[UPDATE: I've had folks note that the original map is not quite the same as the final, approved map. There's been some tweaking of districts; not enough to particularly change any of the practical results found below, but enough to be noteworthy. Fair enough.]
I was over at Larry Sabato’s site today* and I came across this report that an attempt to referendum the Ohio redistricting map has failed miserably. That means that [a map similiar to] the map proposed earlier will now take effect: to summarize, it’s expected to result in a 12R/4D map. Two Republicans and two Democrats (one of whom is Dennis Kuchinich) will compete against each other in primaries; a D versus R race will take place under conditions favorable to the latter; and they carved out another majority-minority seat to keep the VRA happy. I called this result ‘subtle’ at the time; I see no reason why I should change that adjective, unless it’s to replace it with ‘successful.’
On a more general note? When they write the books about Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker of the House, events like this will be reason why the titles will have “Lost” or “Shattered” or “Broken” in them. From a purely partisan perspective, the national Democratic party picked the worst possible time to lose the House of Representatives and be the minority in about 60% of all state legislatures; the first event put a lot of Republicans in office at just the right moment to give state legislators elected as part of the second one the opportunity to lock in most of those seats for at least two election cycles. And it all happened because the then-Democratic Congress made the catastrophic mistake of taking too much advantage of their 2009 majority. If Nancy Pelosi had been thinking like a proper Speaker of the House, she would have realized that an incremental strategy until 2011 would have been optimal. Instead, she got grabby, passed a lot of bad legislation, lost her House majority, and has now forced the national party to fight losing battles to try to regain territory that they thought was theirs by right.
And that’s why Pelosi should have resigned after the 2010 midterms. The fact that she didn’t – out of what is probably best described as pique – is going to pay dividends for the Republicans for a while**.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Yes, I do occasionally look at Democratic sites, in my professional capacity. While I generally find the Lefty political blogs a waste of time – you rarely get original material from the top ones, and the other 99% have a sullen resentment about their inability to become successful that is only tasty in small doses – some of the Democratic operatives have a better grasp of reality, largely for pragmatic reasons.
**This would be the point where people start ripping their shirts and lamenting about how awful the Republicans are at politics. I recognize the appeal, but I will politely note that this sort of thing can become, well, a habit. Is there any real harm in waiting a week on any particular situation, assessing how it turns out, and weeping and wailing then?