Today is the flipside of yesterday’s California release: states with stagnant populations and a bunch of old white people. We’ll start with Connecticut, which is certainly characterized by stability: it easily retained five seats, not being particularly near either the cusp of gaining or losing, and even its five districts are pretty close to in balance with each other. Its target is 714,819, up from 681K in 2000.
Ohio is one of only a couple states to lose two seats, taking it from 18 down to 16. Its new target is 721,032, up from about 631K in 2000. The state as a whole didn’t lose population (gaining 183,364), but seven of its districts did (the 1st, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 17th). The Columbus area was the only part of the state that seemed to experience robust growth; in fact, despite the state losing two seats, the 12th (a swing district held by GOPer Pat Tiberi) will actually need to shed population… much of the state’s growth is accounted for in the growth in the 12th.
The numbers today don’t really change the overall redistricting equation: one of the northeastern Ohio Democrats is clearly going to have to go, and while the Akron-area 13th (held by Betty Sutton) actually gained some population unlike its neighbors, it may be the one that gets dissected simply by virtue of being in the very middle (with the 9th pressuring it from the west, the 10th and 11th from the north, and the 17th from the east). As for which GOPer gets cut, I’d expected it to be one of Bill Johnson (in the 6th) or Bob Gibbs (in the 18th), but the 18th, despite its mostly rural, Appalachian flavor, seemed to hang in there better than expected, population-wise. Now I’m wondering if Bob Latta’s 5th in the rural northwest, which is going to be pressured by the 9th to its north and the 4th to its east, may be a more natural target. Or here’s another possibility (made likelier by the possibility that the local GOP might like rid themselves of a liability in the form of Jean Schmidt): the 2nd might be targeted, despite its decent numbers, as both the 1st to its west and the 6th to its east need to gain a ton of people (and extending the 1st east into red, suburban Clermont County would make GOPer Steve Chabot’s life easier).
Pennsylvania’s target is 705,688 based on the drop from 19 to 18 seats, up from about 646K in 2000. The 2nd, 3rd, 12th, and 14th all lost population. I’d really recommend looking at the Census Bureau’s interactive map of Pennsylvania, as it shows exactly what’s going on: the eastern half of the state gained a bit, while nearly every county in the state’s western half outright lost population. In fact, there were enough gains in the east that four districts wind up needing to shed population: the 6th and 15th in the Philadelphia suburbs/exurbs, and the more rural, Pennsylvania Dutch-flavored 16th and 19th. These are all Republican-held districts, but these are all districts that moved sharply in the Dem direction from 2004 to 2008, while on the other hand, the shrinking western districts are Democratic areas but ones where the overall trend has been away from the Dems. (Interestingly, two cities that over recent decades came to symbolize dead northeastern industrial centers, Allentown and Reading, are actually rebounding, gaining around 10,000 people each and helping to grow the 15th and 16th respectively. Much of the growth in those two cities, though, as well as the small growth experienced in Philadelphia, is Hispanic.)
With the GOP in control of the redistricting process in Pennsylvania and the population losses heavily concentrated in the Pittsburgh area, it looks like the axe is going to fall heavily on fairly-new Dem Mark Critz in the odd-shaped 12th, which was designed to be a friendly district for John Murtha cobbling together Cambria County with the Dem-friendly parts of Pittsburgh’s collar counties but is barely holding onto its Dem roots these days. Mike Doyle’s 14th (in Pittsburgh proper), despite being the biggest population loser, is probably going to stay intact, as Republicans will need to concede at least one blue vote sink in the southwest (and probably get bluer, as it’ll need to expand into the dead steel towns of the Mon Valley to its south, currently the bluest part of the 12th).
If Critz wants to stick around, he’s likely to find himself either fighting Jason Altmire in a primary in the 4th or Tim Murphy in a general in the 18th (although Critz has enough of a Johnstown-area base that he might be able to pull out an upset in whatever district Johnstown winds up in, unless the GOP decides that the 9th, in the central part of the state, is red enough to safely absorb Johnstown).