Why the GOP could control Congress for a long time

In other words, Republicans, if they just win in the states where they have a clear partisan advantage, should have at least 46 Senate seats — nearly half the chamber — in the bag. (More on that later.)

On the Democratic side, the 13 states where the blue team is ahead by double digits give them essentially 26 seats as “gimmes.” And even if you throw in nominally blue states like Oregon, Michigan and New Mexico, that gets the party to 32 seats.

So before we even talk about states that should be competitive at the federal level, Republicans have a double-digit advantage, as the map is constructed today.

Democrats, to their credit, have overcome this natural gerrymander in recent years by winning in red states. They have done this thanks to 1) those states’ lingering Democratic affections, 2) running conservative Democrats for those seats and 3) by having incumbents who were able to hang on thanks to their incumbency. Democrats have even won some open seats in solidly red states like Indiana and North Dakota, thanks in large part to flawed GOP candidates but also because they ran Democrats who fit the states. As it stands, Democrats actually control 11 of the 46 seats in these solidly red states — undercutting what should be the GOP’s inherent advantage.

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