Michael Cooper and Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times bring us the depressing news that new census data has shown almost 12 seats shifting to the South and West and that Republicans are in the catbird's seat in getting an extra boost from the change. (Now we know why corporate America spent so much money THIS election.)
The biggest immediate danger to incumbent Democrats will be in the Rust Belt, where Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio are all losing Congressional seats and Republicans now control the state governments, giving them the power to draw the new political maps...
With Ohio losing two seats, political analysts expect the Republicans to eliminate a Democratic seat from the Cleveland area — possibly the one now held by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich.
...[Republican] victories in statehouse elections gave them control of redistricting in five of the eight states that are gaining seats, including the two biggest winners, Texas, which is adding four, and Florida, which is adding two.
...Republicans will be able to use their new power in the nation’s statehouses and governor’s mansions to draw new districts that will help the party strengthen its hold on the 63 seats in Congress that it picked up in November. When the new data comes in, both parties will use sophisticated computer software to begin carving up districts through politically creative cartography. But Republicans will have the upper hand, giving them the opportunity to add Republican voters to many districts where the party’s candidates won by narrow margins this year, making it easier for them to be re-elected.
“The Republicans are going to have their hand on the computer mouse, and when you have your hand on the computer mouse, you can change a district from a D to an R,” said Kimball W. Brace, president of Election Data Services, who has worked on redistricting for state legislatures and commissions.
Redistricting, it is often said, turns the idea of democracy on its head by allowing leaders to choose their voters, instead of the other way around.
Wikipedia explains gerrymandering: