ID redistrict: The overtime plan

The falls, formally, into the category of a recommendation only – the same as if any other group of six Idahoans proposed a statewide redistricting plan (as some have).

But because these six are the former redistricting commissioners, this particular proposal – Final Compromise 2 (does that sound like a bad movie name?) – could carry some weight. When the new districters get together (the three Democrats are named, the Republicans not quite yet) they could be tempted by the idea of just adopting this one and cruising home, in a day or two, as opposed to some much longer procedure.

It evidently has support from both parties; their chairs will hold a joint press availability on Monday seemingly in support of it.

Partisan bottom line?

Democrats ought to be delirious about it. What they’re getting here is much better than they have had any real right to expect. Central Coeur d’Alene is intact, providing competition there. Moscow and Lewiston still anchor districts and should remain competitive. Boise has a rough equivalent to the current very-Democratic District 19 plus three other competitive district – roughly the setup they have had. The Blaine County-based district will continue with about the same setup as before. The Pocatello area will have one Democratic-based district and one other that should be competitive. That’s about what Democrats have now, and considering that most of the last decade’s growth has been in Republican areas, doing this well would have seemed improbable at the start of the process.

Who will be unhappy? On a partisan level, it’s not as if Republicans somehow gave away the store; the map does not put their huge majorities at any risk. But a number of incumbents will be put at risk – at least three pairs of Republican senators (Shawn Keough and Joyce Broadsword in the Panhandle, Patti Anne Lodge and John McGee in Canyon County, and Denton Darrington and Dean Cameron in the Magic Valley) will be thrown into districts together, presumably knocking out one in each case. And the people in the southeast corner of the state, who’ve had a bum district boundary linking Teton County through forested mountains south to Bear Lake and Franklin Counties, will see that get worse: That district looks about the same, with Oneida County tacked on in the southwest.

There are issues. But there’ll also be a strong temptation to just go ahead and adopt a plan evidently accepted, at this point, by both political parties. How often do you get that?

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