Between COVID-19-related Census delays and a few other events consuming the political world, the decennial redistricting process is off to a slow start. Yet in a few short months, phalanxes of cartographers and lawyers — and perhaps some normal people — will descend upon state capitals and courts in a bare-knuckled race to reshape the nation's political boundaries for the next decade.
The stakes couldn't be much higher: Democrats hold their narrowest House majority since the 1930s, and even tiny line changes could tip control in 2022. Although it's become fashionable to decry gerrymandering, the Supreme Court in 2019 refused to rein in the practice and Democrats' efforts to curb it in Congress appear to be headed nowhere absent ending the filibuster in the Senate.
That all but assures the parties will be locked in a high-tech arms race to maximize their seats in states they control, and initial analysis shows Republicans could gain enough seats through new maps alone to make the House a Toss Up.
In 2011, Republicans leveraged their huge state-level gains in the 2010 midterms to
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