Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Murphy Margin

In the last round of congressional redistricting, Pennsylvania's 8th district picked up an odd section of Montgomery County. The move was designed to siphon Democratic votes away from Montco's 13th district, and absorb them into more reliably Republican Bucks County. It was then known as the Greenwood Gash, after incumbent 8th district Republican Rep. Jim Greenwood. According to the Bucks County Courier Times, Joe Hoeffel, then congressman for the 13th district, coined the term ("Representational Rivalry," by Sarah Larson, 12/14/2003).

Fast forward a few years and Democrat Patrick Murphy wins the 8th district in 2006, unseating Republican Mike Fitzpatrick who was elected in 2004 when Greenwood exited the campaign trail at a late date to take a job with a biotech association. The relevant point is that the votes from Montco and a sliver of Philadelphia put Murphy over the top.

The Greenwood Gash appears to have been formally renamed the Murphy Margin, perhaps as a (not so subtle) reference to the pivotal role that tiny section of the district played.

1 comment:

phillydem said...

It just goes to show the 2002 redistricting developed by Santorum and his colleagues at the national level and carried by Perzel and his minions in the state legistlature to maximize Republican gains backfired on them in a big way.

Dems are now not only ensconced in R districts like the 17th, but have a chance to become so in the 10th, too. Dems took back the Democratic -majority 4th and the emerging 7th
and 8th.

The Republicans have only the 5th,
19th, 16th and perhaps the 9th as their base in 2008. With 2008 being
a presidential election year, I'm
anticipating the GOP will lose at least the 18th and perhaps the 6th.
If the Dems in the 15th can get their act togther, that district could flip as well. It's not looking good for the Republicans.