Democrats smell a rout — and the chance to control redistricting in 2021

From Pennsylvania to Texas to Minnesota, cash-flush Democrats are working to win back legislative chambers needed to take control of drawing congressional maps — or at least guarantee a seat at the table. If they succeed, it would correct an Obama-era down-ballot shellacking that handed Republicans House control and resulted in the loss of more than 900 Democratic legislative seats.

The devastating results for Democrats in 2010 — part of a multi-million dollar effort by Republicans and Karl Rove to zero in on winning governor’s offices and battleground statehouses — gave the GOP total control in 19 states and allowed them to draw 213 congressional districts.

The new maps were a disaster for Democrats and spawned a bevy of groups and fundraising efforts intent on preventing a repeat in 2020. Most notably, Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder created the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a centralized redistricting hub on the Democratic side “to make sure that what the Republicans did last time was not possible again,” said John Bisognano, the NDRC’s executive director. “We weren’t going to get caught off guard again.”