Joe Biden may have won the White House, but the voting races were much better for the Republicans. Indeed, the GOP’s victories in state elections could pay off long after Biden is eliminated as they impact the restructuring process over the next year.
Every 10 years after the census, the districts of Congress and state legislature are redrawn to reflect population changes. This gives whoever draws the cards the opportunity to maximize the number of districts their party prefers – a tactic known as gerrymandering. And as we wrote last month, the 2020 election was the last chance for voters to think about who would draw those cards. Both parties went to the polls with the chance to draw more congressional districts than the other, but the end result was almost the best scenario for Republicans. As the map below shows, Republicans are supposed to control the reallocation of 188 congressional seats – or 43 percent of the entire House of Representatives. In contrast, the Democrats will control the reallocation of a maximum of 73 seats, or 17 percent.
How did the Republicans do it? By winning almost every election in 2020 where control of redistribution was at stake:
- The GOP retained control of the redistribution process in Texas by Holding the State House. Given that Election data services It is estimated that Texas will have 39 congressional seats over the next ten years. This was arguably the Republicans’ biggest victory in the 2020 election.
- republican successfully defended the Pennsylvania Legislators from a democratic takeover, although they still have to share redistributive power over their planned 17 congressional districts as Democratic governor Tom Wolf has a veto power.
- republican held the majority in both chambers of the North Carolina Legislature that allows them to presumably draw 14 congressional districts alone.
- Amendment 1 was adopted in the Virginiato take the power to pull the state’s 11 congressional districts out of the hands of the all-democratic state government and invest them in a non-partisan commission made up of a mix of citizens and lawmakers.
- in the Missouri (Home to eight congressional districts) was Governor Mike Parson elected for a second termto redistribute control in Republican hands.
- In a surprise, the Republicans succeeded retain their majority by doing Minnesota Senate to ensure the Democrats do not have the unrestricted ability to sign the state’s proposed seven congressional districts. The parties there share the responsibility for redistribution.
- The GOP retained control of the State House in the Iowawith its four congressional districts.
- republican retained their super majorities by doing Kansas Legislation that allows them to pass a new congressional card (worth four districts) over the veto of Democratic Governor Laura Kelly.
- Finally, Republicans surprising turned both the Senate and State House over in the New Hampshire (worth two congressional districts) taking full control of both state government and the restructuring process.
The only state where Republicans may not have achieved their preferred outcome is is new Yorkwhere we still don’t know who will control the restructuring process because it takes the state so long to count postal ballots. When Democrats win a Super major in the SenateYou will have total veto power over the planned 26 congressional districts of the state. Democrats are on the verge of deleting this barbut we won’t know if they might make it for weeks.
Regardless of the outcome in New York, the overall picture of the redistribution is the same: The GOP is in almost as good a position as the Republicans in the last redistribution process controlled the subscription of 55 percent of the congressional districts and Democrats controlled only 10 percent after the 2010 GOP wave. As a result, the House of Representatives card has been more Republican-focused this decade than it has ever been since the 1970s (and Republicans managed to win multiple houses in state legislatures, despite everything Loss of the nationwide referendum). It now looks like we’re preparing for another 10 years of Republican maps. Democrats won the House and several state legislatures in 2018 thanks to changing voting patterns, especially in the suburbs, but Republicans in many states will now have the opportunity to attract new Gerrymanders to take responsibility for this realignment.
That is, the house card all in all might be even less biased in the 2020s than it was in the 2010s. While Republicans will draw many more Congressional districts than Democrats, they will still draw fewer than in 2011. In addition, at least 167 districts, or 38 percent of the House, will be drawn by independent commissions or by both parties sharing power. That is an increase of 145 (33 percent) in 2011, also because states like Colorado, Michigan and Virginia has implemented redistribution-related restructuring measures in recent years. Overall, these reforms should result in fewer seats – from both parties.
Furthermore, some redistribution processes are still party controlled – you think Ohio or Utahs – Introduced new rules to encourage more neutral cards. So ultimately we have to wait and see what the often messy redistribution process does in each state – and you can rest assured that this will be a major focus of FiveThirtyEight coverage in 2021.