By Tyler Millhouse
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: On Tuesday, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) signed the state’s legislative and Congressional redistricting plans, redrawing the state’s 9 Congressional seats, 50 Senate seats and 100 House seats.
The Congressional maps, created by the Republican-controlled legislature, will likely benefit GOP incumbents and weaken Democratic opposition. Most notably, the map seems to place District 2 in Republican hands. Joe Donnelly (D), who currently represents the district, has announced that he will run instead for the US Senate. Some speculate that if a Republican can successfully unseat incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar (R) in a primary, Donnelly might fare better in his bid for the seat.
In addition, the map strengthens Republican representative Todd Young in District 9. The map also appears to leave Districts 1 and 7 strongly Democratic, Districts 3, 4 and 5 strongly Republican, and District 6 Republican-leaning. However, Larry Buschon’s (R) District 8 seat is likely to become more competitive.
The state legislative plan also seems to benefit Republican interests. While some of these changes may be politically motivated, demographic changes have also favored Republicans. Twenty-one of the 30 house districts that lost population are currently controlled by Democrats. Republicans ultimately altered the original bill, redrawing one of the districts which paired two House Democrats. With an existing 37-13 Republican majority in the Indiana State Senate, political changes were less dramatic. No senate incumbents were paired together.
By April 28, both Houses had passed and/or concurred with the redistricting legislation. Daniels signed the bill on Tuesday, May 10 along with 79 other bills passed by the Legislature. Indiana is only the third state to complete its entire redistricting process. Only Iowa and Louisiana completed the process sooner.