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Census Bureau to launch redistricting information, kicking off course of that favors Republicans

The U.S. Census Bureau is unveiling detailed inhabitants information that may function the beginning gun as states throughout the nation use the knowledge to attract new congressional and legislative districts in a once-in-a-decade course of that might assist tilt management of the Home of Representatives within the 2022 midterm elections.

The much-anticipated new information, which the Census Bureau will launch Thursday, will element which counties, cities, cities and neighborhoods both gained or misplaced inhabitants.

CENSUS SWEEPSTAKES: WHICH STATES WILL GAIN, LOSE HOUSE SEATS IN CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING

Whereas the purpose of the census is to verify the districts throughout the nation every have roughly the identical quantity of individuals, Democrats and Republicans for generations have used the method to attract district traces that favor their candidates getting elected in ensuing elections in a course of referred to as gerrymandering.

This time round, as was the case 10 years in the past, Republicans will probably have the higher hand because of their management of a larger variety of state legislatures and governors’ places of work, the place redistricting choices are made in most states.

Whereas the GOP misplaced management of the White Home and the Senate majority in final November’s elections, it loved success in down-ballot races. 

The Republican State Management Committee (RSLC), a GOP political group devoted to electing Republicans to state legislative and govt places of work throughout the nation, highlights that the occasion efficiently defended every of the 59 GOP-held legislative majorities and flipped two chambers (each in New Hampshire) from blue to crimson. The RSLC famous that within the course of the GOP added 148 new legislative seats throughout the nation.

WHAT THE 2020 CENSUS TELLS US ABOUT US POPULATION GROWTH

The GOP state legislative victories imply Republicans will management the redistricting of 43% of Home seats, whereas Democrats have the higher hand within the redistricting of 17% of the seats.

“The RSLC’s work final cycle is what is going to permit state Republicans to regulate the redistricting of 187 congressional seats in comparison with the Democrats’ management of simply 75 seats,” RSLC communications director Andrew Romeo spotlighted.

Among the many states the place Republicans will management the redistricting course of are battleground or aggressive states, that are rising , together with Texas (including two Home seats), Florida (including one Home seat), Georgia and North Carolina (including one Home seat). The key states the place Democrats management the method are New York and Illinois, that are each dropping a congressional seat.

In 16 states – which account for 167 Home seats – the redistricting course of can be overseen by legislatures managed by one occasion and the governor’s workplace within the arms of the opposite occasion, or by impartial commissions.

The GOP managed the Home for eight years earlier than dropping the majority within the chamber within the 2018 midterms amid a wave by Home Democrats. However Republicans defied expectations and took a giant chew out of the Democrats’ majority in final November’s elections. The now want a web acquire of simply 5 seats to recapture the bulk within the 2022 contests.

Whereas elections are received and misplaced on the standard of the strengths of the candidates and the place they stand on the problems, in principle redistricting alone might assist the GOP retake the Home majority.

Take New Hampshire for instance. Whereas now-President Biden carried the state within the president election and Democrats held on to the one Senate seat that was up for grabs and each of the state’s congressional seats final November, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu received reelection by a landslide, and because of his coattails the GOP flipped each of the state’s legislative chambers.

Pointing to his occasion’s complete management of the redistricting course of, state GOP chair Steve Stepanek declared at a January assembly of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee that “I can stand right here right this moment and assure you that we’ll ship a conservative Republican to Washington, D.C. as a congressperson in 2022.”

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Republicans will probably redraw the traces of the state’s two congressional districts to make one in every of them extra GOP pleasant, which is able to make flipping the seat simpler.

The strikes by the states will begin as early as subsequent month and final into early subsequent yr. Lawsuits are more likely to be filed towards a few of the redrawn districts, as they had been following the redistricting course of after the 2010 census. Federal courts struck down 11 districts, forcing them to be redrawn, which helped Democrats make pickups previously couple of Home elections.

Each the Democratic Get together and the GOP have redistricting organizations, and two years in the past former President Obama launched an initiative to fight partisan gerrymandering.

On Thursday morning he took to Twitter to advertise the group, writing, “We’re at a turning level within the redistricting course of, and maps drawn within the subsequent 12 months will decide the subsequent decade of illustration in our nation. @AllOnTheLine is empowering of us to demand accountability throughout redistricting…”

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