NewsIn Depth


Arizona’s Congressional districts redrawn to favor Republicans

arizona state capitol AP
Posted at 5:32 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 21:02:27-05

PHOENIX — Republicans appear to have scored a major victory in the redistricting of Arizona’s Congressional Districts. Currently, Democrats hold a 5-4 advantage in Congress. But that figures to change after the November 2022 election.

“Welcome to modern-day politics,” Republican Political Consultant Stan Barnes said. “This is what we get when a separate, supposedly independent body is making the decision.”

It doesn’t take much. A city block here, including or excluding a street there. Just like that, a congressional district can change from Democrat to Republican. Or in the case of Congressman Greg Stanton, it can go away. Under Arizona’s newly drawn congressional boundaries, Stanton will no longer live in the Congressional district he serves.

“The realization of these new boundaries is going to keep a number of incumbent congressmen up tonight thinking about their political futures. Because it is all different now,” said Barnes.

Not living in the district does not prevent Congressman Stanton from running. In fact, Stanton already represents most of the voters in the newly drawn map. In Flagstaff, Democrat Tom O’Halleran will face a tougher fight.

”New boundaries mean new constituency groups, new elected officials, and new majorities,” Barnes said.

Which means Republicans should regain control of Arizona’s congressional delegation. And maintain a firm grip on the state legislature.

The remainder of Arizona’s congressional districts seem to favor the incumbents. Except in Tucson, where Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick is not seeking re-election leaving the seat, in what has been historically a competitive district, open.

Analyzing the new Congressional Map

Redistricting experts at Princeton rate Arizona’s map as “Republican Advantage,” noting that the average partisan win percentage breaks down to 4 Republican districts, 3 Democratic districts, and two competitive districts.

Focusing on the two competitive districts; most of the new district 1 is currently represented by Republican David Schweikert. It contains much of northeastern Maricopa County and has a very high share of college-educated voters. An ABC 15 analysis of previous election results has President Joe Biden winning the district by 0.76% in 2020. Because the district takes in some parts of more Democratic-leaning areas of Phoenix, an analysis of congressional results estimates that Schweikert would not have won re-election in 2020 in the current boundaries, losing by about 2,800 votes.

District 6 encompasses much of southeastern Arizona, taking in the eastern side of Tucson and picking up population as far north as Casa Grande. The largest area of this district was represented by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick in congress but will now be an open seat due to her retirement. Biden also won this district by half of a point, but unlike district 1, a Republican candidate for Congress would have carried this district in 2020.

The new Congressional and Legislative maps will go to the counties for approval. Then to the Secretary of State where they will be certified in time for the 2022 election.