AGC ACTION ALERT: OPPOSE THE PRO ACT

Early House Outlook

With the presidential Inauguration dominating political attention this week, it provided a good time to set the upcoming electoral stage for the U.S. House of Representatives on a 50-state basis.  

Alabama – 7 Seats (1D-6R)

Alabama is on the cusp of losing one of its seven seats in reapportionment. Sources suggest the final numbers are very close and the state may sue over how the figures are tabulated should apportionment take away one of the Republican seats. The Democrats have only one CD in the state, which is a majority minority seat (Rep. Terri Sewell-D) that is a certainty to remain as part of the delegation.

Should Alabama lose a seat in reapportionment, the state’s southeastern region, most particularly the Montgomery anchored 2nd District, would probably the most affected since this is the least populated area of the seven CDs.

Alaska – 1 Seat (1R)

Rep. Don Young (R-Ft. Yukon), the Dean of the House, won his 25th term in November with a 54-45% victory in a competitive race. With Alaska being an at-large state, reapportionment and redistricting won’t change the political situation. The big question surrounding the 87 year-old congressional veteran is when will he retire?

Arizona – 9 Seats (5D-4R)

The Arizona population growth rate makes them a cinch to gain a 10th District in reapportionment. It is also clear that the new seat will be placed in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Arizona has a redistricting commission comprised of two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Independent. The latter member becomes the chairman. The membership has not yet been chosen.

The state’s marginal nature suggests that we will see a very competitive state once all ten seats are in place. Currently, there are two districts where the winning House member received 52% of the vote or less. This means GOP Rep. David Schweikert (2020 winning %: 52.2) and Democratic incumbent Tom O’Halleran (2020 winning %: 51.6) will be looking to add more Republicans and Democrats to their seats, respectively.

An open Governor’s race (Republican Gov. Doug Ducey ineligible to seek a third term) and what should be a competitive re-election for Sen. Mark Kelly (D) could cause open seats in the House delegation should any of the sitting members attempt to run statewide.

Arkansas – 4 Seats (4R)

Arkansas holds four Republican districts, and the GOP controls the redistricting pen. They will obviously attempt to draw a new map that protects all four incumbents and should be able to do so with relative ease as the state continues to move toward the ideological right. Arkansas had previously received Justice Department approval to draw a map where all of its 75 counties whole within the individual congressional districts, and thus exceeding the plus-or-minus one individual congressional district population variance requirement.

California – 53 Seats (42D-11R)

For the first time in history, the Golden State appears positioned to lose a seat in their US House delegation. With migration exiting the state exceeding those incoming, it appears the California growth rate did not keep up with the specified threshold in order to keep all of their 53 seats. The Los Angeles area is likely to absorb the loss of the seat, but which member will be paired with another is an open question.

California voters adopted an initiative before the 2010 census that established a citizens’ commission to administer redistricting under strict parameters that emphasizes keeping cities and counties whole when possible and irrespective of where any particular incumbent may reside. Therefore, with the mapping power removed from the legislature, it is possible that inside Democratic politics might play a lesser role in the redistricting process.

Republicans gained four seats in the delegation from the November elections, all that were previously held but lost in 2018. Therefore, Reps. David Valadao (R-Hanford), Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita), Young Kim (R-La Habra), and Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) all represent politically marginal seats. These members could become particularly vulnerable depending upon how the Commission members draw their new seats.

Colorado – 7 Seats (4D-3R)

Colorado is another western state that looks to be gaining a new congressional seat in reapportionment, thus expanding the delegation to eight seats. The new district will very likely be placed in the Denver-Colorado Springs population corridor. With Democrats holding the redistricting pen here, we can be assured that the new seat will be drawn for their party. Such a move, however, could make the three Republican seats even stronger.

The only delegation member who had a close race is freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt; 2020 winning %: 51.4), who represents what is termed the “Western Slope” district. Bordered by Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico on three sides, creating drastic changes to her 3rd District will be difficult even though it is the only one of the seven Colorado CD’s that now has less than 800,000 people.

The big decision will revolve around the placement of the Democratic city of Pueblo, and whether it will remain in CD 3 in an attempt to weaken Boebert, or at least some of this Democratic region being placed in a new district to help guarantee that seat swings left.

Connecticut – 5 Seats (5D)

With all of the Nutmeg State’s five congressional districts venturing past the 700,000 resident mark, each of Connecticut’s CDs appear secure after the state lost a seat in 2010 reapportionment. With Democrats holding the redistricting pen, expect only perfunctory changes in the congressional delegation map with each incumbent being awarded a safe seat. All were re-elected in 2021 within a vote percentage range between 56 and 65.

Delaware – 1 Seat (1D)

The home of new President Joe Biden was once a relatively conservative state, but no longer. Delaware is growing but won’t come anywhere near gaining a second seat. Therefore, three-term Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington) will have an easy electoral ride for the foreseeable future.

Florida – 27 Seats (11D-16R)

The Sunshine State is one of two entities perched to gain multiple new districts. Florida is projected to add two seats, which should give the GOP map drawers the opportunity of protecting the newly won South Florida District 26 (Rep. Carlos Gimenez) and 27 (Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar) while maximizing the Republican compilation of Florida seats. Winning the aforementioned Miami-anchored CDs might result in conceding one of the new seats to the Democrats, however, in order to off-load a significant portion of their left-of-center voters, which would make both seats more Republican.

Holding the Governor’s office, both houses of the legislature, and now a majority on the state Supreme Court will allow the GOP to become the big winner in redistricting. The fact that 25 of the 27 districts are over the estimated per district population projection of approximately 740,000 residents provides statistical evidence for expanding the delegation.

Rep. Darren Soto’s (D-Kissimmee) 9th District is the most over-populated seat with more than 931,000 people. Only Reps. Neal Dunn’s (R-Panama City) and Charlie Crist’s (D-St. Petersburg) seats are slightly below the projected population target. Twelve of the current 27 districts now hold more than 800,000 constituents. Expect the new seats to be added in South Florida, most likely toward the Gulf Coast side of the peninsula, and in the Orlando area.

Georgia – 14 Seats (6D-8R)

Though Republicans will control the redistricting pen as a result of holding both the legislature and Governor’s office, the party map drawers will be hard-pressed to construct a map that allows their members to dominate the delegation as they did ten years ago. Gaining a seat in 2010 reapportionment, the GOP began the decade with a 10-4 advantage in the House delegation only to see two Atlanta suburban seats slip away as a result of demographic and political changes in the metropolitan area.

Georgia is expected to remain constant in this reapportionment with their 14 seats. The GOP will attempt to make at least one of the seats they lost, District 6 (Rep. Lucy McBath) or District 7 (Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux) more Republican and thus give themselves a chance to re-claim a seat for the coming decade. Expect a move to make one of these two seats, probably District 6, more Democratic in order to make District 7 more Republican especially since the latter CD is the most over-populated seat in the state with more than 844,000 residents and will have to shed close to 90,000 individuals to other districts.

Hawaii – 2 Seats (2D)

Very little change will come to Hawaii in relation to reapportionment and redistricting. The state will remain with two districts: one fully contained on the island of Oahu and the other taking part of Oahu before spreading through the remaining islands. District 2 will have to gain population from the Honolulu-anchored 1st CD, but we can expect only perfunctory changes in the coming new map. Reps. Ed Case (D-Kaneohe/ Honolulu) and freshman Kai Kahele (D-Hilo) will only be potentially vulnerable in Democratic primary contests.

Iowa – 4 Seats (1D-3R)

Iowa has a hybrid redistricting system. The legislature voluntarily cedes power to a particular legislative committee, which then draws the four congressional districts based upon a mathematical population algorithm without regard to incumbent residences or political preferences. The legislature must then approve or reject the map without amendment.

The current map has produced competitive districts as is evidenced in the 2nd District being decided by just six votes in the 2020 election. Three of the state’s four CDs have seen both Republican and Democratic representation during this decade. It is likely we will see the process produce a similar map later this year.

Idaho – 2 Seats (2R)

The Gem State is one of the nation’s fastest growing, but they are nowhere close to earning a third seat at least in the current census. Therefore, we can expect to have two of the most heavily populated districts in the whole country. The eastern seat will gain constituents from the western seat, and both Republican incumbents Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho Falls) will have safe general election districts.

Illinois – 18 Seats (13D-5R)

Democrats have a big advantage in the Illinois delegation and, with the party leaders in control of the redistricting pen, their edge is positioned to expand. Despite the Republicans holding less than half of the number of Democratic seats comprising the delegation, it is one of the former’s members who is likely to be paired with another incumbent.

The state has actually lost population (approximately 250,000 residents) when compared with the 2010 census, meaning Illinois will certainly lose one CD with the outside possibility of dropping two. Since the major population loss is coming from the downstate area, the Democratic map drawers will have little trouble taking the seat from the Republicans and can justify such a draw based upon the region losing so many people. This, even though Rep. Cheri Bustos’ (D-Moline) seat has the lowest population figure in the state.

The Chicago area gives the Democrats some redistricting challenges, however. Three of their metro incumbents, Reps. Marie Newman (D-La Grange), Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove), and Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville) scored re-election percentages of 56.4, 52.8, and 50.7, meaning all three will be lobbying to add more Democrats to their districts. Their lower win percentages are a clue that the metro districts are already stretched to the maximum from a Democratic perspective, so it’s possible such an over-reach could have backfire potential.

Indiana – 9 Seats (2D-7R)

The nine Hoosier State seats also appear secure from a population standpoint, so Indiana looks to be a sure bet to retain all of its nine congressional districts. One seat to watch from a competitive perspective is that of freshman Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) who won an Indianapolis suburban CD in a tight 50-46% margin. Democrats will target her in 2022. All of the veteran incumbents seeking re-election broke the 61% mark. Freshman Democrat Frank Mrvan (D-Highland/Gary) succeeded retiring Rep. Peter Visclosky (D) with a 57-40% victory margin.

Kansas – 4 Seats (1D-3R)

Both parties have seats at the redistricting table as Republicans control the state House and Senate while Democrats have the Governorship. Republicans will attempt to at least protect the status quo but Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly can be expected to hold out for a 2R-2D plan. Any prolonged impasse will send the map to either a state or federal court in order to produce an interim map for the coming 2022 election.

Kentucky – 6 Seats (1D-5R)

The Bluegrass State is another that will remain constant in relation to reapportionment. With the Democrats now controlling the Governor’s office and Republicans featuring majorities in both houses of the legislature, the failure to agree on a status quo map could send the process to court.

Republican Rep. Andy Barr (R-Lexington) would be looking to shed some Democratic voters after a close call in the 2018 election. His 6th District is the most over-populated in the state and would likely have to send approximately 30,000 individuals to other districts. All of the incumbents appear to be in strong political shape. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Somerset), who will be 85 years of age just after the 2022 election, is certainly a retirement possibility.

Louisiana – 6 Seats (0D-4R; 2 Vacancies)

The more immediate political task Louisiana sees is filling its two vacant congressional districts. The New Orleans-Baton Rouge 2nd District has no representation because Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) resigned to accept a White House appointment from the Biden Administration. Rep-Elect Luke Letlow (R) tragically passed away after his election and before he was officially sworn into office. Therefore, both seats will be filled in a two-tiered March 20/April 24 special election calendar.

Republicans control the legislature, but Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) holds the veto pen. The number of seats will remain constant since the population appears relatively even through the state’s six districts. The 1st (Rep. Steve Scalise-R) and the 6th (Rep. Garret Graves-R) are over-populated while the 4th (Rep. Mike Johnson-R) and the 5th (Letlow vacancy) will need to gain residents.

Maine – 2 Seats (2D)

The Pine Tree State again holds two districts with smaller base population figures for the coming decade, one from the north and the other south. Democrats hold both and will control the redistricting pen but with only approximately 30,000 people needing to move from the southern 1st District (Rep. Chellie Pingree-D) to the northern 2nd (Rep. Jared Golden-D), the map will only change marginally. The 2nd CD is the more competitive seat of the two and will again be contested but the state’s Ranked Choice Voting system tends to give the Democrats an added advantage.

Maryland – 8 Seats (7D-1R)

Maryland will remain an eight-district state but will the Democrats who control the redistricting process attempt to draw an 8D-0R map? Rep. Andy Harris (R-Cockeysville) is the lone Republican in the delegation, and he drew the ire of Maryland Democrats when he voted not to accept the Electoral College report. Despite campaigning in 2010 that he would only serve six terms, Mr. Harris announced this week that he will seek another term in 2022. Therefore, redistricting may be Rep. Harris’ biggest political hurdle to overcome in 2022.

Massachusetts – 9 Seats (9D)

The Bay State, home to one of the Democrats’ most loyal constituencies in the entire country, will retain its nine districts after dropping a seat in the 2010 reapportionment. All nine Democratic incumbents are safe and will continue to be so. The victory percentage range fell between 58-74% for the nine current Democratic incumbents, all but one of whom was running for re-election.

Michigan – 14 Seats (7D-7R)

Michigan redistricting will be different in 2021 with the introduction of a voter-passed redistricting commission. The citizen members will be tasked with reducing the 14-member delegation to 13, and Republicans will likely find themselves on the short end. Rep. John Moolenaar’s (R-Midland) 4th CD looks to be the most vulnerable. The districts in the northern part of the state all must gain population, and with Rep. Moolenaar’s seat being surrounded by the rest, his is the most likely to be split in pieces order to feed the others.

Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly/Lansing) and Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills), with respective 2020 win percentages of 50.9 and 50.2, will be in need of more Democrats that may not be forthcoming. Therefore, we could see a more competitive Michigan congressional delegation at least in the early part of the new decade.

Minnesota – 8 Seats (4D-4R)

Minnesota barely held its 8th District ten years ago, and it’s nearly certainty that the state’s House delegation will recede to seven seats in the coming reapportionment. The northern part of the state hosts two Republican districts, 7 (Rep. Michelle Fischbach-R) and 8 (Rep. Pete Stauber-R), and the pair must gain the most population. It is probable that the remaining six seats would also need an increased number of residents, leading to the clear projection that the state will lose a seat.

Minnesota is the only state in the country with a split legislature, as Democrats control the House and Republicans, the Senate. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz will hold the veto pen. Losing a seat and moving to fundamentally change the district configuration suggests that the Minnesota map may find itself at an impasse, thus opening the door to a court-drawn interim map for the 2022 election. Expect the Republicans to lose the departing district.

Mississippi – 4 Seats (1D-3R)

The Magnolia State will continue with four seats and likely the same delegation barring retirements. With all four members winning with at least 65% of the vote in 2020, it appears Mississippi will remain a politically stable state for at least most of the coming decade.

Missouri – 8 Seats (2D-6R)

Ten years ago, Missouri lost a seat reducing their US House delegation to eight members. In the early 2020 projections, it appears the state will retain its current number of CDs. With Republicans controlling the redistricting pen, no obvious impending incumbent retirements, and African American members representing St. Louis and Kansas City, it appears the 6R-2D split will remain intact for the 2022 elections and likely beyond.

Montana – 1 Seat (1R)

The California population bleed has definitely affected Montana, and it is one of the reasons that the Big Sky Country looks to be regaining its 2nd seat, the district that was lost in the 1990 census. If so, redistricting in the Republican controlled legislature becomes interesting. The election of at-large Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte as the state’s new Governor awards the GOP the redistricting pen. They will draw an eastern seat and a western district and try to make both Republican. Newly elected at-large Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) would run in the new eastern district.

Nebraska – 3 Seats (3R)

Nebraska looks to retain it three seats despite all being on the lower population end. The expansive 3rd District needs a population influx, and Republicans, who control the redistricting pen, will likely attempt to make the state’s 2nd District, the Omaha metro seat, more Republican if they can. The 2nd went relatively strongly for Joe Biden in the presidential race – Nebraska is one of two states that split its electoral votes – and Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion/Omaha) has won his last two re-election campaigns with just 50.8 and 48.9% respectively in 2020 and 2018.

Nevada – 4 Seats (3D; 1R)

Democrats hold the redistricting pen but two of their Clark County anchored seats, Districts 3 (Rep. Susie Lee-D; 2020 winning %: 48.7) and 4 (Rep. Steven Horsford-D; 2020 winning %: 50.7), will need more Democrats as their vote totals have routinely produced close results. In a fast growing state that continually features close statewide elections, it may be difficult to place both seats beyond political competition despite the Democrats’ holding the redistricting cards.

New Mexico – 3 Seats (2D; 1R)

The Land of Enchantment is expected to retain its three congressional districts, with one of them, the Albuquerque seat, headed for special election in the coming months. The election will be scheduled once Rep. Deb Haaland (D-Albuquerque) is confirmed as the nation’s new Interior Secretary. It is likely all three seats will remain with their current party, though the southern district, the 2nd CD (Freshman Rep. Yvette Herrell-R; 2020 winning %: 53.7) will likely remain competitive.

New Hampshire – 2 Seats (2D)

The Granite State will again keep a pair of districts, one of which, the eastern 1st District, is the most consistently competitive House CD in the country. Since 2002, the district has re-elected its incumbent just three times including current incumbent Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) winning a second term this past November.

With the district population figures separated by just under 14,000 people, we can expect little in the way of redistricting change. Therefore, the 1st District will continue to be a quintessential swing seat while the western 2nd District also lies in the competitive realm. Incumbents Pappas and Annie Kuster (D-Concord) recorded respective winning percentages of 51.3 and 53.9 in the 1st and 2nd Districts last November.

New Jersey – 12 Seats (10D-2R)

When the current Garden State map was drawn, the first election in 2012 produced a split congressional delegation of six Democrats and six Republicans. The delegation held in this relative configuration until 2018, when Democrats blew the doors off weaker Republican seats. With Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/Atlantic City) changing parties and winning re-election in 2020, the delegation splits 10-2 in the Democrats’ favor.

New Jersey is a commission state, featuring an equal number of partisan members from each party and a tiebreaking commissioner appointed by vote of the panel members. If an impasse results over choosing a chairman, the group submits two names to the Chief Justice of the New Jersey State Supreme Court who makes the final choice.

Since the commission’s partisan members have traditionally all voted their party lines, the tiebreaking member is usually the key to how the map unfolds.

New York – 27 Seats (19D-7R-1 Vacancy)

Before even looking at whether New York State will lose one or two seats in reapportionment, they first must settle who won the 22nd District in the 2020 election. Here, 116th Congress incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) and former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) are still locked in a tight battle – at last published count, Ms. Tenney led by 29 votes – with over 1,700 ballots being contested. Final legal arguments are due this Friday with an expected initial ruling coming next week. A legal fight will likely ensue regardless of who is declared the initial winner.

Ironically, the eventual winner may have a shortened tenure. In the middle of a region, low on population, and going through a horrendous post-election period that still hasn’t concluded, the 22nd may be the logical seat to be eliminated.

The Upstate is the most unstable political area, so most of the redistricting and 2022 competitive campaign contests will likely come from here. The apportionment decision as to whether the state will lose only one seat or two is obviously major in determining how the map will unfold and which party will absorb the seat loss.

North Carolina – 13 Seats (5D-8R)

The Tar Heel State is another that is scheduled to gain a congressional seat, and possibly sits on the cusp of a second. They missed adding to the delegation in 2010 by approximately 15,000 people, so there is an outside chance that the growth has been large enough to add two new congressional districts. All current 13 districts are well over the projected per district population target.

With Democratic Governor Roy Cooper having no veto power over redistricting legislation and the Republicans holding both houses of the legislature, the GOP will control the map drawing process. Democrats still maintain a one-seat majority on the state Supreme Court but lost two seats in November, including seeing the Chief Justice’s chair slip away. The previous NC Supreme Court imposed a new map upon the state for the 2020 congressional elections that awarded the Democrats two seats, but they might not witness the same outcome from the impending redistricting.

Republican election gains make this judicial body less favorable for the Democrats. Expect the 2021 map to tilt a bit more Republican as the GOP should be able to capture the new 14th District as well as cementing their other eight seats. 

North Dakota – 1 Seats (1R)

The Peace Garden State will continue to hold one at-large seat, so redistricting here is not an issue. Second term at-large Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Dickinson) is a lock for re-election and should have little trouble holding the seat in future campaigns.

Ohio – 16 Seats (4D-12R)

Ohio is another of the states expected to lose another CD, as they did in the past two redistricting cycles. With a 12-4 Republican advantage in the delegation, it appears on paper that the GOP would lose the seat as they did ten years ago. This time, however, the situation may be different. The majority minority 11th District is seriously low on population meaning that the Cleveland-Akron seat will have to gain 60,000 people or more.

The most logical place for this district to gain is from the Akron area, which would seriously weaken Rep. Tim Ryan’s (D-Warren/Youngstown) seat that shares part of the Akron community. If its Akron portion is transferred to District 11, Rep. Ryan’s 13th CD becomes highly vulnerable to a Republican opponent. Therefore, with the GOP controlling the redistricting process, it is Rep. Ryan who could be on the political hot seat.

One Republican priority will be to strengthen the state’s 1st District for Republican Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati). This district has become competitive particularly in the past two election cycles, so expect more Republicans to be added to this district even though the seat likely won’t need much of a population influx.

Oklahoma – 5 Seats (5R)

Regaining the OK-5 district (Oklahoma City metro area) in 2020 allowed the Republicans to again capture all five of the state’s congressional districts. The district population figures are strong enough to suggest the state will retain all five of its seats in reapportionment. The two metro districts, OK-1 (Tulsa) and OK-5 (Oklahoma City), will shed population, while the others will then gain slightly. Republicans hold the redistricting pen here and will strive to keep all five CDs decidedly in their political column.

Oregon – 5 Seats (4D; 1R)

Oregon is another of the western states benefiting from the large number of people moving from California. It appears that the Beaver State will increase its delegation size to six seats with all current districts holding well over 820,000 people, and all within the same population range.

It is difficult to tell at first glance exactly how this new 6th District will be drawn because the population is so evenly spread among the five current CDs. With the legislature and Governorship in Democratic hands, it is a virtual certainty that their party will gain the new seat, but they will also need to increase their partisan number in the 4th District (Rep. Peter DeFazio-D; 2020 winning %: 51.5) that is becoming politically marginal. At the same time, the eastern 2nd District, because there will be a need to park Republican voters, will very likely survive as a GOP seat. Expect the new Oregon delegation to break 5D-1R.

Pennsylvania – 18 Seats (9D-9R)

The Pennsylvania delegation was significantly changed when the State Supreme Court imposed a new map upon the state prior to the 2018 election. This brought the Pennsylvania delegation to even strength for the parties. Once again, this state will lose a congressional seat, as they have in almost every apportionment. None has lost more seats than Pennsylvania since the Depression era when they held 36 congressional seats. In the coming apportionment, the delegation will drop to 17 seats.

Republicans control the legislature, while Democrats have the Governorship and the state Supreme Court. This likely means the seat reduction will come from the Republican column, probably from western Pennsylvania where the population growth has lagged behind to the greatest degree.

All 18 incumbents ran for re-election in 2020 while four members, three Democrats (Reps. Susan Wild, Matt Cartwright, and Conor Lamb) and one Republican (Rep. Scott Perry) won with less than 53% of the vote.

Rhode Island – 2 Seats (2D)

Rhode Island looks to be one of the losing states, meaning the two-member delegation will revert to at-large status for the next decade. With Democrats holding both seats, it becomes obvious that they will take the loss.

Most believe that Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) would have the inside track in a fight between he and eleven-term Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Warwick) even though both districts have virtually the same size population base. Rumors are strong that Mr. Langevin may is considering entering the Governor’s race as opposed to squaring off with Rep. Cicilline.

South Carolina – 7 Seats (1D-6R)

Despite being the sixth fastest growing state in the country, the South Carolina congressional delegation is expected to remain constant at seven seats. The Palmetto State gained a district in 2010 reapportionment and will likely be set to gain another in 2030, but for now a projection to easily retain seven seats is the probable scenario.

With Republicans in full control of the legislative process, expect the delegation also to remain consistent with a 6R-1D split. The Charleston anchored 1st District (Rep. Nancy Mace-R) is over-populated to the tune of having an aggregate of 821,000 people, while the adjacent 6th District (Rep. Jim Clyburn-D) is only registering approximately 665,000 constituents. Therefore, we will see most of the population shift between these two districts.

South Dakota – 1 Seat (1R)

As in North Dakota, the neighboring Mount Rushmore State has one congressional district and a second term incumbent member in the person of Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-Mitchell). He, like North Dakota’s Kelly Armstrong, should be able to keep the seat as long as he maintains a desire to serve in the House.

Tennessee – 9 Seats (2D-7R)

Tennessee is registering below average growth when compared to the other 49 states, but they are in no danger of losing a seat. With Republicans in control of the redistricting pen, expect the 7R-2D partisan division to remain intact. The Nashville area seats are over-populated while the western districts must gain constituents. The eastern CDs appear to be very close to the projected population per district target. 

Texas – 36 Seats (13D-23R)

Texas gained four new seats in the 2010 reapportionment and looks to add another three in the 2020 version. Expect the Dallas, Houston, and Austin-San Antonio corridor to gain the additional representation. With their increased voting power in the state, Democrats may improve their position slightly, since the Republican map drawers will have the primary goal of strengthening weaker suburban seats like that of freshman Rep. Beth Van Duyne’s (R-Irving) 24th District (GOP winning %: 48.8).

Adding a new Democratic seat in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex will allow the GOP to keep all of the regional seats they currently control. Expect Rep. Lizzie Fletcher’s (D-Houston) 7th District to become more Democratic with the Republicans’ intent of better supporting the surrounding districts and possibly adding a new GOP district in southeast Texas. As Austin becomes ever more Democratic, the Republican map drawers may need to draw a new Democratic or politically marginal CD to improve their surrounding districts such as the 21st where incumbent Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin) scored election victories of 50.2 and 51.9%, respectively in 2016 and 2020.

Utah – 4 Seats (4R)

Another fast-growing state, Utah, which gained a seat in the last reapportionment is not in line to add another in 2021. With Republicans in the person of Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Salt Lake City) re-capturing the 4th District from one-term Rep. Ben McAdams (D), the Republican legislature and Governor will draw a map that improves the 4th CD for Mr. Owens (2020 winning %: 47.7) while also keeping the other three seats in the GOP column.

Vermont – 1 Seat (1D)

With only 623,000 people, Vermont is nowhere close to earning a second seat as it ranks 50th in population (including the District of Columbia), and ahead of only Wyoming. No change in the map means that veteran at-large Rep. Peter Welch (D-Norwich) will again cruise to re-election for however long he chooses to stay.

Virginia – 11 Seats (7D-4R)

At the beginning of the decade, Virginia was projected to be a state that gained congressional representation, but the early population growth trends did not continue. Therefore, the Commonwealth will remain constant with eleven districts. The seats in Northern Virginia are over-populated while the far western region will need to gain population.

With their control of both houses of the legislature and the Governor’s mansion, Democrats were in position to control redistricting, but a voter approved ballot proposition has now created a citizens’ commission to draw the lines. That being the case, we can more than likely expect the current party division among the eleven districts to continue especially when taking into consideration that the state is moving decidedly toward the Democrats.

Washington – 10 Seats (7D; 3R)

Like Utah, the state of Washington also gained a seat in the 2010 reapportionment and will remain constant in 2021. Washington is one of eight states that has a congressional redistricting commission. This one has four bipartisan members and at least three must vote to support new maps.

The most likely scenario is the seats will remain in a 7-3 split, though the 8th District that Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Sammamish) converted from the Republicans in 2018 returned her with only 51.7% despite outspending the Republican nominee by a better than 4:1 margin. Unless this seat sees an increase in Democrats, it will remain politically competitive.

Wisconsin – 8 Seats (3D-5R)

With all eight Badger State CDs having more than 700,000 people in the last census estimates, the state will keep its delegation intact but with aggregate population figures on the lower end. Republicans won’t have total control of the redistricting pen in 2021 as they did in 2011. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will obviously have a seat at the table and more than likely negotiate with a goal of making a 4R-4D map that he will argue more accurately reflects the state’s voting trends. With Milwaukee’s 4th District (Rep. Gwen Moore-D) needing a population influx, making one of the surrounding Republican seats more Democratic becomes more difficult.

Wisconsin is another place where an impasse may occur, and a court could be tasked with drawing a new interim map.

West Virginia – 3 Seats (3R)

West Virginia is another of the losing states, and a lower population in all three districts means that one of trio will be transferred to another state. Since Republicans hold all three seats, they will obviously be the party that loses even though they control the redistricting process.

Wyoming – 1 Seat (1R)

Like Alaska, Wyoming is an at-large state and will remain as such. At-large Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson/Jackson) will likely have little trouble in the Republican primary when the political dust clears and face no head wind in the general election.


Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.