What’s Happening?: A democratic group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder and backed by Barack Obama has its sights set on Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial and senate races. The group, The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, has targeted 11 states this election cycle and says it hopes to win enough seats in red states to gain more influence over the 2021 redistricting process. The group is accusing republicans of gerrymandering districts in order to ensure republican control.
Why It Matters: Congressional districts are re-drawn every 10 years based on census data. The party in power determines the shape of the districts. The number of districts are allocated based on population.
In Case You Didn’t Know: Gerrymandering refers to the practice of intentionally drawing a district so that it deliberately excludes voters who tend to vote for a certain political party. Ideally, a congressional district is drawn to represent a community and will accurately reflect the political breakdown of that community. Gerrymandering occurs when part of the community is excluded in favor of an unrelated population that is more likely to vote for the party in power.
Do They Have A Chance?: Georgia remains a red state and is likely to remain a red state through the next census in 2020. However, the state is becoming more diverse, and democrats are hanging their hopes on the higher-than-usual numbers of voters in red counties that didn’t vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election as well as the strong showing from John Ossoff during last year’s District 6 campaign. The democratic group concedes they will not be able to take over a majority of state house and senate seats by the next census, but they say they are aiming for more influence over the process.
Population Projections: Georgia’s population continues to grow and it is expected to gain a Congressional seat after the census results are calculated. An additional congressional seat increases the state’s influence in Congress.