* You gotta give the Democrats credit. They drew a much more partisan congressional map than many Republicans thought possible. Politico’s lede is pretty accurate…
Illinois Democrats are poised to force through a dramatically transformed congressional map that would endanger all of the state’s freshman Republicans and could take a significant bite out of the GOP’s current 24-seat House majority.
In an astonishing display of line-drawing power, Democrats unveiled a redistricting proposal Friday that forces at least five Republicans into match-ups with other incumbents and thrusts others into solidly Democratic districts. While GOP officials said they were scrambling to determine the damage the potential lines would have, they acknowledged that the new map would take a hammer to the state’s Republican delegation.
* Also accurate…
“It’s payback and a power grab. The democrats lost four seats in the november elections and they want them back,” said ABC7’s political analyst Laura Washington.
* This is an interesting point that has so far been lost in the mix…
While the state would lose a congressional seat, the suburbs would gain collective strength, according to the proposal. There would be a total of seven congressional districts in Northwest suburban Cook, McHenry, Lake, DuPage and Kane counties, up from the current six.
* Some analysis…
Democratic redistricters have also created Democratic-leaning districts out in the suburbs: a 10th district on the North Shore and inland in what has been increasingly Democratic territory, an 8th district in DuPage County and northwest Cook County that seems drawn to exclude more Republican suburbs and an 11th district that unites heavily Hispanic or black communities in Aurora and Joliet in the hope that their heavy Democratic margins will override small Republican percentages in much of the land in between.
* But lots of suburban counties are being split up into several congressional districts…
While any map would necessarily have to divide some counties, this map would split DuPage and Will counties into five Congressional districts, and Kendall County into two.
* Here’s one way DuPage was split…
Take Elmhurst. Longtime residents of the western suburb are used to having conservative Republicans like the late Henry Hyde and Rep. Peter Roskam as their congressman. They soon could find themselves represented by the liberal Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley, whose home base is the North Side of Chicago.
* Still, this isn’t a bad point…
Bob Peickert, DuPage County Democratic Party chairman, said changing demographics warranted changes in district boundaries.
“Thirty percent of the population in DuPage is now either Hispanic, Asian or African-American,” he said. “And that’s been a significant change over the last 10 years, which would justify boundaries that would take into consideration of that new demographic.”
* The Democrats carved up more than just the suburbs, of course…
Democrats in Springfield released a proposed congressional map Friday that splits Rockford into two districts.
The city is currently covered by Rep. Don Manzullo’s 16th District.
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey was disturbed by the change.
“I think it’s really going to make it hard to maximize the value of our representation in Washington,” Morrissey said. “It seems to me a very intentional disservice to our taxpayers.”
* But, again, the Democrats looked at the bright side…
Winnebago County’s Democratic Party chairman Dan Lewandowski said he is pleased with the new map, which splits Winnebago County into two districts. He said having two congressmen will give the county more clout in Washington, D.C., and the voters more choices for candidates.
“In the Rockford area, we’ve had the same congressman for about 20 years, Don Manzullo, Republican, and I think it certainly allows us to have more choices,” Lewandowski said.
* Meanwhile, I don’t agree with this at all…
While Shimkus’ new district appears to include more Democratic areas, it probably will remain a safe seat for him, said Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of political studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.
“You might get more serious candidates than you have had recently running against Shimkus,” Redfield said. “Twenty years ago, (then-U.S. Rep. Dick) Durbin won in a district that ran from Springfield down to the Metro East. This is all much stronger Republican than it used to be.”
It’s a signficiantly more Democratic district that it is now. Look at the map. It includes university and African-American precincts in Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield and Decatur. There are a dozen or so universities and colleges in that district. This was clearly drawn as a hostile district for Shimkus.
* But this is about right…
The proposed new Illinois District 17 congressional map could tip the balance in favor of a Democratic candidate, putting heavy pressure on Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, to hold onto his seat in 2012.
The proposed new boundaries released Friday by Illinois Senate Democrats would radically reshape the district. The district would gain Rockford and stretch right to the northern boundary of the state to include Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside and part of Winnebago County. Southern parts of the district, which snaked south to connect Quincy and Decatur, would be cut off. A portion of Peoria also would now be in the district.
The map is being viewed by commentators as an attempt to bring more Democratic voters into the district to squeeze out Schilling in 2012. But the proposed district is more geographically uniform than the old one, which was one of the more oddly shaped in the country and designed to heavily favor Democrats. But that didn’t stop Schilling beating former Congressman Phil Hare in the 2010 congressional elections, securing victory in a district that had long been under Democratic control.
* We covered much of the reaction to yesterday’s congressional map proposal, but I forgot to include this one…
Democrats also went an extra step to protect one of their own — U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) – from a challenge within his own party.
The Burr Ridge home belonging to John Atkinson, who has raised more than $500,000 this year in what he had hoped would be a 2012 primary bid against Lipinski, was moved two blocks outside Lipinski’s 3rd Congressional District. Atkinson now lives in the 11th Congressional District that could be without an incumbent because of Kinzinger being redrawn into Jackson’s district.
“I haven’t measured the distance, but when I woke up this morning, I was living in the 11th congressional district, not the 3rd District,” said Atkinson, who added that he has not decided which district he will run in.
* New congressional map splits city of Peoria
* Three new congressional districts for county
* Democrats pass proposed congressional map for Illinois that irks Republicans
* Shimkus Odd Man Out in Proposed Congressional Map
* Johnson denounces congressional remap
* Congressional map would carve up county
* Suburban GOP districts in limbo
* Proposed Congressional Map Splits Northern Suburbs
* Rush, Jackson districts extended to Will County
* Who will speak for Naperville?
* Carving up the county: Democrats’ map plan could hurt Shimkus