Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
In most states, the state legislature is in charge of redrawing congressional districts every decade. So in 2020, when the GOP gained full control of the legislature in 30 states, they won line-drawing power. According to FiveThirtyEight’s count, Republicans will control the redrawing in 187 districts in 2021, bipartisan and independent commissions 167, and Democrats only 75....
Early estimates from the Cook Political Report suggest that Republicans could gain three to four seats from redistricting alone.
And, as FiveThirtyEight analyst Geoffrey Skelley has argued, Republicans might use their line-drawing power to pressure once-reliable Democratic candidates out of the House. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is mounting a Senate campaign, possibly in part because state-level Republicans seem poised to redraw his Youngstown-area district. Similarly, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), once the state’s Republican governor, is seeking his old job, now as a Democrat, perhaps to avoid reelection in a newly drawn, increasingly competitive St. Petersburg seat. Rep. Filemon Vela — a Democrat who would have faced reelection in heavily Latino, red-trending Texas — announced his retirement before even seeing how Republicans would redraw his district.