Republicans’ Gains in Legislatures Boost Redistricting Powers

Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010 09:34 AM

 

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Republicans won a majority of governorships and made big gains in state Legislatures, giving the party greater influence in redrawing congressional districts next year.

The party will control 25 Legislatures, including Ohio, North Carolina, and Minnesota boosting their power in statehouses by the most since 1928, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Republicans won the House and Senate in Alabama for the first time since the end of the Civil War. Republicans won governors’ seats from Democrats in Michigan, Pennsylvania and at least eight other states.

“Regardless of the gains Republicans make in the House of Representatives tonight the fight for House continues next year,” said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association in a news release early this morning. “By controlling a majority or more of reapportionment states we can make sure that the Democrats don’t take from us tomorrow, what we fought so hard for today.”

Congressional seats will be reapportioned following the 2010 national census. States with shrinking populations will lose congressional seats and those with growing ones will gain seats. The party that draws the election map in each state will shape the political landscape for the next 10 years.

Redistricting Process

In 38 states, governors and state legislators play a determining role in the redistricting process, according to the Republican State Leadership Committee.

Democrats retained control of 16 Legislatures. Four are split and four undecided, including New York and Colorado. Before yesterday’s election, Democrats controlled 27 state legislatures, and Republicans held 14 with eight split, according to the NCSL.

The U.S. Census Bureau will report state population numbers in December. Eighteen states are projected to gain or lose seats according to Election Data Services, a Manassas, Virginia, political-consulting firm specializing in redistricting.


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