Redistricting will shore up GOP gains

Chris Jankowski Contributor
Font Size:

With record high unemployment and endless Democrat tax-and-spend plans, it is no wonder Democrat insiders are looking to conjure up good news. Early redistricting maps coming into focus from their favored states — particularly heavily gerrymandered Illinois, where Democrats surrendered any pretext of staking out the moral high ground — have Democrats boasting that they can spin straw into gold.

However, the raw numbers and political realities clearly demonstrate that Democrats have no path to a House majority in the near future. They have even less chance of reversing state-level Republican gains.

Thanks in part to the Republican State Leadership Committee’s REDMAP project, there are more state-level Republicans now than in nearly a century. These include many new majorities that will be drawing fair and legal Congressional and state legislative lines at a four-to-one advantage over Democrat-controlled states.

The Democrats’ spin ignores the fundamental fact that one of the first priorities is always to protect sitting members, particularly vulnerable freshmen. In the wake of the 2010 landslide that led to the largest Republican majority in nearly 60 years, Democrats are targeting 61 House members who were elected in districts carried by Obama. However, the GOP will be redrawing 29 of those districts, while Democrats will only redraw eight — all in Illinois. Of the 31 GOP freshmen who represent districts won by Obama, 16 are in states where the RSLC helped flip a chamber to Republican control.

Democrats then took another “strategic” route, revising their target list down to the 13 House districts carried by both Obama and Kerry. Fortunately for taxpayers and the GOP, Republicans draw lines in eight of those districts, while Democrats control only two. It is difficult, if not impossible, at this point to see where the Democrats can hope to find the pickups necessary to even close the gap, much less pick up the 24 seats they need to pick up in order to take back control of the House.

When citing redistricting, D.C. Democrats conveniently ignore the 55 Republican state-level majorities (up from 36 prior to the 2010 elections) that will be redrawing state senate and assembly districts, in addition to Congressional lines.

While it is too early to estimate the outcome across the 50 states, Republicans’ control of 15 more chambers than the Democrats should lead to more favorable conditions for GOP races in states across the nation. The strategy outlined and executed in the 2010 midterms has resulted in a solid state-level base that will provide strong support in key battleground states in the presidential contest as well as key Congressional and state-level races.

The product of all these efforts will be the continuation and expansion of the GOP state-level farm team of strong, competitive future Congressmen, governors, senators and other vibrant candidates for years to come.

Republicans will continue their leadership in Congress and state capitols, because they are providing the kind of responsible, sensible, restrained government that Americans demand and deserve.

The RSLC will continue to ramp up its efforts to support and advise Republican state leaders on how to maximize their opportunities in a fair and legal way all the way through the redistricting process. Republicans are on target to fulfill our goal of solidifying the expectations-exceeding gains from 2010, while creating new opportunities for 2012 and beyond. Meanwhile, the Democrats will have to look elsewhere for the silver lining in the rain cloud they have created over America.

Chris Jankowski is President of the Republican State Leadership Committee.