Political Notebook

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Formula pegs 3rd District as most Republican in state

The latest edition of Indiana Legislative Insight reports that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report is calling the 3rd District the most Republican congressional district in Indiana.

The Fort Wayne-based region is the 88th-most-Republican district in the 435-seat House, according to Cook, which compares the presidential election vote of each district to the national vote. The 6th District in east-central and southeastern Indiana is 104th nationally.

By Cook’s reckoning, the most Democratic of Indiana’s nine districts is the 7th District in Indianapolis, which ranks as the 341st-most-Republican in the nation.

Washington, D.C.-based Cook, which has been compiling a “partisan voter index” since 1997, says the two most Republican districts, and three of the top four, are in Texas. The two most Democratic districts, and five of the top eight, are in New York City.

How does Indiana’s 3rd stack up? President Obama ran 27 percentage points behind Republican candidate Mitt Romney in last year’s election and 13 points behind the GOP’s John McCain in 2008. Obama lost Texas’ 13th District (Amarillo) by 62 points last year and 55 points in 2008, and he won New York’s 15th District (northern Manhattan) by 94 points last year and 90 points in 2008.

Cook found that because of redistricting and a "much more homogenous" electorate in some areas, the number of politically competitive districts has declined from 164 in 1998 to 90 today. Heading into the 2014 congressional elections, 186 districts are strongly Republican and 159 are strongly Democratic.