Welcome to this week’s edition of REDMAP Rundown, a synopsis of redistricting news brought to you by the RSLC’s REDistricting MAjority Project (REDMAP). This weekly update gives you the latest on what those in the beltway, and across the country, are saying about the impending reapportionment and redistricting process.
In this week’s REDMAP Rundown: what they should be worrying about, bashing in the Bayou, Florida goes to court, Oklahoma looks good for the GOP, Ohio tries to involve citizens and Iowa needs more citizens.
The Washington Examiner’s David Freddoso writes, “In the run-up to November, everybody is wondering whether Republicans can retake the House of Representatives this year. They should really be wondering whether the GOP can take back the Indiana House of Representatives and the New York state Senate. U.S. House races will determine who controls Congress until 2012, but state-level races for legislature and governor this fall could determine who controls Congress through 2022. Next year, states will redraw their legislative and congressional district lines based on the results of the U.S. census. And in most states, the party in power gets to draw the map to its own advantage. This year, it’s generally agreed that Republicans will make gains. If they win a few key, competitive races, their control over redistricting could increase dramatically. And if Democrats lose a few key races, their control could diminish just as dramatically.”
The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, Louisiana opines, “Although the upcoming redistricting session for lawmakers is still months away in early 2011, redistricting is already rankling legislators now, and the arguments are spilling out into the current regular session. The Legislature decides lines for its own seats and the state’s U.S. House seats, among other elected districts. This time is expected to be particularly contentious, because of post-Hurricane Katrina population shifts and because Louisiana is predicted to lose one of its seven congressional seats. ‘It’s going to be the most agonizing, difficult process we’re going to go through for the remainder of the term, or at least tied up there with the budget,’ said House Speaker Jim Tucker.”
“Two members of Congress want a court to remove a citizen initiative on congressional redistricting from Florida’s Nov. 2 ballot. U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, announced Tuesday that they had filed the case in state Circuit Court in Tallahassee,” the Associated Press reports. “They argue the ballot summary for Amendment 6 is deceptive although it already has been cleared by the Florida Supreme Court.”
Jim Geraghty of NRO gets “Pat McFerron, director of survey research at Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates, and the ‘Sooner Survey’ offer[ing] these thoughts: ‘While there are still months to go, it is very clear that 2010 should be a Republican year in Oklahoma. With redistricting just around the corner, and the fact that this shift appears to be a fundamental shift along ideological lines as opposed to being based on personalities, one is left to ponder if there is a longterm future for the Democratic Party in Oklahoma other than to fill the minority party role of watchdog, and only winning significant races in the case of scandal or other unusual circumstances. Given the data we have today, that seems the most likely outcome.’”
“A much-discussed proposal to allow public input into the politically charged redistricting process was approved by an Ohio House committee yesterday, this time with very little discussion,” according to the Columbus Dispatch. “House Joint Resolution 15, a plan to revamp how state legislative districts are drawn, was approved on a 7-6 party-line vote by the House Elections and Ethics Committee.”
“Some 2010 Census advertisements invite people to ‘paint a new portrait of America.’ For Iowa, some of that ‘painting’ could be redrawing its U.S. congressional districts — minus one. Today, Iowa has five districts … which covers 32 counties in western Iowa. But political forecasters are suggesting the census — which uses population numbers to divvy up the 435 U.S. Congress seats among the states — is going to mean one less seat for Iowa.”