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Why Democratic departures from the House make Republicans salivate

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Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who participated in a drug rehab program last year after falling on the Washington subway, also chose not to stand for re-election. Representative Cheri Bustos, whose district covering part of central and northwestern Illinois has shifted to Donald J. Trump, announced her retirement last week. Last year, Ms Bustos led the House Democrats’ campaign arm through a disappointing cycle, when the party lost 13 seats after it expected to topple Republican-controlled districts.

Along with Florida, Republicans are expected to draw more favorable congressional districts in Georgia, where Democrats hold two competitive districts in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, and Texas, which will add two new seats for the 2022 election.

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Mr. Ryan’s Democratic District in northeast Ohio is likely to wane when Ohio Republicans draw a map with one seat down in the House, and Representative Filemon Vela of Texas, whose district Rio Grande Valley became eight percentage points more Republican from 2016 to 2020, opted for retirement instead. than to participate in what was likely his first candidacy for re-election.

“This is where the Democrats ‘underperformance in 2020 really starts to prevent Democrats from voting,” said Ken Spain, a veteran of the House Republicans’ campaign arm. “The Republicans did well in the last round at the state level, and now they’re going to reap the benefits of many of these red states winning a disproportionate number of seats.

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Because Republicans hold majorities in more state legislatures, and Democrats and voters in key states such as California, Colorado, and Virginia have delegated the power of mapping to non-partisan commissions, the redistribution process alone could transfer up to five or six seats to Republicans. That’s potentially enough to grab the majority if they don’t overthrow any other Democrats-held seats.

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Democrats should assert their advantages where they can, particularly in Illinois and New York, states which each lost a House district in last week’s split change. New York’s new map is certain to take a seat from upstate New York Republicans, and a Republican-held seat in central Illinois could be redrawn to be Democrat while another will be eliminated.

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At the moment, there are more House Republicans, six, not seeking re-election than the five House Democrats who are retiring or aiming for promotion to a statewide position. But among Republicans, only Representatives Lee Zeldin and Tom Reed of New York City represent plausibly competitive districts in 2022.

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