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About that “leaked” congressional map

Wednesday, Jun 2, 2021

* Senate President Don Harmon was asked about this tweet yesterday…


* Harmon

I don’t know where those maps are coming from. I’ve gotten all sorts of panicked calls from people talking about some map or another. They’re not maps that we’ve produced.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

42 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 8:22 am:

    The likelihood of these maps being 100% genuine is as likely as the toddler map touted by an Illinois House member.

    Could they be? “Maybe”, but here’s the rub, at least for me… I can buy a 13-4 map as “why would Dems give up those 13 seats they now have, including in the collars?”

    Thinking the Dems drawing a map that first swallows up a Republican district whole, then, again, forcing another seat “lost by map”… nope… that’s a bridge too far. The 14-3 ratio… I mean… whew, no way.


  2. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 8:34 am:

    Anything Dems here in Illinois can do to save a house seat in light of the severe gerrymandering that the GQP is doing in states where they draw maps is critical. Unless and until there is federal legislation that takes drawing maps out of the hands of legislatures in all states, dems need to fight fire with fire.


  3. - SpiDem - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 8:34 am:

    Wasserman has his own map making software, and he’s been posting hypothetical maps for months. Fairly certain this is him just demonstrating how a map could be drawn in Illinois to produce certain results.


  4. - ZC - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 8:42 am:

    Mostly I’m just curious what ultimately happens to IL-17, which has been on quite the cartographic journey. It’s gone from looking fairly normal (and dangerous for Lane Evans), to spectacularly weird, then back to sort-of-compact, and now maybe it’s time to stretch and flex again.


  5. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 8:44 am:

    Whatever Dem is drawing the new maps needs to massively rethink the IL-13 experiment. Trying to get a Dem in Congress by combining Metro East ancestral Dems and college student/college-educated Central Illinois Dems has been a flop.

    Would prefer some sort of I-74 snake district.


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 8:49 am:

    ===Would prefer some sort of I-74 snake district===

    Or a Mississippi/Illinois River district down to Metro East and over to Peoria.


  7. - Commisar Gritty - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 8:49 am:

    Agreed with PublicServant, the Republican strategy going back to at least 2010 has been state legislature hegemony, to allow themselves to call a constitutional convention. The amount of damage the current bacth of wingnuts could inflict on our constitution & country would be abhorrent. Let’s not be the only state to tie one hand behind our back when the otherside is playing for keeps, implement the fix nationally.


  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:10 am:

    If republicans keep screaming about this, they may find growing support for HR1 at the federal level.

    If the democratic party would play hard ball for once, they would accidentally leak an obnoxiously drawn map to draw even more attention to this until it starts showing up in national news. At that point, start pushing the message very strongly and constantly on passing HR1 at the federal level to “put a stop to all these shenanigans from the democrats”.

    I’ve thought about this for awhile, and I can’t find the downside to this strategy. If there is a downside someone else can see please point it out.


  9. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:15 am:

    The “experiment” failed because Dems in 2010 were overly greedy and tried to make both IL-12 and IL-13 Democratic seats, keeping most of Metro East in the former and a lot of (increasingly) republican rural areas in both.

    A map which combines the Democratic leaning areas of both would result in a near-certain Dem pickup. A district that, even if you dropped Bloomington from it, votes for Biden by 10 percent margin or more.


  10. - Homebody - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:18 am:

    == I’ve thought about this for awhile, and I can’t find the downside to this strategy. If there is a downside someone else can see please point it out. ==

    There will be a ton of handwringing and pearl clutching from moderate dems who will go “Oh no, but then we won’t be b i p a r t i s a n” but they don’t realize that a significant chunk of the conservative base already equates them with baby eating communists, and that there is no one to be bipartisan with no matter how hard they try.


  11. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:29 am:

    Just going to voice again the position that individual voters have rights: we haven’t sworn loyalty oaths to a party or given them the right to artificially reduce the power of our votes on the basis that the GOP does the same in other states.

    Oh, and JB, keep your word.


  12. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:35 am:

    === we haven’t sworn loyalty oaths to a party or given them the right to artificially reduce the power of our votes ===

    I’m assuming you’re a Yes on HB-1 then.


  13. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:35 am:

    Sorry. HR-1


  14. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    His sources could be somebody from the DCCC floating trial balloons. I don’t give it much thought at this time since the whole delay primary to June thing was to allow for the GA to adopt a Congressional map when the actual census data is released.


  15. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    Can someone explain the thought process of maintaining 3 or 4 republican districts while squeezing Kinzinger out into a more “Trump” district instead of a “toss-up” seat as the risk for Dems becomes Kinzinger running for Governor? Becoming a viable candidate in a General Election and I would argue currently the best chance to beat Pritzker (yes he has to win the primary first). Why would Team Pritzker be ok with this? Wouldn’t Pritzker rather Kinzinger stay in the house or run in a competitive house general instead or risking the possibility of facing him in a General instead of Darren Bailey or other Far-right Trump/Rauner supporter?


  16. - dirksen - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    Neither Harmon nor Welch are drawing the Congressional maps. The Dem delegation along with the DCCC are. Harmon and Welch may have some final input, but the maps right now are being drawn by IL Dem delegation staff and DCCC


  17. - Western Illinois - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    Why would you slice Monmouth out and put Canton in 17?


  18. - Amalai - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    Looks like all of these maps have 8 coming into Chicago. Interesting.


  19. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    For what it’s worth, I took Dave’s tweet as a thought experiment. Someone told him they were looking at district 17 so he tried his hand at how “badly” he could gerrymander it. I didn’t think he was asserting those were the maps


  20. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:07 am:

    Could the source be GOPies and ’splain where they spent the missing $500K?


  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:09 am:

    === Wouldn’t Pritzker rather Kinzinger stay in the house or run in a competitive house general instead or risking the possibility of facing him in a General instead of Darren Bailey or other Far-right Trump/Rauner supporter?===

    (Sigh)

    Because “free will”

    Kinzinger has the free will to run, not run, choose this race, choose that race… this idea in the age of Trump that the maps are going to dictate “options” is comical due in very large part to primary election challenges.

    Plus, the blowback of a 14-3 map being signed might be “too far” when saving the Underwood AND Casten seats from turning Trump is arguably the highest priority, given the Bustos and Davis seats (drawn today, speaking only to today’s maps) are trending away from blue leanings.

    Indeed, the smart trade might be… draw Bustos “seat” red, draw Kinzinger in a blue leaning district, swallow a downstate red district… 13-4… and Underwood and Casten are saved.

    The mere fact… Raja, Schneider, Foster are all but deemed safe… that is a real problem for Republicans looking at trying to be competitive everywhere


  22. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:09 am:

    “Why would you slice Monmouth out and put Canton in 17?”

    It puts more d’s into the 17th and more r’s into the 16th.


  23. - ZC - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    Just rereading Wasserman’s Tweet … he’s calling it an “example” and a “hypothetical map.” The only actual intelligence he’s reporting is IL Dems are “considering” redrawing IL 17 (which is not much of a scoop).

    This is bad media telephone-game coverage chasing Twitter. Wasserman was never claiming to have any leaked maps. He’s just showing what some of the options could be. It’s not hard to draw these things now.


  24. - phenom_Anon - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    =Neither Harmon nor Welch are drawing the Congressional maps. The Dem delegation along with the DCCC are. Harmon and Welch may have some final input, but the maps right now are being drawn by IL Dem delegation staff and DCCC=

    Harmon and Welch will have all the input they want. The DCCC can submit “suggestion” maps, but in the end, the DCCC gets exactly what the legislature hands them.


  25. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    “I took Dave’s tweet as a thought experiment”

    That’s how I read it, too.

    – MrJM


  26. - Downstate - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    For those unaware, there is an entire subculture on Twitter, loosely referred to as Election Twitter, where people create potential maps and illustrate and discuss past election results. Wasserman is a part of that online subculture. Anyone can create an “example” map like his IL maps. It’s fairly easy. Nobody should be taking his maps as ones seriously considered under the dome in Springfield.


  27. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:56 am:

    Agree with the opinion that Kinzinger loses to a pro-Trump R.

    He might as well not waste his time south of I-70.


  28. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 11:14 am:

    Really what it comes down to is how ambitious Democrats want to be.

    It isn’t difficult at all to make a 14-3 map that pretty much secures every incumbent, as far as the math is concerned. Political backlash to intense gerrymandering is usually pretty muted when the dust settles too; “The maps suck!” is too inside baseball-like to resonate a year and a half later.

    You don’t even have to necessarily make it *that* ugly either. Though there are trade-offs to doing so, especially if they keep the general shape of the 17th intact, which Wasserman’s hypothetical showcases pretty well.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 11:18 am:

    === Political backlash to intense gerrymandering is usually pretty muted when the dust settles too; “The maps… “ is too inside baseball-like to resonate a year and a half later.===

    You forget.

    This map, whatever it looks like must be passed and signed.

    Unlike state legislative maps… there’s a lost seat already, and it will be a Republican seat. Making a 14-3 map, instead of 13-4, and securing the incumbents… it’s a different lift entirely… to its passage.


  30. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 11:28 am:

    I think JB is used to Tribune editorials attacking him or calling him a spineless creature of DPI.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 11:32 am:

    ===Tribune editorials===

    Those don’t sway votes in the GA anymore or any more than other papers pushing any agenda.

    It is about securing votes for a map… that will either drop one… or two… Republican seats.

    If it were all that easy, data or not…


  32. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    Like to be clear I’m not saying any of this is ever actually easy or that simple. But I don’t see why 3 vs 4 Republicans is a red line here, especially when the maps will be called a gerrymander anyway.

    The challenge is to be smart about keeping communities of interest intact. And to give something for JB to talk about as being fair for how “representiive” it is of the state’s diversity. But those aren’t insuermontable and will still exist for 13-4 as they do for 14-3.


  33. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    This is a good media strategy; release a fake map to steal any of the thunder for the real map. The people living in those big ol’ right leaning congressional districts have more in common than they do with people living in Peoria, the Quad Cities, or Rockford and Springfield or the Metro East.

    I would be fascinated to see the GOP alternative that would involve a lot of very tall congressional districts.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    ===But those aren’t insuermontable and will still exist for 13-4 as they do for 14-3.===

    Republicans losing one seat by “math” and another by drawing, losing 40% of the GOP members in the US House isn’t the same as drawing the ILSC map to correction, and updating a 60 year draw, or drawing legislative maps that easily can find defense in the VRA…

    … if it were such a similar lift, there would be more weight to 14-3 in all circles. Taking the GOP seat and securing 13 other seats is a big win considering where the delegation was, say, 10-12 years ago.

    Being greedy… when 13-4 is still a pummeling… will be far more angering and far more motivating for Republicans if the map sits or seen as 14-3.

    Passing and signing 14-3 might be a map too far.


  35. - muon - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    dirksen @ 9:47 is probably correct. Last cycle the DCCC largely drew the map in Washington and then shipped it to Springfield for passage. There’s no reason to think that isn’t the plan this cycle, too. DCCC was not as ground savvy as the GA might have been resulting in the overreach that cost both IL-12 and IL-13. That same danger of overreach lurks this cycle too, especially if the DCCC relies too heavily on Biden v Trump numbers.


  36. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 1:10 pm:

    I find it interesting when people on this blog complain about what the Republicans are doing to throw a wrench in the map drawing plans. Why aren’t you complaining about the totally corrupt maps the Democrats are drawing?

    Oh wait….you like corruption when it works in your favor and would rather nobody draw attention to it.


  37. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 1:29 pm:

    If Republicans are upset they can join Democrats in passing HR1 and forcing Illinois to use an independent redistricting commission.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    === If Republicans are upset they can join Democrats in passing HR1 and forcing Illinois to use an independent redistricting commission.===

    So you’re ignoring the difference of 14-3 versus 13-4 in that lift?

    Ok.


  39. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    The difference as I’ve said really isn’t as much as you’re making it out to be.

    And again I can’t recall politics *about* gerrymandering leading to real electoral consequences? Maps ‘fail’ because of trends and unexpected swings (see IL-12 and ancestral Democrats fleeing the party), not because the other side stays angry at invisible lines passed by the legislature over a year beforehand.


  40. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    And yeah my position is going to remain that if Republicans don’t want Democrats to maximize their political advantage in the Congressional Map to makeup for losses elsewhere, then they’re more than welcome to actually do something about it and ban gerrymandering nationally.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 2:17 pm:

    ===if Republicans don’t want Democrats to maximize their political advantage in the Congressional Map to makeup for losses elsewhere, then they’re more than welcome to actually do something about it and ban gerrymandering nationally.===

    That’s a whole ‘nother animal entirely.

    Here in Illinois, it wasn’t too long ago, or to the maps themselves, that Illinois had…

    Roskam
    Hultgren
    Dold

    Democrats took those seats, and Republicans can thank quite a few bad takes that led to Roskam and Hultgren finding the exits.

    How about the “Bill Foster Saga”

    It’s Oberweis, Hultgren then Biggert, now “Safe”?

    Raja Krishnamoorthi? “Safe”

    Between Krishnamoorthi, Foster, Schneider, Casten, Underwood… making those safe… 13-4 after Hultgren, Dold, Roskam, Shimkus…

    It’s a wow… how poorly the GOP finds itself


  42. - Odysseus - Wednesday, Jun 2, 21 @ 10:25 pm:

    @Just Me 2 “Why aren’t you complaining about the totally corrupt maps the Democrats are drawing?”

    Show me a fair map out of Texas first.
    Then we can talk about North Carolina and Wisconsin.

    Why aren’t *YOU* complaining about the totally corrupt maps Republicans are drawing?


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