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tv   Campaign 2022 Congressional Redistricting in Montana and Pennsylvania  CSPAN  October 26, 2021 7:59pm-8:27pm EDT

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download the app for free today. ♪ ♪ how will redistricting affect upcoming u.s. house races and montana and pennsylvania? we discussed that with regional political journalists in the cook political report this is just over 20 minutes. >> well currently, there are about 334 million people living in the united states but that's according to the 2020 census figures read the representing congress by two senators from each of the 50 states and 435 members of congress. that 435 number has been set by law since 19209. now, with a new census figures out which take into account the population growth in the united states and geographical and demographic changes as well, the every tenure congressional redistricting
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will start. the new districts will be in place for the 2022 midyear election. some states have lost members of congress, new york and pennsylvania r2 while some like texas and florida gained new members. to help us to delve into those numbers is a dave wasserman of the cook political report. mr. wasserman, when you look at the census figures and the redistricting that is ahead, which political party do you see as benefiting the most at this point? >> we are going to have to wait to find out. the census shows a country getting more diverse, getting more urban. actually 52% of the lost population in 2010 and 2020 which goes to show rural america is declining relative to america's cities and suburbs. on the surface that is good news for democrats because after all they are the party
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doing better in cities and suburbs. but the caveat is the country's politics have not changed that much and the last ten years. this added diversity, the growth of suburbs has not made the country more favorable to democrats where they won the white house by the same popular vote margin in 2028 they did in 2012. the more important part of this is how lines are drawn from state to state. republicans get to draw the maps in 20 states totaling 187 districts. that is because state legislatures for the most part their responsibility for this compared to 75 district in eight states the democrats control. republicans get to draw more than twice as many districts as a democrat there also ten states independent bipartisan commission that total 121 districts. there are six states with control that is split between a legislature of one party and
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the governor of the other. that adds up to 46 districts. then there are six states that only have a one district in this upcoming decade and do not need to divide their states into multiple seats. while six states are gaining members of congress texas, florida, north carolina, oregon montana colorado. seven states are losing a member of congress new york, pennsylvania, michigan, ohio, illinois and west virginia. when people move out of a state like illinois or west virginia, two states that loss of population or two states each losing a seat as well. are they taking the politics with them are moving out of frustration? >> we increasingly hear of voters who are throwing their hands up in the art states becoming too inhospitable for their political beliefs and choosing to move elsewhere. now, it takes a lot of
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rigorous research to determine the size of that effect on how blue or red a state becomes. but, what we know is that over time, as voters either choose to live politically more comfortable or as independent voters lead more and more towards whichever party is dominant because of an echo chamber event whether it social media are the predominant feel in their community, we feel a geographic polarization. if a state had in its boundaries every precinct that was a 50/50 between the parties it would be impossible to gerrymander that state into heavily red heavily blue district. imagine for a moment a state that is become heavily polarized between a blue urban areas and red rural areas,
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it's easier than ever to essentially compartmentalize democrats and republicans into districts where the outcomes are preordained. the net effect of redistricting which we cannot be sure which party is going to benefit or whether it could be a wash the net effect is will see fewer competitive districts then there are now. >> host: dave wasserman comes to drawing maps which matters more geography or demographics? >> they are inextricable, right? there inextricably linked. in a lot of states but we have seen is minorities have accounted for most of the population growth on a net basis and the last ten years. the rural districts and many states have lost population grown slowly and will need to expand into suburban
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territory. however, republicans in a lot of places will try to pack democratic votes into a small number of districts to maximize opportunities elsewhere. democrats and many states are at a geographic disadvantage. an example would be the state of wisconsin. the state overall is pretty evenly divided. democratic boats are concentrated overwhelmingly blue cities madison and milwaukee. as a result even if you draw a map that is fairly compact and draw the districts that is in madison, trawl the district that is milwaukee, the state's other six districts would lean republican by very fair margin. even a partisan blind map could generate six republicans are just to democrats. >> host: won the state for the first time its histories and gaming a members at trump state and 2020, montana. >> actually montana had to districts as recently as
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1992. it's gaining back the seats it lost in the 1990 census. back in the 1980s so you spent eastern district and a western district in the state. the western seat elected a democrat the eastern seat elected a republican. now there's a commission in place in montana must consider how to divide the state for 2020. even montana leans republican over all, it is possible a western seat could be competitive if it includes a democrat leaning cities of boseman, butte, helena and great falls. the state supreme court got to a appoint the tiebreaker. the tiebreaker, smith is someone democrats are optimistic about. she has said that
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competitiveness should be one of the criteria the commission considers. in fact she, and the commission took a vote and that position prevailed. so if a more competitive seat is drawn in western montana, it would be potentially competitive race. >> host: eric dietrich is with the montana free press. where has been the population growth in montana? >> most of the western half of the state actually. we have seen a lot of growth in our college towns in addition to having universities while people moving there for quality of life to live and work with ample recreational opportunities. if you're familiar with it a little bit of population growth in the richland county area.
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>> pc montana where he sees the dividing line for the two congressional districts? >> that is the question of the air. it depends who you talk to where folks will like to see that. it seems to be there is emerging to some extent but not entirely partisan debate over that. i'm generalizing a little bit but by and large people are republican minded more of us on the continental divide which put those two college towns and people more democratic minded seemed to by and large be interested in the districts that would group those two tales together. which would probably make democratic candidates more competitive. >> host: have maps been released? >> guest: yes, as of yesterday the district commission the state group that is responsible for drawing the
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maps, adopting the mets has nine finalists and maps they are looking at that includes proposals from the republican side of thing but some proposals from the democratic side of things. kind of combination of potentiality there. were not down to a map yet but we have maps they are out. >> are looking for public feedback on the nine maps, what is the next process step? mid november deadline they're looking for public comment and put than they will choose a map and try to negotiate that out between the partisan interest on that body. does the state legislature have veto power over the maps? >> they don't.
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it's five members there is a fifth tiebreaker chair who this cycle was aborted by the montana supreme court and is it non- partisan arbiter there. and has the authority they can do what they want too. the legislature at times tries to pass legislation duration it gets interesting legal questions about whether that legislation actually constrain the body. they go off and do their thing and make a decision this is not the person that had two representatives is it? were one of the few states that had to in the past and drop down because other states
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were going faster. and now we have grown fast enough we get our second seatback. some of the dynamic here is people looking at what the districts were way back in the day and said that probably makes sense to do it like that again versus folks who think there's probably a better way to do it. >> finally on the state level, the state legislatures also being redistrict. is that done by the independent commission as well? >> it is. that's with a congressional map during the congressional map this fall and then shift into the legislator districting. that will be really interesting for the be about a million people in the staple 100 house districts relative to population a pretty small districts and complex with high population density. we have legislative districts now as big a certain states. others that are a few city blocks. it will be interesting to see how that process gets going to wrap your head around the
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right way. >> joining us from helena to talk about montana redistricting process, eric of the montana free press. thank you for your time break. >> thank you so much for having me. so when they're 13 million pennsylvanians, they currently have 18 congressional seats. and they are losing one, sarah and hughes based in harrisburg. ms. hughes, why is pennsylvania losing a seat even though population did not go down? >> are population did not go down but did not grow as quickly as population of other states. and because of that. >> geographically wears the population being lost? >> essentially everywhere the
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former mining town in northeastern pennsylvania, essentially everywhere that is not a suburb of philadelphia and that stretches out more to the central part of our state line. >> what is the processing for redistricting? >> there two different processes depending on what you're talking about. congressional map will have one seat, that is drawn in the legislature. both chambers the house and senate are controlled by republicans quite strongly. they have demographers who are working on maps they will put out as a bill. republicans have more than enough votes to pass their map. the complication for them this
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time around comes the form of democratic governor tom wolfe. who, because this is a bill gets to say or no. he has to sign it if they wanted to go into effect. or he can veto it and then i think things become a little more complicated. for our state, house legislative method drawn by five-member panel. that is to republican leaders, to democratic leaders and also one person which is controlled by democrats. there are hopes the members of the panel will actually be able to come to an agreement and pass maps unanimously. in pennsylvania, many, many years of pushing for independent redistricting commission, the power it still lies with the most important and highest ranking lawmakers. >> host: but two separate tracks and independent commission the state level.
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an apolitical decisions made on the congressional level. >> the state level it is a commission that is independent of our legislature. it still made up of legislative leaders. there is a one person who comes from the citizenry. he is a former chancellor of the university of pittsburgh and quite a well-known person in political circles. again lawmakers are ultimately in charge for. >> as of october, where are you in the process? >> we are behind closed doors portion of our redistricting cycle. we had several public hearings from both sides for our congressional maps when the house government committee to get inputs. the apportionment did the same. what's happening right now is to demographers are drawing maps, are trying to figure out
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exactly how to adjust for the population without, sounding too cynical but risking too many of their incumbents. there is been some help from redistricting advocates moved throughout the maps we have now and start fresh with our new population changes, to really focus on drawing the fairest and best map possible. not going to happen. [laughter] the demographers are keeping incumbents in mind. but essentially we are waiting. we are waiting for the legislature in this reapportionment commission to release draft plans to the republic so that can begin. >> sarah and hughes, with their own knowledge of this, where do you see the seat being lost? >> the congressional seat? >> host: yes, ma'am. >> guest: that is the million dollar question. there are obvious places it
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could come out of it. we at the southwest part of our state he made national news for swimming a democrat and that trump heavy district. there's been a good amount of population loss in that area. although the suburbs of pittsburgh he also represents has seen population growth that's a little complicated. we also have a lot of population loss in the northeast part of the state with both democrats and republicans have seat. so you could easily see his seat coming out from there. but, what exactly republicans and democrats are thinking about right now? they are being very tightlipped. frankly i don't think it's going to be her legislature and governor decide where that seat comes out i think ultimately it's going to end up in the courts for they are
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going to be the ones who decide where the seat comes from. >> host: how significant is the majority/minority districts in philadelphia? will they be changed as well? >> that is a really important question. for our state, house, senate maps that is a huge part of the conversation happening right now. philadelphia saw tremendous growth over the past ten years. people i have spoken to in democratic circles want to see more added to that area to do exactly what you are talking about. the republicans on the other hand but rather seat seats added to the suburbs this also population growth. the risk there is start chopping up the districts your majority/minority districts no longer are majority/minority anymore. that is an ongoing conversation at the statehouse and the congressional map.
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that something lawmakers have a hearing on to hear from the public and figure out how they're going to balance that. we went sarah and he is has pennsylvania been accused of gerrymandering through past redistricting cycles customer. >> gerrymandering yes. that was a very, very huge court battle here in pennsylvania in 2018. throughout the congressional maps republicans are very clearly drawn it for their advantage. it went from being a very strong republican map to being equally split between democrats and republicans. some of our districts became famous as daffy duck and other cartoon characters for the very unique shape. they're also thrown out in
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2011, 2012 back when the redistricting cycle happened. also reasons are unconstitutional they had split counties in too many ways against our constitution. so yes pennsylvania when the ground zero but also as an example of how the court increasingly becoming involved in unfair maps but lawmakers can't figure how to do it themselves. >> host: finally what is spotlight pa? >> spotlight pa is a nonprofit newsroom. we are based in harrisburg but serve the entire state. we have 77 partners we share stories with. in government with an accountability angle too. >> sarah and hughes as a deputy editor of spotlight pa, thanks for your time on
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redistricting. >> my pleasure. >> join us tomorrow morning for this week's edition of prime minister's questions. boris johnson faces the house of commons, you can watch live starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on cspan2. follow on the go with c-span now. our new video app. >> c-span "washington journal", everyday we take your calls live on the air, on the news of the day. we discussed policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, michigan congressman chief deputy democratic whip discuss president biden's build back better agenda and upcoming fiscal deadlines. then louisiana republican congressman ranking member of the select committee on the climate crisis talks about the biden administration's climate proposals build back better infrastructure legislation. washington examiners reviews
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