“The 2011 redistricting by the Republican-controlled legislature and governor was intended to increase the number and safeness of Republican state and congressional districts. Especially notable are the changes to the 7th Congressional District, which had been represented by David Obey, a Democrat (for more than 40 years). While Obey was able to comfortably hold the district for most of his career, in one election, where Democrats were disadvantaged, Obey won by only a slim margin, highlighting the potential of the district electing a Republican. The election to replace Obey, when he retired (in 2010), was won by (a Republican) in a poor showing by (the Democratic candidate). In an effort to ensure that (they) easily retained the district, Republicans removed the Democratic areas of Portage County and half of Wood County from the district, placing them in Democrat Congressman Ron Kind’s 3rd District (to the west).
– Ed Miller, professor emeritus of political science at UW-Stevens Point