'This is a Code Red': Voting expert warns Biden is dangerously underestimating GOP gerrymandering
Official White House photo by Lawrence Jackson

Following the 2020 Census, states are undertaking the once-a-decade task of redistricting, in which congressional district boundaries are redrawn.

Michael Li, a voting and redistricting attorney at the Brennan Center, warned on Thursday that President Joe Biden may not be taking the threat of GOP gerrymandering seriously enough.

Li pointed to a story Ronald Brownstein wrote for The Atlantic.

Brownstein wrote, "The senior White House official told me Biden aides believe that the best way to overcome Republicans' undermining of upcoming elections is to maintain Democratic control of the House and Senate. And the best way to achieve that is for Biden to pass the agenda he ran on, which includes working to mitigate political conflict and compromising with Republicans where possible. 'We have to go win elections in 2022, so we keep control of the House and Senate, which is the single most critical thing to protecting us for 2024,' the official said."

"If this accurately reflects the White House view that Democrats can keep the House in 2022 and 2024 despite new voter suppression laws, the White House is seriously discounting the effect of gerrymandering in the upcoming round of redistricting," Li argued in a thread posted to Twitter.

"And again, the issue isn't whether Democrats lose the House in 2022 (there is good chance they do even with fair maps). The question is whether gerrymandering will lock them out of power - in good cycles & bad - for the *rest of the decade.* I think sometimes Democrats underestimate the effect of gerrymandering last decade [because] they won the House back in 2018 after losing it in 2012. But they had some help. Court ordered redraws of maps in VA, NC, FL, TX. And the unexpected Trump dynamics in the suburbs," he explained.

"But courts in states like Florida that struck down maps last decade have gotten more conservative. Texas, likewise, is no longer subject to preclearance. But most importantly, the Trump effect will be 'priced in' when drawing this decade's maps," he wrote. "In short, this is a Code Red, all hands on deck, moment for American democracy. And reports like Ron Brownstein's about the sanguineness of some Democrats are deeply alarming.