August 14, 2022

Review and News

How Trump is shaping 2022 races in states he misplaced in 2020

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles! Former President Barack Obama and former Attorney...

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder spent the past several months lambasting Republican states for gerrymandering, but they are not addressing Democrat-controlled states that do the same thing. 
Obama last Friday criticized Alabama’s congressional map and praised Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) for “fighting so hard to make sure people everywhere have an equal opportunity to choose their representatives.”
Holder, in an appearance on MSNBC this month, advocated for “fair line drawing” and said Republicans “gamed” the system in the redistricting after the 2010 census. He has also attacked red states for gerrymandering for months. 
Texas is one of the most cited examples of GOP gerrymandering. The state is being sued by the Department of Justice, which alleges the state drew its congressional districts with the aim of limiting the impact of minority voters. And it’s far from the only red state that gerrymanders, as the NDRC points out. 

Former President Obama speaks at a rally to support Michigan Democratic candidates at Detroit Cass Tech High School Oct. 26, 2018, in Detroit.
(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Recent news releases by the group take Republicans in states from Tennessee to Kansas to New Hampshire and Ohio to task for gerrymandering efforts. Ohio Republicans’ map is particularly egregious. The Ohio map analyzed by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project got an “F” for partisan fairness. 
Obama and Holder are silent, however, on Democrat-led states doing exactly the same thing.
Maryland faces multiple lawsuits over the congressional map its legislature passed. The map threatens to gerrymander the state’s last remaining Republican congressman out of his seat. 
The Illinois congressional map incudes several districts that snake narrowly through Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs before spreading out into the nearby suburban and rural areas, reducing the chance that any of those areas could elect a Republican. Another district starts on the western edge of the state across the river from St. Louis, Mo., and cuts almost all the way across the state to the Indiana state line in the shape of an apostrophe.

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Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. speaks during the National Action Network Convention in New York Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

Both of those maps got an “F” from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. 
New York is the most recent blue state to release its redistricting plan, which Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law Thursday. It eliminates four Republican districts, shrinking the state’s GOP congressional delegation by 50%. 
“Unlike Dems’ Illinois gerrymander, which was thrown together pretty sloppily at the last minute, I can only find a few isolated places where this NY gerrymander ‘strands’ Dem votes in GOP districts – and even then, we’re talking fractions of points,” Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman tweeted. “It’s a brutal map for R’s.” 
Representatives for Obama and for Holder’s NDRC did not respond to request for comment from Fox News asking about the blue state gerrymanders. 
Holder’s group specifically touts its “Fair Districts Pledge” to “end gerrymandering” with “redistricting that ends map manipulation.” It did not comment on whether the New York, Illinois and Maryland maps follow that pledge. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during the House Democrats press conference July 22, 2020.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Other Democrats appear to be embracing gerrymandering this cycle. 
“If you’re asking us to unilaterally disarm … I’m a guy that wants to bring a gun to a gunfight, yeah, you bet,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., said on MSNBC this week when asked about New York’s redistricting. 
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Wednesday he agrees with Maloney’s comment. He touted Democrats’ elections bill “which said we ought to have fair redistricting.” But, he told reporters, “if that’s not gonna happen … I think Sean Patrick Maloney is correct that states are not just going to be put in a position that there’s unfair competition.” 
Despite Democrats’ redistricting success this cycle – they’ve picked up several more seats than Republicans, according to the FiveThirtyEight redistricting tracker – Republicans are still expected to take back the House majority in the fall.
That is because of President Biden’s poor poll numbers and factors like inflation that are leading Americans to sour on Democratic leadership. 
But the congressional districts states draw this year will remain for four more congressional election cycles until the 2030 Census, meaning any partisan advantage gained by either party will be durable through the next decade. 

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