[Note: This piece is a re-worked version of information contained in today's Live Digest.]
Arizona's redistricting commission just released a draft congressional map, which both Democrats as well as the lone independent voted in favor of. One Republican voted no, while one abstained. The map is now subject to a thirty-day comment period, after which it is subject to final approval by the commission. It's unlikely to change much between then and now, so here it is:
The commission's website has more data
(you want the section labeled "Congressional Map as of 10/02/11"), including a spreadsheet that details the combined Republican performance in all 2008 and 2010 statewide races:
Based on these numbers, the map creates four safe Republican districts (4, 5, 6 & 8), two safe Dem seats (3 & 7, which both have Hispanic voting-age majorities), and three "fair fight" districts (1, 2 & 9). This map actually looks pretty good for Democrats, but interestingly, the state Democratic Party put out a statement complaining that the map should have created four competitive districts rather than three. (Perhaps they're just posturing, though, to try to convince people that the map doesn't favor Democrats.)
The real question, though, is who will run where? Our awesome population distribution chart (courtesy jeffmd and the great data provided by the redistricting commission) is a helpful guide — though it still leaves plenty of questions, pretty much all on the GOP side. Note you'll want to read this chart across, rather than down, to see who has the best "claim" to each district:
As you can see, Trent Franks — the only non-freshman Republican seeking re-election — would undoubtedly like to run in the new 8th CD, while Ben Quayle would almost certainly prefer the 6th. That makes David Schweikert the odd man out among this trio of Republicans, because the district which contains most of his current constituents is the brand spankin' new 9th, which was drawn to be a competitive seat, not a GOP-friendly one. Schweikert's alternative might be the new 5th, which is the inheritor to Jeff Flake's old 6th; it would be open, since Flake is running for Senate, but Schweikert would have to carpetbag in.
Schweikert might be eyeing the 4th (which he represents a tiny slice of), but another fellow Republican, Paul Gosar, almost certainly has a better claim there. While you might think Paul Gosar would be a natural fit for the 1st CD based on the numbers above, the new 4th is much more Republican. If he's a team player, Gosar will run in AZ-01. If he wants to look out for his future, he'll run in the 4th. Schweikert would be doing his side a big favor, too, if he went for the 9th, and he may have to, since he doesn't have many better options. If Democrats are lucky, though, we could wind up with two open competitive seats.
Incidentally, Gabby Giffords' seat would now be the 2nd, Raul Grijalva's the 3rd, and Ed Pastor's the 7th — no question about any of these. Dem state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has pretty much said she plans to run for Congress, would be able to make a go of it in the 9th. I'm not sure if she lives there, but her state Senate district partly overlaps the new AZ-09. Of course, as I noted above, tweaks are possible before the map is certified, so this whole calculus could change, but this is probably close to the final product.