Although there is no evidence it will happen in the immediate future, at some point, longtime Democratic Congressman Ike Skelton will retire.
Republicans believe when that occurs, his 4th Congressional district will be ripe for a pick-up.
Ike after all, is no regular Democrat. Widely respected for his foreign affairs and military chops, Skelton easily picks off hawkish Republican votes in a relatively conservative central Missouri district.
But when redistricting occurs in 2011, Missouri is one of the potential states that could lose a seat because of population shifts. (The early betting is that Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer's 9th Congressional District will be swallowed up into Congressman Sam Graves' northwest Missouri district.)
But one Democrat on Daily Kos has designed a way to keep Skelton's district blue, when Ike says goodbye. It involves a bunch of maneuvering and a "compromise" by Republican legislators, but it's worth a look:
From ArkDem 14:
"Take liberal Boone County out of the 9th and anchor it down in Skelton's new district. From that point I kept all of Lafayette, (Skelton's home), and Saline counties in and both of these are much more Democratic at a local level than their Presidential numbers would suggest. Then I shifted the lines and absorbed much of western Jackson County to add more Democratic leaning suburbs and give it more areas that were trending Democratic. From there it curled up north, took parts of suburban and conservative Clay and Platte Counties, and then took in all of the City of St. Joseph, the home of the Current State Auditor Susan Montee. Its a traditionally Democratic, Blue Dog area and its inclusion, along with Boone, is meant to give the new district two firm population anchors."
ArkDem concludes that this is a compromise scenario that Republicans could accept.
"Sure it massively cuts down the odds they can pick up Skelton's district when he retires, but in exchange it creates five districts Democrats can never ever win," ArkDem writes.
And, as for Luetkemeyer, ArkDem suggests that he could still "go off and run in the new MO-05, (the yellow, forgot to number them), which is actually amazingly like Skelton's current MO-04."