Missouri Redistricting Map Kills Carnahan's District, Favors Republicans

Thumbnail image for russ_carnahan_foto.jpg
Photo: Chad Garrison
Russ Carnahan just had the rug pulled out from under him.
Yesterday state representative John Diehl (R - Town & Country) proposed the first redistricting map for Missouri following the 2010 Census. Due to faster growth elsewhere in the nation, Missouri is to lose a congressional seat in 2013.

The new map effectively eliminates Democrat Russ Carnahan's 3rd Congressional District, which currently extends from south St. Louis through Jefferson County and into Ste. Genevieve County.

Under the new proposal, the Third District would move west, ringing St. Louis County and extending as far west as Jefferson City.

Diehl told reporters that St. Louis' declining population did not merit the city having two congressmen in Carnahan and William Lacy Clay, whose 1st District would encompass the entire city under the new proposal.

"The city of the St. Louis lost the most population over the past decade, so it's almost impossible to justify that the city in and of itself maintains two congressmen," said Diehl.

Under Diehl's proposal, Missouri would likely lose one Democratic congressman, for a total of two: Lacy Clay in St. Louis and Emanuel Cleaver in Kansas City. All six current Republican reps would likely maintain their seats.

Carnahan's office has yet to make an official statement on the proposed changes. Meanwhile, conservative websites, such as RedState.com, are rejoicing over how Carnahan's district was "chopped up like a chicken for the stewpot."

See proposed map here.

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J. Brad Hicks
J. Brad Hicks

This is, pretty much, what I expected. The fastest population decline in the state was in the north St. Louis/north county area. But no plan that eliminated the state's only black-majority district would survive federal review. Which means that 1st district has to expand in some direction to add more black voters, and it's not like expanding it into west Alton or towards St. Charles would do that, so it pretty much has to expand south.

I wish that sticker didn't cover the border between 1st and 2nd district, but, to me, it looks less like "eliminating Carnahan" than "forcing Akin and Carnahan into a run-off." And I wouldn't rule out Carnahan in that race. Inner-ring suburban voters are not going vote for Akin in any serious numbers, and the union vote on the south side will probably still turn out Democratic. That puts Akin at having to put together a majority out of Clayton, Ladue, and the white-flight parts of St. Charles and Jefferson County -- a chancy proposition, I think.


I hope that Carnahan keeps his seat, especially with whackjob Akin considering a run for Senate. I pray for a Hartzler/Luetkemeyer primary.


What's not clear to me, and hasn't been discussed in any news article I've read on this, is how much more competitive this would make the 2nd district. The Democratic areas of St. Louis County that were in the 3rd District appear to be moved to the 2nd, and unless some more Conservative areas are being added, might be enough to at least provide the chance for this redistricting to backfire against the Republicans.


I agree, though it looks like the second district would move a bit further west into Franklin County. Pretty conservative there, for the most part.

J. Brad Hicks
J. Brad Hicks

But also pretty sparse. Not a lot of votes, there, to chase.

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