“In the End, Redistricting Didn’t Hurt (And May Have Even Helped) House Democrats”

Dave Wasserman for Cook Political Report:

Amid this week’s chaos, an occasional TV sound byte has been that House Republicans might not even have won their razor-thin majority without a boost from redistricting. After all, our pre-election estimate was a GOP gain of up to three seats from new maps alone. Instead, 2022’s results show it didn’t hurt — and even may have even helped — Democrats, another reason Kevin McCarthy has had such difficulty reaching 218 votes.

In December, FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich and Elena Mejia wrote an excellent piece hypothesizing how the House outcome might have been different had redistricting not occurred, concluding that the decennial process likely didn’t cost Democrats the House.

Our analysis, using an approach similar to the Cook PVI, arrives at a similar conclusion: Republicans wouldn’t have won the House without gerrymanders in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. But overall, Democrats fared slightly better than they would have under old maps thanks to their own gerrymanders in Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico and Oregon and a temporary court-drawn map in North Carolina.

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