UPDATE: The PVI for the town of Merrimack was originally misidentified. The correct PVI for Merrimack is R+4.
New Hampshire has been one of only two states (along with Kansas) still dragging her feet in the Congressional redistricting process. Gumming the works has been a behind-the-scenes tug-of-war between Congressmen Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass.
James Pindell writes that Bass has been pushing to make CD2 more Republican by adding Merrimack, Hampstead and Plaistow to his district in exchange for more Democratic-leaning towns including Plymouth and areas further north. “House and Senate leaders don’t want any dramatic change, nor does Guinta,” says Pindell.
It looks like Guinta won. Last Wednesday, writes Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a House subcommittee on redistricting voted 7-3 to accept a “behind closed doors plan.” The “revised Mirski/Bates Proposal” (Amendment 1162h) rebuffs Bass’ effort to shift Republican voters to CD2. In fact, if this plan is adopted, his district will become slightly less Republican.
The plan moves seven reliably Republican towns, including Atkinson (R+9), Loudon (R+5) and Epsom (R+6) from CD2 to CD1 in exchange for Merrimack (R+4) and the very small towns of New Hampton (R+1) and Hart’s Location (D+4).
Using the 2008 presidential voting as a benchmark, CD2 would become slightly more Democratic (and CD1 slightly more Republican) than it is today. President Obama carried CD2 by 46,325 votes (and CD1 by 21,967 votes). He carried the towns making up the redistricted CD2 by 47,110 votes, an additional 785 Democratic votes.
Incumbent: Rep. Frank Guinta (R)
Current PVI: EVEN, Proposed PVI: EVEN
Adds Allenstown (EVEN), Atkinson (R+9), Chichester (R+3), Epsom (R+6), Loudon (R+5), Pittsfield (R+5), Shelburne (EVEN). Removes Harts Location (D+4), Merrimack (R+4), New Hampton (R+1).
Incumbent: Rep. Charlie Bass (R)
Current PVI: D+3, Proposed PVI: D+3
Adds Harts Location (D+4), Merrimack (R+4), New Hampton (R+1). Removes Allenstown (EVEN), Atkinson (R+9), Chichester (R+3), Epsom (R+6), Loudon (R+5), Pittsfield (R+5), Shelburne (EVEN).