Political experts say gerrymandering played a large role in helping Republicans win the House, Truthout reports.
Control of the House remains undecided but Republicans appear on track to win a slim majority in the chamber.
But experts believe the key to their ability to take over the House, particularly in a year when Democrats outperformed expectations, is decades of redistricting.
“Republicans wouldn’t be slight favorites to win House control right now if they hadn’t been able to gerrymander far more states than Dems,” wrote Dave Wasserman, who tracks House races for the Cook Political Report.
Wasserman added that Democrats only hold the majority this term because judges blocked gerrymandered state maps in recent years.
US more left than election suggests:
“One potential takeaway from [the midterms] is that the US is a center left country with a gerrymandering problem,” journalist Katelyn Burns wrote.
“If Republicans win control of the House of Representatives by current projections, their victory can be attributed to the Supreme Court’s 5–4 order in February suspending the Voting Rights Act’s ban on racial gerrymandering,” wrote Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern.
“It appears very likely that gerrymandering cost Dems the majority, with the U.S. Supreme Court allowing elections to proceed in several states where lower courts ruled GOP maps illegally diluted Black voting power,” agreed journalist Stephen Wolf.
Perhaps no state is more blatantly gerrymandered than Wisconsin.
Though Democratic Gov. Tony Evers won re-election, Republicans are set to control nearly two-thirds of the state legislature, narrowly missing their chance at a veto-proof majority, even though Democrats won half of the total votes.
In the Congressional delegation, Wisconsin will only send two Democrats and six Republicans to Congress even though the total vote split was around 50-50.
“GOP gerrymandering has made it nearly impossible for Dems to win the majority in the Wisconsin legislature,” said Jessica Post, president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.