Following last week’s elections, Democrats will retain control the House of Representatives. At the same time, their margin will be considerably smaller than it was in the preceding Congress. Republicans will likely hold between 208 and 212 House seats, placing them within shouting distance of the majority in the next election.
This is first in a two-part examination of the relationship between redistricting/reapportionment and the Congress that will take office in January 2023. It concludes that without any extreme gerrymandering, reapportionment and redistricting alone will likely cost Democrats their majority, even before taking into account the national mood or the general tendency toward midterm losses for the party holding the presidency. Of course, litigation may change the calculus, but absent court losses in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, Republicans would likely control the House in the 118th Congress elected in 2022. For our purposes here, however, we will assume that there will be no sea changes in voting laws.