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Obama to join redistricting reform group after leaving White House

Former Attorney General Eric Holder is set to head up a new Democratic group focusing on redistricting reform — and President Obama will likely join his former administration colleague when he leaves office next January.

Called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the group "will coordinate campaign strategy, direct fundraising, organize ballot initiatives, and put together legal challenges to state redistricting maps," Politico reports, in an effort to fight the gerrymandering that has traditionally benefited the Republican Party in state elections. The group originally wanted to get to work for the 2016 elections, but instead is now setting its sights on concrete efforts during the 2018 midterms.

Obama has been receiving updates on the group's progress since it formed early this summer, and The Washington Post calls Obama's "decision to back such a broad, organizing political effort after leaving the White House ... a rare, if not unprecedented, step in the modern era." Democrats have historically been at a disadvantage in state races and often give up seats during midterm cycles — including the walloping the party suffered in the 2010 and 2014 elections.