North Carolina's new congressional map is already changing the 2020 game.
On Monday, a panel of judges agreed that a Republican-drawn congressional map of North Carolina can replace the 2016 map deemed to contain "extreme partisan gerrymanders." That's already spelling good news for Democrats in 2020's House elections, Sabato's Crystal Ball predicts.
Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics revised its predictions for four North Carolina House races on Tuesday, all in districts currently held by Republicans. Three of those districts moved left, while two of them shifted soundly into Democrats' favor. All in all, that amounts to a likely two-seat gain for Democrats in North Carolina come next year, with a slight chance to grab a third.
Then again, not everyone thinks the slightly fairer maps are giving Democrats the representation they deserve. As David Leonhardt argues in The New York Times, "Republicans only narrowly won the statewide popular vote in congressional elections, 50 percent to 48 percent," so even five of the state's 13 congressional seats isn't enough for Democrats. Read more from his opinion here.