New Hampshire: Republicans Decide the Fate of Democrats
Republican infighting hampers the party's ability to control the state's redistricting process.
Republicans held complete control over the redistricting process in New Hampshire.
Republicans in the legislature attempted to draw Democrats out of a district, the state’s Republican governor wasn’t having it.
After a months-long stalemate, a state court validated a compromise map that became the final enacted map in the nation’s redistricting process (not including gerrymandering challenges/redraws.)
Who’s In Control?
The redistricting process in New Hampshire has been rather awkward. While both of the state’s congressional seats are currently held by Democrats, Republicans hold complete control of the redistricting process in the state. The state’s legislature draws new districts and the state’s governor holds veto power. Even though Republicans control all of these state-level offices, the process was still mired with in-fighting on what to do with these two House Dems.
New District Breakdown
The controversy began when Republicans in the legislature signalled a willingness to dramatically alter the state’s two districts to produce a Republican leaning House seat. Upon hearing this, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu vowed to veto these proposals and committed to producing a fair map:
“The citizens of New Hampshire will not accept this map, which moves both members of Congress to the same district. Our races have to be fair, which is why I will veto this map.” -Gov. Chris Sununu (R)
Rather than listening to their governor, New Hampshire Republicans dug in and the redistricting process stalled for months. Movement on the process didn’t restart until May, when a state court was tasked with finding a compromise to end the Republican stalemate. This led the state to become the final state in the nation to release its first round of enacted maps.
The state’s new congressional districts are almost identical to the previous map. While the special masters made some incredibly local changes that reunified communities, the political makeup of the new districts is almost identical to the old districts. Expect both of these House districts to remain competitive for the foreseeable future.
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