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Although this state is not losing any seats, Republicans have a lot to gain in the Tar Heel State. That’s because the GOP left quite a bit of low-hanging fruit — otherwise known as winnable districts — here in 2010, when Democrats for the most part staved off the Republican tidal wave. Democratic Reps. Larry Kissell, David Price, Brad Miller, Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre won re-election — and almost all of them are surrounded by GOP-dominated areas. But the likelihood that all will survive in 2012 is slim because Republicans control the redistricting process and the Democratic governor has no veto power. McHenry and Rep. Virginia Foxx are the two House Republicans most active in local politics, and they literally have seats at the table. Both former state lawmakers attend state party planning meetings that some of their GOP colleagues frequently skip. However, McHenry boasts an edge because he is particularly active with the National Republican Congressional Committee, where the deputy political director is a former McHenry aide and has been specifically tasked with overseeing North Carolina this cycle.
If House Republicans have elected him as the most powerful Member on Capitol Hill, just imagine how low-ranking state Representatives from Akron to Zanesville feel when they get a call from the Speaker. Although Boehner typically shies away from big plays in local politics, he and his staff are closely watching the redistricting situation in Ohio, which is slated to lose two seats this cycle. Because of dramatic population loss in the Cleveland area, at least one of the eliminated seats will most likely come from a Democratic-held seat in northeastern Ohio. The big question is, from which part of the state will the second seat eliminated come? There’s increasing likelihood that a freshman Republican will have to fall on the sword. What’s more, with Republicans in control of the redistricting process, they will likely want to shore up the districts of the five freshman Republicans in the Buckeye State. Not only is it going to be Boehner’s call as to which of the five will get a safer district, he’s also going to have to make the call on which Member of his freshman class will be on the chopping block.