The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission unanimously approved a new congressional map Wednesday that could allow Republicans to pick up two seats in the 2022 midterms.
The map creates four safe Republican districts, three safe Democratic districts, and two swing districts. Voters in the two swing districts, the First and Sixth, supported Joe Biden in the 2020 election by 1.4 points and 0.1 points respectively, giving Republicans a strong chance at picking up both seats in a wave election. The First and Sixth are currently represented by Democrat Tom O’Halleran and Republican David Schweikert, respectively. (RELATED: New Jersey’s New Congressional Map Locks Out One Democrat)
Breaking: AZ commission (two Rs, two Ds, one tie-breaker) votes *unanimously* to approve new congressional map that would’ve split 5-4 for Biden in 2020.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 22, 2021
O’Halleran’s home, formerly in the northern part of the First District, was drawn into the Second District, which supported Donald Trump in 2020 by eight points. The Second is currently represented by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who is retiring. Schweikert’s home in Scottsdale was drawn into the new First District, which supported Biden by one point, according to Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman.
The Arizona Democratic Party blasted the new map, claiming that it would “enable the rising extremism in the Arizona Republican Party” and “undermine the voting power of Arizonans.”
The redistricting commission’s hearings grew testy at times, with Democratic commissioner Shereen Lerner accusing the commission of being biased towards Republicans. Republican commissioner David Mehl responded that Lerner was being unreasonable with her demands, before the two ultimately worked out a compromise regarding the boundaries of the Sixth District. The commission is made up of two Republicans, two Democrats, and one independent.