* Wall St. Journal editorial…
After this week’s release of decennial Census apportionments, the 2022 redistricting battles are underway. If you’ve been reading the press, you know what to expect: Republicans will gerrymander relentlessly to squeeze more GOP House seats out of red and purple states, while Democrats will model high-minded good governance and draw maps without regard to politics.
OK, maybe not exactly. The post-2010 liberal zeal for nonpartisan map-drawing seems to be abating in places where Democrats are in power. See how the political winds are blowing in two blue states, Illinois and New York, that each lost a congressional seat in the latest Census count.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned in 2018 against partisan gerrymandering, saying he would “pledge to veto” any 2022 map drawn by the state Legislature. He insisted on “an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map.” Last month Republicans in the Legislature proposed to create a redistricting commission appointed by the state’s Supreme Court.
But as the partisan pens meet paper, Gov. Pritzker now says he’ll be satisfied with a map drawn by his legislative allies. In a recent press conference he walked back his veto pledge and scored Republicans for objecting to Democratic-controlled redistricting. “I hope the Republicans will choose to work with Democrats on the map. Right now it looks like they’re just saying no,” he said.
* But the Journal is just being the Journal. The bottom line for Kyle Kondik at Sabato’s Crystal Ball…
All told, this adds up to a possible 6-1 Republican edge among the new House seats being drawn. Combine that with the loss projections laid out above, and Republicans come out of this hypothetical reapportionment scenario with a net two-seat gain: They lose four seats to the Democrats’ three, but they win six of the seven new seats.
* And this person at Sabato’s Crystal Ball claims that Illinois Democrats made a colossal mistake with their map-making ten years ago…
What saved them was the suburbs and exurbs, which reacted strongly against President Trump’s election. The Dems picked up two seats that they’d actually created for Republicans.
* Politico on what comes next after Cheri Bustos’ announcement last week that she won’t run again…
Political insiders say lawmakers will likely redraw Bustos’ 17th District to include all of Rockford and more of Peoria, two cities that are split between Bustos and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (16th) in Rockford, and Bustos and Rep. Darin LaHood (18th) in Peoria. Here’s the current map for reference.
Rockford and Peoria are two urban areas that already lean blue, and pulling them into one district (except for the part of Peoria where LaHood lives) would solidify it as a Democratic district.
At least two Rockford Democrats have already fielded calls about possibly running. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara told Playbook his focus is “solely on the city of Rockford.” McNamara, who is being sworn in to his second term today, said, “We need someone like Cheri who stands up for cities and towns and the everyday people who live there, not just companies.”
And state Rep. Maurice West II said, “we’ll see.” He said, “It would be smart” to see Rockford represented by one person.
Probably best not to make too many plans before the map is drawn, however. Lauren Underwood’s district needs more Democrats to shore her up, so it’s possible they could move her 14th District 30 miles west to Rockford.
* Dan Vock at the Center for Illinois Politics takes a look at Democratic hints here they they could use ACS number to draw the new district maps…
If Democrats try to redraw their districts with a different set of data, that data will most likely come from the American Community Survey (ACS). The U.S. Census Bureau also produces the ACS, a survey that gives researchers a glimpse of what America looks like in the years between the decennial headcounts.
“The decennial census is designed to capture, in a snapshot, all of the people living in the country on April 1st,” Young says. “The American Community Survey is designed to tell folks how people live in that neighborhood, not who lives there, but how they live.”
Their different purposes mean the Census uses different methods to conduct them.
Census workers fan out into neighborhoods, knock on doors, send postcards and ask neighbors to get an accurate population number for the once-a-decade Census.
But the ACS is essentially a massive poll. It uses sampling to estimate the number of people in an area and many characteristics about them. To do that, the Census Bureau sends surveys to about 3.5 million addresses every month of every year. Those surveys cover many topics not covered by standard Census questionnaires.
* And finally…
I told you not to expect much.