It may just be so. Estimates through July 2008 show the Missouri House delegation dropping from 9 to 8. So what kind of things will be in play if the worst occurs and we lose a seat in Congress.
#1) The redistricting would occur in 2011. Which likely means a dispute or court battle unless Republicans in the General Assembly (or State Senate) and Jay Nixon can come to an understanding.
#2) There’s going to be a heck of a dilemma in play for redrawing seats when you consider the homes of the 9 current Congressmen.
See that giant gap with no Congressmen in Northeast Missouri? Yeah. That’s what i’m talking about. Now, nothing mandates that a Congressman live in his district. This was proven by the last time Missouri lost a seat after the 1980 Census.
The redistricting put Wendall Bailey’s home of Willow Springs in a new 8th District and Bill Emerson’s home of DeSoto in the 3rd District. We can see the differences here (1973-1983 lines in skyblue, counties colored in their 1983-1993 lines):
Emerson moved into the new 8th and won. Bailey ran in the 4th and lost. Bailey won 57% in parts of the 4th that were once in the 8th (32.53% of the district). But Ike Skelton won 61% in the parts of the 4th that he had represented (63.52%)
What parts of the state are growing and not?
The 2005 projections claim that these 10 counties as the fastest growing in Missouri:
Christian (7th), Lincoln (2nd), Warren (9th), St. Charles (2nd/9th), Cass (4th/5th), Webster (4th), Platte (6th), St. Francois (8th), Clay (6th), and Benton (4th).
The same projections claim that these 10 counties are losing the highest percentage of their populations:
Worth (6th), DeKalb (6th), New Madrid (8th), Holt (6th), Mercer (6th), Gentry (6th), Knox (9th), Sullivan (6th), Linn (6th), and Chariton (6th).
Or to put it in map form.
Basically, the 6th is losing population outside of the Kansas City Area. The 4th is gaining population in areas around the Lakes. The 8th is probably holding even. The 7th might just shrink even with 8 districts due to the growth in that area.
And St. Louis is a whole other can of worms. We’ll see when the final numbers come in if putting Akin and Carnahan in the same district is feasible. But, in all likelyhood, that won’t happen. The 1st will gain some more ground. The 2nd will probably sprawl out to the West/Northwest. The 3rd will probably take in another county or two. And it’ll look weird.
As for the partisan angle with Republicans. In a scenario where Graves is running statewide and Luetkemeyer is in Congress, I can see a district fusing parts of the 4th around I-44, the 8th in that area, and the 9th South of the River. Also, depending on the number of Republicans in that district, they might just put Boone County in that district to cancel it out. As for the 6th, it’d probably take in parts of the 4th around Kansas City. Although that would put Ike Skelton’s house in a district containing Northern Missouri, which seems like a bizarre idea.
Also, the 5th will branch out into another county under an 8 district map.
I’d imagine a Republican goal for an 8 district map is to make Missouri into a 5-3 state at the very least, which would involve getting rid of one of our incumbents (as the state is 5-4 right now).
Of course, this all changes if Graves is no longer a Congressman in 2011 (due to one of several factors), or if Luetkemeyer loses in 2010, or if we keep our 9th seat for 2012 due to an unexpected surge of population. Still too many variables in play. But it’s going to be heated.
Any thoughts/scenarios for this situation?