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Government/Politics

Proposed Congressional maps show different approaches to representation in Ohio

redistricting cropped.jpg
Andy Chow
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) presents a new Congressional district map, drawn by the Senate Republican Caucus.

The plans from Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate vary on competitiveness and partisan splits.

State lawmakers are preparing for the next step of the Congressional redistricting process which could pick up steam after the Senate Republicans unveil their new proposal.

The House and Senate have held separate committee meetings and two hearings by a joint panel to discuss the four plans put forth by lawmakers; HB479 (House Republicans), HB483 (House Democrats), SB237 (Senate Democrats), SB258 (Senate Republicans).

Supporters and opponents of the plans have argued over how each map breaks down politically to potentially determine how many seats could be won by either party.

Lawmakers must approve a new Congressional map with 15 districts, down from the 16 Congressional districts Ohio's had for the last decade.

Here is the partisan breakdown for each proposed map based on the national analytic tool, "Dave's Redistricting." The list compiles voter data and compares the amount of registered Republican voters and Democratic voters for every proposed district.

Update: Senate and House Republicans announced a new proposal for a Congressional district map Monday evening that will be introduced in the form of a substitute bill to SB258. The details needed for a full voter analysis per district were not yet available.

Senate Republican map - SB258 (prior to amendments)

Very Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 3
Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 10%) - 3
Very Strong Democratic Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 1
Strong Democratic Districts (at or more than 10%) - 1
Competitive Leaning Republican Districts (under 10%) - 7
Competitive Leaning Democratic Districts (under 10%) - 0

The Senate Republican map would likely put two sets of incumbents in the same district; Bill Johnson (R-6th District) and Tim Ryan (D-13th District); and Joyce Beatty (D-3rd District) and Jim Jordan (R-4th District).

House Republican map - HB479

Very Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 4
Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 10%) - 5
Very Strong Democratic Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 0
Strong Democratic Districts (at ore more than 10%) - 2
Competitive Leaning Republican Districts (under 10%) - 4
Competitive Leaning Democratic Districts (under 10%) - 0

The House Republican map would likely put two sets of incumbents in the same district: Steve Chabot (R-1st District) and Brad Wenstrup (R-2nd District); and Joyce Beatty (D-3rd District) and Mike Carey (R-15th District).

Senate Democratic map - SB237

Very Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 6
Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 10%) - 0
Very Strong Democratic Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 2
Strong Democratic Districts (at or more than 10%) - 1
Competitive Leaning Republican Districts (under 10%) - 2
Competitive Leaning Democratic Districts (under 10%) - 4

The Senate Democratic map would put four sets of incumbents in the same district: Steve Chabot (R-1st District) and Brad Wenstrup (R-2nd District); Warren Davidson (R-8th District) and Bob Latta (R-5th District); Joyce Beatty (D-3rd District) and Mike Carey (R-15th District); and Troy Balderson (R-12th District) and Bill Johnson (R-6th District).

House Democratic map - HB483

Very Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 6
Strong Republican Districts (at or more than 10%) - 0
Very Strong Democratic Districts (at or more than 20% gap) - 2
Strong Democratic Districts (at or more than 10%) - 2
Competitive Leaning Republican Districts (under 10%) - 3
Competitive Leaning Democratic Districts (under 10%) - 2

The House Democratic map would put four sets of incumbents in the same district: Steve Chabot (R-1st District) and Brad Wenstrup (R-2nd District); Bob Gibbs (R-7th District), Troy Balderson (R-12th District) and Bill Johnson (R-6th District); Tim Ryan (D-13th District) and David Joyce (R-14th District); and Warren Davidson (R-8th District) and Jim Jordan (R-4th District).

Lawmakers must follow provisions created by a statewide ballot issue in 2018 that was intended to stop gerrymandering, when leaders draw maps to favor one political party over another. Those mapmaking changes include a limit on how many times a county can be split.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said the goal is to keep districts compact and competitive.

"It's impossible to draw all competitive districts without violating the Constitution otherwise with the number of splits so there will be some districts that are in excess of a 60% likely in whatever map that we end up passing," said Huffman.

There's been a debate over the definition of a competitive district. Republican leaders have said they would consider a district competitive if it is within a 10% gap of Republican and Democratic voters. However, fair district advocates have said that number should be much lower to be considered competitive.

A final 10-year map would need approval from at least 1/3 of the Democratic members, a four-year map can pass by a simple majority.

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