“Census Director Steve Dillingham will be stepping down on Jan. 20, cutting short by nearly a year the five-year director term, which was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31,” TPM reports.
“The U.S. Census Bureau has halted all work on President Trump’s directive to produce a state-by-state count of unauthorized immigrants that would have been used to alter a key set of census numbers,” NPR reports.
“Senior career officials at the bureau instructed the internal team assigned to carry out Trump’s presidential memo to stand down and cease their work immediately on Tuesday night.”
“The move by civil servants effectively ends the bureau’s participation in Trump’s bid to make an unprecedented change to who is counted in the 2020 census numbers that will be used to reallocate each state’s share of congressional seats and Electoral College votes for the next decade.”
“Saddled with delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic and last-minute changes by the Trump administration, the first set of 2020 census results will not be ready for release by Thursday’s year-end deadline for numbers that determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College for the next decade,” NPR reports.
Politico: “It could be months before Census apportionment data shows exactly which states will gain and lose seats, and it will take even longer to gauge the impact of the maps, from those drawn by partisan state legislators to commission-drawn maps in places like Michigan and New York.”
“But already, there are a few members of Congress who will almost certainly find themselves in more challenging terrain in 2022. This redraw will be most painful in the roughly ten states which are on track to lose a district, particularly ones with smaller populations. That could mean bare-knuckled maneuvering between the two Democrats in Rhode Island and three Republicans in West Virginia — states likely to drop a seat.”
FiveThirtyEight: “Joe Biden may have won the White House, but down-ballot races were much better for Republicans. In fact, the GOP’s victories in state-level elections could pay dividends long after Biden leaves office, thanks to their influence over next year’s redistricting process.”
“Both parties went into the election with a chance to draw more congressional districts than the other, but the end result was just about the best-case scenario for Republicans. As the map below shows, Republicans are set to control the redistricting of 188 congressional seats — or 43 percent of the entire House of Representatives. By contrast, Democrats will control the redistricting of, at most, 73 seats, or 17 percent.”
“Democrats failed to pick up any state legislative chambers this November, and they could face the consequences of that for the next decade,” the Washington Post reports.
“That’s because next year, states will redraw electoral maps for congressional and state legislative districts. It’s something the Constitution mandates every decade based on new census data.”
“In many states, it’s up to politicians in state legislatures to do that. Republicans controlled the mapmaking process in most states after a stellar 2010 election and were able to draw state and congressional districts that made it harder for Democrats to regain power at all levels. After a stronger-than-expected performance this November, Republicans will control map drawing in a majority of chambers next year, too, although to a slightly lesser degree.”
Reid Wilson: “Leading up to Election Day, Democrats touted their chances of winning back key seats in Republican-held state legislatures around the country. Recapturing territory in states such as Texas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania could help the party lock in political power for a decade. If Democrats achieved this in enough districts, they could have averted their fate after the 2010 tea party wave.”
“This week, they blew it. Instead of cementing congressional control for a decade, Democrats’ majority is now at future risk.”
“A federal judge has stopped the 2020 census from finishing at the end of September and ordered the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident to continue for another month through the end of October, saying a shortened schedule likely would produce inaccurate results,” the AP reports.
“Far away from the glare of the presidential campaign, a competition rivaling it in importance is playing out across the country: for power over the redistricting process — and potentially control of the House for the next decade,” Politico reports.
“Republicans dominated the 2010 elections and used their authority over map-drawing to cement a hold on the House for most of this decade. This time, Democrats are poised to claw back some of that power, and the extent of their gains will come down to under-the-radar elections in a pair of GOP-leaning Sun Belt states: North Carolina and Texas.”
“A federal court on Thursday blocked a memorandum signed by President Trump seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted in the census for apportionment, saying such action would violate the statute governing congressional apportionment,” the Washington Post reports.
“A special three-judge panel out of New York wrote that the president’s argument that undocumented immigrants should not be counted runs afoul of a statute saying apportionment must be based on everyone who is a resident of the United States. The judges found that all residents must be counted for apportionment purposes regardless of their legal status.”
Politico: “Intent on not repeating the mistakes of 2010 under then-President Barack Obama, the party is seizing on a once-in-a-decade opportunity to drive the redistricting process — and reverse the built-in advantage Republicans amassed over House district lines after the last census.”
“From Pennsylvania to Texas to Minnesota, cash-flush Democrats are working to win back legislative chambers needed to take control of drawing congressional maps — or at least guarantee a seat at the table. If they succeed, it would correct an Obama-era down-ballot shellacking that handed Republicans House control and resulted in the loss of more than 900 Democratic legislative seats.”
“A trove of documents recently released by the daughter of a deceased GOP strategist includes some clues about what Republicans were thinking almost a decade ago when they redrew Pennsylvania’s congressional maps in a way that was later ruled unconstitutional,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“The documents, compiled at least partly amid the decennial redistricting that took place in 2011, include a warning that the party ‘got greedy’ in an attempt to create districts favorable to GOP candidates 10 years earlier.”
A cache of computer files saved on the hard drives of Thomas Hofeller, a prominent Republican redistricting strategist, was made public by his estranged daughter yesterday.
Politico: “With New York likely to lose at least one congressional seat, the district held by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could be broken up, forcing her to find a new winning coalition. There’s little love for the disruptive young upstart in Albany, and many state lawmakers would like nothing more than to redraw her out of office. Ocasio-Cortez seems aware of the threat, as she’s been promoting Census sign-ups in her district to ensure that her constituents are fully counted.”
“New state population totals released Monday offer fresh signs of how southern and western states will gain political power after the 2020 census,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Based on Monday’s figures, Texas is poised to gain two congressional seats, and Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are expected to gain one. Eight states are expected to lose one seat: California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.”
The daughter of Thomas Hofeller, a top Republican gerrymandering expert, says she will upload a tranche of her estranged late father’s files by Monday.
Republicans had sought to keep these documents private in court.
Cook Political Report: “The new map effectively is all but certain to convert a 10-3 Republican delegation into an 8-5 Republican edge – a huge win for House Democrats and a pre-2020 insurance policy for Speaker Pelosi. The biggest losers on the GOP side: Reps. George Holding (NC-02) and Mark Walker (NC-06), whose Raleigh and Greensboro districts become safe Democratic seats.”
Cook Political Report: “Last Friday, North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature passed a new congressional map on a party line vote that would effectively convert the GOP’s current 10-3 seat advantage in the state to an 8-5 advantage (North Carolina’s governor doesn’t have veto power over redistricting plans). But it’s far from over: most strategists in both parties believe courts will draw their own map that could net Democrats even more seats.”