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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Redistricting Headaches for Carnahan and Four Iowa Incumbents



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Several bits of redistricting news out today. First the good news for the GOP in Missouri, where incumbent Democrat Russ Carnahan appears to member left standing during the district-line version of musical chairs:

U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan’s congressional district would be carved up, with parts going to four colleagues’ districts under a preliminary redistricting plan unveiled Wednesday evening.

The map, drafted by Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, represents the Legislature’s first attempt to redraw the boundaries to eliminate one of the state’s nine congressional districts to reflect the 2010 census.

Iowa’s redistricting is making life difficult for several incumbents in each party; these guys may decide the simpler solution is to just move:

So it turns out moving to Ames wasn’t quite far enough away for Republican Rep. Tom Latham to escape from being paired with fellow Republican Steve King.

The new, proposed map also tosses Democrats Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack together. That’s a more predictable outcome, because with growing eastern-Iowa populations it seemed likely that Johnson and Linn counties would be split up. Should this map be approved, Loebsack could move just a few miles away from his Mount Vernon home to get into Johnson or Cedar counties in the 2nd District.

I wonder if the National Association of Realtors lobbies for complicated redistricting maps, just to stir up the housing market by making lawmakers move a few miles to stay within their new district lines.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, they have to carve out a new seat out of a state that is already heavily Republican:

Over the next several months, one of the busiest spots in the capital will be the map room, where much of the work is done. Speculation has already begun as to which area of the state will get the new congressional district. Early discussion has centered on the Grand Strand because of its rapid growth, but the Rock Hill area, south of Charlotte, has been part of the conversation, too, along with the upstate cities of Spartanburg and Greenville.

Although McConnell told the Associated Press he worked hard to put together a balanced subcommittee, it’s widely expected that the new congressional district will be yet another Republican-controlled district. Five of the state’s current congressmen are Republicans.


Tags: Bruce Braley , Dave Loebsack , Redistricting , Russ Carnahan , Steve King , Tom Latham


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