Federal judges have selected a Virginia House of Delegates redistricting map that appears to heavily favor Democrats, redrawing the lines of 26 districts and moving several powerful Republicans into unfavorable configurations. Six Republicans would wind up in districts where a majority of voters chose Democratic President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, according to an analysis of the maps by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. No current Democrats would see their voter majority change to Republican, based on those election results. Virginia does not register voters by party. If the court’s map selection stands, it would create a favorable environment for Democrats seeking to take control of the House of Delegates in elections this fall, according to the analysis. All 100 seats in the House are on the ballot, and Republicans hold a 51-to-48 majority.
One seat is open because former delegate Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax County) recently won election to the state Senate.
A panel of judges from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled last June that 11 districts had been racially gerrymandered to concentrate black voters and ordered a new map.
Most of the affected districts are in the Hampton Roads and Richmond areas; redrawing those lines alters several surrounding districts.