The Legislature – really the GOP majority – has released its take on Congressional redistricting.
Elections Have Consequences: If adopted – more later – this map will have some pretty hefty consequences. While it leaves the three “safest” districts in the state – the solid DFL 4th and 5th, and the very red 6th – pretty much as is (if anything, more solid), it makes some changes that could have impact on the 2012 House races.
- It cuts Tim Walz’ mushy-left stronghold Mankato out of the 1st CD, putting it into John Kline’s solidly-conservative 2nd District. This means the 1st CD’s fundamentally conservative, rural nature can be maintained. It’ll be interesting to see how the DFL rationalizes pushing back against this, while fighting to keep the 5th and 6th districts uncorruptedly institutional-blue.
- Other than adding Mankato, the 2nd CD stays pretty solid.
- The 3rd CD’s “purple” days would seem to be over, with the addition of a stretch of solid red to its southwest.
- The 4th and 5th CDs become brighter-blue than before, from the looks of it.
- The 6th appears to jettison most of St. Cloud – the one place where Michele Bachmann faces serious opposition – and consolidate solid-red Wright County
- The 7th morphs immensely, losing the Red River Valley (and, it’d seem, Colin Peterson) and picking up Saint Cloud (blueish) and the far-northern Twin Cities exurbs currently in the 8th CD.
- The 8th swoops west, covering the entire northern part of the state, diluting the solid-blue Duluth and Arrowhead areas with good conservative northwestern counties.
Gerrymandering? That’s the claim you’re seeing from some lefties. I think it’s worthwhile to note that most of the changes – the First, Seventh and Eighth – actually undo some of the gerrymandering that took place on the DFL’s watch (the Ventura-era court-drawn settlement in 2000 favored the DFL; Arne Carlson completely caved to the DFL in 1990, court settlement notwithstanding. The DFL isn’t going to like it – but redistricting isn’t supposed to be predicated on the happiness of the party that loses the election.
Dayton has said he won’t pass any redistricting plan that doesn’t have “bipartisan support” – and when DFLers say “bipartisan support”, what they mean is they want to nag the GOP into giving them a victory they didn’t earn at the polls. There was no talk of “bipartisanship” when the DFL controlled the process with an iron fist; it’s disingenuous, and playing to the ignorant (but typical politics) that they demand it now.