The new congressional district maps passed the state House on a party line vote with every Democrat voting no, even though the new maps would likely give the Democrats two additional seats in the US Congress.
The problem the Democrats had with the maps, according to The Washington Post, is that the maps are not Democrat enough.
The maps were reportedly drawn without considering political affiliation or race, which is a new standard. In the past, both political party and race were considerations.
The Sixth Congressional District represented by Congressman Mark Walker was changed drastically. The new Sixth District, if it is approved by the NC Senate and the courts, would include all of Guilford County and much of Forsyth County including Winston-Salem. It will be a Democratic leaning district, meaning Walker, a Republican, will have a difficult time winning reelection.
The Sixth District would be one of two that the Democrats would likely pick up, if these maps are approved.
Currently the split in the congressional delegation from North Carolina is 10 Republicans and three Democrats. The new maps would most likely change that to eight Republicans and five Democrats.
But the Democrats in the state House did not think the new districts gave Democrats an advantage in enough districts. According to statements made by Democrats, they were in favor of maps that gave Democrats an advantage in six or seven districts instead of five.
The 2020 election will be the last one based on the 2010 census data. In 2021, the districts will be redrawn once again based on the 2020 census and it appears North Carolina, because of its population growth, will have an additional congressional district, which means the map drawers will have to go back to the drawing board and start over.
Part of the problem seems to be that North Carolina is considered by the media to be a swing state. It currently has 10 Republican and three Democratic representatives in Congress, but the state also has two Republican senators and has voted for the Republican presidential candidate in nine out of the last 10 presidential elections. President Barack Obama won North Carolina by 0.3 percent in 2008, but Romney won North Carolina in 2012 and the Republican candidate has won North Carolina whether or not they won the presidency in every other election for 40 years.
It is also worth noting that in 2010, when Republicans won majorities in the state legislature, the Republicans won those majorities in districts drawn by the Democrats.