The Fix: freshmen

Six House freshmen that are making an early (media) impact

Six House freshmen that are making an early (media) impact

You should expect to hear plenty about these six freshman members of the House in the years to come: Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), Steve Stockman (R-Tex.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

That's the takeaway from a new study by the University of Minnesota's (the old alma mater!) Smart Politics team, which looked at the number of early media impressions from the Class of 2012.

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GOP freshmen = weak tea

Surprise, surprise: The Republican freshman class isn’t as tea party-friendly as you might think.

We’ve written before on this blog about how the tea party label has been misappropriated to cover all kinds of Republicans who won in 2010. While many latched onto the label or simply let others define them as such, the label wasn’t a great fit for many of them.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) may not be the tea partier you think he is. (Doug Murray/Reuters)

Suddenly, establishment Republicans who embraced conservative causes and opposed President Obama’s health-care legislation became known as tea partiers. John Boehner even called himself one.

Alas, most of them are not tea partiers. And supporters of the tea party movement are starting to take notice.

Case in point: the conservative Club for Growth issued a scorecard of the GOP freshmen class today and concluded that many of them haven’t lived up to their tea party billing.

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As 2012 races kick off, new U.S. congressional map looks a little better for Republicans

As the GOP presidential contest hits a fever pitch on Super Tuesday, the nation’s other 2012 races officially kick off as well, with Ohio holding the nation’s first congressional primaries.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) speaks at Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash. last April. Kucinich faces a primary contest against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) on Tuesday thanks to redistricting. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

That means Tuesday is the day that Republicans will start reaping the benefits of the once-in-a-decade redistricting process. Because of their big gains in the 2010 elections, Republicans control the legislature and governor’s mansion in so many states that they got to redraw four times as many congressional districts as Democrats.

But just how much of an advantage did they really have?

To answer that question, The Fix reviewed the 66 districts that Republicans won from Democrats last year.

A look at the changes to those 66 districts in this round of redistricting shows that Republicans do indeed come out of redistricting with a better map than they had before.

But the improvements in a lot of cases were slight, and most Republicans who were vulnerable before will continue to be at risk over the next decade.

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