01/05/2011 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Redistricting Could Hand Republicans The Next Decade

Not a fan of your new GOP-dominated House of Representatives? You'd better get used to it. After winning almost unprecedented power over the congressional redistricting process, Republicans are poised to lock in their gains for a decade or more. And there's very little the Democrats can do to stop them. This year, the Dems could draw less than half the districts the GOP does.

The Republican wave couldn't have come at a worse time for Dems. America's once-a-decade census has wrapped up, and many states are due to change the boundaries of their congressional districts. Population-based adjustments mean that slower-growing states (like Ohio) will lose seats, while faster-growing states (like Florida) will gain them.

But even those states that don't gain or lose seats will have a chance to redraw their congressional districts. By carefully drawing boundaries to include or exclude Dem or GOP-leaning communities, redistrictors can all but determine the outcome of House elections in advance. And most of those redistrictors are going to be Republican.

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