Democrats are making an all-out push to retake control of state legislatures across the United States this fall. But in the states most crucial to the party’s future, they face grim odds, a Reuters analysis of election data has found, Reuters reports.
In many states, Democrats’ only hope lies in flipping numerous districts that two years ago voted for Republicans in both the presidential and state legislative elections.
The problem is especially daunting for Democrats in battleground states where congressional district lines favoring Republicans were drawn after the 2010 census, Reuters’ analysis found. Those lines will be redrawn after the next census in 2020, and in most states the party in power will control how districts are reshaped.
“When a single party has control of the process, the maps are less fair,” said Michael Li, senior counsel at the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice and author of a report examining how the party in power draws electoral maps to its partisan advantage, a contentious practice called gerrymandering. Large swing states, he notes, “are the ones where it is easiest to engineer an outsized advantage.”