by Kyle Swenson
With a Republican majority now squatting in the state legislature, Ohio Dems are on the look-out for what’s coming down the line: redistricting.
According to this snappy read over at Newsweek, the GOPers have an opportunity to reorganize the state’s congressional representative geography, and they're likely to try and screw with three Northeast Ohio Dems, Reps Dennis Kucinich, Marcia Fudge and Betty Sutton.
The three are holding onto the 10, 11, and 13 congressional districts, respectively, each clustered around the Cleveland area. This is longtime blue territory, and the chances of the GOP running a successful race in any of the areas is slim. However, the state’s number of seats is probably going to slip from 18 to 16 following the latest census. As a result, obviously there will be less seats in play, meaning one party will come out short.
The piece says Republicans can muck-up the Democratic’s districts in three ways: “cracking,” “packing,” and kidnapping.”
The first technique involves cracking apart a district and separating its parts into neighboring districts. “Packing” involves redrawing two districts so they reflect a concentration of one party, therefore siphoning away and lessening that party’s influence from neighboring districts. “Kidnapping” is by far our favorite because it’s just downright sneaky: redrawing the lines so that a new district includes the homes of two candidates, forcing a primary.
To lessen the bad news for Dems, Newsweek goes on to add this last minute caution:
Not that the redistricting process will be a cakewalk for Ohio Republicans. Even with one party in control, a redistricting plan must balance all sorts of competing interests, from top party officials (likely speaker-to-be John Boehner, of the state’s Eighth District, will surely have a say) to lower-ranking Republicans at the state level (what Ohio state senator has ambitions for a congressional seat and might call in a favor?). And even if the party were to eliminate one Democratic district, as in the scenario described above, the GOP would still have to find out where to eliminate the second seat that Ohio might lose after the new census numbers.