Democrats lost big in state elections which could cost them when new political maps are drawn
by Alvin Chang and Sam Levine
While the world focused on the election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in November, some of the most consequential contests were in state legislative races between candidates many have never heard of.
State lawmakers have the authority to redraw electoral districts in most US states every 10 years. In 2010, Republicans undertook an unprecedented effort – called Project Redmap – to win control of state legislatures across the country and drew congressional and state legislative districts that gave them a significant advantage for the next decade. In 2020, Democrats sought to avoid a repeat of 2010 and poured millions of dollars and other resources into winning key races.
It didn’t go well.
Democrats failed to flip any of the legislative chambers they targeted and Republicans came out of election night in nearly the best possible position for drawing districts, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, and will have the opportunity to draw 188 congressional seats, 43% of the House of Representatives. Democrats will have a chance to draw at most just 73 seats. Republicans will probably also be able to draw districts that will make it more difficult for Democrats to hold their majority in the US House in 2022.