By Dylan Housman
The experts at the Princeton University Gerrymander Project gave Maryland Democrats a failing grade for their newly-proposed gerrymandered Congressional maps, while maps to be submitted to the legislature by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan received an “A” grade for fairness.
According to the Princeton researchers, all four Congressional maps submitted by Maryland Democrats for consideration “significantly favor” Democrats and would likely result in either seven or eight Democrats representing Maryland in Congress, compared to just one or zero Republicans. The state voted for President Joe Biden by a 65-32 margin in 2020, but Hogan was re-elected as Governor in 2018 by a vote of 55%-43%.
In Maryland, we have grades for the 4 congressional maps the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission released on Tues. Each map receives an F and significantly favors the Democrats. They each receive an F in partisan fairness, a C in competitiveness, and an F in geography. pic.twitter.com/DJ6CAShamx
— Princeton Gerrymandering Project (@princetongerry) November 11, 2021
The Democrats’ maps received a grade of “F” for partisan fairness, “C” for competitiveness and “F” for geographic features. By contrast, two maps that will be submitted by Hogan received grades of “A” for partisan fairness, “C” for competitiveness and “C” for geographic features. Those maps would most likely result in a 6-2 advantage for Democrats at the Congressional level and a 30-17 advantage for Democrats in the State Senate, the Princeton experts said.
The maps submitted by Hogan were drawn by the state’s non-partisan, independent redistricting commission. (RELATED: An Inside Look At The Behind The Scenes Fight To Set The 2022 Election)
Hogan first called for maps drawn by an independent commission in 2015 to end partisan gerrymandering in Maryland, and in January of 2021, he issued an executive order forming the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Committee, which created the maps he will submit to the legislature.
Redistricting in states across the country is expected to play a significant role in the 2022 midterm elections. Republicans held onto a majority of state legislative bodies in 2020, giving them an advantage in drawing new maps across the country. Maryland’s General Assembly and State Senate are both controlled by Democratic supermajorities, and they will review the maps submitted to them by the Hogan camp and lawmakers to determine the state’s new Congressional lines.
According to an internal poll commissioned by Change Maryland, an advocacy organization supportive of Hogan, 77% of Marylanders supported drawing maps with a non-partisan independent commission, compared to just 12% who wanted maps drawn by incumbent politician