In the next 12 to 18 months, the next great outrage in the Democratic Party won’t be anything related to the election. They will pivot to calling Republicans evil vote-suppressors for using the mandate the public granted Republicans in the 2020 election to redraw districts. The media, ever happy to help Democrats, will speak in grave tones about the dangers posed by gerrymandering in red states.
That’s the next great political battle after the votes get finalized in 2020. Republicans pulled the same feats in 2000 and 2010. This year will mark the third start of a decade for Republicans to surge in gains right as decennial reapportionment transpires.
Reapportionment, more commonly known as gerrymandering, is the Constitutional requirement for states to redraw congressional districts after a census. The Founders were well aware of the shifting and changing nature of the fledgling new republic and that it would change over time.
The census and reapportionment bring the states back to this process every 10 years to remake these districts to account for growing or changing communities.
Here’s why this is all-important: reapportionment puts Republicans in the driver’s seat on deciding which party has the easier path to power for the next decade. State legislatures do the process. As Politico noted, the results from the 2020 election could help lock Democrats out of control in the House for the rest of the decade:
By Wednesday night, Democrats had not flipped a single statehouse chamber in its favor. And it remained completely blocked from the map-making process in several key states — including Texas, North Carolina and Florida, which could have a combined 82 congressional seats by 2022 — where the GOP retained control of the state legislatures.
Democrats spent half a billion dollars trying to avoid this fate and failed dismally. Further, “Republicans gained two new state trifectas in New Hampshire and Montana, after the GOP ran up majorities in the New Hampshire House and Senate and flipped the Montana governorship,” CNBC reported.
Since the election, Arizona Republicans have indicated that they are on track to keep both the state House and Senate, along with Republican Doug Ducey as governor. Austin Chambers, head of the Republican State Legislature Committee, said that the GOP was on track to hold 62 out of the 99 state legislative chambers across the country.
The far-left Vox, bemoaning this development after the election, posted a report saying: “If Democrats are right and their losses down-ballot this year are due to redistricting and laws designed to suppress turnout of traditionally left-leaning demographics, it’s hard to see how they will fare better in the decade ahead.”
Of course, they only focus on the states that Republicans control and allege that voter suppression occurs. There are plenty of examples where Democrats do the same thing. The problem here isn’t the power. It’s who is operating that power. And the simple answer to that power: win elections.
There’s nothing fancy to this formula. If you want to win a state legislative chamber, a political party should probably do the work and win the people who live in these districts. Running the same platform and candidates in every community and state is a recipe for failure, but that’s precisely what Democrats are doing. Candidates should reflect the values of their community, not the national party.
The dirty secret here is Democrats don’t want to do that work. Democrats have talked themselves into the notion that “demographics are destiny.” They fundamentally believe that minority voters of all races will vote for them simply because that’s what minorities will do. They’ve looked at how the white vote has shrunk as a portion of the overall population and seen that as a good thing.
What the 2020 election proves is that this kind of thinking is utter nonsense. Unlike Democrats, Republicans under Donald Trump have put in the time to reach out to minority groups — and that outreach has worked.
Again, let’s go back to the far-left Vox. One of their writers said the 2020 election should cause progressives to rethink all their assumptions. He concluded by saying:
The votes are not fully in. It will be weeks or months before we have all the data to hash out. But given the prominence of “Trump as white supremacist” narratives over the past several years, one question Democrats will need to answer is why some Latinos strayed from the party in 2020. They should be open to answers that go beyond tactics and outreach strategy and ask real questions about concepts and fundamentals.
Demographics aren’t destiny. Republicans are doing the work. And as a result, for the third decade in a row, Republicans are positioned to lead apportionment, retake the House, and lead the nation in the decade ahead.
Whatever happens after the lawsuits and recounts with the presidential election, one thing is abundantly clear: Republicans are better positioned after four years of Trump. He was not the harbinger of doom that pundits and pollsters claimed.
Far from being a rump party, the Republican Party is growing and diverse, while the Democratic coalition is shrinking and geographically isolated. Most parties would look to grow out of those issues, but it seems like Democrats will double-down. The Republican Party thanks them for their blinkered view of the world.