State of Elections

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Tag: Reapportionment

Minnesota Redistricting: A Process Without History On Its Side

By: Cullen Enabnit

Minnesota’s heated legislative redistricting process is starting to ramp up. After being delayed due to the pandemic, the US Census data is beginning to be sifted through in the great state of Minnesota. While other states like Texas and New York have released proposed plans for how their reimagined districts should look, Minnesota is working in a split government and will have to take more time to draw their maps.

In terms of the fight state legislators are about to face, there is reason for relief and reason for concern. The major headline for Minnesota’s eight House Representatives was that the state was able to maintain all of its Congressional seats by a tight margin. If this number were to have changed, the difficult task of redistricting would have become even harder as the existing map would have needed to be reimagined from the ground up. While this feared situation did not come to pass, Minnesota lawmakers are still facing a challenge that does not have history on their side. Minnesota has not drawn legislative boundaries without court intervention a single time in 140 years. In fact, for at least the last 20 years, and maybe even the last 50 years, the courts have ended up drawing the final lines when the legislature failed to draw a bipartisan map.

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Some will Win, Some will Lose, Some States are Born to Sing the Blues: The Coming Battle Over Reapportionment

The stakes are incredibly high, reapportionment is looming, and recent data from Election Data Services shows that neither Democrats nor Republicans will be too pleased come next year. States which have been recently labeled as ‘safe Republican’ in Presidential elections will gain seats, but in more Democratically inclined areas. States recently labeled as ‘safe Democrat’ in Presidential elections will lose some seats. The biggest gain will be in Texas. Texas can expect to gain four House seats, at least some of which will be placed in locations more favorable to Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, New York, a state typically labeled as ‘safe Democrat’ in Presidential elections, will likely lose two House seats. In terms of multi-district moves, Florida will likely gain two seats and Ohio will likely lose two seats. Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington will all likely gain a seat while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will all likely lose a seat.

Reapportionment is becoming a problem not only for certain Presidential candidates but also state and federal candidates, especially candidates in the Midwest where rapid population flight is decimating the electoral landscape. The close electoral math is mapping onto reapportionment strategy. Democrats and Republicans are locked in a mortal struggle to gain control of state houses and governor’s mansions across the nation, in anticipation of being able to influence the composition of both state legislatures and Congress over the next decade. Continue reading

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