by WorldTribune Staff, November 23, 2020
Republicans defied all the polls and clueless media prognosticators to gain seats in the House in the Nov. 3 election. What is not being widely reported is that the GOP also won nearly every election where redistricting was at stake.
Every 10 years, after the census, congressional and state legislature districts are redrawn to account for population changes. This gives whoever is drawing the maps the power to maximize the number of districts that favor their party.
The 2020 election was the last chance for voters to decide who would draw those maps.
“Both parties went into the election with a chance to draw more congressional districts than the other, but the end result was just about the best-case scenario for Republicans,” FiveThirtyEight reported.
Republicans are set to control the redistricting of 188 congressional seats. Democrats will control the redistricting of, at most, 73 seats.
Among the key results:
• Republicans maintained control of the redistricting process in Texas by holding the state House. Election Data Services estimates Texas will have 39 congressional seats for the next decade, giving the GOP what may have been the single biggest win of the 2020 election.
• Republicans held the majority in both chambers of the North Carolina legislature, which will enable them to draw an expected 14 congressional districts.
• Amendment 1 passed in Virginia, taking the power to draw the state’s 11 congressional districts out of the hands of the all-Democratic state government and investing it in a bipartisan commission made up of a mix of citizens and legislators.
• In an upset, Republicans managed to keep their majority in the Minnesota state Senate, thus ensuring Democrats wouldn’t have the unfettered ability to draw the state’s projected seven congressional districts. The parties will share redistricting responsibilities.
• Republicans maintained their supermajorities in the Kansas Legislature, enabling them to pass a new congressional map (worth four districts) over Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto.
• Republicans surprisingly flipped both the state Senate and state House in New Hampshire (worth two congressional districts), seizing full control of both the state government and the redistricting process.
One Democrat lawmaker said the GOP’s messaging strategy of linking them to socialism is an area Democrats need to better combat and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be a liability for some vulnerable members.
“I mean, we are not well-positioned for 2022, we’re just not. It’s really unfair for [Pelosi] to stay in that position, that she can hold the gavel for two more years when we all are assuming that 2022 is probably going to be a bloodbath,” the lawmaker told The Hill.
“Not only did we not pick up 10 or 15 seats, it’s going to be a net loss for House Dems. This is supposed to be an opportunity for us to expand the map, grow the majority, and we squandered that, especially knowing how important it was to do that in 2020, to build that bulwark, that cushion that we need for 2022.”