By Andrew Trunsky
Democrats in New York proposed a new congressional map Sunday that could eliminate half of the state’s Republicans in the House of Representatives.
The new lines give Democrats an advantage in 22 of the state’s 26 congressional districts ahead of November’s midterm elections. Despite their advantage, however, the map may be less aggressive than what some Democrats, including lawyer Marc Elias, previously supported.
The map comes amid a battle for control of the House, with Democrats hoping to preserve their narrow advantage while Republicans target over two-dozen Democratic seats. While New York’s map helps Democrats keep their majority, it could be offset by likely Republican-advantaged maps in Texas, Florida and Georgia.
Dave Wasserman, a senior editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said that New York’s proposed map was such an effective gerrymander that it only wasted Democratic votes in “a few isolated places.”
“Even then, we’re talking fractions of points,” Wasserman said. “It’s a brutal map for Rs.”
The new map effectively eliminates the Republican-leaning districts now held by Reps. Lee Zeldin, Nicole Malliotakis and Claudia Tenney. It also shores up Democratic-leaning seats belonging to Reps. Antonio Delgado and Sean Patrick Maloney, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
While it preserves the seats belonging to Rep. Tom Reed, who is retiring, Andrew Garbarino and Elise Stefanik, the no. 3 Republican in the House, it turns them into GOP vote sinks, consolidating Republican voters in their districts to maximize Democratic gains elsewhere.
New York is one of multiple northern states losing a congressional seat for the coming decade due to its relatively slow population growth, joining states like Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Unless Republican groups wage a successful lawsuit that results in New York’s map being thrown out, it will remain in place until 2032.
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