MICHIGAN: is shrinking from 14 to 13 seats, and w/ a new citizens' commission, few incumbents are safe. Somewhat ironically, *Dems* might have more to lose switching from the current GOP gerrymander (left) to a more compact plan (example, right). Here's why...
In 2018, the GOP gerrymander crumbled and Ds picked up two suburban Detroit seats, #MI08 and #MI11. But now, every seat needs to expand. And w/ two Black majority seats to preserve ( #MI13 and #MI14 below), there may not be enough blue turf left to protect all four suburban Ds.
For example, it's possible #MI09 Rep. Andy Levin (D) & #MI11 Rep. Haley Stevens (D) get thrown together (below), and #MI08 Rep. Elissa Slotkin is forced to run in a swingy, much more Lansing-centric seat. In the words of one House Dem, "I'm worried we've outkicked our coverage."
Another major concern for Dems: #MI05 Rep. Dan Kildee (D), whose Flint seat has been trending R and voted for Biden by just 4%. #MI05 needs to pick up about 100k residents and he's surrounded on most sides by heavily pro-Trump territory.
A big decision for the commission: where to put Ann Arbor. If it's in a district similar to Rep. Debbie Dingell (D)'s current #MI12, she'd be safe. But if it's moved to, say, Rep. Tim Walberg (R)'s #MI07, both of them could be forced to run in highly competitive districts.
Bottom line: don't get me wrong, a commission map is certainly preferable for Dems vs. the GOP drawing the map all over again. But, w/ the delegation tied 7D-7R, there could still be more downside risk for Dems. Michigan is *very* high-stakes, w/ a ton of uncertainty.
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