Iowa redistricting plan gaining favor in State Legislature

State lawmakers in Iowa are leaning toward supporting a plan to redraw the state's congressional district boundaries that would pair two sets of incumbents together ahead of 2012.

Two key legislative leaders told The Associated Press on Tuesday that state lawmakers have not raised significant objections to the proposal, with state House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D) saying he's "leaning ever so slightly toward the first map."

Iowa's nonpartisan redistricting commission proposed the new map last week, setting up the potential for two intra-party primary fights next year. Republican Reps. Steve King  and Tom Latham are drawn together in the new map, while Democratic Reps. David Loebsack and Bruce Braley could also have to fight for a single district. 

King told The Ballot Box last week that he's not making any contingency plans for 2012 until it becomes clear whether the map could actually get through the State Legislature. Ten years ago, lawmakers rejected the first map that was proposed, a possibility this time around as well.

Loebsack has already said he would likely opt to move and run in the 2nd district again, which would become an open seat under the proposed map, rather than run against Braley.

The map must be voted on by the State Legislature and either accepted or rejected — amending the map is not an option. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad also has veto power over any map that makes it through the Legislature.

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