The Republican Party holds most of the cards when it comes to redrawing congressional districts, not just in Texas but also nationwide.
Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census Bureau releases its data, lawmakers use that data to redraw congressional districts.
“Republicans could pick up anywhere from six to 13 seats, enough to take back the House in four Republican controlled states alone,” said Ari Berman, a senior reporter for Mother Jones, who has been writing about the upcoming redistricting effort. “And those states were Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.”
By redrawing the lines to include more likely conservative voters, Berman says it is likely the GOP will take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022.
“I think it’s inevitable they are going to very aggressively do it,” he said. “The question is just how far can they push the boundary?”
In Texas, Democrats don’t have much leverage. They could pass federal legislation banning partisan gerrymandering. There are some states, like Michigan, which leave redistricting to a commission in an attempt to de-politicize the process, Berman said.
While some have argued that you could ramp up turnout to overturn the impact of gerrymandering, Berman rejects such a notion.
“You can’t really out-organize gerrymandering,” he said. “It’s very, very difficult because it’s so easy now for politicians to essentially choose their own voters.”