Courts create new voting districts in various states. Would it change congressional control (Part-2)

NYC’S UNCERTAINTY If New York adopts new House districts, Republicans' tiny advantage from redistricting might be erased and Democrats gain a minor lead.

After a nonpartisan panel failed to agree on 2020 census districts, the Democratic-led New York Legislature imposed a political gerrymander that was ruled down in court. For the 2022 elections, the judges enforced districts with a tight 15-to-11 Democratic-Republican divide.

After fresh litigation, the state's highest court ordered the bipartisan panel to try new districts again. The panel must present a proposal to the Legislature by the end of the month, which may adopt it or establish its own redistricting plan. Democrats may win many seats in either scenario.

Redistricting lawsuit is also underway in other states, although none look as likely to disrupt the 2024 elections as New York.

A trial court in September determined that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' U.S. House districts violated the state constitution by limiting Black voters' ability to elect their candidate in northern Florida. State appeals court overturned that judgment in December.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear the matter, but its attorney briefing schedule renders it unlikely to be settled by the April primary ballot qualification deadline. Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin also have congressional district litigation.

According to George Washington University political science professor Chris Warshaw, “it’s a very closely contested congressional map, and every seat or two matters,” redistricting changes since the 2022 elections could help Democrats or Republicans win Congress.

Warshaw believes other aspects will be more important. Since presidential and congressional elections are strongly correlated, the party that wins the presidency has a fair probability of capturing the House. Voters' views on the economy and other topics important. Retirements may open up House seats ordinarily held by incumbents.

Voting district redrawing affects elections but doesn't determine them. Redrawing may help politicians run their campaigns on a better foundation, said New York Law School Census and Redistricting Institute director Jeffrey Wice. “But candidates must perform, and issues must favor them.”