Many political analysts around the state count Sen. Tony Strickland of Moorpark among the Republican incumbents whose careers will be imperiled if the 2012 elections are conducted under the maps certified this week by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
There is particular concern among Republicans about the Senate maps, which most analysts believe would give Democrats a legitimate shot at attaining a two-thirds majority in the upper house, an advantage that would essentially render GOP senators irrelevant. Republican analyst Tony Quinn, in a recent blog post at Fox & Hounds Daily, writes that the new maps spell doom for Strickland: "The seat of Ventura County Republican Sen. Tony Strickland was moved far into Los Angeles County where he cannot win."
Immediately after the commission certified the maps, the Senate Republican Caucus announced it will back a referendum to try to overturn the new Senate maps. Strickland told me that he supports the effort and will contribute money to help make the referendum happen. But he insisted he was doing so for the team -- specifically, to try to rescue colleage Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo, who was placed in such a Democratic-dominated district that he indicated he won't even try to seek re-election.
As for the map's impact on him, Strickland was upbeat. "I'm happy with the district I have," he said. "I get to keep my base in eastern Ventura County."