Democrats would be well-positioned to pick up two U.S. House seats currently held by Republicans under a redistricting plan expected to be approved by North Carolina lawmakers on Friday.
The plan follows a ruling by a state court last month that said North Carolina Republicans, who control the legislature, had violated the state constitution by unfairly disadvantaging Democrats. Republicans hold 10 of the state’s 13 U.S. House districts under the existing congressional maps even though the state is closely politically divided.
If the court that ruled the old maps unconstitutional approves the new maps, Republicans could have an even steeper path to regaining the House majority in 2020. More than 20 members of the House GOP are retiring or running for other offices, several in highly-competitive districts.
Since Republicans won control of North Carolina’s legislature in 2010, the state has been the epicenter of voting rights disputes around gerrymandering, the practice of drawing political boundaries to benefit one party. Both state and federal courts have repeatedly ruled against GOP-drawn maps.