The worst Democratic gerrymander in the nation is arguably in Illinois, as it set off a significant-stakes game of musical chairs among the the state’s five Republican Home associates.

Nathaniel Rakich:One particular of our biggest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a Republican from Illinois. But the state’s new gerrymandered congressional map looks hell-bent on making Republican congressmen from Illinois an endangered species.

There are at this time five Republicans in Illinois’s U.S. Household delegation. But that was seemingly also many for the Democrats who were being in cost of Illinois redistricting final fall. They drew a map that packed all five Republicans into just a few congressional districts.

That kicked off a substantial-stakes recreation of electoral musical chairs. At very first, Congressman Mike Bost and Congresswoman Mary Miller were being thrown collectively into the 12th District, though Congressman Rodney Davis was by yourself in the 15th District. But the significantly-right Miller seemingly determined she experienced a much better shot of remaining in Congress if she ran for reelection in the 15th against Davis, who is a lot more reasonable. Meanwhile, over in the 16th District, Congressmen Darin LaHood and Adam Kinzinger ended up also double-bunked, a situation that was only fixed when Kinzinger made a decision not to request reelection.

As a final result, Democrats could keep 14 of Illinois’s 17 congressional seats following the 2022 election. Which is 82 per cent of seats, even even though they’ll almost certainly gain considerably less than 60 percent of the state’s common vote. That is possible only since of how numerous Republican votes are “wasted” under the new map — possibly since they’re becoming solid in a district which is already properly purple or due to the fact they’re outnumbered by Democratic votes. Either way, people votes really do not rely toward a get.

Dependent on the 2020 presidential election final results, this map wastes 1.9 million Republican votes. Which is practically two times the number of Democratic votes that are squandered less than the map.

Theoretically, if Republicans and Democrats had the very same quantity of squandered votes in Illinois, Republicans would gain 2.2 far more congressional seats than less than a gerrymander of this caliber. By that measure, Illinois is the worst gerrymander in the nation drawn by Democrats.

Illinois’s intense gerrymander is a big portion of the explanation Democrats have obtained seats from redistricting nationwide this year. But it could also backfire. In buy to draw so numerous blue seats, Democrats had to spread their voters thin, leaving some districts with only a smaller Democratic lean. If Republicans have a potent 2022 election, they could conclude up winning not only their a few securely red seats but also those people light-weight-blue seats. This gerrymander could stop up becoming the most important blunder in Illinois considering the fact that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow knocked over that lantern.

To be sure, this map will most possible support Democrats in their quest to maintain onto the Home. But it is also doable that they’ve bitten off much more than they can chew.