Redistricting Maps – Setting Political Legacies a Decade at a Time

You want to know what the big news for gun rights is this year? It’s not any one lawsuit. It’s not any single election. It’s redistricting. At its roots, redistricting is about setting the likely political landscape for the next decade.

At the federal level, Pennsylvania will lose one of our pro-gun Democrats. Why does this matter to those of you who don’t live here or don’t live specifically in one of the districts that will be chopped? Remember those 65 House Democrats who spoke up and told the Obama administration that they will not stand for a gun ban? Aside from all of those we lost in the November elections, we just lost another one.

Illinois Democrats accidentally left their redistricting maps open last night, so now we know what’s on the table in the Prairie State – it’s not pretty for the GOP. The Cook Political Report House guy said this on Twitter: “First impression…this is the real deal Dem gerrymander, not weak sauce.” On the gun issue, here’s the NRA grade breakdown of merged GOP districts:

  • Rep. Schock – A vs. Rep. Schilling – A
  • Rep. Biggert – A vs. Rep. Roskam – A
  • Rep. Walsh – A vs. Rep. Hultgren – A-
  • Rep. Dold – ? vs. Rep. Schakowsky – F
  • Rep. Kinzinger – A vs. Rep. Jackson – F
  • Rep. Shimkus – A vs. Rep. Johnson – A

In other words, four seats that merge two A- or higher rated lawmakers, and one that puts an A against an F. That’s not good when it comes to the Illinois delegation.

At the state level, many states will see the balance of political power shift. Here in the Keystone State, the Philadelphia suburbs will require a boatload of new districts while the Southwest will see a lot of their longtime lawmakers pitted against one another as the district lines are redrawn with dramatically fewer seats in that area. The Philly suburbs are already the key to power on the gun issue since neither side can win without at least some suburban lawmaker support. Based on what I saw in census numbers, the suburbs will basically control the policies. That’s why we have made it a goal to convert more borderline legislative supporters into those who give a damn.

Those elections? They have consequences. These consequences just happen to last for 10 years.