“The question is going to be how creative this new data will force Republicans to get in maintaining or expanding their advantages, given an increasingly diverse, increasingly urban population,” said Joshua Blank, research director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.
Texas will be a major focal point in redistricting. The Census Bureau said five of the 14 U.S. cities that grew by at least 100,000 people are located in Texas .
Republicans, who hold 23 of the 36 U.S. House seats in Texas, will have full control over the redistricting process, allowing them to decide where to draw the two new seats the state is gaining. But that could be complicated because Democrats generally have fared better in Texas suburbs in recent elections.
Texas had been among several states that needed advance approval from the U.S. Justice Department for its redistricting plans because of a history of racial discrimination. But the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that requirement in 2013 and, in a separate ruling in 2019, said it would not get involved in disputes over alleged political gerrymandering, leaving that to state courts to decide.
Lawsuits are expected to challenge redistricting maps in many states.
The GOP will control redistricting in 20 states accounting for 187 U.S. House seats, including the growing states of Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.
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