Both parties entered the latest redistricting cycle seeking to press their advantages where they could.
The first election held under the new lines showed both succeeded — though Democrats had their most ruthless gerrymanders thrown out in the courts and the GOP did not, giving Republicans an edge that just might have carried them to a narrow House majority.
“The Democrats’ redistricting strategy was right. I think it worked,” said Kelly Ward Burton, the president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which oversaw the party’s 2022 mapmaking.
Democrats’ excesses in New York and Maryland — where they drew maps to excise the few Republican seats remaining — were checked by the courts, even though similarly gerrymandered GOP maps were allowed to stand by conservative jurists. But independent commissions and strategic Democratic maneuvering did help blunt larger Republican gains.
“If they would have been able to do everywhere what they did in Florida,” Ward Burton said of Republicans, who netted four districts in the state, “we would be having a totally different conversation about the House right now.”
Now that the 2022 midterms are in the books, here are five takeaways about how the map lines drove the results — and what comes next.