Reported by will | April 25, 2022
New York is a blue state, right? Yes, but Democrats attempted to go too far in using their redistricting powers to make it an even deeper blue. In going so far to try and block Republicans from being able to win seats, the Democrats broke the law, so their redistricting plan just got slapped down by the state appeals court. The Hill, reporting on that decision, notes that:
The ruling noted that under the 2022 congressional map, there are four Republican-majority districts and 22 Democratic-majority districts; in comparison, in the 2012 map there were eight elected Republicans and 19 elected Democrats, indicating that the latest map was skewed blue.
Further, the court itself, describing the horribly biased nature in which the New York Democrats went about designing the map and how elections analysis expert Sean Trende was able to show that the districts were so biased in favor of the Democrats as to be impermissible, said:
Trende concluded that the enacted congressional map pressed republican voters “into a few [r]epublican-leaning districts, while spreading [d]emocratic voters as efficiently as possible.” Trende analyzed the differences between his ensemble of simulated maps and the enacted map using various methods, including application of the “gerrymandering index,” which, he concluded, rendered it “implausible, if not impossible” that the enacted redistricting plan had been drawn without partisan intent. Trende also portrayed his results in scatterplots, which he explained showed how “[t]he only place where the [e]nacted [c]ongressional [m]ap falls within expectations is in safely [d]emocratic districts,” whereas the more competitive districts were made safer by packing republican voters into other republican leaning districts.
Continuing, and giving another example of the bias involved in the district-shifting, said:
Specifically, Trende’s simulation reflected that the four most republican-leaning districts in the enacted congressional map were more republican-leaning than any of his initial 5,000 simulated maps. Of the next nine most competitive districts, the enacted map was, in each, more democrat-leaning than any or nearly all of the initial 5,000 simulated maps.
The court then ordered the legislature to create a new map, one that would survive its scrutiny, by April 30th, though an appeal from New York’s far-left leadership is expected. If that appeal is unsuccessful and the current map, which would probably take four seats away from Republicans, doesn’t hold, that’s bad news for Democrats. 2022 is already predicted to be a red wave year with Democrats needing every tool available to keep the wave from turning into a tsunami. When that’s paired with how DeSantis has gone about redistricting Florida and the mixed results of redistricting elsewhere, the loss of the four seats Democrats could have been handed by New York’s efforts is substantial.
The GOP is predicted to retake the House regardless. But the magnitude of that victory depends on a number of factors, including redistricting. With this win for the GOP in even deep-blue New York, the likelihood of the red wave becoming a red tsunami looks higher than ever.