The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● OR Redistricting: Oregon lawmakers met a Monday deadline to pass new congressional and legislative maps after a threatened walkout by Republicans failed to materialize, and Democratic Gov. Kate Brown swiftly signed them into law, making the state the first to enact new House districts following the 2020 census.
That final plan differs from a map the state Senate had approved a week earlier, and while it still reflects Democratic priorities, it’s a modest gerrymander. To help understand its impact, we’ve calculated the results of the 2020 presidential election according to the new districts. You can also find the new numbers side-by-side with the figures for the old districts in this spreadsheet.
Two districts, the 1st and 3rd in Portland, would stay safely blue: The former would have gone for Joe Biden 68-29 and the latter 73-25; under the old lines, Biden won them 63-34 and 74-24 respectively. By contrast, the sprawling 2nd, which covers the entire eastern part of the state, would remain solidly Republican, going 61-37 for Donald Trump as opposed to 56-42 in its previous version.
The remaining three districts would all lean Democratic, though not to a great degree. The 5th District, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader, would become a touch redder, shifting from 54-44 Biden to 53-44, and in fact would have voted for Republican Knute Buehler 52-47 in the 2018 race for governor, according to calculations from Dave’s Redistricting App.
The district also saw some of the biggest changes between the Democrats’ original map and the finished product, giving up parts of the dark-blue Portland area in exchange for swingy turf around the city of Bend. However, the Bend area has been trending in Democrats’ favor, so if Schrader can hang on next year, this seat should grow more favorable for him over time.
Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio’s 4th District along the state’s southwestern coast, meanwhile, would get bluer: After a close 51-47 win for Biden under the old lines, the president would instead have carried it 55-42 using the new map. Oregon is also getting a brand-new district in the Portland area, the 6th, which would have gone for Biden 55-42. Of course, there’s no old district to compare this one to, though it’s worth noting that Brown would have lost it 49-46 in her 2016 special election and only taken it by a slim 49.5-49.3 margin two years later.
Interestingly, a larger portion of the new 6th is made up of the old 5th compared to the new 5th: 50% of the 6th is drawn from the previous 5th District, amounting to about 420,000 people, while only 39% of the updated 5th, or 330,000 people, come from the prior iteration of the district. Schrader’s hometown of Canby, though, remains in the 5th, so he’s very like to run there. (Every other district on the new map is formed largely from its predecessor of the same number.)
In a difficult year for Democrats, therefore, the 5th could potentially flip to the GOP, and perhaps the 6th or even the 4th in a big enough wave. If things go right for the party, though, it’ll secure a 5-1 advantage in the state’s delegation, up one from the current 4-1 arrangement. As for the legislative maps, those will also lock in the Democrats’ current majorities, though it would likely be difficult for them to win the two-thirds supermajorities that would prevent Republicans from staging future quorum-busting boycotts.
● GA Redistricting: Republicans in the Georgia state Senate have released a draft congressional map that would make Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath’s 6th District redder while shoring up neighboring 7th District Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux. Lawmakers won’t take up any proposals, however, until they reconvene on Nov. 3, and other GOP leaders may have different gerrymanders in mind.
● IN Redistricting: A committee in Indiana’s Senate passed new Republican-drawn congressional and legislative redistricting plans on a party-line vote, with a vote before the full chamber expected on Friday. However, the Senate made small changes to some of its own districts, which would require the House, which already signed off on all three maps, to return for another vote.
● ME Redistricting: Maine’s bipartisan Apportionment Commission reached an agreement on a new state Senate map on Monday, sending it, along with plans for Congress and the state House that it previously settled on, to lawmakers for their consideration when they reconvene on Wednesday. New maps need a two-thirds supermajority vote in both chambers of the Democratic-run legislature in order to pass, as well as the signature of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. All three maps are available here.
● WA Redistricting: Washington’s bipartisan redistricting commission has released its first draft of congressional maps, all of which are available here. As they did when they put out legislative plans last week, each of the panel’s four commissioners has put together their own plan. If the commission reaches an agreement, its maps will become law, with a limited ability for lawmakers to amend them first. If not, redistricting would be handled by the courts.
● OH-Sen: A new internal poll of the GOP primary from WPA Intelligence for former state Treasurer Josh Mandel finds Mandel leading venture capitalist J.D. Vance 37-13 for the nomination. That’s little changed from a July WPAI survey, taken on behalf of the Club for Growth, that had Mandel ahead 40-12.
● PA-Sen: Reality has come home to political consultant Craig Snyder, who launched a campaign for the GOP Senate nomination for Pennsylvania in July by positioning himself as an explicitly anti-Trump Republican: On Monday, Snyder dropped out of the race, saying “he has been unable to generate enough support.”
● NY-Gov: New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who’d previously said he was considering a bid against Gov. Kathy Hochul in next year’s Democratic primary, announced the formation of an exploratory committee on Tuesday and said he would make a final decision “in the next month.”
● TX-38: Army veteran Wesley Hunt, who had been considering a rematch with Democratic Rep. Lizzie Fletcher in Texas’ 7th Congressional District, now says it’s his “intention to run” in what would be the brand-new (and solidly Republican) 38th District in the Houston suburbs. Lawmakers recently introduced a draft congressional map but have yet to take action on it.
Pureval faces City Councilman David Mann, a fellow Democrat who represented the Cincinnati area in the House from 1993 to 1995. (Mann was unseated by Republican Steve Chabot, who went on to fend off Pureval in 2018.) Pureval outpaced Mann 39-29 in the May nonpartisan primary.
● San Jose, CA Mayor: Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez confirmed this week that she was entering next year’s open seat race for mayor of San Jose. Chavez joins three councilmembers in the June nonpartisan primary: Raul Peralez, who is a fellow labor ally, and the business-aligned Dev Davis and Matt Mahan.
Chavez, who would be the first Latina to hold this office, previously ran in 2006 when she was a member of the City Council and the city’s vice mayor. She was held back by a number of scandals in local government, though, and lost to Chuck Reed, a fellow city council member who pitched himself as an outsider, 59-41. That was hardly the end of Chavez’s career in local politics, however. She went on to head the local AFL-CIO and later won a 2013 special election for the five-member Board of Supervisors.