Sometime it is better NOT to overreach – especially with the next 10 years of elections at stake – and that appears to be the Republican Party’s approach to redistricting.
House Republican leaders won’t acknowledge it publicly, but the outline of the GOP’s national strategy for drawing new congressional maps is taking shape. The operating principle: Don’t get greedy.
Flush with their biggest House majority in more than 60 years and with memories of the last round of redistricting coloring their outlook, Republicans are seeking to lock in their November gains rather than pursue a go-for-broke approach designed to expand beyond their current numbers.
Instead of pushing GOP-controlled state legislatures to turn the screws on incumbent Democrats, a review of early redistricting action and interviews with key Republican players reveal that the goal is protecting the 242 seats they won in November — and cementing a 218-seat majority for the next decade.
“You make gains that you don’t want to surrender,” said one GOP redistricting expert. “You need to guard against another wave election.”