Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm sure Illinois Republicans could see this as good news...

Greg Hinz at Crain's takes a look at this new Congressional map. It was drawn by the Democrat control Illinois General Assembly to elect more Democrats to the US Congress. At current Illinois congressional delegation sees this state sending more Republicans to Washington than Democrats at a margin of 11-8. Also remember this year Illinois loses one Congressional seat.

In any event Hinz doesn't see the Democrats doing much better with this new map. Some of the Congressman elected in last year's wave election had defeated incumbents and not all were long term incumbents:
The one sure GOP loss is in the new 16th District, which swoops from Rockford south through Joliet, and then east to Will County and the Indiana border. The new district combines bits and chunks of old districts, and effectively is the place where Illinois' loss of population in the Census is most clearly reflected.

Two Republican incumbents are running there: Rockford veteran Don Manzullo and Joliet newbie Adam Kinzinger. It's tempting to pick the energetic and good-looking kid in this one, but I wouldn't discount the veteran, who has a fair-sized lead in early polling.

Either way, the Republicans will lose one incumbent here — even if, as expected, the winner of the Manzullo/Kinzinger match trounces the Democratic nominee in November.

Almost as certain is the eventual defeat of Tea Party flamethrower Joe Walsh.

Yes, the Democrats have yet to navigate a rather noisy March primary contest between Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tammy Duckworth. But the district tilts Democratic, and word on the street is that national Democrats are preparing to dump all kinds of money into the contest.

If Mr. Walsh were untarnished, he might survive in what, after all, is a 100% suburban district. But his video-caught bad judgment in harassing constituents and demanding that President Barack Obama "quit lying" are a bit much. And it's rarely good politics to be accused by your ex of holding out on $100,000 in child support payments.

If the Democratic nominee runs even a mediocre campaign, Mr. Walsh is there for the taking.

The Democrats have some other opportunities. But they're not as good.

One is in the new southwest suburban 11th District, where — assuming the primaries go as expected — former Democratic congressman Bill Foster will take on GOP incumbent Judy Biggert, whose current 13th District was dismembered by Democratic remappers in Springfield.

Mr. Foster sometimes isn't the best of campaigners, and it's been at least a decade since Ms. Biggert really was pressed. So each will have to step up their game. But expect big spending, particularly on the Republican side. And watch to see how popular Mr. Obama is at election time, because it could make a difference is this district.

Mr. Obama's popularity also will be a factor in the north suburban 10th Congressional District.

GOP incumbent Bob Dold, a sometimes-moderate in an increasingly conservative Republican Party, on paper is vulnerable. But his stock has risen among GOP pros, and Democrats oddly were unable to recruit any of several state lawmakers who would have been instant favorites in the 10th.

We'll see who wins the Democratic primary: contenders Brad Schneider, Ilya Sheyman and John Tree all have a shot. Then we'll see if Mr. Dold really can convince voters he's been reborn in the mold of John Edward Porter or Mark Kirk, the district's prior two moderate GOP congressman.
BTW, I found this article that lauds the architect of the current state Congressional map for exactly this map but for other things he helped to orchestrate:
Michael Madigan, A: Madigan had two big victories this year. His Congressional re-map looks as though it will eliminate four Republicans, wiping out the gains the GOP made in 2010. Politico was so impressed with the map it declared that Madigan had “punched his ticket to the partisan hall of fame.” Also, Madigan’s nemesis Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison, giving his daughter another argument when she runs for governor as a reformer in 2014.
Well 2012 is just next year. We shall see if Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, is successful with his maps producing the desired results. We shall also see of Hinz is correct


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