GOP likely to keep 7-2 congressional hold under proposed redistricting maps

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Drafts of the state’s proposed new congressional and House district maps released Tuesday by Republicans aren’t likely to make a sizable changes in Indiana’s political landscape.

The release kicks off the once-in-a-decade process of redrawing the state’s political maps, which under state law, is done by the Legislature.

In the proposed congressional maps, based on historical election results, Indiana is likely to maintain its seven Republican-held seats and the two Democrat-held seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The congressional maps can be found here, and the House maps can be seen here.

Most notably, Marion County shifted north on the congressional map, better securing the seat of Republican U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, whose district in Hamilton County would no longer encompass the Democrat-leaning portion of Indianapolis.

Spartz finished behind her opponent in Marion County in last year’s election even as she won by an overall 50%-46% margin over Democratic candidate Christina Hale.

In another shift in central Indiana, all of Johnson County was moved from U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth’s district into Rep. Greg Pence’s. Pence also obtained the southern townships in Marion County in the proposed map. Both Hollingsworth and Pence are Republicans.

At the state level, notable House district shifts were made around Hamilton County and in in the northern Marion County suburbs.

The district of House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, was shifted from southeast Hamilton County into the northern section of the county.

Huston faced a closer-than-expected election last fall, winning 56% of the vote against Democratic candidate Aimee Rivera Cole. Huston’s district in the new proposed House map stretches his district into areas that traditionally lean more Republican.

On the south side of Indianapolis, Republican Rep. John Jacob’s district has been shifted out of traditionally Republican-held Johnson County and further north into Marion County, taking Beech Grove. He narrowly took his primary last year and won Marion County by a smaller margin than he did in Johnson County.

Jacob is known for his radically conservative beliefs and going against the traditional Republican Party at the Statehouse. He said publicly at a town hall meeting in his district in June and told IBJ in July he thought he was in the line of fire to be ousted through redistricting.

Indiana House GOP leadership said the maps follow all constitutional requirements, meet with the population shifts across the state, and are “substantially comparable to or better than the maps passed in 2011.” Republicans have full control Indiana’s redistricting process through their supermajority in the state Legislature.

They said communities of interest were generally kept together, and the proposed congressional map keeps 84 of Indiana’s 92 counties whole, and includes a near equal deviation from the ideal population of about 753,000 each.

“These maps follow all statutory and constitutional requirements and reflect the population trends over the last 10 years,” Huston said in a written statement.  “For the new House maps, Rep. [Greg] Steuerwald took a holistic approach and worked tremendously hard to keep communities of interest together with a focus on compactness.”

Indiana House Democratic Leader Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, of Fort Wayne, released a statement Tuesday, saying he did not trust House Republicans’ process for redrawing the maps. He pointed to the House GOP hire of D.C. attorney Jason Torchinsky, a senior adviser and general counsel to the National Republican Redistricting Trust, to serve as legal counsel.

“Indiana House Democrats continue to analyze the House Republicans’ redistricting plan,” GiaQuinta said. “While we don’t know everything about these newly drawn districts, we do know that any map drawn with the assistance of high-priced D.C. consultants, using advanced political and consumer data points, will benefit the Indiana GOP—not Hoosier voters.”

The proposed maps could still change as they go through the legislative process at the Statehouse. The House Elections Committee will take public comment on the maps Wednesday at 1 p.m. and Thursday at 10 a.m. in the House Chamber before moving the proposals through committee.

The full House will reconvene next week to offer amendments and vote on the maps.  Indiana Senate Republicans’ proposed maps will also be released next week ,on Sept. 21.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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18 thoughts on “GOP likely to keep 7-2 congressional hold under proposed redistricting maps

  1. Anything Democrat is bad for Indiana and the USA from Economics to their sick twisted immoral family hostile social engineering that defies all God given common sense and logic.

    Attack the country for one’s social ills instead of the one taking responsibility for their own actions to be a better person to themselves and our country!

  2. This redistricting is so unfair! I’m sure if the Democrats were in the driver seat in our state they would redistrict to give up some their seats / power. Come on now!

  3. The only new idea the Democrats have had in the last 30 years is that they’ve realized that there is no need to mask their desire for tyranny anymore; it’s all out in the open for anyone to see.

    But having spent most of my life in California, I can assure you, dear readers, that if the Democrats were in power here rather than the GOP, they would have thought of more ways to steal votes from Republicans than you could possibly imagine.

    So not only will I shed no tears for the Indiana Democrat Party, I want to know why they’re likely to even get 2 seats in Congress! One is plenty, just enough to keep the rest of us entertained. That’s all we need.

    1. Yep. We need to stay in the bottom ten states of everything here in Indiana – it’s safer that way…

    2. Yes, because Jim Banks, Greg Pence, Victoria Spartz, and Tennessee Trey Hollingsworth are doing so much to help Hoosiers.

  4. It’s so funny reading the thoughts of MAGA posters on here. The reality is that the GOP is passing laws in various states that allow legislatures to overturn election results. Your former orange President tried to illegally overturn his election loss. Your leaders are already calling California’s election rigged when votes haven’t been counted yet. If either party is turning tyrannical, it’s certainly the GOP.

    As far as redistricting is concerned, there’s no surprise in this new map. Democrats do it in states where they have supermajority power too. These maps should be drawn by an independent commission, but that won’t happen. Politicians are too scared they might lose their jobs.

  5. Jolf…bottom 10 in tax rates, bottom 10 in unemployment rates, bottom 10 in business regulation, bottom 10 in cost of housing and cost of living, yep, sign me up for that.

    Joe…spoken just like a Democrat! I thought Hoosiers were adults! I didn’t know we were so helpless that we needed our Congress-critters to burp us and change our diapers for us.

    Wesley…Even for such an obvious CCP troll, it’s amazing to see so many leftist talking points crammed into one paragraph! Bravo to you sir, I’m sure your handlers will be very pleased with your
    Loyalty to the Party!

    As to the bit about California, Republican voters in one of the few competitive neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles are saying that they’re being turned away because the precinct workers are telling them they’ve already voted. Being a CCP stooge, the significance of this may perhaps escape you, but here in America, people like to cast their own ballots, not have a party apparatchik such as yourself do it for them. So yeah, that’s kind of a problem.

    But I do want to thank each of you for so ably proving my point.

    1. They probably did already vote using mail in ballots. I’m guessing they’re trying to vote twice, which is fraud. I’m making this assumption because the few cases of voter fraud in the 2020 election were committed by Trump voters.

    2. Keith, if everyone who doesn’t drink the Trump-aide is a Democrat, then I guess I’m guilty. Then again, a guy who voted for Dick Lugar every chance he got looks at today’s Republicans and thinks they’ve lost their bleeding minds. Today’s Republican Party has no room for diversity of thought. You’re either totally loyal or you’re a Democrat or RINO. That’s not a political party, it’s a cult.

      I mean, complaining about the tyranny of Democrats? Get back to me when Joe Biden calls for a mob to storm the Capitol building to stop Congress from carrying out their duties.

      Since you’ve been away from Indiana, here’s what the state is facing … Hoosiers are fleeing most of the state, as most parts of Indiana showed a decline in population the last ten years. They’re moving to the areas around the big cities in Indiana, if they stay in Indiana at all. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our centers of higher education are so poorly funded that they prefer out-of-state students (or foreign exchange students) to educating Hoosiers. We have to bribe most companies to come here with tax incentives … and since our workforce is so poorly educated since we are too cheap to properly fund K-12 education, most jobs end up being manufacturing or warehousing/distribution jobs, two categories that pay poorly and are going to be automated out of existence in 20 years to boot. Sure, Indiana is a State That Works … a state that works two jobs to make ends meet.

      That’s what our congressional representatives should doing to help Hoosiers with.

      And by the way, get better news sources on your California Republican voters story.

  6. The percentage of Indiana congressional votes that go to Republicans is a)56%, b)67%, c)78%, or d)it apparently doesn’t matter?

    I’d guess it’s somewhere between a & b, but obviously our political leadership answers d with their heavily gerrymandered maps. We need multi-representative districts.

  7. Labels like “MAGA” expose the bias of Democrat loyalists. Some would label them “leftists” or “social democrats”. Obviously there are fundamental philosophical differences in how America should be governed. The leftist social democrats favor big government, increased taxation, a welfare plantation that results in recipients of government gifts being held back from “being all they can be” … because the government “cares for them” … similar to how slave plantation owners “cared for” their slaves. Conservatives favor smaller, much more limited government for many reasons. Governments have a documented track record of waste and corruption (very natural outcome when it is “someone else’s money”). So smaller government translates to less waste and corruption. Conservatives also have greater faith in the abilities and capabilities of most Americans to choose to be successful by earning and achieving an education through determination and effort regardless of their socioeconomic standing. Conservatives also have faith in most Americans abilities and capabilities to work and nurture families to achieve the American dream of prosperity and satisfaction that they have used their God given talents and abilities to provide for themselves and their families. The examples of such success are continuous and broad throughout America’s history and continue now. However, this multitude of people overcoming adversity, working hard, saving and taking personal responsibility is overlooked by the media and the historians, shunned by entertainers and most public officials, and completely ignored by many in our culture. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are complicit in our current failure of leadership. That is why Trump rose to popularity and continues to be popular. He believes in the American people to achieve greatness … without an inflated, corrupt government taxing the efforts of those that choose to work for themselves and their families … so the corrupt political leaders can choose the winners and losers by redistributing the wealth of others to those they decide are disadvantaged. Conservatives will not surrender their values and fundamental philosophies of (genuine) education attainment, strong work ethic, and ability of all to achieve greatness. So it is game on! Conservatives also respect those that hold different values and opinions. There is a place for those that favor redistribution of wealth and governance by elite bureaucrats and dictators that determine who are the winners and the losers. The places for these individuals are Venezuela, China, North Korea, and now Afghanistan to name a few. Please go to one of these countries that operates with your socialistic philosophy. Because those that believe otherwise will never surrender!

  8. I believe Indiana is not actually a Red State, but rather a Purple State. It is a state that is heavily gerrymandered in favor of Republicans (engineered by Republicans), and a state where Democratic voter turnout is weak due to frustration that Democratic votes carry no weight due to the aforementioned gerrymandering.
    The breakdown of registered Indiana Voters:
    42% Republican; 37% Democrat; 20% independent (Pew Research Center)
    Breakdown of Indiana Representation Republican vs. Democrat:
    Indiana Senate 39-11
    Indiana House of Representatives 71-29
    Indiana US Senators 2-0
    Indiana US House of Representatives 7-2

    So tell me how it makes sense that 74% of all our state and US representatives are Republican when only 42% of of registered voters are affiliated as Republican. The only way the voting results will ever be more balanced and fair is if redistricting is taken out of the hands of partisan, self-interested politicians, and conducted by non-partisan, independent commissions – in Indiana and nationwide.

    1. Indiana would be better off with competitive races for all nine congressional districts with both parties.

      The way the lines are drawn, and the way our elections are conducted with party primaries that citizens pay for, encourages bad behavior from both parties.

      So let the Republicans draw the lines. Also, switch to an open primary in which all citizens can vote for all candidates. If one candidate gets 50% of the vote in the first election, go ahead and cancel the general election. Otherwise, hold a second election with just the top two candidates. If that’s two Republicans, fine. If it’s two Democrats, fine.

  9. Getting back to the subject at hand , as a conservative independent I think it’s just craziness to let either party control this process. How can you let people that are vested in the outcome draw the maps? They could try to make rules that favor neither party and let the chips fall where they may. Nobody alive and breathing today is impartial so it has to be done in some way that takes the “human” out of the process. I know this could be done, but of course it will never happen. The one observation I have is that it doesn’t really seemed to have changed much. Yes trying to protect Spartz more I get because I was shocked she lost a close race in heavily Republican Hamilton County. Now I understand why it was so close.

    1. It would be very simple to change the law so that election results or voter registration data are not used to draw the lines. Yet it’s not in Indiana (it is in other states), so our legislators pick their voters, not vice versa.

      I mean, the results of the last five elections were among the data points the Indiana legislature admitted to using when they drew the maps. And not just presidential elections either, state level elections too.

      And there’s no chance of it changing … how else can Republicans end up with a majority in the US House when the Democratic presidential candidate gets 7 million more voters than the Republican candidate? It would be far better that Republicans be forced to field viable candidates with policies that appeal to a majority of Americans … as opposed to just changing the districts to favor them, then making elections all about not making sure they get primaried.