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September 30, 2019      4:55 PM

Bickerstaff: Redistricting in 2021

Elections expert Steve Bickerstaff argues that because the GOP set a precedent for mid-decade redistricting in 2003, it’s not too late for consideration of an independent commission for future redistricting

It is time to think realistically about redistricting in 2021.

Republicans are likely to continue their domination of the legislative redistricting process in 2021. The Democrats’ task in the 2020 election is monumental. To win a majority of the 36 member congressional delegation (soon to be 38), Democrats must gain a net of at least six congressional seats.

To win a majority of the 31-member state Senate, Democrats must gain a net of at least four seats; nine seats to gain 2/3. Under either scenario, the presiding officer, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, will remain Republican. To win a majority of the 150 seats in the state House, Democrats must gain at least nine net seats. If they gain a sufficient number of seats, they might be able to elect the Speaker.

It is mathematically possible that Democrats could be a majority of one or both chambers in 2021, but it is unlikely.

Even if Democrats win a majority of legislative seats in 2020, however, Republicans will have trump cards in 2021.

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By Steve Bickerstaff