Redistricting update: Indiana 

Democrats in Indiana's state House are holding an open-ended boycott right now. Unlike the Wisconsin 14, there are no ransom demands. House minority leader Pat Bauer simply won't return, and there's no way for the state House to operate until at least six of his members do. For now, they are just hiding out in Illinois without any clearly stated reason or any conditions for returning. 

Meanwhile, Indiana's State legislators will be holding field hearings on redistricting later this week, to give the public a chance for input. And on the chopping block are the state's nine Congressional Districts, which currently look like this (as drawn in Dave's Redistricting app 2.0):

 

Whenever the GOP begins the redistricting process, the first item on their agenda will be the 2nd Congressional District, where Rep. Joe Donnelly, D, narrowly held on to win in November. His 2,500 vote victory was built almost entirely in two key, marginally Democratic counties -- St. Joseph and LaPorte.

Republicans can push Donnelly over the edge simply by trading Michigan City to his neighbor, Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky, in exchange for the heavily Republican counties in the south end of Visclosky's district. This is likely to happen, local sources say, and it alone would create a structural 10,000-vote swing against Donnelly. That gets larger as the underpopulated 2nd district absorbs other Republican areas -- I'm told this could include all of Elkhart County. The likely result is a 56 to 57 percent Republican district.

The only other question after that is whether to do something with Bloomington. That college town, southewest of Indianapolis, has been the only thing making the 9th District competitive for Democrats.

If the GOP succeeds in shoring up their freshmen and destabilizing Donnelly, the final outcome will be a one-seat Republican gain and a one-seat Democratic loss. The final map could look something like this:

 

About The Author

David Freddoso

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David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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