Because the 2010 census showed slower population growth in New Jersey compared to other states, a bipartisan committee has to redraw the political map with 12 congressional districts instead of 13. Analysts say Districts 5, 9, 12 and 7 are at risk of combination and one congressman will lose his position. Democrats and Republicans are pushing for different maps and a decision is expected sometime this week.
Alan Rosenthal of the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics believes Districts 5 and 9 are the most likely to combine since they have lost the most population and would be less disruptive than the other two. Republican Scott Garrett hails from District 5 and Democrat Steve Rothman serves District 9. The combination of those two districts would create a “fair fight district,” according to Rosenthal, since both parties have the opportunity to retain or lose the seat. NJToday’s Desiree Taylor files this report from New Brunswick, where the committee is meeting.