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A Semi-Fair Congressional Map In Spite Of Ourselves

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Thanks to some state courts taking some responsibility for stopping Republicans just fixing elections (not that this is going to survive the Supreme Court much longer based on the high principle of “What Democrats Do is Illegal and What Republicans Do is Totally Legal), we actually have a national congressional map that all-in-all actually ends up being about even, despite massive gerrymandering in many states.

For years, America’s congressional map favored Republicans over Democrats.

But that may not remain the case for long.

In a departure from a decades-long pattern in American politics, this year’s national congressional map is poised to be balanced between the two parties, with a nearly equal number of districts that are expected to lean Democratic and Republican for the first time in more than 50 years.

Despite the persistence of partisan gerrymandering, between 216 and 219 congressional districts, out of the 435 nationwide, appear likely to tilt toward the Democrats, according to a New York Times analysis based on recent presidential election results. An identical 216 to 219 districts appear likely to tilt toward Republicans, if the maps enacted so far withstand legal challenges. To reach a majority, a party needs to secure 218 districts.

The surprisingly fair map defies the expectations of many analysts, who had believed that the Republicans would use the redistricting process to build an overwhelming structural advantage in the House, as they did a decade ago.

There are number of reasons for this, including Democrats actually taking this seriously and not unilaterally surrendering. But another is that in some core states, we have begun to take electing judges seriously and that has led to key wins that have stopped states such as North Carolina from engaging in the most grotesque gerrymanders. We’ll see how long it lasts. But at least a slight bit of democracy may still remain in our declining nation.

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