The Columbus Dispatch

Proposed congressio­nal maps give Dems an edge in Virginia

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Draft maps for new congressio­nal districts in Virginia would provide Democrats a strong chance to win six or seven of the state’s 11 seats, but they also draw Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger out of her Richmond-area district.

The maps released Wednesday were prepared by two special masters – one each nominated by Democrats and Republican­s – in accordance with an order from the Supreme Court of Virginia. The court has stepped in to draw the maps after a new redistrict­ing commission failed to agree on maps for either Congress or the General Assembly.

Spanberger represents the 7th District in central Virginia, a swing district. Under the new maps, the 7th District becomes significantly more Democratic, but it is redrawn to have its main voting bloc in Prince William County in Democratic-leaning northern Virginia, rather than the Richmond area.

In a memo to the court, special masters Bernard Grofman and Sean Trende say six of the 11 districts have a Democratic lean, and four of the 11 lean Republican. The 2nd District, which covers Virginia Beach and parts of Hampton Roads, would be swing district, as it is now. It is currently represente­d by Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria. Under the draft map, the 2nd District has a very narrow 50-48 Democratic edge, based on election results from 2016 and 2020.

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