Rep. Russ Carnahan (D) is literally all over Missouri when it comes to the critical choice of what office he will run for in 2012, after his St. Louis district was essentially eliminated following redistricting.
The four-term Democrat appears to be moving forward on a path for both statewide office and a potential run in the redrawn 1st or 2nd districts.
Carnahan told Roll Call last week that the open, GOP-leaning 2nd district is “one of the options that we’re assessing right now,” but he declined to stay whether it was more appealing than running in the 1st district against Rep. William Lacy Clay (D).
“This is going to be a longer process than this week,” Carnahan added, urging patience for his decision.
However, Carnahan was spotted at a Kansas City Democratic event over the weekend — on the other side of the state from his St. Louis home and the House districts in which he might run — touching off speculation that he might be eyeing a run for lieutenant governor or another statewide office. Carnahan’s office confirmed his visit to western Missouri.
“Russ Carnahan always loves taking advantage of an opportunity to spend some time with his fellow Missouri Democrats,” Communications Director Sara Howard said in a statement. “As he weighs his options for the future, he is going to continue to work to make sure he is ready to hit the ground running.”
But Wednesday, Carnahan was back on the eastern side of the state, doing a $500- to $1000-a-plate fundraising luncheon with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) in Clayton, which falls within the new 2nd district.
About a third of Carnahan’s current district was drawn into the new 2nd district, but he would face an uphill battle in an election there: Only 47.6 percent of voters backed President Barack Obama in 2008. But Carnahan might not be able to win a primary against Clay in the 1st district, where 49.5 percent of the population is black.
Nebraska: New Map Could Make Terry’s Seat Safe
The state Legislature is moving forward on a redistricting plan that could put Rep. Lee Terry’s (R) district out of reach for Democrats.
In 2008, President Barack Obama won a single electoral vote from the Omaha-based district. Nebraska is one of two states that awards electoral votes individually, instead of as a bloc. Obama’s win gave Democrats hope they could defeat Terry in 2010, but he won with 61 percent.
If the proposed changes to the Congressional map are passed, Democrats are going to have an even more difficult time in 2012 fighting for that single electoral vote.