Thursday, March 31, 2011

Map Day

Map Day!

Well, here they are: statewide and local insets.

"Look at all these straight lines," said redistricting consultant Jerry Mandering, weeping. "And what kind of a ^&$&!@# puts together TWO pairs of congressmen?"

"The guy who's screwed is Tom Latham," said Mandering. "He's got nowhere to move and King clobbers him in the primary with this 4th District."

Democrats were quick with a release best summed up as: our process is fair and Democrats are good. Republicans hit an hour or so later with a release on the also important but unrelated subject of Florida's primary leapfrogging the caucuses. Comments at TheIowaRepublican seem grouchy, but no pseudo-official analysis yet.

As of 11:00 we have statements from Boswell, Latham and Braley, none of which say much; nothing from Loebsack or King.

Key question: Will there be national pressure on Iowa Republicans to scuttle this map and take care of Latham, Speaker Boehner's buddy?

CDs 1 and 2 closely resemble Braley and Loebsack's current turf, with the notable trade of Scott and Linn. O. Kay says what many are thinking: "Loebsack could move into Johnson County."

Leonard Boswell gets a 3rd CD that closely resembles the Neal Smith-Greg Ganske turf of the 1990s. "It's not a good map for him," says desmoinesdem.

The Register has full list of legislative pairs. Much is being made of the high number of pairs, bit it's actually less than in 2001. Plus: I don't know the rest of the state to how many of those are you're screwed pairs vs. how many of those are "my district just not my house."

Local angle: Lisbon Democrat Nate Willems gets pulled all the way out of Johnson, with that congressional district line, and gets sent in a completely opposite direction to north rural Linn and all the way into Buchanan County.

There's an open district 77 running down the west side of the county and catching Swisher-Shueyville, North Liberty, Tiffin, Oxford, and Lone Tree, but skipping Hills. They drew the line along the old Hills Panhandle of the railroad tracks, which Hills de-annexed in 2010. "Now THAT's how you draw districts!" said Mandering.

This House seat combines with a Washington-Keokuk House district 78 to make up Republican Sandy Greiner's Senate district 39. Freshman Republican Jarad Klein gets pulled all the way out of Johnson and gets paired with fellow Republican Betty DeBoef. She first got elected in 2000, got paired in 2001, and moved in 2002.

Coralville's Dave Jacoby loses North Liberty and picks up one more west side Iowa City precinct in district 74, Iowa City 9, which happens to be where Mary Mascher lives. The rest of Iowa City basically is split along Highway 6, Burlington Street and Muscatine Avenue (with a jog down to catch student apartment precinct 19). Vicki Lensing is north of the line in 85; the open district 86 on the south side closely resembles Mascher's present turf and her 1990s district, except for that panhandle that picks up Hills (which is so solidly Democratic even I won it). The campus area, which was concentrated in Mascher's old district, not gets split between the two Iowa City districts.

Joe Bolkcom basically keeps what he had in Senate 43 (House 85 and 86), losing precinct 9 and gaining Hills. He may be the least impacted person in the state.

On the east side of the county, Republican Jeff Kaufmann, who lives north of the city of Wilton in rural Cedar County, picks up a bigger chunk of the county, including Solon. District 74 loses most of the northern tier of Muscatine County, except for the deep red city of Wilton itself. Democrats have made serious runs at the Cedar County seat in the past but always fallen short, and basically gave up the last two cycles.

I expected Bob Dvorsky to be pulled all the way into Johnson County, but instead he goes east, getting the Coralville-based 73 and the Cedar County 74 seat in Senate 37. I'd that's about a 60% Johnson district and he'll be all right. Jim Hahn gets pulled all the way out of Johnson County, but he only had two precincts here anyway.

Johnson County in general is less carved up. In the 2000s we had 3.8 House districts worth of population, and we got three whole house districts with the .8 sent in three different directions. This cycle we had about 4.3 House districts worth of people. We got the four whole House districts, and the .3 all gets sent over to Kaufmann. The surprise is that we then didn't get two whole Senate districts. Still, on the Senate side we're only split three ways instead of four.

That is, if this flies. Closing in on noon now and the Republican Party is still vewy, vewy quiet.

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