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Major Redistricting Impact To Be Felt Following 2010 Election

By Michael R. Davis, Vice President, Political Programs

Before we cover the impact the 2010 election will have on congressional
redistricting, let’s better understand the dramatic changes that occurred in
the state legislatures since this is where the redistricting process is
conducted in all but seven states (AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NJ and WA). Of the
remaining forty-three states, six states (AK, DE, ND, SD, VT and WY) have
only one at large congressional seat, leaving us with thirty-seven states with
multiple congressional districts where the state legislature controls the
redistricting process.

Highlights of the remarkable shifts at the state legislative level as a result of

the election:
• Twenty-five states now have both the House and Senate controlled by
the Republicans. Nineteen states controlled by the Democrats. Five
states now have divided control (AK, IA, KY, NY & VA). Nebraska has
a nonpartisan legislature. Prior to the election, nine states had divided
• Twenty-one state legislative chambers switched party control to
• Six states saw both chambers switch party control (AL, ME, MN, NH,
NC & WI).
• Five states moved from divided control to both chambers being
Republican controlled (IN, MI, MT, OH & PA).
• Four states moved from Democrat to divided control (IA, LA, NY &
• Seventeen states saw at least one legislative chamber move away
from Democratic control.
• No legislative chamber switched to Democratic control.
• According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL),
Republicans gained at least 675 state legislative seats across the
• Republicans had a net gain of five Governor’s offices and now hold
twenty-nine of the offices while Democrats have twenty and one

At the end of 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau concluded the decennial
counting process and will submit, by the end of February, the information to
the state legislatures so they can play political cartographer with state
legislative and congressional district boundaries. I will continue to argue
that during any ten-year period there is no single issue legislators selfishly
think is more important and will fight harder on than redistricting.
Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of concentrating on sound fiscal
policies or improving on a tattered atmosphere in need of greater bi-

As there is following every new census and reapportionment, there will be

changes in the number of congressional seats awarded to each state. By
far, the biggest winner is Texas, which gained four seats to give it thirty-six
seats. Florida is also a big winner, picking up two seats. Six additional
states each gained one seat (AZ, GA, NV, SC, UT & WA).

Ten states offset the eight states that gained a total of twelve seats. New
York and Ohio lost two seats each. New York will drop to twenty-seven
seats and Ohio to sixteen seats. Eight states lost one seat each (IL, IA, LA,
MA, MI, MO, NJ & PA). Of note is that ten seats lost come from a state on
one of the Great Lakes or along the Mississippi River.

The breakdown of where the Republicans will be in full control or control two
out of the three areas in the redistricting process:
• Republicans have control of the House, Senate and Governor’s Office
in sixteen states (this counts NC where the Governor has no part in
the process). These sixteen states total 193 congressional districts.
(AL, FL, GA, IN, KS, ME, MI, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI)
• Republicans currently hold five at large congressional seats that are
not affected by redistricting (AK, MT, ND, SD & WY).
• Republicans have control of the House and Senate with a Democrat
Governor in three states (MN, MO & NH). These states total eighteen
congressional districts.
• There are three additional states (IA, LA & VA) with split legislative
control and a Republican Governor. These states total twenty-one
congressional districts.
• Nebraska has a unicameral legislature with a Republican Governor and
has three congressional districts.
• Republicans are in full control or have an advantage in twenty-seven
states that will be drawing 238 congressional districts.

The breakdown of where the Democrats will be in full control or control two
out of the three areas in the redistricting process:
• Democrats have control of the House, Senate and Governor’s Office in
seven states (AR, CT, HI, IL, MA, MD & WV). These seven states total
forty-nine congressional districts and counts CT where the Governor
has no part in the process.
• Democrats currently control two at large congressional seats that are
not affected by redistricting (DE & VT).
• Democrats have control of the House and Senate with a Republican
Governor in three states (MS, NM & NV) and an Independent Governor
in RI. These four states total twelve congressional districts.
• There are four additional states (CO, KY, NY & OR) with split legislative
control and a Democrat Governor. These states total forty-seven
congressional districts.
• Democrats are in full control or have an advantage in seventeen states
that will be drawing 110 congressional districts.

Five states have a commission that will determine the congressional districts
in their state (AZ, CA, ID, NJ & WA). These five states total eighty-six
congressional districts. Montana also has a commission, but is an at-large
congressional district. Nine of the twelve gains due to reapportionment occur
in five states that the redistricting process is completely controlled by the
Republicans (FL, GA, SC, TX & UT).

# of GOP # of DEM # of Districts

Seats in 2011 Seats in 2011 in 2012
Congress Congress Election
Complete GOP Control (21) 134 59 198
Advantage GOP (7) 31 14 42
Commission (5) 36 49 86
Advantage DEM (8) 23 36 58
Complete DEM Control (9) 18 35 51
242 193 435

Looking at the table above, Republicans will sit in 240 seats where they
control or have an advantage in the redistricting process. Democrats occupy
109 seats in states they have an advantage or control the process.
Republicans hold forty-one seats to the Democrats seventy-three seats that
the opposite party has either complete control or a redistricting advantage.
Keep a close eye on these 114 seats and the cartography skills of the
mapmakers if you want an early look at where many of the battleground
seats will be in the 2012 election.