Roll Call names Congress’s “top 10 power brokers in redistricting” this morning, and there’s one New Yorker on the list: Long Island Congressman and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel.
With Albany likely to trim one seat from each party, it might be news to Republican Congressman Peter King — and, for that matter, State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos — that Israel is “in the driver’s seat in the delegation in determining which Republican-held seat will get eliminated,” but it does seem right that he’ll have an outsize influence on which Democratic representatives might be in danger. That fight is likely to take place in Israel’s backyard, with most experts expecting Long Island to get squeezed by the new lines.
New York: Rep. Steve Israel (D)
Seat change: -2
You can’t say Israel didn’t know what he was signing up for when he took the reins of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this cycle. But as head of House Democrats’ campaign arm, one of Israel’s biggest headaches is not in Washington, D.C. — but back home in New York. Every district in the Empire State is lacking the requisite population for a post-2012 Congressional district, which means no seat will be left untouched next year. Fortunately for Israel, the bulk of the population loss is upstate, where Republicans made big gains last cycle. Those districts will likely be affected the most, which puts Israel in the driver’s seat in the delegation in determining which Republican-held seat will get eliminated and which Democratic district can be made safer. However, given population loss in the state, it’s also extremely likely that the second district eliminated will come out of the downstate area, where Democrats control many of the seats. Especially if state lawmakers threaten to draw a Member-vs.-Member race among suburban or urban Democrats, Israel will be in a tough spot trying to strike a deal to save his colleagues.