Democrats and Republicans in Iowa were reviewing the proposed new congressional district boundaries to determine whether they should oppose them, but early indications were that both sides were inclined to sign and avoid a messy partisan feud over the ten-year redistribution.
The independent commission in charge of redistribution in Iowa submitted a card to the legislature that would transform the 1st Congressional District into a definitive Democratic stronghold while making the 2nd Congressional District significantly more Republican than it already is. The 4th Congressional District, long a conservative stronghold, would remain as such, while the 3rd Congressional District battlefield would remain exactly that – a thunderclap. Top Democrats in Iowa have welcomed the proposal; Republican criticism has been suppressed.
“The proposed maps are a place to start. I expect both sides to take a deep look at the state’s legislative districts and congressional boundaries over the next few days to determine whether they will seek a second design or will accept the current proposal, ”Jimmy Centers, a Republican consultant in Des Moines, Iowa, said Friday.
The Iowa Republican Party offered a similar wait-and-see assessment, praising the process but reserving final judgment on the new limits, in a statement released after the State Legislative Services Agency unveiled new maps based on statistics from the 2020 federal census. The LSA’s proposal redraws the four congressional districts of Iowa as well as all 100 seats in the state House of Representatives and 50 seats in the state Senate. The top Democrats in Iowa liked what they saw.
Under the proposal and based on former President Donald Trump’s victory over President Joe Biden in Iowa last year, the 1st Congressional District would drop from a seat that supported the Republican candidate by 3.4 percentage points to a seat that would have supported the Democratic candidate by 8.7 points. 2nd Congressional District would go from Trump-plus-4-points to Trump-plus-10.8-points, 3rd District from Trump-plus-0.2 to Biden-plus-0.2, and 4th District from Trump -plus-27 to Trump-plus-31.5.
Ross Wilburn, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party and state representative, said he intends to vote to approve the card if it comes up for a vote in the Republican-majority legislature. “The Iowans deserve a fair redistribution process, without interference from politicians or partisan amendments,” he told reporters. “So it looks… like it meets the requirements, and so, I plan to vote ‘yes’.”
At first glance, it may seem that the Congress card is too generous for Democrats in a state that has turned red since Trump won the White House in 2016. Democrats do not control any Senate seats, only 1 of 4 seats in the House, only 3 of the state’s 7 constitutional offices, and are the minority party in the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, with Republicans controlling the ruling majority in both houses.
But some GOP agents in Iowa believe the party is close to approving the new maps, including the new congressional boundaries, as is, because they are so generous to Republicans in the legislature. Nothing in the reshuffle threatens Republicans in the State Senate, while the GOP is arguably poised to win seats in the State House of Representatives based on the proposed new lines.
However, given that the card would force several Republicans in the House of Representatives to compete in primaries against each other, it is possible that they will oppose it anyway.
“Obviously, if we refuse this, we don’t know what we’ll get back,” said a Republican insider from Iowa.
A seasoned Republican strategist from Iowa has urged caution as the GOP examines the independent commission’s redistribution proposal, which the legislature is empowered to reject. The process also calls on the public to comment on the new map before it is approved, creating another point of pressure for possible changes.
“Democrats certainly like this plan, which should worry the GOP,” said David Kochel.
Original location: In Iowa, Democrats and Republicans hesitate to fight for redistribution
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