How the latest redistricting cycle went depends on the lens you use to assess it.
On the one hand, maps in much of the country, and especially the fast-growing South, continue to be skewed significantly in favor of the political party that drew them. Alarmingly for voters, new maps will have fewer competitive districts than at any point in the last five decades. Likewise, communities of color — who powered the country’s growth last decade — not only saw little increase in electoral opportunities, they actually saw their political power diminish in some places.
The news isn’t all bad. Despite partisan legislators’ best efforts, control of the House remains up for grabs by both parties, defying predictions that Democrats could be blocked from claiming a majority for the next decade.
But in the end, this cycle’s conclusion may merely be a pause. With the Supreme Court poised to rule in key redistricting cases and the possibility of a spate of mid-decade line drawing, the decade’s redistricting battles could yet have a second act.