Uncovering the Potential to Shift Power in the House of Representatives

The hidden dynamic that could tip control of the House

the Democrats win in all those states, they could gain as many as five seats. The battle for control of the House of Representatives resembles a sporting event, where the teams are changing the dimensions of the playing field even after the game has started. As many as a dozen states could redraw the lines governing their congressional elections before 2024, enough to shift the balance of power in the House. It’s unprecedented in modern times for this many House seats to remain in flux after the decennial redrawing of Congressional districts. Both parties are fighting to gain every edge in the tight battle for control of the House, with huge implications for the future of voting rights and partisan gerrymandering. The biggest shift could come in North Carolina, where a Democratic-majority state Supreme Court rejected Republican-drawn maps as gerrymanders. Now that Republicans have a majority on the court, they are likely to impose a map that puts them in position to win at least 10, and maybe 11, seats. In Ohio, a shift in the ideological balance of the state Supreme Court could enable the Republican-controlled legislature to draw new maps that allow the GOP to expand its current 10-5 advantage. Democrats are also pursuing Voting Rights Act challenges in Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama, and a racial bias challenge in Florida. If they win, Democrats could gain as many as five seats. The Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act case in Alabama will shape the outcomes in the other challenged states. State courts have been willing to strike down maps from the party in charge, as Democrats won four such state challenges to invalidate Republican-drawn congressional maps as unfair partisan gerrymanders in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia. Democrats are now pursuing state and federal challenges to the congressional map in Arkansas. It’s clear that the battle for control of the House is far from over.

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