Missouri loses a US House district due to the new census figures. Tony Messenger and Bill Lambrecht of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tentatively predict -- and I non-tentatively agree -- that the existing 3rd District will be the one to effectively disappear.
That's Dick Gephardt's old district, and spin aside, it hasn't been a "safe" Democratic district in a long time. Gephardt held onto the seat the old-fashioned way: Knocking on doors and mobilizing organized labor support. Since he retired, Russ Carnahan rests uneasily on the throne, nearly losing to Republican Ed Martin -- a second-string player at best -- last month.
The lopsidedly Democratic city areas of the third will be used to bulk up the even more lopsidedly Democratic 1st District. The more Republican-leaning suburban/rural parts will be used to try to keep the existing 2nd (Todd Akin) and 9th (Blaine Leutkemeyer) districts Republican, and to pad out the "safe" GOP 8th (Jo Ann Emerson).
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