by Andrew Trunsky
California’s citizen redistricting commission finalized a new congressional map late Monday that puts every Democratic incumbent in a seat that President Joe Biden won by at least 10 points.
The independent commission’s maps also put most of California’s Republican incumbents in more competitive districts. And while Democratic Reps. Alan Lowenthal and Lucille Roybal-Allard’s districts were merged to accommodate California losing a House seat, both are retiring in 2022.
“This is a good map for Democrats,” J. Miles Coleman, an associate editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, told the Daily Caller News Foundation, noting how the new map could even “put Trump-won seats in play, depending on the year.”
“Its possible that Democrats’ 42-11 advantage could rise to 43-9 after the midterms,” Coleman added.
The new map also increases the political power of California’s sizeable Latino population, which has driven much of the state’s growth over the past decade. Eighteen districts would be majority Latino under the new map, up from 13 now.
Republicans criticized the map drawn by five Democrats, five Republicans and four Independents and approved unanimously, arguing that the improved Democratic circumstances showed political bias.
“The commission has shown they were not acting independently when they drew all of the Democratic incumbents into safer seats while making five out of the 11 Republican districts more vulnerable,” Republican Rep. Mike Garcia said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
In addition to Garcia, Republican Reps. Tom McClintock, David Valadao, Ken Calvert and Michelle Steel are all in more competitive districts, according to forecaster David Wasserman, a senior editor at The Cook Political Report.
While California’s map bolsters its congressional Democratic supermajority, it is far from the only state to debut new maps that some have alleged are unfair. Republican maps in North Carolina, Texas, Ohio and Georgia further cement Democrats in their legislative minorities, while Democratic maps in Illinois, Maryland and New Mexico do the opposite.
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