Some Latino groups believe there may be enough Hispanic growth to create a third Hispanic-majority district in the state, which would likely come in the Phoenix area. Rep. Jeff Flake (R) is running for the Senate and Rep. Trent Franks (R) is looking at the race as well, so their districts may be altered as a result. (Franks' district was drawn to protect the Hopi Indian tribe from its antagonistic Navajo neighbors and will likely include that area again.)
The new map may create three heavily Latino districts, two in Phoenix as well as Rep. Raul Grijalva's in the southwest of the state, and shore up Giffords. The Republican-leaning first district, which is one fifth Native American and flipped back to the Republican column with Rep. Paul Gosar's win, grew slower than the rest of the state and may have to take in more Phoenix suburbs, which could make it more Republican, leaving the state's delegation with a 5 to 4 Republican edge. If a third Latino district is not created, chances are that one of the Phoenix-based districts will be a politically marginal one that either party could win.
-- Wisconsin's population grew slowly but steadily, rising 6 percent in the last decade. Some of its fastest growth came from suburban sprawl from other states: St. Croix County, across the border from Minneapolis and St. Paul, grew by one third, while Kenosha County, in between Chicago and Milwaukee, saw double-digit growth. Milwaukee lost a bit of population while its suburbs gained, and Madison grew by 12 percent, with surrounding Dane County growing even faster. The state's rural North Woods population shrank, as old iron range towns lost population and the tourist industry around vacation homes dried up due to the recession.
The Hispanic community grew by almost three quarters in the decade and Hispanics are now 6 percent of the state, almost as many as African Americans, although the state remains 83 percent white. Most of both minority populations are in Milwaukee, explaining why African American Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore has been learning Spanish in the last few years.
Republicans control redistricting this time after a map was drawn by both parties a decade ago. If the state's war over unions is any indicator, the state legislators and Gov. Scott Walker (R) like to play rough, but it is unlikely the districts will shift much because the only way to endanger the state's only Democrat in a marginal district, Rep. Ron Kind in the state's southwestern dairy country, they would have to make either freshman Republican Rep. Sean Duffy's tossup district or moderate Republican Rep. Tom Petri's Republican-leaning district more Democratic, and Petri, who is 70 and unhappy with the direction of his party, may retire in the next few years. Also, Kind has been discussed as a possible candidate for governor, and Walker may not want to force him out of his district only to have to run against him.
This means that despite Wisconsin Republicans' new found hardball politics the state's map is unlikely to shift dramatically. Duffy and fellow freshman Rep. Reid Ribble will likely be given some more Republican territory to make sure they will be harder to beat in the future.
-- Idaho's population grew by 21 percent, and unlike in many other states, Hispanics were only a part of that growth. The Hispanic population did grow by 73 percent and they are now almost 12 percent of the state, but the white population grew quickly as well. It's interesting to note that a Hispanic, freshman Republican Rep. Raul Labrador won the state's western district, but his district is actually less Hispanic than the other in the state.
The state's population jump came largely from growth in its one urban area: more than half of the state's new residents live in Ada and Canyon Counties, which include Boise and Nampa.
The state remains overwhelmingly Republican, and while Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick won in the first district in 2008 he was beaten by Labrador, a flawed candidate, by 10 points last fall. Republicans in control of the state may tweak the lines a bit to shore up Labrador, but he is close to former Rep. Bill Sali and neither is popular with many in the state's Republican establishment. Chances are the congressional lines won't shift much here.