It should go without saying that the current Congressional Districts in Georgia are bizarre and difficult to navigate. The maps were drawn by a Democrat controlled legislature intent on taking seats from the GOP. It didn’t quite work as they intended.
Take, just as an example, Congressman Phil Gingrey’s district (R-11th). It looks like some deformed and mutated bacteria.
The district covers the metropolitan areas of Columbus, Rome, LaGrange, and Cobb County, which is part of metro-Atlanta. Portions of it connect through a lake. The district loops through rural middle Georgia and, at one point, you can jump across the 8th Congressional District from one side of the 11th and land in another portion of the 11th.
You can also see on the picture above the 13th district, which is blue and looks like a spider on the south side of Atlanta. While it may be constitutional, it is unconscionable that the desperate Dems would gerrymander the state in such a way.
The Republicans have decided to fix things and are doing so with this map. (PDF). If passed, which seems likely, the districts will be more compact and better represent communities of interest in Georgia. Most likely two Democratic Congressman will be hurt, one being Middle Georgia’s Jim Marshall. That said, Marshall has run so much like a conservative Democrat, I still think it will be tough for a Republican to beat him.
This may, however, do to Marshall what the Democrat redistricting did to Saxy Chambliss — force Marshall into the US Senate election where he would be battling against Chambliss for the second time in a decade. They previously ran against each other for the US House. Saxby beat Marshall then and would probably do so again.
The significant downside to the redistricting is that Democratic controlled legislatures in other states might be inclined to go on a redistricting rampage as well. Though still a wild card, it is increasingly likely. And, if Ahnuld is able to get his anti-gerrymandering initiative passed in California, GOP control of the US House gets tenuous.