Friday, July 1, 2011
Re-Districting maps were made public today. Robeson has been split between two Congressional Districts. Congressman McIntyre is already complaining. In reality he should be happy. Had the County not been split, he would have been forced into the 8th Congressional District with Democratic Congressman Larry Kissell.
Robeson should get to know the name of Kissell as he, Schuler and Miller are the three Democrats most affected by re-districting. Their Districts are now decidedly more Republican. Kissell will run against a GOP contender to represent western and northern Robeson. Kissell is in an unlikely position to hold the seat and McIntyre would have been in a worse position being unknown in that District. The west end of the 8th is decidedly Republican. Kissell will not be able to hold on to the seat.
The new 7th District cuts up I-95 then carves out the middle of Lumberton. McIntyre lost about 3% right off the top. McCain won the 7th with 52% in 2008 but would have garnered 55% in this new District. Bush took 56% of the old 7th, he would have taken 59% in this new District. Keep in mind, McIntyre won his last election with about 53% so the loss puts him on the most level playing field of any Democrat.
The new 7th Congressional District consists of 42% Democrat, 32% Republican and 26% Unaffiliated. So of the four Democratic Congressmen affected – three are expected to lose and McIntyre’s is a toss-up at best. McIntyre’s challenger is Ilario Pantano, a former US Marine. The re-districting plan picks up Onslow county and the Marine Base there.
Clearly, the lawsuits will now begin regarding re-districting as they did when Democrats gerrymandered the State a decade ago. The Democrats horrendous map has stood for the past decade. There is little reason the Republican map will not stand for the next.
At best, Republicans expected a county represented by a Democrat & a Republican as a result of re-districting as the 8th was expected to be a Majority-Minority District - it's not. As it turns out, Robeson actually has the chance of being represented by two Republicans.
Operations level Republicans are still studying the maps. But so far, things will be interesting as Republicans have a lot of work to do.
8th Congressional District West & North Robeson - 7th Congressional District South East Robeson = Dividing Lumberton.