If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was hoping that redrawing district lines would result in her caucus handily strengthening its grip on the lower chamber, she just got some devastating news.
David M. Drucker, senior political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, revealed in an article Wednesday that at least two heavily Democrat states, Illinois and New York, are at risk of losing seats in the House thanks to redistricting efforts.
Redistricting, which divides up the House’s 435 seats among the states based on population, occurs following the census every 10 years, Drucker explained.
But while Dems may face losses in the latest effort, “[r]edistricting is not the slam dunk for House Republicans that some party insiders presumed,” either, Drucker wrote Wednesday.
“Bracing for fewer gains”
The Examiner correspondent explained that while the GOP is set to gain seats in Republican-dominated states like Florida and Texas, it may not be enough to overcome what he described as “Democrats’ slim, five-seat majority” in the lower chamber.
“Democratic-leaning voters migrated to the Sunbelt in droves over the past decade, accounting for significant population growth in states such as Texas,” Drucker said. “At the same time, voter realignment along education lines accelerated under former President Donald Trump, contributing to the bluing of formerly ruby-red suburbs.”
The writer went on: “Those factors, combined with the uncertain outcome of expected Democratic legal challenges to new congressional maps produced by GOP legislatures, have Republicans bracing for fewer gains than initially anticipated.”
A look ahead
The development comes as Republicans are already licking their wounds after November’s election cost them their majority in the Senate and control of the White House — but not all is lost.
Just weeks into Joe Biden’s presidency, the new commander-in-chief has already angered conservatives with a host of executive actions walking back his predecessor’s policies — and with Trump still maintaining a stronghold on the GOP, Biden’s moves could hurt Dems’ standing going into the 2022 midterms, when every member of the House is up for re-election.
Writing Tuesday, the Intelligencer‘s Ed Kilgore claimed: “In the last century, there have been 25 midterm elections. The president’s party lost House seats in 22 of them.”
Only time will tell if the pattern continues next fall.