Sep 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Mapped: No majority-Hispanic districts added in Texas

Data: Texas Capitol Data Portal; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Data: Texas Capitol Data Portal; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Texas Republicans propose adding seats in Austin and Houston — but no majority-Hispanic districts — in new congressional district maps released Monday.

Why it matters: Texas is a rapidly growing, diversifying and politically changing state. Census results mean it will get two additional House seats. While its changing demographics don't bode well for Republicans long term, they control how district lines are drawn for now.

The takeaways: The two new seats proposed for Austin and Houston would favor a Democrat and Republican, respectively.

  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), a moderate, border Democrat, already faced a tough re-election fight last year — and could be on the chopping block under the proposed maps.
  • His district will turn red.
  • The map would likely result in 25 Republican House seats, while maintaining 13 Democratic seats, according to the Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman.

What to watch: "Texas is now a Hispanic-plurality state, and this map doesn’t include any additional Hispanic-majority districts," Abhi Rahman, a Texas Democratic strategist, told Axios.

  • He labeled the maps "terrible," and their lines could be cause for litigation.
  • The National Democratic Redistricting Committee also complained.
  • “The congressional map confirms what we knew Texas Republicans would do: decrease the number of competitive seats, ignore the growth and influence of communities of color and gerrymander for power," said President Kelly Ward Burton.

At least nine Republicans would get a big boost from the proposed maps.

  • They include Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Michael McCaul, Van Taylor and Jake Ellzey, according to Wasserman.
  • Democratic Reps. Lizzie Fletcher and Rep. Colin Allred would also benefit, with their blue, city districts remaining extra-safe Democratic territory.
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