POLITICS
12/14/2011 06:03 pm ET

Pennsylvania's New Election Map A Win For Republicans

As the 2012 elections loom, both parties are starting to pour resources into congressional and gubernatorial races across the country. While Republicans work to regain control of the Senate, Democrats are vying to pick up seats in the GOP-controlled House. Below, a rundown of election news happening beyond the presidential field.

Considering the GOP controls both the Pennsylvania legislature and the governor's mansion, it's no surprise that the state's redistricting map favors Republicans. But the proposed map released by the state legislative redistricting panel yesterday smacked of gerrymandering, Democrats charged.

Republican lawmakers vulnerable to Democratic challengers appear to have been drawn into safer districts, with the map-makers bundling high concentrations of conservatives in districts with GOP incumbents up for reelection. Some proposed districts snake illogically across the state and divide communities.

The map also merges two districts into one, pitting two Democratic incumbents against each other -- a move that Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz were expecting. As Politico reports, Altmire wasted no time releasing his new video ad:

In addition to shoring up the state's 12 currently red seats, the proposed map creates an additional seat that could easily go to Republicans. The map is expected to pass the Pennsylvania House and Senate easily, as soon as this week.

Pennsylvania Democrats have been tweeting their frustration:

@PADems: Republican Rorschach: one submitter thinks PA-7 looks like a monkey riding a giraffe. #pagerrymander bit.ly/pagerrymander

@PADems: Republican Rorschach: someone thinks PA-12 looks like a broken pogo stick. What do you think? #pagerrymander bit.ly/pagerrymander

@PaDems: Republican Rorschach: sports fans - PA-16 looks like a person Tebowing bit.ly/ufInqa #pagerrymander

@PaDems: Republican Rorschach: someone thinks PA-17 looks like an anchor. What do you think? #pagerrymander bit.ly/pagerrymander

@PaDems: Republican Rorschach: PA-3 looks like zombie aardvark in an airplane seat. Tell yours #pagerrymander bit.ly/pagerrymander

For more on the nitty gritty details, Politics PA has a nice round up.

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In an unusual move for a Republican running for Senate next year, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) broke with his party and voted against the GOP tax plan yesterday.

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After a bitter debate, Texas officials moved the state's filing deadline back four days and may also push back its March 6 primary election. No decision has been made yet on whether to delay the state's primary or split it into two.

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Ohio Democrats and Republicans agreed to nix the current plan of holding two primary elections and go with a single primary on March 6. Party leaders apparently agreed on a new "tweaked" congressional map.

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The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog PAC will endorse five Congressional candidates running in Republican-leaning districts: Reps. Leonard Bembry (D-Fl.), Clark Hall (D-Arkansas), Brendan Mullen (R-Ind.), Ted Vick (R-S.C.) and Rob Wallace (R-Ok.) The group will announce more endorsements early next year.

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