Caution: Primary Filing Deadlines Ahead

The shifting sands of Congressional redistricting in 2022 make keeping track of races around the country more problematic than usual. But some uncertainty will ease when primary candidates are known. Filing deadlines for state primary ballot access are fast approaching, and some have already passed.

March 1 saw a slew of primary filing deadlines.

Here is a quick look in chronological order at states with dates in the first weeks of this month.

March 1 Filing Dates

The Republican-controlled state legislature map established all four Congressional districts as solid Republican bets. The least R-leaning, AR-02, became slightly redder (from a PVI of R+7 to R+9). [PVI = Partisan Voter Index, an estimate of the partisan leaning of a district based upon how it voted (Democrat or Republican) compared to the whole country in the prior two Presidential elections.] Primary is 5/24.

The redistricting map passed the majority Republican state legislature in January and leaves districts essentially the same – three white-majority solid R districts and one black-majority solid D. Primary is 6/7.

The only state with a separate filing date for incumbents, (2/15), Nebraska allows non-incumbents to file until March 1. Under the new maps, the state has two solid R and one likely R. The likely R district (NE-02) has increased its Republican lean with an R+3 rating now. Primary is 5/10.

March 8 Filing Dates

New Mexico
New maps leave New Mexico with one solid D, one likely D, and one tossup that leans D. The redrawn lines weakened two blue districts (NM-01 and NM-03) to shore up one other (NM-02). Primary is 6/7.

First in the nation to approve its Congressional maps, Oregon had no trouble creating the new district allowed due to population growth. It’s one where Democrats have a shot at winning. The state has two solid D, two likely D, one lean D (the new OR-06), and one solid R districts. Primary is 5/17.

Pennsylvania’s redistricting process has involved a Stanford professor and the state Supreme Court. The now finalized districts – one fewer than in previous years – largely follow the same political makeup as before. The maps slightly favor Republicans, but state Democrats supported them as fairer than one drawn up by the Republican state legislature. PA has 8 Republican-leaning seats, 6 Democratic-leaning seats and 3 highly competitive seats. Primary is 5/17.

Filing Dates Past

Texas: Filing date was 12/13.
The new Republican-drawn map makes Texas even more red. The state picked up two seats largely because of increases in people of color, but the maps don’t reflect that shift. Competitive districts took a big hit, from 12 competitive to just 2. At the same time, 3 districts became safer for Democratic incumbents. Primary is 3/1.

Kentucky: Filing date was 1/7.
New district lines mean no changes. The state still will have five solid red districts and one lonely blue district around Louisville. Primary is 5/17.

Alabama: Filing date was 1/28.
The Alabama redistricting map was still in limbo on the filing date. A federal district court had rejected the Republican-drawn map as possibly violating the Voting Rights Act. But a later 5-4 Supreme Court decision reinstated the map that preserves the deep-red status quo of 5 districts with one majority-Black and one blue seat. Primary is 5/24.

West Virginia: Filing date was 1/29.
West Virginia Republicans kept the state red, but since population dropped, the net result is that there is one fewer Republican Congressional seat in the state. The two remaining districts are both R+22, according to Cook. Primary is 5/10.

Indiana: Filing date was 2/4.
The new map maintains the 7 red, 2 blue district makeup, though one red district became even safer for Republicans to hold onto. Primary is 5/3.

Maryland: Filing date was 2/22.
Redistricting here has been a seesaw. The state legislature approved a map. The governor vetoed. The legislature overrode the veto. Some Republicans sued to get the map overturned. It’s still in court, but the filing date is past. If the map stands, Maryland has 6 sold D and one lean R districts. Primary is 6/28.

NC Stands Alone

The North Carolina Supreme Court suspended the filing process, which had started Dec. 6. Filing opened again on Feb. 24 and ended on March 4. The primary remains set on 5/17.  A panel of state judges rejected Congressional maps that the state legislature had approved and produced a map of its own. The new map has additional competitive districts compared to the Republican-drawn plans. But don’t count your blue chickens yet; Republicans are asking for an emergency stay.

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