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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What Should We Expect from the Census-Driven Congressional Redistricting ?

The title of Richard E. Cohen's POLITICO piece says it all : 'Redistricting could boost 50 GOP freshman'.   How ? Glad you asked.  According to Cohen...

Congressional redistricting efforts are only just getting under way – new maps for Iowa, Louisiana and Arkansas were approved by their respective state legislatures this week – but certain political factors influencing the process are already emerging, House elections guru David Wasserman said Friday. Wasserman, the House editor for The Cook Political Report, gave a briefing on the process to the newsletter’s subscribers.

The bad news for Democrats, he said, is that perhaps 50 House Republican incumbents, many of them freshmen, will get a boost from the new state maps — notably in such states as New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. And he said that the biggest GOP gains could come in North Carolina.

But he added that Democrats will have opportunities in states where they retain political control, particularly Illinois. Wasserman predicted Democratic gains in California, though he said many experts predict that the state court will supplant the new bipartisan commission in drawing the final map. And he said that a new Florida law approved by voters last November could boost Democratic legal challenges, even though Republicans control the state legislature.

Experts from both parties who joined Wasserman’s discussion mostly accepted his bottom-line conclusions, though they cautioned that plenty of uncertainties remain on the redistricting playing field.