California’s New Congressional Map Could Help Democrats Hold Majority In House
California has finalized a new congressional map. The map, which was approved Monday night, makes the terrain a bit more difficult for Republican candidates, while easing the way slightly for Democrats.
The project was helmed by California’s independent redistricting commission. In other states, legislatures are in charge of redistricting; however, in California, its commission is comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independents.
Despite the commission’s even makeup of different political affiliations, Republicans have criticized the new map and accused the result as owing to bias.
“California’s ‘independent’ redistricting commission is producing wildly contorted congressional lines that rival the extreme gerrymanders in Illinois and Maryland,” said National Republican Redistricting Trust Executive Director, Adam Kincaid, in a statement. “These new draft maps ignore California’s communities in a desperate attempt to try to save Nancy Pelosi’s majority.”
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However, others do not judge these results to be biased. “This is the high end of what was a probable outcome for Democrats,” said political data analyst and owner of the firm Redistricting Partners, Paul Mitchell.
There are various ways in which the new map appears promising for Democrats. For one, multiple Republican incumbents, such as Reps. Mike Garcia, David Valadao and Michelle Steel, could have a more challenging road to maintaining their positions, as their districts become increasingly liberal. Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Mike Levin have also benefitted from the map, seeing their respective districts become more welcoming to the candidates.
California’s decline in population has meant that the state will lose a House seat, which is expected to resultin one fewer Democratic seat, specifically. However, the map seems to indicate that Democrats may still maintain the same number of seats, or even gain a few.
“This was definitely a good outcome for Democrats,” said Michell. “Republicans have 11 current members—in these maps they should only be sending nine back to Congress in 2022.”
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