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As 2012 races kick off, new U.S. congressional map looks a little better for Republicans

As the GOP presidential contest hits a fever pitch on Super Tuesday, the nation’s other 2012 races officially kick off as well, with Ohio holding the nation’s first congressional primaries.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) speaks at Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash. last April. Kucinich faces a primary contest against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) on Tuesday thanks to redistricting. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

That means Tuesday is the day that Republicans will start reaping the benefits of the once-in-a-decade redistricting process. Because of their big gains in the 2010 elections, Republicans control the legislature and governor’s mansion in so many states that they got to redraw four times as many congressional districts as Democrats.

But just how much of an advantage did they really have?

To answer that question, The Fix reviewed the 66 districts that Republicans won from Democrats last year.

A look at the changes to those 66 districts in this round of redistricting shows that Republicans do indeed come out of redistricting with a better map than they had before.

But the improvements in a lot of cases were slight, and most Republicans who were vulnerable before will continue to be at risk over the next decade.

First, though, a recap of how we got to this point:

We’ve written before on this blog about how, despite the GOP’s unprecedented control over the drawing of new lines, its big majority makes creating new seats for the party to win much more difficult.

In other words, because Republicans control more seats than they have at any point in the past 60 years, and because they hold the vast majority of competitive districts already, it was much harder to create new districts that they could win.

(There’s only so much you can do, given the demographics of a state and the rules involved, including equal population, protection of minority voting rights and standards for compactness, etc.)

And so far, Republicans and Democrats have come out pretty much even when it comes to creating new districts they can win in the 2012 election.

But that’s only one

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RobertButler Posted by on Mar 3 2012. Filed under 2012 Presidential Campaign. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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