David Wasserman, a senior editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said Wednesday that the redistricting process, long thought to favor Republicans, was essentially a “wash.”
There may be more House seats that President Joe Biden would have won in 2020 under the new maps, Wasserman wrote, essentially undercutting the advantage Republicans enjoyed for the past decade.
Democrats, however, are seeking to defend their 221-212 House majority, and Wasserman noted that if Biden’s approval rating remained in the low to mid-40s it would likely not be enough to prevent Republicans from taking back the House in 2022 given that many of the seats only went Democratic by narrow margins.
Given the new maps’ partisan distribution, Wasserman wrote, “the practical effect of new lines in 2022 still points towards a wash or a slight GOP gain.”
Republicans passed maps in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia shoring up vulnerable GOP seats and eliminating multiple Democratic ones. But the new maps have been met with lawsuits that could ultimately succeed, and new maps adopted in California, New Mexico, Illinois and proposed in New York may be effective counters, shoring up Democrats and eliminating Republicans.
Further, while Republicans had complete control over the redistricting process in Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin a decade ago, the process is now either split or left to an independent commission in all five.
But despite less GOP control, Wasserman noted that the Democrats’ House control was still very much in jeopardy, noting how they began with “virtually no margin for error” and how Biden’s disapproval has amplified an unfavorable political environment.
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