The new Indiana district maps are out.
A lot of people are going to concentrate on the US House maps. If you compare the old one:
…to the new one:
…you can see why: there are four freshmen Republicans in Indiana, and this map directly helps at least three of them (particularly IN-09’s Todd Young, who gave Baron Hill a somewhat surprising upset last year). It also will encourage IN-02’s Joe Donnelly to abandon his own district in order to run for and lose either the Senate or the Governor’s race in 2012. All of this fairly obvious; but it’s the state house races that are interesting. And possibly a bit of applied vengeance.
The Journal-Gazette sums up the state House map as follows:
…the proposed House map has eight districts with no incumbent; three districts in which two Republican incumbents reside; three districts in which two Democratic incumbents live; one district in which three Democratic incumbents reside and four districts in which a sitting Republican and a sitting Democrat live.
…which – by the roughest measure – implies a -2 Democratic result with the next election (assuming that the two parties split the new no-incumbent and GOP/Dem incumbent districts evenly). However, the current split in the Indiana House of Representatives is 60/40 GOP/Dem, and under the one-year residency rule for Indiana state legislators this plan almost guarantees that at least five of them will not be in the next session. Possibly more: with a bad run of luck, the number could stretch up to nine or ten incumbent Democrats losing their seats.
Which actually would be a suitable punishment for those legislators abandoning those seats, at the orders of Big Labor. Not that anyone is ever going to admit that this may have had something to do with the redistricting process; and, in fact, it’s easy to argue that this is merely a coincidence. But if it is a coincidence, it’s one that no Republican legislator in Indiana will be willing to mitigate for his or her Democratic colleagues.
You see, actions have consequences. Expect that lesson to be reinforced a lot this year.
Moe Lane (crosspost)