It’s not a Senate seat or a House seat. It’s not the Speaker’s Gavel or the Senate Majority’s chair. The ultimate prize in the 2010 election is the power to draw lines on a map.
As many as 18 states have legislatures that are in play for GOP takeover, with most analyses showing something around 12 to 15 or so likely to fall the Republican way. Combined with the likelihood that Governors’ Mansions in as many as 31 states will also be in GOP hands, the power to redraw Congressional Districts is a gift that will keep giving until the 2020 census.
Three of the biggest prizes are New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. All three states are expected to lose seats in Congress as a result of the 2010 census, and that's sure to ignite boundary fights. A party's congressman on the wrong end of redistricting can find the district he's represented for years no longer exists.
Democrats have hopes, too. They aim to take away state Senate control in Michigan and Kentucky and the House in Texas and Tennessee. Texas would be a particular victory, since it seems likely to have four more seats to divvy up under the new census. But none of the analysts contacted by The Associated Press predicted the Democrats would succeed in any of those states.
Both houses in Florida, a state that's expected to gain two seats in Congress, are likely to remain under GOP control.
While most of the attention in next week's midterm elections is focused on races for Congress and governor, results in scores of local, down-ticket races carry far-reaching implications, likely to dilute Democrats' dominance in the once-every-10-years redrawing of political district boundaries for the U.S. House.
This is another reason why turnout is so important in this election, especially for conservatives. Last Friday, I wrote a post about voting a straight ticket. If you needed only one reason to vote straight GOP next week, the redistricting issue is a damned good one.
Live in Texas? Vote Straight Ticket, and make sure Governor Perry has a GOP House to work with in dividing up the new seats. Same with Tennessee. Kentucky.
In fact, there’s no good reason to send any Democrat back to office this year. While the GOP statehouses are redrawing the political maps, the Democrats can go wander in the desert for a few years, purge the progressives on the far-left, and come back with a center-right leaning party that Americans can trust again.