As Democrats move ahead with an effort to permanently transform U.S. elections, there are signs of new strength for Republicans in Florida.
Because of redistricting, the GOP could gain at least two seats in the House, possibly imperiling Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s majority, the Washington Examiner reports.
GOP could gain seats in Florida
While they managed to pick up the Senate by a hair, Democrats saw their majority in Congress’ lower chamber shrink this year despite hopes of a “blue wave.” Now, Republicans are within striking distance of taking back the House in 2022, with only five seats needed to gain back the majority, as Fox News notes.
The 2020 election already solidified Florida as a losing state for Democrats — but according to the Washington Examiner, the state will likely gain two seats in redistricting, which could weaken an already tenuous hold on the House for Pelosi.
Republican strength at the state level could amplify the advantage with gerrymandering, as Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman pointed out.
“Because the [Florida Supreme Court] has turned sharply right since 2015, [Republicans] could be even more aggressive — in defiance of FL’s Fair Districts amendments,” Wasserman said, according to the Examiner. “At the extreme end, [Republicans] could attempt a 21R–8D gerrymander (below), which could cost Dems almost their entire House majority.”
Because the FL Sup Ct has turned sharply right since 2015, Rs could be even more aggressive – in defiance of FL’s Fair Districts amendments.
At the extreme end, Rs could attempt a 21R-8D gerrymander (below), which could cost Dems almost their entire House majority. pic.twitter.com/uxl8hiliJo
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 2, 2021
Election battles brewing
In one possible new map, three Democrats would wind up in areas that Donald Trump carried by double-digits in the 2020 election. The GOP’s advantage in Florida could also be replicated in other states where they control redistricting, like Texas, which is also expected to gain seats.
Because of their strength in state legislatures, Republicans have the sole power to draw lines for 181 out of 435 House seats, according to the Brennan Center at New York University.
The redistricting fight comes only once every decade, but it’s not the only battle with far-ranging consequences. With the incredibly divisive 2020 election now over, America is looking ahead to even more bitter fights over how elections are conducted.
While Republicans may have an advantage at the state level, Democrats are pushing an ambitious bill to transform elections, H.R. 1, that critics say would effectively spell the end of free and fair elections in America.
“When you put a bill into Congress, the majority party reserves the first numbers. This is H.R. 1, so this is most important for Nancy Pelosi to hold on to her power,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently told Fox News.