The day after . . .
Here's our story, focusing on the state's only erased district (Jason Altmire's 4th), which was combined with fellow Democrat Mark Critz's 12th. PoliticsPa notes that Altmire's 2010 challenger is placed in Tim Murphy's 18th District, but he may move to Sewickley to challenge in the 12th. State Rep. Jim Christiana, R-Beaver, also calls the map "encouraging."
Here's a statement from Murphy's chief of staff Susan Mosychuk:
“Pennsylvania’s new 18th district tracks very closely to the current 18th so Congressman Murphy is thrilled for the opportunity to continue working for his constituents in Congress and is ready to start building the same strong relationships within new communities in Washington and Greene. When first elected, he promised to be the most visible and hardworking congressman the region has ever seen and he’ll bring that same dedication and record of putting constituents first to each city, township, and borough in the new areas of his district.”
The biggest changes were in the Philadelphia collar counties. The Inquirer focuses on the 7th and 8th.
Politico calls the map "a sharp blow" to Democratic prospects in the state. We'll see: the same thing happened in a GOP-controlled process in 2001, only for the party to lose a number of seats in 2006.
In the end, while the GOP has drawn a strong map and set itself up to keep a majority of the state’s congressional seats for years to come, it will still have to fight for them. That fight just became quite a bit easier, but it is still a fight, as four or five of the state’s seats will be among the most competitive in the nation for years to come.
Here's a straight-ahead district-by-district look at the map from DailyKos. Sample graf on Bill Shuster's 9th District:
PA-09: The 9th is still a safely red district for GOPer Bill Shuster, mostly taking in the bottom of the Appalachian “T” in mid-state. It does reach over further to the west to safely absorb the Mon Valley south of Pittsburgh, so that Tim Murphy doesn’t have to take it. Also, it still avoids Dem-friendly Johnstown, leaving it in the Critz/Altmire 12th.