New York’s proposed congressional map blasted by GOP, could have national impact

  • Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square contributor
  • February 1st, 2022
New York State Senator Michael Gianaris led the redistricting planning/ Photo: NYS Senate, Michael Gianaris

(The Center Square) – New York Republicans are crying foul over a new Congressional map proposed by Democrats that would likely cut the number of GOP representatives from the state by as much as half.

Republicans currently control eight of the 27 seats in the heavily Democratic state. The state lost one seat in Congress after the 2020 Census.

An independent committee was tasked with creating a new map but failed to reach an agreement, leaving the matter to the state legislature to finalize.

According to an analysis from FiveThirtyEight, the map Democratic state lawmakers proposed cuts the number of Republican-leaning seats from seven to four and toss-up districts from three to two.

That’s enough of a swing that FiveThirtyEight Senior Elections Analyst Nathaniel Rakich thinks it could have national implications if it ends up being approved and passes legal review.

“I had previously calculated that redistricting alone would hand Republicans two new House seats (give or take) in the 2022 midterms, while Democrats would roughly stand pat… Add this map to the mix, though, and Democrats would be poised to gain about three seats nationally, and Republicans would be poised to lose around two,” wrote Rakich, who noted that analysis didn’t take into account a “political environment” that would likely favor Republicans this fall.

One of New York’s GOP House members most affected by the redistricting plan would be U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. The Staten Island freshman Republican unseated U.S. Rep. Max Rose in 2020, but the new map moves Staten Island with parts of Brooklyn that are far more Democratic.

Another is U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, who beat Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi by less than 100 votes in a highly contested race. Her upstate district was essentially eliminated, and on Monday, she announced she would run in the new 23rd District that includes part of her existing district.

Tenney’s statement announcing her decision criticized Albany Democrats for a “partisan gerrymandered map” that tries “to silence Republicans and keep Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.”

State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said the party is weighing all of its options to challenge the map.

“For all of their phony protestations about transparency and fairness in elections, what they’re doing is textbook filthy, partisan gerrymandering that is clearly in violation of the New York Constitution,” he said.

However, state Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens, told WNYC on Tuesday that he believed the maps were drawn fairly and would be upheld in the courts.

The deputy majority leader in the Senate said he and his colleagues worked to “unravel the gerrymanders of the past” to establish the new districts.

“The important thing to realize New York is a deep blue state,” Gianaris said. “We all know this. It’s well known nationally, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that when maps are going fairly, there’s going to be a result that reflects that reality on the ground.”

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