The Democrat Failure to Flip State Legislatures in This Election Will Cost Them For a Decade
Everyone was keeping their eye on the Presidency and the Senate, but there were other crucial races people weren’t watching closely. The parties that control the state legislatures this year will be the ones redrawing the maps after the census. Both parties use gerrymandering to maximize the number of House seats their parties get and so controlling the state legislatures that draw the district lines is a big deal. Going into the election, Republicans controlled 29 state legislatures compared to 19 for the Democrats. Additionally, according to The Cook Report less than 3 weeks ago, Democrats were perfectly positioned to make big gains,
Ominously for Republicans, the GOP holds 14 of the 19 vulnerable chambers on our list. This suggests that the Democrats are well-positioned to net up to a half-dozen new chambers this fall, and more if it’s a genuine blue wave.
Despite a major push by the Left, Democrats don’t appear to have taken control of any chambers, although Arizona could still go their way depending on the final count. On the other hand, Republicans managed to pick up the New Hampshire House and Senate.
Our friends at the @RSLC had a very good night last night preserving Republican majorities in legislative chambers Democrats spent $100s of millions to flip:
North Carolina House & Senate
Florida House & Senate
Iowa House & Senate
— National Republican Redistricting PAC (@GOPRedistrict) November 4, 2020
This is incredibly important because it means Republicans will be able to gerrymander more seats, which gives them a big advantage in the House. Better yet, that advantage will last until 2030.
Now, as a country, we’d certainly be better off without gerrymandering. Drawing district lines in a rational, logical manner instead of largely for political reasons makes the most sense. However, Republicans can’t unilaterally disarm. If Democrats can draw the lines in places like New York and California to limit the number of Republicans that go to Congress, the GOP has to play the same game in the states where they’re in control. The good news for the country is that, at least for the moment, the GOP seems to be better at playing the game.