By Nathan L. Gonzales and Jacob Rubashkin
Six months into the 2022 midterm elections, and we still don’t know the congressional lines that will define and determine the fight for the House majority. And considering Republicans need a net gain of just five seats, literally every seat matters.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s delays in relaying critical data has thrown an extra degree of uncertainty into a redistricting process that normally has its own set of surprises.
At the end of April, the Bureau released final apportionment figures, albeit four months late. Seven states lost seats (California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) while six states gained seats (Texas +2, Florida, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, and North Carolina). But even states that didn’t gain or lose seats must redraw to account for population changes over the last decade.
Of the nation’s 435 districts, Republicans will draw 187, Democrats will draw 74 and commissions will draw 121, according to each state’s law. There are 47 seats in states where redistricting power is split between Democrats and Republicans, and six states with single, at-large districts.
It will still be months, however, before states can start drawing their new maps. The Census Bureau’s delay in releasing block-level data could upend the process in states with constitutional or statutory deadlines and early primaries. In Iowa, for instance, the state Supreme Court has already said it expects it…