Elbows are out as Pennsylvania's decennial redistricting of congressional and state legislative seats gets underway, with population shifting from the west eastward into central Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos region.
At the same time, in a dichotomy noted by Republican political strategist Christopher Nicholas, political power in Pennsylvania has tilted to the west. The people with influence over the new maps, Gov. Corbett (R) and five of the top six legislative leaders hail from Steelers Nation.
This power is most direct when it comes to U.S. House districts, as state lawmakers simply carve the map in the form of a bill that enumerates the new boundaries. Pennsylvania is dropping from 19 members of the House to 18, since its population growth was anemic compared to other states, particularly in the south and west.
Capitol Hill and Harrisburg buzzing, with members of Congress lobbying to survive, Republicans looking to preserve their recent gains, and Democrats to try to prevent a power-grab gerrymandering job. Here's a preliminary look at some of the scenarios being discussed on the congressional side, from today's Philadelphia Inquirer.