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What's the matter with Kansas?
Along the same lines, what's the matter with New Hampshire, too?
Congressional redistricting should be a simple task in these two states, which experienced minimal population changes during the past decade.
But over the past few months, what were supposed to be easy redraws became complicated, and now New Hampshire and Kansas are the only states left that haven't started redistricting in earnest this cycle.
In the Sunflower State, lawmakers might not pass a new map until April or May, said Ronnie Metsker, the chairman of the Johnson County Republican Party. He said there as many as 80 different proposals circulating on how to redraw the state's four House seats.
"It's very much in limbo," Metsker said. "Currently, it's in a logjam in the Kansas Legislature."
Under the new map, the rural, western 1st district must gain population and the suburban, Kansas City-based 3rd district must shed population.
"If we could figure out a way to transpose 57,000 people from district 3 to district 1, we'd be all hunky-dory," Metsker quipped.
But those districts don't border each other, so state lawmakers are working on more creative ways to draw the lines.
One proposal would extend Rep. Tim Huelskamp's (R) already large 1st district through the northeast corner of the state and south to pick up a couple of northern Kansas City suburbs from Rep. Kevin Yoder's (R) 3rd district. Another would make Rep. Lynn Jenkins' (R) 2nd district more competitive by switching around precincts.
The stakes are high for Kansas, which has had one or two competitive House races in recent cycles. Both the 2nd and 3rd districts changed party hands at least once in the past four years.
Similarly, in New Hampshire both House seats have flipped party hands a couple of times in the past few cycles.
But in the Granite State, mapmaking is more complicated because there are two Republican Members — and one of them will suffer if the new map makes the other district safer.
Technically, the GOP-controlled state Legislature determines redistricting. But the chambers unofficially delegated the mapmaking decisions to Bass and Guinta.
Only a few hundred people need to shift between the districts. But Bass, the more endangered of the two, is pushing for more dramatic changes — presumably to make his district safer. Guinta, meanwhile, wants only slight changes to his district.
New York: Could This All Be Over In a New York Minute?
It ain't over till it's over. And the Empire State's circuitous, drawn-out Congressional redistricting process ain't over.
But how it ends will largely be determined by the deadlocked split-control state Legislature. Both parties want to protect vulnerable Members and avoid giving up the once-in-a-decade power of the pen to a court, but those desires have not yet been enough to force a compromise.
If the Democratic state Assembly and the Republican state Senate can come to an agreement in the next day or two, a map drawn by the Legislature might be possible. Otherwise, the plan will end up in the hands of a court.comments powered by Disqus