The draft plan, in the works for weeks, also would boost GOP majorities in a number of districts, making it easier for Republicans to hold onto their seats. It was reviewed this week by a group of state GOP lawmakers, representatives from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Attorney General’s office, two sources with knowledge of the meeting told The News. The sources requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak about the redistricting efforts.
There are many things to be said about this plan, but the aspect that is attracting lots of buzz around the web is bolded above. Still, what would you expect?
A few things that jump out at me are that in order to make the 7th safer for Walberg, they have cut Battle Creek out and put it with Grand Rapids in the 3rd. That will make the 3rd considerably less Republican – enough to make it vulnerable in a good year? I’ll have to run the numbers and see.
The 6th, my district, is left pretty close to ‘as is’, just as I expected. For one thing, tucked into the corner as it is, there are several fewer degrees of freedom in making this district. You could make it longer E-W, including Battle Creek in the 6th, which would make it more of a swing district, or you could make it longer N-S, making it more Republican. Either way would not serve the interests of Fred Upton, who presumably has enough clout within the Republican Party to get whatever he wants. A more swing district makes him more vulnerable in the General Election, while a ‘lake shore’ conservative district makes him more vulnerable in a Republican Primary. So it stays the same, just picking up the rest of Allegan.
On the whole, the new plan is more obviously gerrymandered than the old. The 3rd and 7th were reasonably compact, now they are not. The 14th is just ridiculous.
There is lots of discussion around the web over the SE MI districts and the implications; I won’t reproduce it all here. Others’ thoughts?