Good article today on RealClearPolitics:
Redistricting Wars Begin in Illinois
By Sean Trende
For those who follow decennial redistricting carefully, the past few months have been like the “Phoney War” that preceded the German invasion of France in World War II. Both sides are eying each other warily, knowing full well that battle is inevitable, and waiting for the other to strike. Aside from Indiana Republicans weakening Democrat Joe Donnelly’s seat significantly, most of the changes have been quiet, and will likely have little impact on the partisan balance in Congress.
Today, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois (pictured) is expected to launch the first salvo of the 2012 redistricting wars by signing a bill that creates new congressional districts for the state. In a typical election, it should yield a 12-6 Democratic edge, with a possible 13-5 edge in a wave year. This would represent a loss of five Republican seats, more than reversing the GOP gains made in 2010. Consider: Democrats have to pick up 24 seats to retake control of the House. With this map, they are roughly 20 percent of the way there.
But the map also illustrates the peril of over-gerrymandering. There is a chance that the map spreads Democrats too thin. In a Republican wave year, it could still yield a heavily Republican delegation, especially if there are some unfortunately timed Democratic retirements. Similarly, if suburban America were to shift back toward Republicans as the party becomes more focused on fiscal conservatism, the Democratic map could come unraveled… (read full)
The article offers the following conclusions:
- Safe Democratic Districts (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9)
- Safe Republican Districts (6, 14, 15, 16, 18)
- Not-Safe Districts (3, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17)