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Control Of Texas Legislature, Redistricting May Split In 2020

Democrats only need to win a net nine seats to retake control of the state House of Representatives.

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Nicolas Henderson/Flickr
Texas State Capitol in Austin.


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Whichever party wins control of the Texas State Legislature in 2020 will have a big say in drawing its U.S. congressional districts. For the first time in more than a decade, the two major parties may wind up sharing that prize.

Republicans have a big edge in the Texas Senate, but Democrats only need to win a net nine seats to retake the state House of Representatives.

"There are 17 seats that Republicans won in 2018 by 10 points or less," said Michael Li, senior redistricting counsel at New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice. "And that seems to be a lot of opportunity for Democrats, because the investment that would be needed to flip those seats is relatively small compared to the prize of being able to have a role in help drawing 39 congressional districts."

Texas currently has 36 districts, but could gain up to three after the 2020 Census.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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