Democrats are trying to chart their path to retake the majority in the House of Representatives, and they’ve got their sights set on one area of the country that would have been an unthinkable target in the past – the Deep South.
Officials high up in the liberal party believe they have a good shot at picking up a House seat in Louisiana and Alabama, and they believe they could also potentially pick one up in Georgia.
Politico published a report recently that said all the work Democrats have been doing in the courts to overturn what they viewed as gerrymandering by the GOP is looking like it’s starting to pay dividends.
Liberals are hoping that recent and upcoming court cases could help to redefine how Black voters are represented in the South, which would give the Democratic Party a chance in the Southern states that it once had.
At this point, Politico writes that it’s hard to say how many House seats could end up being competitive – since many of the court cases about congressional districts aren’t decided yet. That being said, Democrats have hopes that it will work out in their favor.
They believe that seats of long-time Republican Representatives Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Garret Graves of Louisiana could be ripe for the picking.
While picking up seats the South may be a tough task, it’s important to keep in mind that Democrats only need to flip five net seats to retake control of the House. In other words, even one or two seats picked up in the South could go a long way in determining the outcome of the next Congress.
It’s possible that none of this will come to pass before the important elections in 2024. However, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that whittled down the Voting Rights Act could end up having huge effects in the Deep South over the next couple election cycles.
Battles over redistricting are underway in Texas, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida, and Democrats believe they have a solid shot at gaining ground in all of those states.
One of the senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus, New York Representative Greg Meeks, said recently:
“Who would have thought? As took place in the ‘60s, when the South led with voting rights and civil rights … the South could save democracy again.”
Meeks is one of many people who are strategizing about how the party could regain seats in Louisiana and Alabama, should the liberals’ cases over redistricting win out before November.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, also recently said that he’s personally called people to get an update on the potential of where Alabama’s congressional maps could go.
Democratic Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina is considered to be the most powerful liberal from the Southern states in Congress. He recently got involved in the practice himself, saying:
“I’ve been on the phone recruiting members. I have worked with states on their recruitment.”