Where Redistricting Stands in 14 States

We took a look at possible shifts in partisan power as redistricting maps start to trickle out.,

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Republicans are jockeying for a structural advantage in next year’s elections and beyond, Democrats are trying to squeeze everything they can out of their limited leverage, marginalized groups are lobbying state officials to maximize their voting power and lawsuits are looming inescapably on the far side of it all.

Yes, the decennial redistricting process is well underway. And with draft maps starting to trickle out of legislatures and redistricting commissions, it’s a good time to check in on where things stand.

Redistricting is happening in every state, even those with only one congressional district, because state legislative maps have to be redrawn, too. But we’ll focus here on congressional maps in some of the states whose choices will shape the battle for control of the House next year. (Some other states — including Texas, which is gaining two seats and could be a gold mine for Republicans — are too early in the process to report anything meaningful, but watch this space.)

Under each state, we’ve indicated the possible shift in partisan power. But remember, there’s still plenty of time for proposals to change.

Colorado

Democrats may gain one seat

Colorado’s redistricting commission recently redrew a draft map that would have combined liberal Boulder with conservative rural areas, putting Joe Neguse, a Democrat, and Lauren Boebert, a Republican, in the same district. The new draft would keep them separate. It would create five Democratic-leaning districts and three Republican-leaning districts, an improvement for Democrats over the current 4-3 split as Colorado gains an eighth congressional seat.

Georgia

Republicans may gain one seat

Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux — Democrats who flipped two House seats in the Atlanta suburbs in 2018 and 2020 — are the main targets for Georgia Republicans. As those suburbs become bluer, legislators are expected to consolidate more of them within one district and add conservative exurban areas to the second district.

Illinois

Democrats may gain one seat; Republicans may lose two

Illinois Democrats haven’t drafted a new congressional map yet. But if their aggressive redistricting of the state legislature is any indication of their approach, it is possible that Illinois, which is losing a House seat, could go from 13 Democrats and five Republicans to 14-3. Democrats could accomplish this by turning Rodney Davis’s red district blue and eliminating Adam Kinzinger’s district. They could also protect swing seats like the one held by Lauren Underwood by adding Democratic areas to them.

Indiana

Republicans may protect one competitive seat

The Republican-controlled Indiana legislature released a draft map this week that would protect the only seat Republicans were at risk of losing. The proposed map would move some of the increasingly blue suburbs north of Indianapolis into the Seventh District, which is safely Democratic, thus securing the competitive Fifth District for its Republican incumbent, Victoria Spartz.

Iowa

Democrats may gain one seat

Iowa’s nonpartisan redistricting body released a draft map today that would create one safe Democratic district, one competitive district and two safe Republican districts. But the Republican-led state legislature may reject the map because it would give Democrats — who hold one of Iowa’s four House seats — a good chance of winning two seats. (That said, it would also effectively cap Democrats at two seats, preventing them from holding three as they did in 2019 and 2020.)

Maryland

Democrats may gain one seat. Or Republicans might (but probably not).

Maryland’s redistricting commission recently released a draft map that would create a second Republican district, making the state’s delegation 6-2 rather than 7-1 in favor of Democrats. But given that the state legislature has the final say and Democrats hold majorities there, the chances that such a map would actually be enacted are minuscule. Democrats would rather go in the opposite direction and eliminate the sole Republican seat, held by Andy Harris.

Missouri

Republicans may protect one competitive seat

By packing more Democratic voters into the deep-blue district that includes St. Louis and is represented by Cori Bush, Republicans could make an adjacent district safer for a Republican incumbent, Ann Wagner. On the other side of the state, an aggressive gerrymander could theoretically allow Republicans to flip the district that includes Kansas City and is represented by Emanuel Cleaver. But it’s not clear that Republicans intend to go that far.

Nebraska

Republicans may protect one competitive seat

Nebraska Republicans could gerrymander the Second District, which includes Omaha, to make it redder after Representative Don Bacon faced competitive races in 2018 and 2020 — and after President Biden narrowly won the district last year. (Nebraska is one of two states, the other being Maine, that awards some of its electoral votes by congressional district.)

New Hampshire

Republicans may gain one seat

New Hampshire has been consistently Democratic in presidential races and is represented entirely by Democrats in Congress. But the state has elected Republicans to state offices, and it is those Republicans who will control the redistricting process. That means the competitive First District, represented by Chris Pappas, may be redrawn to be safely red.

New Mexico

Democrats may gain one seat

An independent redistricting commission is considering realigning the state, dividing it east to west rather than north to south, and creating more competitive districts than currently exist. But Democratic legislators will have the final say, and they may try instead to make all three of the state’s House seats safely Democratic after one of them flipped to a Republican, Yvette Herrell, last year.

New York

Democrats may gain four or five seats

New York, which is losing one of its 27 House seats, has a bipartisan redistricting commission, but its recommendations are not binding and its members are struggling to agree anyway. The Democratic governor and Legislature are likely to bypass the commission and draw their own lines. They could knock at least four Republican incumbents out of Congress by combining conservative areas represented by Chris Jacobs, Tom Reed, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney, Andrew Garbarino and Lee Zeldin into three districts instead of six, and adding liberal parts of Brooklyn to Nicole Malliotakis’s swing district, which includes Staten Island.

Oregon

It’s wide open

Democrats and Republicans recently released draft maps that would take Oregon’s House delegation — which currently consists of four Democrats and one Republican, and will gain a sixth member — in opposite directions. The Democratic plan would make the new seat blue and would probably result in a 5-1 split. The Republican plan would create more competitive seats but could result in a 4-2 split in favor of Republicans, though Oregon is a blue state.

South Carolina

Republicans may protect one competitive seat

South Carolina Republicans are likely to try to cement their 6-1 advantage in the House by shifting some left-leaning voters from the competitive First District — represented by a Republican, Nancy Mace — to the overwhelmingly Democratic Sixth District, represented by Jim Clyburn. This strategy would make the First District safe for Mace, who narrowly defeated a first-term Democrat, Joe Cunningham, last year.

Tennessee

Republicans may gain one seat

Republicans control redistricting in Tennessee. They have not yet released draft maps, but Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report reported last week that they were considering dividing Nashville — a rare Democratic stronghold — among multiple House districts. That would allow Republicans to unseat Representative Jim Cooper and claim eight of Tennessee’s nine House seats, instead of their current seven.

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