Over at The Fix, Washington Post writer Aaron Blake has an excellent, lengthy take on the games Republicans might play with U.S. Reps. John Barrow, D-Savannah, and Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, when redistricting rolls around next year.
In a Republican dream scenario, they could try to draw both Barrow and Bishop tougher districts, by borrowing GOPers from strongly Republican districts held by Reps. Jack Kingston, Lynn Westmoreland and Paul Broun.
A more likely scenario, though, is that Republicans actually shore up Bishop, potentially turning his district into a majority-black district, and use the more Republican areas of his district to help shore up Rep.-elect Austin Scott (R), who just beat Marshall next door. Once they do that, they need to decide whether they want to go after Barrow.
The GOP could strengthen Bishop by moving the heavily black parts of Macon (from Scott’s 8th district) and Valdosta (from Kingston’s 1st district) into Bishop’s 2nd district in the southwest.
When it comes to Barrow’s eastern 12th district, there are basically two ways for Republicans to make him more vulnerable. One is to move more of heavily Democratic Savannah into Kingston’s district in the southeast; the other is to take more of heavily Democratic Augusta and move it into Broun’s 10th district in the northeast.
But it won’t be easy. The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman said Republicans might have to defend such a move in court, because it would dilute the black vote in Barrow’s district.
“The easiest way to crack that district is to divide Savannah and Augusta, but you’re asking for a lawsuit,” Wasserman said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider