As explained by The Washington Post, a “newly approved congressional map for California increases the number of majority-Latino districts in the state and creates more difficult terrain for Republican candidates” — helping offset the impacts of GOP-backed gerrymandering in other states. Specifically, five of California’s current Republican members of the U.S. House are now set to find themselves representing areas with higher portions of Democrats than before, and Latino voters are set to be the majority in 16 of the state’s 52 U.S. House districts across its new map. In California’s outgoing map, which featured 53 seats, Latino voters were the majority in 13 districts.
Congratulations to California's Independent Redistricting Commission on passing fair maps for the people of California.https://t.co/9gIMZnBxzK
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 21, 2021
Putting Latino individuals who are of the age to legally be allowed to vote in the majority in 16 of 52 districts works out to putting 30 percent of the state’s U.S. House districts in the control of Latino majorities — and overall, Latino individuals are about 38 percent of California’s statewide population, so (again unlike GOP-backed maps elsewhere) this map seems close to accurately representing the overall make-up of the population of the state. In stark contrast, GOP state officials in Texas handed two new U.S. House districts for the state to white majorities, although the majority of the population growth that allowed Texas to obtain those districts at all came from non-white residents.
National update: on the current trajectory, there will actually be a few *more* Biden-won congressional districts after redistricting than there are now (224/435).
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 22, 2021
The California maps are the responsibility of an independent commission, which also handled Congressional redistricting for the state after the 2010 census. Redistricting analyst Paul Mitchell observed:
‘On paper, the map here is great for Democrats. It’s definitely ripe for a pickup of two seats, and helps the national map a little bit in balancing out the gains Republicans have had in states they could totally gerrymander.’
Last night, 14 CA citizens showed they are democracy action heroes. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission worked together across party lines to unanimously support California’s new redistricting maps. They listened to the people, not the politicians. @WeDrawTheLines
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) December 21, 2021
Besides Texas, other states with GOP officials where U.S. House maps have come under scrutiny include Ohio and Alabama. In Ohio, Republican Governor Mike DeWine recently approved U.S. House district lines that appear set to leave Republicans in control of some 80 percent of the seats, although Trump won there by a much smaller margin in 2020 — so the map does not appear to accurately represent the population’s political distribution. In California, current Republican members of Congress whose spots in the legislature appear to be newly jeopardized include Reps. David Valadao, Tom McClintock, Michelle Steel, and Ken Calvert. Besides the wins for Democrats and Latinos in California, the new map also ended up keeping certain Asian-majority cities in the state’s West San Gabriel Valley together after an earlier proposal separated them. Read more at this link.
Marc Elias, a top Democratic election law specialist, has filed redistricting-related lawsuits in seven states and is poised to file in Georgia once its maps are signed into law. https://t.co/uJP3nonVab
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 18, 2021