Gerrymandering: Republicans could already win the 2022 elections

Thanks to the creative partisan drawing of Congress cards after the 2020 census, the GOP is already ready to convert several seats in the House from blue to red. A Analysis of the New York Times suggests that Republicans could get the five seats they need for a majority simply by redistributing.

Others aren’t so sure. The Cook Political Report has predicted that the republicans will win 2.5 seats from the redistribution.

Advantage of GOP. The Times report’s bottom line suggests that Republicans are well on their way to realizing the historic advantage of an out-of-power party in the midterm elections.

Even before a boost from redistribution, Republicans don’t have far to take the house.

The GOP started with the advantage. It controls more state legislatures and displaces more safe seats from those states.

Republicans control the reallocation process in states that oversee 179 seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats control the process in states that only oversee 75 seats.

The rest are either overseen by divided governments or bipartisan or bipartisan commissions, or they have a single member of Congress.

North Carolina is an example. CNN’s John Avlon looked specifically at North Carolina, a state that is essentially even in party registration between Republicans and Democrats. The state legislature had given the Republicans a seat advantage of 10-4 in the new congressional tickets, he said on “New Day”.

“Look at the maps, you might think the state has become whiter and more rural, which traditionally means more Republicans,” he said. “This is despite a census that shows that North Carolina has become more diverse and less white over the past decade. That is the manipulated system of redistribution in action. ” Look at his segment.
That would be a takeover of two seats in North Carolina versus the current eight Republican to five Democratic ratio that only exists because courts asked for Gerrymandered cards to be redrawn in 2020.

Advantage in Texas. It’s a similar story in Texas, where competitive seats were replaced with safe seats, and one seat was tipped towards Republicans.

“The number of white-majority counties would increase, even though the growing Hispanic population is almost entirely responsible for Texas winning two seats in the US House of Representatives in the reallocation process,” CNN’s Eric Bradner wrote last month.
Advantage in Ohio. The Republicans won about 55 percent of the vote in the 2020 Ohio presidential contest. But they would have the advantage of up to 12 of the state’s 15 congressional seats on cards presented by the Republican-controlled state senate. according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Ignoring independent commissions. Utah lawmakers ignored an independent redistribution commission blessed by voters and instead advanced a card that divided Salt Lake City into four separate counties. according to The Salt Lake Tribune, and diluted the only currently Democratic district in the state, pushing it towards Republicans.

There will be legal battles over these various cards, but after the census has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the courts have less time to work.

Read the tea leaves. More Democrats are retiring so far this cycle, according to CNN’s Ethan Cohen, who is tracking these things. He writes: At this point in the 2020 cycle (November 16, 2019), 28 members of the House of Representatives (20 R, 8 D) were well on their way to leaving the Chamber at the end of their term of office, including 6 members (3 R, 3 D) who are for run for higher offices.

On Tuesday, it was Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, who became the 25th member of the House of Representatives (15 Democrats, 10 Republicans) to announce that she would not run for re-election. That includes nine (five Republicans, four Democrats) running for Senate or governor.
Also a retirement in the Senate. The other big resignation announced this week is Senator Patrick Leahy, the longtime Democrat from Vermont. Cohen points out that Leahy is the sixth Senator and the first Democrat to announce that he will not seek another term. In total, Republicans will defend 20 Senate seats and Democrats 14 in 2022.
State of the Senate. CNNs Simone Pathe has the November version of her semi-regular update of 10 Senate seats which will most likely be flipped in 2022.

What happened in a month? The seats themselves are unchanged and Republicans are defending many more of them. But the landscape feels very different than it did a few months ago, before the Republicans took a surprise victory in the race for governor of Virginia. You still have hurdles and some flawed candidates, as Pathe writes.

The GOP is more excited about its chances of racing in states like New Hampshire and Colorado.

With all that said, Pathes analysis is that the seat most likely still is Pennsylvania, where Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican, is retiring.

From the archives: Republicans in Vermont. Look at this report the last time a Republican represented Vermont in the Senate. The year was 2001 – not that long ago, really. The Republican was Senator Jim Jeffords.

Then as now, the Senate was split 50:50. Jeffords was a temperate Northeast who was uncomfortable with the GOP. Instead of seeing the White House cutting education funding, among other things, he left the party, handing control of the Senate to the Democrats. This Time magazine report, which I found on CNN’s website, makes the operation sound like a Cold War overrun.

Education then and now. I was struck by Jeffords’ frustration with an increasingly conservative GOP. That resonates today.

What I found more interesting was his anger over the cut in education funding. Education, as we learned after the Virginia governor’s race, will be the number one issue for Republicans through 2022. The question will be whether parents want more money for schools or more individual say in their children’s experiences.



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