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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Legislatures and Redistricting

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.   Our next book, title TBA, discusses the 2020 results.

At FiveThirtyEight, Nathaniel Rakich and Elena Mejía note that Republicans won nearly every 2020 election in which control of redistricting was at stake:
  • The GOP kept control of the redistricting process in Texas by holding the state House. Given that Election Data Services estimates Texas will have 39 congressional seats for the next decade, this was arguably Republicans’ single biggest win of the 2020 election.
  • Republicans successfully defended the Pennsylvania legislature from a Democratic takeover, although they’ll still need to share redistricting power over its projected 17 congressional districts, as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has veto power.
  • Republicans held the majority in both chambers of the North Carolina legislature, which will enable them to draw an expected 14 congressional districts all by themselves.
  • 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 Missouri (home to eight congressional districts), Gov. Mike Parson was elected to a second term, keeping redistricting control in Republican hands.
  • 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 there.
  • The GOP kept control of the state House in Iowa, with its four congressional districts.
  • Republicans maintained their supermajorities in the Kansas Legislature, enabling them to pass a new congressional map (worth four districts) over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto.
  • Finally, 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.