by Dan Lucas
Despite the statutory requirement that “ No district shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring any political party, incumbent legislator or other person.”, an analysis of the respective plans reveals that some of those considerations may have crept into the process. It is especially obvious in the Democrat’s plan that the intent is clearly to give them a majority in the Oregon House.
Big Difference in the Two Plans – and Republicans Are Already Playing Uphill in Oregon
The Democrat’s plan will likely result in them picking up 2-7 more seats, while the Republican plan just gives them a chance to pick up as many as 2 more seats.
For example, the Democrat’s plan changes Republican-held District 39 from a 0.9% Democrat advantage to a whopping 14.4% Democrat advantage – making it unwinnable for a Republican.
The biggest change in the Republican plan moves Democrat-held District 35 from an 11% Democrat advantage down to a 5.6% Democrat advantage – still very winnable for a Democrat.
Democrat Plan – Likely Pick Up 2-7 Seats and Strengthen 5 Competitive Seats
The Democrat’s legislative redistricting plan would likely allow them to pick up two-to-seven House seats in the Oregon legislature. Even picking up on the low end of that range, two, would break the split and restore them to the majority. If they’re able to pick up six seats as a result of their redistricting, then they’ll get a super-majority again like they had in the 2009 legislative session when they rammed through Measures 66 & 67.
With their plan, Democrats would be very likely to pick up House Districts 51 & 39, with a good shot at 30. They’d also have a much better shot at House Districts 54, 52, 37 and 24.
At the same time, the Democrats are increasing protection of five of their districts where they had close races: House Districts 9, 50, 32, 14, and 11.
Republican Plan – Chance To Pick Up 2 Seats and Strengthens 2 Competitive Seats
The Republican’s legislative redistricting plan would possibly allow them to pick up two House seats: House Districts 35 and 11. With their plan, the Republicans are also increasing protection of two of their districts where they had close races: House Districts 30 and 54.
Click here to see an analysis of the voter registration changes that the Democrat’s plan would have on the Oregon House Districts.
Click here to see an analysis of the voter registration changes that the Republican’s plan would have on the Oregon House Districts.