Dave Wasserman Profile picture
Senior Editor & Elections Analyst of the nonpartisan @CookPolitical Report w/ @AmyEWalter. Nerd for 🗺️ maps, ⛷️ ski slopes & 🎻 trad tunes. Has seen enough.
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Oct 14, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
How is it Dems are cleaning up in special elections/referendums if their national poll numbers are so bad? Because in the Trump era, Dems are excelling w/ the most civic-minded, highly-engaged voters.

Their biggest weakness? Peripheral voters who only show up in presidentials. A big reason Dems beat pundit/historical expectations in the midterms? Only 112M people voted, including a disproportionate turnout among voters angry at Dobbs/abortion bans (many of them young/female).

But there will be ~160M voters in 2024. So who are those extra 48M voters?
May 11, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
On the other hand, Trump-endorsed Charles Herbster (R) is on track to lose the #NEGOV GOP primary badly. Herbster doing a little better with more Trump-aligned EDay votes reporting, but still not on track to win. #NEGOV
Feb 7, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Fact: of the 301 new House districts that have now been adopted, just 17 (5.6%) went for Biden or Trump by five points or less, down from 39 of 301 (13.0%) districts in the same states currently. Back in 2012, after the last redistricting round, 66/435 districts went for Obama or McCain by five points or less. By 2020, only 51/435 districts went for Biden or Trump by five points or less - in other words, voter self-sorting explains a lot of the competitive decline.
Feb 3, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
NEW: for the first time, Dems have taken the lead on @CookPolitical's 2022 redistricting scorecard. After favorable developments in NY, AL, PA et. al., they're on track to net 2-3 seats from new maps vs. old ones.* *There's still quite a bit of uncertainty in:

- FL, where Rs are debating how aggressive to be
- NC/OH, where courts may order big changes to GOP maps
- PA, where the state Sup Ct will select a map
- AL/LA/SC, where SCOTUS could decide on additional Black opportunity seats
Jan 28, 2022 4 tweets 3 min read
NEW: Dem leaders in Albany are set to release maps in the next 72 hours, but there's still tension between Marc Elias/Sean Patrick Maloney - who are pushing for a hyper-aggressive 23D-3R gerrymander - and Upstate Dem incumbents who'd like more minor changes to their districts. At issue: it's theoretically possible to draw a 23D-3R gerrymander w/ 23 double-digit Biden seats (example, left). But it would require Dem Reps. Paul Tonko #NY20, Joe Morelle #NY25 and Brian Higgins #NY26 to give up some existing blue turf (current map, right).
Jan 26, 2022 4 tweets 5 min read
BREAKING: national Dems are using a "communities of interest" argument to urge their Albany counterparts to adopt an aggressive 23D-3R gerrymander that could wipe out five of NY's eight GOP seats. nyirc.gov/storage/commen… Image Highlights of the 23D-3R plan recommended by commenter "Sean Patrick:"

- Staten Island #NY11 drawn in w/ Lower Manhattan
- New maj-min #NY02 on Long Island
- #NY27 Jacobs (R) merged w/ #NY23 Reed (R)
- #NY22 Tenney (R) put in a D-leaning seat
- #NY03 crosses Long Island Sound
Jan 6, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
Thread: yes, the new House map is on track to be slightly more *equitable* (less pro-GOP) than the current one. But keep in mind, it's also on track to feature:

- Even fewer competitive seats
- Even wider disparities in maps' treatment of non-white voters from state to state I think @mcpli's broader point is fair, but the way I'd frame it is that vastly different standards are being applied to non-white communities in TX vs. IL, AL vs. VA, etc. depending on partisan motive, absent a clearer set of VRA rules from SCOTUS/Congress.
Jan 5, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
NEW @CookPolitical: Republicans are still clear favorites in 2022, but there are poised to be perhaps 3-8 *more* Biden-won seats after redistricting than there are now - creating a House map less biased towards the GOP than the past decade's. cookpolitical.com/analysis/house… So far, district lines are complete (or awaiting sign-off) in 293 districts, more than two thirds of the House. There are 15 seats that have shifted from GOP-leaning to Dem-leaning @CookPolitical PVIs, and just 9 that have moved the other way.
Dec 29, 2021 7 tweets 6 min read
Thread: which party is "ahead" in redistricting? In my view, it's close to a wash. But the truth is, it depends which metric you use.

As @Nate_Cohn has alluded, tracking by district partisanship (slight Dem gain) differs from tracking by seat control (neutral/slight GOP gain). New Jersey's new map is a perfect illustration. By @CookPolitical PVI (a measure of districts' 16/20 prez performance vs. national result), three seats have gone from R-leaning to D-leaning: #NJ03, #NJ05 and #NJ11.

Meanwhile, one seat moves from D-leaning to R-leaning: #NJ07.
Dec 22, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
BREAKING: here’s the new NJ congressional map that throws #NJ07 Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) under the bus and shores up Reps. Andy Kim (D) #NJ03, Josh Gottheimer (D) #NJ05 and Millie Sherrill (D) #NJ11 for a likely 9D-3R split. *Mikie, not Millie (damn autocorrect)
Dec 20, 2021 5 tweets 4 min read
NEW: California's near-final draft map looks terrific for Dems. All 42 Dem incumbents (except retiring Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D), whose Long Beach seat is folded in w/ LA Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D)'s), get strong seats.

Meanwhile, *five* of 11 GOP seats get more vulnerable. Biggest winners on this draft map:

#CA07 Bera (D) - Biden +14 to +18
#CA10 Harder (D) - Biden +3 to +11
#CA39 Kim (R) - Biden +10 to +2
#CA45 Porter (D) - Biden +11 (unchanged)
#CA50 Issa (R) - Trump +8 to +12
Dec 8, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
New: Virginia special masters' map eliminates Abigail Spanberger's (D) current suburban Richmond #VA07 & turns it into a safe Dem seat in Northern Virginia. Rep. Elaine Luria's #VA02 would remain highly competitive, for a 6D-4R-1C split overall. By the numbers, this might be a slightly better map for Dems than the current one (5D-4R-2C), but much better for Republicans than had Democrats retained redistricting power and drawn an 8D-3R gerrymander.
Nov 11, 2021 5 tweets 5 min read
NEW: the first official draft map from California's commission is here, and it's both a major shakeup and a mixed bag for the parties. Early read: it could perform quite well for Rs in 2022, but offer longer-term upside for Dems. Read on... wedrawthelinesca.org/draft_maps ImageImage First, the five biggest "losers" in this draft (which will change before 12/27):

#CA10 Harder (D) - Biden +3 to Trump +10
#CA22 Nunes (R) - Trump +5 to Biden +9
#CA40 Roybal-Allard (D) - seat eliminated
#CA48 Steel (R) - Biden +2 to +9
#CA50 Issa (R) - Trump +8 to Biden +1
Nov 10, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
NEW: FL's Senate Rs release four draft congressional maps. Bizarre: these maps shore up #FL27 Rep. Maria Salazar (R), but otherwise are barely gerrymanders. By my count these maps break down 16-12 Trump-Biden, vs. 15-12 today. Is this a head fake? These maps would put #FL15 Rep. Scott Franklin (R) in the new safe R #FL28, but turn #FL15 into a *Biden* seat in the east Tampa suburbs - effectively creating a new Dem seat. I can't imagine this is going to be the ultimate GOP plan in FL.
Nov 2, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Deleted an earlier tweet because the figures cited by the registrar below did not include 2k+ mail ballots. At this rate, Charlottesville would be on pace for ~15k votes, still down from 16.5k in 2017 and potentially a weak turnout in an 86% Biden city. There are still 9 hours for this to change, but the main turnout concern for Dems today isn't white college grads in Northern Virginia, it's young/non-white voters who were super-motivated in the Trump era but not so much today. #VAGOV
Oct 27, 2021 4 tweets 4 min read
First read: this "starting point" map for the CA commission is decent for Rs. It eliminates a Dem seat in LA County (as expected) and imperils Harder (D) in #CA10, while leaving all incumbent 11 Rs w/ a path to victory (though Nunes & esp. Issa would face much tougher races). Notable shifts in this early "visualization" (North):

#CA01 LaMalfa (R) - Trump +15 to +6
#CA04 McClintock (R) - Trump +10 to +8
#CA07 Bera (D) - Biden +14 to +4
#CA10 Harder (D) - Biden +3 to Trump +1
#CA21 Valadao (R) - Biden +11 to +9
#CA22 Nunes (R) - Trump +5 to Biden +3
Oct 23, 2021 5 tweets 4 min read
Breaking: as predicted, IL Dems have revised their proposal to a safer, more aggressive 14D-3R gerrymander. It's still about as ugly as before, though. google.com/maps/d/viewer?… ImageImage As I hinted last Sunday, this version creates a new, much-anticipated Latino seat (#IL03) on the north side of Chicago. But, it would do so by merging the homes of Reps. Marie Newman (D) and Sean Casten (D) in a reconfigured #IL06.
Oct 13, 2021 5 tweets 4 min read
VIRGINIA: Dems hold a 7D-4R lead on the current map (below). But in 2020, Dems/voters approved a bipartisan commission that's proven dysfunctional thus far, likely punting redistricting to the right-leaning VA Supreme Court. Here's why that's a big deal... If Dems had kept power (or even if commission were to draw a compact map, example below), they could have easily shored up #VA02 Rep. Elaine Luria (D) w/ Norfolk & #VA07 Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) w/ Charlottesville, and maybe even made #VA01 Rep. Rob Wittman (R) vulnerable.
Oct 8, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
New @CookPolitical: just when Florida Dems thought it couldn't get any worse, it's about to. Why FL is the GOP's biggest redistricting weapon of 2022. cookpolitical.com/analysis/house… Thanks to the FL Supreme Court's hard right turn, Republicans could stretch their current 16R-11D lead in House seats (left) to as wide as 19R-9D (example, right) - erasing most of Dems' current House margin.
Sep 27, 2021 6 tweets 6 min read
Wow. This isn't even as aggressive a map as I expected from Texas Rs. It could plausibly be 24R-14D, w/ the chance Rs add seats in the Rio Grande Valley & Dems gain in DFW burbs over the course of the 2020s. A few early highlights/impressions:
- a new Dem #TX37 in Austin
- a new GOP #TX38 in Houston (for Wesley Hunt?)
- no new Hispanic majority seat (lawsuit?)
- #TX15 Gonzalez (D) made redder
- #TX03 Taylor (R) & #TX24 Van Duyne (R) not shored up quite as much as I'd have expected
Sep 20, 2021 8 tweets 6 min read
THREAD: I spent a lot of the summer interviewing Congressional Black Caucus members from the South. Almost without exception, they now favor legal action to *unpack* their own hyper-safe seats to create more minority opportunities. theatlantic.com/politics/archi… "We've only got one of six seats in a state that's a third Black," #LA02 Rep. Troy Carter (D) told me. "If Baton Rouge and Opelousas can be tied in for a second majority-minority district, I'm all in." theatlantic.com/politics/archi…