By Art Gallagher
The US. Census Bureau will not release the data required for the State Apportionment Commission to do their work for another month. The commission is holding its organizational meeting today in Trenton.
At NJ Spotlight, Mark Magyar takes a comprehensive look at New Jersey’s population shifts based upon the 2000 census data and the 2009 population projections published by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Magyar’s piece is likely to be the most widely read article on State Street today. His conclusions:
Based on an analysis of population projections, when the new legislative map is drawn we can expect to see a configuration more favorable to Republicans. We could very well see one Democratic district in the urban northeast replaced by a solidly GOP district, most likely somewhere in the middle of South Jersey. That is what happened in 1991 when Republican commission members persuaded the neutral tie-breaker to take the Democratic 30th District in Essex and plop it in the middle of Burlington and Ocean counties where it immediately became a Republican bastion for Senator Bob Singer of Lakewood and Assemblyman Joseph Malone of Bordentown, each first elected in 1993.
If Democrats decide to give up an urban northeast district as part of a retrenchment strategy, it will most likely end up in South Jersey The question for both party’s strategists is whether they want to make the new district a Republican stronghold and allow the the South Jersey incumbents from both parties to consolidate their bases, or use the new district to try to create more competitive districts — an approach that presumably would give the GOP a better chance to gain the seats they need to win back the legislature.