by James Simmons
UW-Oshkosh Professor of Political Science
“The redistricting after the 2010 Census did not change the partisan makeup of the 6th Congressional District. The 6th has been safely Republican for over 50 years. The last Democrat elected to Congress here was after the Goldwater debacle in the election of 1964.
“The addition of Ozaukee County, however, did allow more conservative candidates to contest the moderate Republican who had held the seat for many years. Ultimately, right-wing legislator Glenn Grothman replaced incumbent Tom Petri, who retired rather than face defeat in the Republican primary.
“Redrawing the 6th following the recent census will reduce the (geographic) size of the district because urban centers in northeast Wisconsin like Oshkosh, Appleton, and Green Bay have been growing in population faster than other, more rural regions of the state. Even if the courts draw the maps, the 6th should remain a relatively safe Republican seat but perhaps by lesser margins.”