Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
Paul Waldman at WP:
Just in the past few days, the conventional wisdom on redistricting has undergone a dramatic shift. The most informed redistricting experts now say it appears that this process will look more like a wash, or even that Democrats might gain a few seats.
How did this happen? Here are the key factors:
Look at the two largest states. If all you knew was that the GOP legislature controls redistricting in red Texas while in blue California the process is run by an independent commission, you might expect a huge net gain for Republicans. But that’s not how it worked out.
- Republicans had already gerrymandered so aggressively in the post-2010 redistricting that they had limited room to add to their advantage.
- In the relatively small number of states where they had the opportunity, Democrats are gerrymandering with equal vigor.
- In some places, Republicans opted to consolidate their current position rather than take a riskier path that might expand their seats.
- Independent redistricting commissions wound up not hurting Democrats in the way some feared they would.
In Texas, Republicans chose to lock in their current advantage rather than expand it, a decision driven by the way the state is trending in a more Democratic direction. Currently there are 23 Republicans and 13 Democrats in Texas’s U.S. House delegation. Above all, the legislature made sure there would be almost no competitive districts in the future. So the new map will have 24 safe Republican seats, 13 safe Democratic ones and one competitive district (which Republicans might win).