Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Interactive map lets you see the proposed new redistricting lines.

Here is a fully interactive map of the proposed new Arizona Congressional districts:

click here to see them

These lines are not completely set yet because the public will still have time to weigh in and try to persuade the redistricting commission to change them, but in all likelihood the final district lines will look very similar to this.

It appears that congressional districts 1, 2 and 9 will be competitive districts, districts 3 and 7 will strongly favor Democrats and districts 4,5,6 and 8 will strongly favor Republicans.

Locally, it is worth noting that Paul Gosar's winning margin over Ann Kirkpatrick last year was provided almost entirely by Yavapai county, which is now in district 4 (except for a sliver around Sedona and Camp Verde.) Payson is also now in district 4. New territory in district 1 includes the Hopi reservation, a much larger slice of Pinal county and a Phoenix area reservation, a mainly Republican slice of Pima county, and most of Cochise county, including a sliver of the border with Mexico. Overall the new territory looks to be quite a bit more Democratic than what has been removed from CD-1. Overall, CD-1 is classified as 'competitive' and it is certainly true that a Republican could win it, but the new district does have a 9 point Democratic registration edge and it is hard to see a weak incumbent like Paul Gosar holding on.

So even though as a Democrat I was hoping for at least four competive districts in the state (as it is, only a third of the voters in the state will typically have a race in November where both candidates can realistically win) I am happy to see that Mr. Gosar may be a one term congressman (it appears that David Schweikert will most likely be representing district 4 so the idea that Mr. Gosar could move to Prescott and run is probably even more of a stretch than that he could win a second term in a district where he really hasn't distinguished himself this term.) In order to return to Congress, Gosar will now have to win what is left of the district, when last election he barely broke even outside of Yavapai county, and if you take out Payson he actually lost the areas that under this map still remain in CD-1. It's hard to see him picking up many votes from the new areas either, particularly given that the Hopi (who are, like the Navajo, 90% Democratic voters) have agreed for the first time to share a congressional district with the larger tribe.

Former congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick is running again (and has outraised Gosar) but she will first have to win a primary against Wenona Benally Baldenegro, a newcomer but also a native American (in a district which is over 20% native American.)

Definitely though, Gosar (who has voted about 100% of the time with John Boehner-- ironically after running campaign commercials critical of Kirkpatrick for voting about 80% of the time with Nancy Pelosi) can't be pleased with the new district.

UPDATE: It looks like Schweikert may NOT run in district 4, even though that is where his residence is. He said in an email to his supporters he intends to run in district 6. That starts a game of musical chairs among Republicans in which either Gosar or Ben Quayle will be odd man out, with neither of them strong enough to defeat either Scweikert or Franks. Right now, Franks would be running in district 8, in which case Quayle would have a tough time against either Schweikert or Franks; in this case, Gosar could sprobably ave himself if he ran in district 4. On the other hand, if Franks decides to do Quayle a favor, he could run in district 4 and open up district 8 for Quayle. Either way there are four Republicans trying to fit into four GOP districts, but in such a way that it is almost certain that somewhere in Phoenix or points northwest there will be primary between two of them.

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