The Rose Institute’s Mike Whatley was recently quoted in Campaigns & Elections online discussing newly released maps for Virginia’s 2011 Assembly and State Senate redistricting.
Mike Whatley, a redistricting expert and editor of the Rose Report at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Californiaâ€™s Claremont McKenna College, foresees more fighting ahead. â€œThe plan introduced by Senate Democrats will not be the final plan most likely,â€ he says. â€œRepublicans want to win back the Senate this year and they only need four seats to do it. It is likely they will fight to get a more favorable map in the Senate.â€
Whatley believes that the Assembly Republican plan will also not stand as is. He says that it will either be bargained away for greater flexibility from Senate Democrats or pressure will mount on Gov. McDonnell to act on his campaign pledge to pursue a bipartisan solution, which would entail scuttling the current plan.
Whatley and McDonald believe that the August 23 deadline for final redistricting maps will ultimately be met, but not before a more brutal fight within Virginiaâ€™s political establishment plays out. â€œThe deals have been cut, even for the congressional plan,â€ says McDonald. â€œ[Virginia state Senate Democrats] are holding [U.S. 7th District Rep.] Eric Cantor hostage so they can get approval on their Senate map. Following that, they will get the congressional map out, but not before.â€