Redistricting impasse: Democrats and Republicans fight

The once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting process is over after nearly a year's worth of partisan fighting, number crunching, and lawsuits.

Redistricting impasse: Democrats and Republicans fight

The once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting process is over after nearly a year's worth of partisan fighting, number crunching, and lawsuits.

This leaves Republicans in a strong position to take control of the House of Representatives, even if they don't win a majority of national vote. Democrats are disappointed. They hoped to change the dynamic to ensure their popularity would be better reflected in Washington. Some Republicans meanwhile hoped to secure an even greater advantage.

Both parties eventually came to an impasse. There are 226 House districts that were won by Democrat Joe Biden during the last presidential election, and 209 by Republican Donald Trump. This is only one more Biden district as in 2020. The typical congressional district voted in Biden's favor by approximately 2 percentage points. This is almost identical to 2020.

Nicholas Stephanopoulos from Harvard Law School, who studies congressional redistricting, said that "it's almost perfect stability." He said that if you compare the 2020 maps to the 2022 maps, they are almost identical in terms of partisan advantage.

As some states have added or lost new congressional districts, the lines have changed to reflect population shifts as recorded by U.S. Census Bureau in 2020.

Redistricting refers to the once-a decade adjustment of legislative lines in order to match Census findings. Redistricting is a highly partisan process. Each major party tries to win as many voters as possible to ensure wins in every district. The outcome of this cycle was almost identical to that of the previous one, although it did not change the overall partisan orientation in the congressional map.

This leaves the map slightly tilted to the right of national electorate since Biden won the presidency with more than 4 percentage points. To win a House majority in a normal year, Democrats would need to win the popular vote by approximately 2 percentage points, while the GOP could win it with less than 50%.

Republicans referred to it as a victory.

Adam Kincaid, executive Director of the National Republican Redistricting Trust which coordinates redistricting, stated that "if we're fighting for a draw on the map that everyone agrees that is good for Republicans that's great for Republicans, that would be good for Republicans."

Democrats pointed out that it's still far better than they were after 2011's redistricting. This was fresh off the GOP sweep of statehouses which allowed them to draw more diverse congressional maps.

Kelly Ward Burton, executive Director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, stated that "We are stronger than in 2020" and that they are in a much stronger position than 2012 in 2012.

This week's assessment was possible because New Hampshire, the last state to adopt a congressional grid on Tuesday, made it possible. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that it would not consider a Democratic challenge of a map created by the Republican Governor. Ron DeSantis was elected before the November election, ending any legal uncertainty about the maps.

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