Now that a 10th Congressional district for Washington is official, we’ll see more behind the scenes maneuvering. While I still like the idea of a 10th district centered on Olympia, folks who know the sacredness of incumbency realize that the homes of four congressmen, Norm Dicks (6th), Adam Smith (9th), Dave Reichert (8th), and even Jay Inslee (1st) are unusually situated. It's a surprising historical accident that these four are at the edges of their districts close to the others
That suggests hands-off for those districts. (This could change if Inslee declares early that he'll be leaving his seat and running for governor in 2012, thus giving the reapportionment committee a chance to tamper with a district that has no incumbent to protect.)
So if we look at the area with the largest population with no incumbent representative to protect, we find it is northeastern King County. This area, with almost 2 million people, has only two representatives within its borders, so no one would be squeezed out. Thus a logical alternative for the 10th district is indeed King County, which has almost enough population for district 7 (McDermott, Seattle), 8 (Reichert, Eastside and south King County), and a new 10th (northeastern King).
This would in turn make the 9th (Smith, Tacoma) mainly a Pierce County district, and put Olympia in the 6th (Dicks, Belfair).
Still, the devil is in the details.