WSP Re-Districting Analysis: Congressional Districts
April 14, 2011 5 Comments
We’ve been meaning to get this post up for the last few days but, sadly, we do actually have real jobs. We’re working on doing a full analysis on the implications of re-districting and will start with the Congressional Districts.
The 1st Congressional District remains a safe Democrat seat for Pete Visclosky to sit in until he dies if he so chooses. He is unlikely to have any serious opposition in either the Primary or General Elections. In fact, its biggest impact is on the 2nd Congressional District.
The 2nd Congressional District was molded as a district for Jackie Walorksi. The district has taken out the highly Democratic Michigan City and given it to the 1st District while Howard County and the Democrat area of Kokomo were drawn out completely. They also added some nice Republican spots in Elkhart and Kosciusko counties and all of Miami County.
Will Jackie have a primary? We’re hearing yes but we highly doubt anyone is going to beat her. She is known as a tough campaigner and is putting together a campaign team that is already working with the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. We strongly believe Congressman Donnelly was already focused on running for U.S. Senate in 2012 and this district makes that more likely. We’re not sure who the Democrats have warming up on the bench.
The 3rd Congressional District, much like the 1st, has a bigger impact on the 2nd than on itself. Several key Republican areas were sliced out of the 3rd and given to the 2nd. Regardless, it looks to be a fairly safe Republican district provided Congressman Stutzman does not make any major mistakes.
In the 4th Congressional District, we have a very nice Republican map. Unfortunately for Congressman Todd Rokita, it does not include his home. This is not an issue as we have heard for some time that Rokita planned to move to Hendricks County. It is a good thing since Rokita has about as many friends in the Legislature as we have in the Kennedy for Mayor HQ. The Congressman made a lot of enemies by putting out his own re-districting plan last year when he was Secretary of State. No better way to piss off the legislature than messing with the maps. Ironic that they used re-districting as a way to get back at him, huh?
The 5th District is interesting but, as usual, it is due to Primary implications rather than General election races. Congressman Dan Burton has a good district for the General but not so much for the Primary. The northern portion of the old 5th is where Burton got his votes and it was put in the 3rd District. If you think his dustup with Messer was close in 2010, check out the numbers if this had been the district. The race would have come down to a few hundred votes rather than a few thousand. Burton was able to use his friends in the legislature to push Shelby County, Messer’s home county, out of the 5th. David McIntosh, however, is based in Madison County and that is in the 5th District. Will McIntosh take Burton out? God, we hope so because someone should.
The 6th district looks to be fairly Republican but not so Republican that a poorly run race would be guaranteed victory. Congressman Mike Pence is all but declared to run for Governor. We expect he will announce sometime after the legislative session ends so he can start fundraising. Luke Messer is said to be taking a close look at the district and we expect he will run. McIntosh is said to be interested as well. While McIntosh is registered in Madison County, the new 6th has several of the counties he used to represent. We’re not all that enthused about a McIntosh return to Indiana…unless it is to finally rid our delegation of Dan Burton. There are a few other names being tossed around but none that should cause too much of an issue if Messer goes all in.
The new 7th District is a bit of a mystery. Democrats say it is solidly Democrat while the Republicans seem to be split. We’ve heard some say it is a lock for the Democrats and some who are hopeful that the addition of the Republican Southside will make the district competitive. Either way, we think you’ll see a much more energized race there in 2012 than usual. Congressman Carson will crush any opponent in the Primary and the General could be interesting if the Republicans can get a legitimate candidate. Marvin Scott, this is not a request for you to throw your hat in. The likelihood of getting a strong Republican candidate could be impacted by the 2011 Mayor’s race.
The 8th District lost some key Republican areas to the 4th and 9th Congressional districts and may well become the Bloody Eighth of the past. Congressman Bucshon should be safe in the Primary election. The General will really depend on who the Democrats can get to run. Democrats appear to be courting Brad Ellsworth for a curtain call but we don’t see it happening. He just got a great gig and he lost his home congressional district to Coats in his U.S. Senate bid. If John Gregg is the Democrat Governor candidate, it could make things interesting in the 8th (and 9th as well) but we still don’t think the Democrats have a candidate to beat Congressman Bucshon.
Finally, the 9th District looks a bit better than it use to for Congressman Todd Young. Since this district has been tossed back and forth between the two parties like a hot potato, it is not surprising that Republicans decided to clean it up some. The district is more Republican than in the past and it looks much more favorable for Young to fend of Primary challengers. Many of the counties drawn out were won by his 2010 Primary opponents. The district does still include Jackson County where former Congressman Baron Hill resides. We would think Hill has had enough of fighting for this district for a decade but you never know. We would say the 9th is more Republican than before but by no means a lock.