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Why The Most Competitive Congressional Districts Are Disappearing

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( CNN)The Republicans, at least on paper, would not have retraced their path to the five Congressional seats needed to control the House.

Instead, match Republican wins in places like Texas and Florida with Democrat wins in blue states, and Republicans across the country will lose their current positions based on the 2020 presidential election. They ended up winning nine new seats in favor of them, compared to the Democrats' eight seats. According to CNN's Politics and Data team's analysis of 50 states in new congressional maps,each state's performance has the latest new congressional maps.

The bigger story is not that one party won the seat, but that competing seats were part of a decades-long trend of voter polarization and party consolidation of power. It may be that the number has decreased by 17 seats. party.

What are competitive districts?

In the current situation, only 34 of the 435 seats (less than 10%) are competitive districts, down 17 seats from the last time the map was used in 2020. I'm here.

For the purposes of this CNN analysis applying the 2020 election results to the newly elected constituencies, "competitive" refers to either President Joe Biden or Refers to districts won by either former President Donald Trump by a margin of 5% or less.

CNN's analysis of the competitive landscape in 34 constituencies is more than enough to shake control of the 435-member House of Representatives, with a wave in either direction Constituencies that were uncompetitive in previous elections play.

Republicans in

Texas won 10 Republican-leaning seats, according to a CNN analysis.

But Texas has 10 less competitive seats.

Democrats won her two seats.

In Florida, Republicans hijacked the process from a more nonpartisan system urged by voters, but gave her three more Republican-leaning seats and her three new Democratic-leaning seats. 2 seats decreased.
Democrats invest capital in Illinois, adding three more Democratic-leaning seats, one less Republican-leaning seat, and zero competitive districts. I was.

States like Georgia, Missouri, and Nebraska do the same.

The process is changing for the better nationwide

Princeton University professor Samuel Wang, who runs the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, said the 2020 Biden In his analysis, the data takes into account multiple recent elections, not just against Trump. He also notes that there has been a decline in contested seats from 2020 to 2022, but an increase in contested seats since 2012.

"One of the big reasons is the improved reorganization process," Mr Wang told me, referring to independent commissions and neutral mapping in key provinces. Pointing to the process, he pointed out that his organization sees state congressional maps as better. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, New York etc.

Less competitive districts. But the competition is

Professional handicappers use many factors to determine which races actually run.

The website Inside Elections identifies 54 constituencies as hotly contested districts, of which only his 11 are in the toss-up category.

"There may be fewer hot spots, but that doesn't mean fewer competitive races," CNN analyst and Inside Elections editor Nathan Gonzales told me in an email. rice field.

Additional Republican districts safer than Democratic districts

Another organization,Sabbath's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Political Center

There are slightly fewer precincts that are very safe for Democrats, and more precincts where Biden won by a margin of 2-7 percent. point. This suggests more Democrats than Republicans will likely defend on the new map, even in a race not on the competitive list.

There is a difference between dwindling competitive seats, which can reach deep, and competitive districts, which have many potential.

"Which districts are actually 'competitive' changes from cycle to cycle," Kyle Kondik, senior editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, told me in an email. "For example, there are probably a few Biden seats in the double digits that the Republicans are likely to eventually overturn, especially if there is a tailwind in the fall (we'll see if that happens)." 97} He also made the important point that what looks like a safe district for Republicans or Democrats today may look very different after an election or two.

KONDIK: In places like Georgia and Texas, many constituencies that were considered safe to be Republican were elected President Donald Trump in the 2010s. pushed out many traditional constituencies and became much more competitive. Suburban Republican voters. Similarly, Trump has made some typical Democratic districts, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, more competitive. He rose to the top of the Republican Party and shook many Barack Obama voters. Voter coalitions change over time and can change in ways that are difficult to predict.

Nation's Favorite Districts

Kondik said that based on 2020 results, the nation's favorite new congressional districts were Kansasvoters this week turned out to support abortion rights. Specifically, he points to the only Kansas district held by Democrat Rep. Sharice David. The newly reorganized constituencies were made more competitive by the Republicans who control reorganizations within the state.

Political parties are switching control of Congress more frequently

Emory University professor Alan Abramowitz Gerrymandering than many think, writing that polarization may not have much to do with it. Even as political parties designed fewer competitive constituencies, parliamentary control changed more regularly: three times since 2002, in November, compared with once between 1972 and 2000. is very likely to be the fourth time. Even moderately competitive districts have more churn.

Which way is the wind blowing?

When control of the Capitol is contested in November, Democrats could suddenly become optimistic for some reason in what is still expected to be a very tough political environment. There is a nature.

But the persistent inflation looming over all of this has made Americans' cost of living higher and helped build deep economic pessimism. will be