The news this morning:
President Barack Obama will announce five “Promise Zones” this week as part of his effort to focus on income inequality in the lead-up to his State of the Union address. On Thursday, Obama will announce the first Promise Zone locations: San Antonio, Texas; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
The rest of the country will be designated an “Obama Broken Promise Zone.”
Three of the zones are located in politically uncompetitive areas, at least in U.S. House of Representative races. Southeastern Kentucky’s fifth congressional district is heavily Republican, as is Oklahoma’s second district, which encompasses the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Most of Los Angeles’s congressional districts are heavily Democratic. Of course, Democrats like the odds of Alison Lundergan Grimes’s knocking off Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky in 2014.
San Antonio is the home of Mayor Julian Castro, one of the Democrats’ rising stars, and his twin brother, Joaquin Castro, is the congressman from that district, traditionally heavily Democratic but scoring a a D+3 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.
Philadelphia’s inner city is heavily Democratic, but the city’s suburbs feature three currently GOP-held congressional districts that usually rank among the nation’s most competitive: the R+1 sixth district, where Representative Jim Gerlach is retiring; the even seventh district, represented by Representative Pat Meehan; and the R+1 Bucks County–dominated eighth district, represented by Representative Mike Fitzpatrick.