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New Congressional Map Passes PA Senate

After a squeaker majority vote, political website predicts tougher road than ever for Democrat congressional candidates facing Jim Gerlach.

A plan that would shift the borders of Pennsylvania's Congressional Districts is one step closer to reality after a narrow victory in the Pennsylvania Senate Wednesday night.

The redistricting bill squeaked by the senate a 26-24 vote and now goes on to the Republican controlled house where a vote is scheduled on Tuesday.

Uner the plan, the 6th and 7th Congressional District lines would change, shifting all of Easttown and Tredyffrin into the 6th District, a seat currently held by Republican Jim Gerlach. A portion of Easttown is currently in 7th District, a seat now held by freshman Republican Pat Meehan.

The Congressional district re-mapping under consideration in Harrisburg would make it tougher for Democrats win seats in Pennsylvania, according to report on the liberal policital website Politico.

Republicans currently hold 12 of Pennsylvania's 19 Congressional seats. The GOP gained five seats in the 2010 election. The new district maps under consideration in the now-Republican controlled halls of power in Harrisburg would take more Democrat-leaning wards and areas out of Gerlach's 6th District as well as the 7th district, a seat currently held by freshman Republican Pat Meehan. The result would presumably be that the 6th and 7th Congressional Districts would have more Republican voters. Democrat areas would shift to districts closer to Philadelphia and to other areas where the Democrat's voter base is more concentrated anyway.

In addition, results of the 2010 Census mean Pennsylvania is going to lose a Congressional seat.

The result of all this, according to Politico, is that Democrat strategists think the Republicans will hold on to most of the gains made in the 2010 election.

In Gerlach's new district Democrat challengers would have an even tougher time, according to the Politico report.  "Few Democrats see much of a chance against Gerlach, who has fended off strong challenges for a decade and who will trade the blue Montgomery County areas of his district for more purple spots in Chester and Berks counties," the report says.

What do you think?  Are Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg playing unfair power games or are they doing exactly what the Democrats would do if they were the party in power after the 2010 election? Tell us in the comment section.

Michelle Olson February 07, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Where is the map?

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