Redistricting gives House GOP a built-in edge to win majority in 2022

The Redistricting Process by Rappaport Center is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Republican Party is poised to win the House majority in 2022, boosted by the rare combination of President Trump’s ouster and down-ballot victories that put the GOP in command of the decennial redrawing of district boundaries.

House Republicans flipped nearly a dozen Democratic-held seats in the Nov. 3 elections, a surprising gain that left them a handful shy of the majority. With such a thin margin, there is loose speculation redistricting could effectively deliver Republicans the speaker’s gavel before a single Democratic incumbent is defeated. The GOP preserved control of key state legislatures and governor’s mansions, a crucial advantage in the partisan battle over reapportionment.

Trump’s defeat was another stroke of good fortune for House Republicans. Historically, the party that holds the White House loses seats in midterm elections. That has held true for Democratic and Republican presidents going back to Ronald Reagan’s first midterm in 1982, with the exception of 1998 and 2002. President-elect Joe Biden presents an immediate challenge for House Democrats heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

“We start in a great position,” said Dan Conston, who runs the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC affiliated with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. “But the last thing Republicans should be doing is measuring the drapes.”

The Redistricting Process by Rappaport Center is licensed under CC BY 2.0