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: No region untouched, Getting it right and having a big impact, New York turnout gimmicks and Decked in Wisconsin.
“From Virginia to Florida and South Carolina to Texas, nearly two dozen Democratic seats are susceptible to a potential Republican surge in Congressional races on Election Day,” according to the New York Times. “… Districts, along with others held by incumbents in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina, are central to the Republican strategy to win the [U.S.] House. For the first time since Reconstruction, Republicans also are well-positioned to control more state legislative chambers and seats than Democrats in the South, which would have far-reaching effects for redistricting. ‘It’s not a good prospect for the Democratic Party in the South,’ said Glen Browder, a former Democratic congressman from Alabama.’”
Stateline.org weighs in saying, “The last time Republicans controlled a statehouse chamber in Alabama, Ulysses S. Grant was president and Thomas Edison still hadn’t perfected electric lighting. But if the GOP’s gains are as big as many predict this election, Alabama could be one of many states that will see one or both statehouse chambers go from Democratic blue to Republican red. … Tim Storey, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says … ‘If Alabama were to move to the GOP column, it would reflect a 20-year trend of Southern legislatures re-aligning under the Republican banner.’ … Other state chambers that insiders say could flip to Republican control include the Senate in New Hampshire and New York; the House in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania; both chambers in Wisconsin; and the Montana House and Alaska Senate, both currently tied in terms of party control.”
“Political strategists are studying their electoral maps as Republicans and Democrats vie for victory in state legislature and gubernatorial races next month that could give them huge influence over the composition of congressional districts for the next decade,” reports the Financial Times. “The winners at the state level will then have the once-in-a-decade opportunity to redraw congressional districts according to this year’s census results, to be implemented by 2012, a presidential election year. Republicans appear likely to take control of the House and are hoping for a “wave election” that would also give them the upper hand at a state level, handing them an advantage for years to come. ‘If [we] can get this right in 2010 it will have a big impact in 2012, in 2014, ’16, ’18, ’20,’ Ed Gillespie, head of the [RSLC], told National Public Radio recently.”
In New York, “Republicans are criticizing Democratic Senate candidate Did Barrett’s campaign for sending out an e-mail that pledges to redraw congressional districts along ‘blue lines,’” reports The Journal News. “Barrett’s campaign manager Aaron Dickerson defended the e-mail, saying … that it was simply a motivational tool to get Democrats out to the voting booths.
“A group dedicated to electing Republican state lawmakers has booked $318,150 in ad time in the backyard of Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Wausau),” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The RSLC ads started running on Wednesday and they are scheduled through November … The RSLC has already targeted the Wisconsin Senate as one of four state legislative bodies it is counting on winning back from Democrats around the country.”
The RSLC is the only national organization whose mission is to elect down ballot state-level Republican office-holders.