The News & Observer is reporting that Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) will chair the Senate redistricting committee. The article says that the GOP “could district lines that make it easier for GOP candidates to win elections.” A fair and impartial drawing of the electoral map, as opposed to the obviously gerrymandered districts we currently have, would certainly make it easier for Republicans to win. Have a look at the current US House districts in North Carolina. A map can be found here. Note the especially contorted 2nd, 3rd and 12th districts.
Our obviously gerrymandered districts were drawn by Democrats after the 2000 Census. Hopefully the GOP will resist the temptation to gerrymander and will draw districts that adhere to county and municipal boundaries. In fact, more competitive elections would benefit the state.
Much of the electorate decries excessive partisanship and the ideological rigidity that plague the political system. Competitive electoral districts tend to draw more centrist candidates because party nominees are forced to appeal to the middle in order to win instead of to their respective bases. Moderate candidates serve as a means to limit partisanship. Whether that is a good thing depends on your own political perspective. As always, the redistricting process should be interesting.