California Redistricting Could Cost Republicans Seats in U.S. House

By KEVIN FREKING | June 28, 2011 | 3:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats hoping to regain the majority in the House in 2012 might get a strong head start in California, where voters handed the authority for drawing political boundaries to a citizen commission.

Analysts studying the panel's work are predicting that three to five seats now in Republican hands could move into the Democratic camp in next year's general election. Such a swing could have national implications.

California voters decided to create the commission in 2008, taking the authority away from the Legislature after heavy gerrymandering led to a lack of competition.

Significant changes could take place before the commission adopts the final maps Aug. 15. But for now, the political future looks most grim for Republican Reps. David Dreier and Gary Miller.