Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Awaiting the Redistricting

The big news in Minnesota is due later today, when we learn how the redistricting will turn out. A few things to note:

  • On the local scene, there's a pretty good chance the Republican plan, or something close to it, will go through. If that is the case, New Brighton and Arden Hills will be joined with St. Anthony and Roseville, rather than Columbia Heights and Fridley, which are DFL strongholds. That would make things very interesting. It's also possible, under another plan, that the senate district could extend north into Anoka County.
  • The congressional districts will be very interesting to watch. The 8th district has been traditionally centered around Duluth and the Iron Range and has been a DFL stronghold, but in recent years it started to become exurban, reaching the northern fringes of the Twin Cities, especially in conserative Chisago County. And as we know, the 8th flipped in the last election as Jim Oberstar, who had been in Congress  for approximately 172 years (I may have to check that figure) got ousted. It's possible the 8th may become more exurban still, or that the Duluth area might become part of a huge northern district with DFLer Collin Peterson representing it. Meanwhile, DFLer Tim Walz in the 1st District has to be nervous, because John Kline's south suburban and heavily Republican 2nd CD will need to shed some voters. Depending on how it shakes out, the 1st could be a candidate to flip.
  • As Minnesota's population becomes more exurban, it's trouble for the DFL. It's also trouble for all the plans to pour money back into the central cities. We're seeing a little of this dynamic in the ongoing saga of the Vikings stadium. If you are looking for a hidden reason why so many people are finding it so urgent to get the stadium deal through in this session, there it is. When the next legislature enters, it could be far less friendly to building a stadium if a deal isn't struck in this session.


Gino said...

i forgot what it means to have two opposing parties in one state. must be kinda cool.

Brian said...

I was thinking about redistricting last night (there was a story on the radio) and wondering if there is any way that drawing lines could be completely taken out of the hands of anyone with any partisan agenda. Like an algorithm that sorts a population density map of a state in an unbiased way into the correct number of districts, that could then be tweaked at the edges to run along county or municipal lines.

Seems complicated, but not impossible. And probably worth trying to figure out.

Gino said...

wouldnt work in CA. the feds say we have to make sure various ethnics groups recive appointed districts (varous ethnics groups means that asians arent one of them. LOL)