Ron DeSantis’ Aggressive Gerrymander Could Wind Up Making Him The House GOP Hero

by | Nov 17, 2022 | Politics

WASHINGTON – Republicans won a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives, and they owe their gratitude to one person more than any other: Ron DeSantis, the governor, drew an aggressively gerrymandered congressional map that gave the GOP four additional House seats in Florida.DeSantis angered even Republicans in the state legislature by vetoing the map they had drawn and insisting on one of his own that produced more likely GOP seats — in part by eliminating a Black-access seat in north Florida.AdvertisementThat move, taken this spring as Republicans around the country bemoaned their lack of success at drawing more seats following the decennial redistricting, could end up entirely accounting for the difference between Democratic and GOP control of the House, given how few seats Republicans picked up in the midterms.DeSantis’ staff did not respond to HuffPost queries, but top Republicans in the state acknowledged his role in the new GOP majority.“Without Ron DeSantis informing the Florida legislature he intended to veto the congressional map they passed and submitting his own map creating four more Republican seats, Nancy Pelosi would be settling in for another term as speaker,” said Brian Ballard, a longtime lobbyist in Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, and a major Republican donor. “Republicans across the country should thank Gov. DeSantis for the majority we have in the House.”Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been tipped as a possible 2024 presidential candidate, was projected as one of the early winners of the midterm election.GIORGIO VIERA via Getty ImagesAdvertisementThose four seats from DeSantis, who many Republicans in Florida expect will announce a presidential run next spring, contrast favorably with the seats lost by Donald Trump. The former president is also running for the GOP nomination and has been attacking DeSantis for weeks.Trump tried to remove every Republican member of Congress who voted to impeach him following his coup attempt that culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol. This resulted in primary losses by Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer and Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. On Tuesday, the two Trump-backed Republicans who defeated them lost to Democrats.It cannot be known for certain how many other close GOP losses in the House were caused by Trump’s insistence that candidates spread his lies that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him.An analysis by Philip Wallach of the American E …

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