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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Republican-controlled states have been cranking out new congressional maps that spell trouble for Democrats unless courts intervene.

Why it matters: Last week's Virginia and New Jersey results set off alarm bells for the party, but Democrats' lack of control of the redistricting process in states like North Carolina and Ohio could make Republican wins next year even greater — and longer-lasting.

Driving the news: The North Carolina's General Assembly approved a new map that would leave Republicans with as many as 11 seats to just three for Democrats.

  • That would be up from the current split of eight Republicans and five Democrats, according to the Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman. (The state picked up an extra seat through reapportionment this decade.)
  • In Ohio, Republicans are eyeing maps that would give them up to 13 congressional seats — up from an already impressive 12. Due to slower population growth, the proposed map also would eliminate a second Democratic seat in the state.
  • The Princeton Gerrymandering Project, which is measuring map fairness through various metrics, gave an overall "F" to both.

By the numbers: The North Carolina and Ohio maps raise the prospect of four new Republicans in Congress just between those two states. On top of that:

  • Montana is getting a second seat based on the new census results. Despite Democrats' hopes to have a shot at winning it, the state's redistricting commission recently finalized maps that would likely hand both seats to Republicans.
  • The maps passed in Texas would add another two seats for Republicans, while the proposed maps in Georgia would also add at least one.
  • Republicans also control redistricting in Florida, which also is picking up another seat thanks to population shifts. The redistricting process has yet to begin there.

What to watch: Democrats' best shot at mitigating the damage is through the courts.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated Aug 7, 2020 - Sports

The states that have legalized sports betting

Reproduced from American Gaming Association; Cartogram: Axios Visuals

2020 was poised to be a big year for sports betting. Some of that momentum was lost due to the shutdown, but the industry is still surging ahead — and holding out hope for a massive fall.

The state of play: Sports betting is now legal and fully operational in 18 states, plus Washington, D.C.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."