DeLay garnered 55 percent of the vote in the November election against a relatively unknown Democrat, an unusually modest showing for a veteran House member who is one of the most powerful politicians in Washington. Some Republican officials and DeLay supporters worry that with President Bush absent from the top of the ticket next year, liberal interest groups might target the conservative majority leader and spend millions of dollars on campaign ads to try to defeat him.I'll believe it when I see it, but sure is nice to think about, isn't it?
But DeLay now has to worry about "Texas 22," the congressional district he has represented for the past 21 years in the U.S. House. Ironically, the Texas redistricting plan he engineered over strong Democratic objections drained some vital Republican support and will make it tougher for him to win reelection next year. DeLay took 60 percent of the vote in 2000 and 63 percent in 2002.
In 2003, at DeLay's behest, the Texas legislature redrew the state's congressional lines without waiting for the next census (in 2010), the customary occasion for redistricting. With the new districts, which still face court challenges, Texas elected five additional Republicans to the U.S. House last November, accounting for all of the party's net gain.
DeLay's new district wound up several percentage points less Republican than his previous one, and it has a substantial and growing Asian American population.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005