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Government & Politics

GOP Lawmakers Try to Get Some Democratic Buy-in for Their Congressional Redistricting Plan

Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau

An Ohio Senate committee is set to consider a plan Tuesday devised by legislative leaders to change the way Ohio’s Congressional district map is drawn. Some key lawmakers have been behind closed doors trying to hammer out an agreement with minority Democrats to get enough of their buy-in to make passage viable.                        

photo of current Ohio Congressional map
Credit FiveThirtyEight
Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight shows Just two of Ohio's 16 districts are even theoretically competitive.

Democrats are opposed to the plan offered by Republicans in the Senate, because they say it would still allow gerrymandering.

While Republicans could pass the plan with a simple majority and put it on the May ballot, they could run into trouble trying to get voters to pass it, especially since some citizens’ groups are collecting signatures to put their own redistricting amendment on the ballot in November.

Some Democrats say they like the citizen activists’ proposal.

Talks are ongoing with all these groups to try to come up with one proposal, not two, to put before voters.

Nate Silver hypothetical map
Credit FiveThirtyEight
Nate Silver, the political oddsmaker, says a congressional map that focuses on keeping counties largely together and all district compacts would give Ohio eight highly competitive races.

Meanwhile, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has suggested that the plan require maps to get bipartisan approval and that counties can’t be split until the entire population has been used up to draw a district. 

The see more configurations of Ohio Congressional maps, and the likelihood of competition, go to The Atlas of Redistricting.