections digest:

Alaska: Alaska's redistricting board released two plans for remapping the state legislature, which you can see here.

Arkansas: It's official: Gov. Mike Beebe signed Arkansas's new congressional maps into law last Thursday. Note that Arkansas is not subject to DoJ pre-clearance under the Voting Rights Act. And while citizen map-makers have shown it's possible to draw a majority-minority district in the state, I think a suing to force the creation of such a seat would be a very difficult challenge. So I think these maps are what we'll get.

Colorado: Diarist larimercodem takes a detailed look at the new redistricting plans submitted by Democrats and Republicans in Colorado. There are half a dozen plans from each side, but all six from each party are pretty similar, so the diarist examines two representative plans. You can find images of all the maps here.

Iowa: Gov. Terry Branstad said on Friday that he'll sign Iowa's new maps (passed by both houses of the state lege) into law. Any other decision would have been quite the shocker, though it's not clear on exactly when he'll make it official. Also of interest, the Des Moines Register takes a look at the legislative shuffle, where Republicans seemed to mostly get the shaft in terms of what their new districts look like (i.e., more GOPers have to face blue districts than vice versa).

Indiana: A state Senate committee approved new congressional and Senate maps, while a House committee approved the same congressional map as well as a House map.

Maryland: Rep. Steny Hoyer confirms that his buddies in the Maryland legislature are looking to take out freshman GOPer Andy Harris. I feel like these guys could save a lot of money on consultants just by looking at all the MD maps that people on SSP have drawn over the last year! Anyhow, the same article also mentions as an aside that Republican Roscoe Bartlett could be targeted, but it's just newspaper speculation—there are unfortunately no quotes. It would be a real shame if Maryland Dems didn't at least think about going for an 8-0 map.

Missouri: It's definitely been weird to see all these redistricting battles erupt between upper and lower houses of various state legislatures, despite both chambers being controlled by the same party. We saw this in GOP-held Louisiana, we saw it in Dem-controlled Arkansas, and now we're seeing it in Missouri, where the lege is run entirely by Republicans. The state House and Senate are working on very similar congressional maps but apparently can't reach agreement, with the Senate refusing to consider the House's map and, in response, the House taking an adjournment. Republicans are eager to finish work soon, because Dem Gov. Jay Nixon may veto their work, and they want a chance to over-ride it before the current session ends on May 13th.

In any event, here's a cool link you'll enjoy: The Columbia Missourian has an interactive map which lets you scroll back in time all the way to 1845 to see how the state's districts looked after each round of redistricting.

Virginia: I'm really not sure what the next step is for Dems here. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, as you know, cannily vetoed the legislature's plan for remapping both the House and the Senate, decrying the supposedly outrageous Senate gerrymander which would have protected Dem incumbents. The House map was no better when it came to Republicans, but Dems in that chamber stupidly gave the GOP cover by voting for that map.

In any event, the General Assembly has returned to work, but Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw, a Dem, says that his body will simply adopt the same plan again and dare McDonnell to veto it a second time. Of course, that would require House Republicans to pass the Senate plan again, which they may be unwilling to do. (For their part, the House GOP will also reconvene and plans to tweak their own map.) If no agreement can be reached, McDonnell risks forcing the courts to draw a new set of maps—something he may well desire, since it would probably give Republicans a better chance of recapturing the Senate. Further delays could also possibly cause issues with DoJ pre-clearance and potentially lead to two sets of elections: One this year with the old maps, and a new round next year with new maps.

Victims: Aaron Blake has a roundup of what he calls the "most likely redistricting victims." Pretty much all of these names will be familiar to regular readers, and of course, who the hell knows what will happen in California or Florida, but it's worth a look.

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Comment Preferences

  •  re:missouri (0+ / 0-)

    why are they making saint louis metro area 3 districts and KC gets rolled into a huge district ?

    Is it because our part of the state (STL) is far more liberal and could conceivably cancel out all the baggers in the surrounding counties?

  •  Missouri (0+ / 0-)

    I love that in 1930 the situation in Missouri was so bad that they couldn't even agree at all so they just elected all of their Represntatives at large.

  •  This Missouri maps seems abhorrent... (0+ / 0-)

    ...at least it appears so.   What they have done is taken the "least republican" area of the current 4th district and tagged in onto the 5th.

    And to clarrify, KC is not rolled into one huge district- What has been done is explicitly not that; the downtown and midtown areas are rolled into a district with the area along I-70 almost all the way to Columbia.

    The suburbs north and east are in the 6th- those to the south are in the 4th.

    I can not fathom the idea that downtown KC is now going to be in the same district as the rural portions of the state  along the Missouri River.

    It is hard to read what is going on here.  Perhaps this redrawing of the 5th is really what the democrats in KC want (Rep. Emmanual Cleaver).  But it so obviously seems like a gerrymander that would not pass muster if it had to reviewed by the justice department.

  •  Republican Failed Budget Policies Cut Funding Educ (0+ / 0-)

    Republican Failed Budget Policies Cut Funding Education/­HealthCare­,Than Legitimate Deficit Expenses
    http://con­servativec­orporatism­.blogspot.­com/...

  •  Re: Maryland (0+ / 0-)

    Most of us progressives are eager to redistrict Maryland to be 8-0 and kick out Rep. Bartlett and Harris.

    Problem is that both the districts are R+13 when they were written back in 2000 to then oust two Republicans giving us Maryland's current 6-2 Dem/Rep split.

    We also have some really gerrymandered districts so more tweaking may prove difficult.

    Still, I've worked with the redistricting map programs, and getting the 1st is certainly doable. Getting the 6th as well is tricky, especially since the people from that district wouldn't meld well (IMHO) with the neighboring districts.

  •  I think Alan Grayson is running in Orlando (0+ / 0-)

    Again.  I want to help him get elected -- again -- if he truly is running.  He is one of the few Democrats not afraid to stand up to the Republican Bullies.  Rep. Wiener is another one, and I also love Debbie, our new DNC Leader.

  •  The endgame in VA redistricting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davybaby

    Based on a 1981 precedent, people seem to expect that if the lege and the guv can't reach an agreement on new maps this year in time to use them in this year's elections, the courts will order that those elections to be run on the old maps, and then by next year the new maps will be ready for new elections coinciding with the presidential contest.

    But the facts in that precedent were quite different from those we have today.  There were new maps that year produced by the lege-plus-guv, but they were multi-member districts, and as such were ruled by the courts to be inherently discriminatory to minorities when they went for the VRA review that VA is subject to.  At that point, it was too late to come up with an acceptabe set of new maps in time for the 1981 elections, therefore the old ones were used that year, while new elections were held also in 1982 ahead of schedule, because by then the new maps had been approved.

    This year the problem isn't that the lege/guv have produced new maps, but the courts have found them unacceptable on VRA review -- the problem is that the lege/guv haven't produced a new set of maps because the guv vetoed the lege maps.  The only place that VRA review has in the story is that it takes time, and could therefore prevent new maps being in place in time to be used this year even if the lege and guv were able to reach an agreement that would otherwise have been in time.  But if there are no VRA-based concerns, it isn't clear that VRA review will really add much time to the process.

    More fundamentally, getting this done in time isn't the problem this year.  The problem seems to be that McDonell has calculated that the R House gerrymander is nice but not necessary -- the Rs will keep the House even without an up-to-date protective gerrymander -- while the D gerrymander in the Senate is more necessary to the Ds to retain control of that body.  If this idea is correct, then McDonell will simply veto anything the Senate sends him that isn't total capitulation, and time has nothing to do with it, so any VRA review delay doesn't matter anyway, since there will never be anything to review this year.

    So the lege will be up for re-election this year on the old maps, and chamber control either stays status quo, or maybe the Rs pick up the Senate.  If the former, McDonell hasn't lost anything, the Senate will still send him a D-friendly map next year.  If the latter, the Rs win, because now McDonell gets both chambers sending him R-friendly maps, which he will promptly sign.

    So far, so good, it's clear how Rs benefit from no new maps this year, from kicking that can down the road.  But it is not so clear to me (and anybody well-versed in election law, please pitch in here) that the countervailing effect that is supposed to make this plan dangerous for the Rs, that not having new maps this year automatically triggers repeat lege elections in 2012, would actually come into play.  

    My understanding is that those repeat elections in 1982 from the new maps, were ordered by the court that threw out the old multi-member maps, in order to get VA a lege elected under maps approved under the VRA as soon as possible.  That's not the case this year.  This year we don't have a discriminatory set of new maps that the courts have thrown out, we have simply the absence of new maps.  It isn't clear at all that the absence of maps will cause some court to step in and order anything, and specifically, they will not order do-over elections in 2012, or anytime sooner than they are regularly scheduled, because we don't have that factor of the old maps being multi-member, and thus discriminatory.  Unless VA election law requires new elections off schedule in the event of the delay of new maps, I don't see how that happens this time.

    If this is true, then it's win-win for McDonell to just continue vetoing anything that a D Senate sends him, and not just this year, but even next year, if the Senate is still D.  There won't be any lege election in a presidential year to worry about, and keeping the Senate from being D-entrenched is the only effect of keeping there from being new maps.  Even if there's a certain amount of PR hit he takes from just vetoing and vetoing forever, and he would have to sign something eventually, you can be sure that he and the R House will make sure that there aren't new maps in time for any off-schedule lege elections in November 2012.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 07:42:40 AM PDT

  •  Aaron Blake is right about Ohio (0+ / 0-)

    Dennis is safe. They will get rid of Betty Sutton.

    Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

    by anastasia p on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 09:41:04 AM PDT

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