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Democrats say gerrymandering is racist. But New York Dems just proposed gerrymandered map that is 'brutal' to GOP.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

New York Democrats have proposed a redrawn congressional district map that kneecaps the Republican Party through heavily gerrymandered districts.

What are the details?

After reapportionment based on 2020 Census data meant that New York lost one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats in the Empire State sought to solidify their stronghold on the state by significantly gerrymandering New York's most populous areas.

Currently, Republicans represent just seven congressional districts in New York. But if the proposed redistricting map becomes law, Republicans will lose three of those districts outright, which would significantly help Democrats as they try to prevent Republicans from retaking control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections.

In fact, according to political geography expert Dave Wasserman, the proposed map is "brutal" for Republicans.

One of the biggest casualties of the gerrymandering is Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump. Zeldin represents a district that supported Trump over President Joe Biden by four points. But with the proposed redistricting, New York's first congressional district would swing 15 points — ultimately landing 11 points in Democrats' favor.

Some Democrats had proposed an even more gerrymandered map, which allotted Democrats 23 of the 26 districts. According to Wasserman's sources, that map was drawn up to make the current map appear more tolerable.

"A theory I'm hearing a lot from NY/DC sources: a reason the DCCC chair & Marc Elias have publicly expressed support for a contorted 23D-3R gerrymander is to make whatever map comes out of Albany look more modest by comparison — a ploy to better survive a court challenge," Wasserman explained.

What is the irony?

As Democrats propose heavily gerrymandered congressional district maps (which they have also done in Illinois), Democrats have accused Republicans who draw up gerrymandered maps of being racist.

Political commentator Michael Harriot, for example, claimed in an essay published on Monday that Republicans are "motivated entirely by race" when drawing up maps. In another example, the Associated Press published a story last October noting how Democrats are "incredulous" over the district maps drawn up by Republicans; the story framed Republicans as the sole guilty party of gerrymandering.

Even the Justice Department is focusing on Republican gerrymandering while turning a blind eye to Democratic gerrymandering. In December, the DOJ sued Texas over its proposed congressional district map, arguing the map was drawn to purposefully discriminate against minority voters. The DOJ, however, did not file a suit against Illinois.

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