Republicans and Democrats, hoping to pick up seats in Congress through redistricting, are pouring money and political muscle into statehouse races in about 16 states.
State legislatures will next year redraw congressional districts based on the 2010 census. Cutting out a wealthy suburb or looping in an ethnic neighborhood can turn a district from Republican to Democratic, or vice-versa. If done across the board, redistricting can tip a congressional delegation red or blue for a generation.
The key national organizations seeking to influence state elections will spend about $200 million this year, double what they spent in 2006, the most recent comparable contest.