First person is a series of quick videos from the Cook Political Report editors exclusively for our site license members.

The new Census dataset was released, which kicks off redistricting. There are a few major takeaways from the release. First, this was a better than expected data set for Democrats and minority advocacy groups. They feared a major Latino undercount, which did not materialize.

Second, big cities, including New York and Chicago, posted larger than expected population counts. This should make it easier for Democrats to draw favorable lines in these states.

Far more important than the actual population count is who gets to draw the lines and Republicans still have the advantage here. Republicans still hold final redistricting authority in 20 states totaling 187 districts, while Democrats control eight states totaling 75 districts. Another ten states totaling 121 districts utilize independent commissions, while control is split between the parties in six states totaling 46 districts.

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