If you’ve ignored the hype and focused on the actual numbers and ratings, it’s been clear all along that the 2024 House majority is within reach for the Democrats. They had a historically strong performance in 2022. Heading into 2024 they have everything from Roe, to Republican extremism, to Donald Trump’s toxic unpopularity on their side. All along the Democrats have had at least a 50-50 chance of taking the House majority in 2024. But now it very much appears those odds have gone up.
The Supreme Court made a shockingly sensible ruling a few months ago, striking down racial gerrymandering nationwide. Gerrymandering for other reasons is still legal, but racial gerrymandering is now a no-no. As I’ve said before, this Supreme Court is as nuts as it is corrupt, and is just making it up as it goes along. So when these loons throw the occasional big win at us, we have to take it and run with it.
To be clear, when the U.S. Supreme Court issues this kind of ruling, there is no such thing as magically getting around it. We all knew that the offending red states would respond by submitting slightly less racially gerrymandered maps, on the notion that it doesn’t hurt to try. But there was always a roughly 100% chance that the federal courts would then strike down those revised maps and force legitimate ones to be drawn – by outside arbiters if necessary.
There was simply never going to be any such thing as these states running out the clock and magically getting to keep their old maps. We’ve seen past instances where Republican state legislatures have managed to drag out such rulings from their own state-level Supreme Courts, under the notion that their state constitution gives them some inherent power. But that’s not a thing when the ruling is coming from the U.S. Supreme Court. There’s no getting around it, period. Once that ruling came down, these racially gerrymandered maps were absolutely going to be un-gerrymandered.
Sure enough, over the past week, those court rulings have started coming down against the Republicans. Again, there was about a 100% chance the Republicans would lose these rulings. But now that it’s happening, even news outlets like Politico are admitting that Republican legislatures don’t have a magic wand for “running out the clock” on the redrawing of these maps. Racial gerrymandering will not be a thing in 2024, and the Democrats will automatically gain at least a handful of House seats because of it.
Even though this moment has been inevitable since the minute the Supreme Court ruling came down months ago, it’s still important that the media is now starting to admit that the Democrats have a real chance to take the House majority in 2024. Back in 2022, one of the main reasons the Democrats didn’t quite in the majority was that the entire media (including MSNBC) spent every day of the final month of the election chanting “red wave” in an attempt at driving ratings. This kind of hopelessness served to suppress the vote on the Democratic side, because people are less inclined to go out and vote if they’re being told their side is going to lose anyway.
Heading into 2024, we need to make absolutely certain that every Democratic-leaning voter out there hears loudly and clearly that the Democrats are in strong contention to take the House majority. This will help ensure the Democratic-leaning voters make the effort to actually get to the polls and vote. So it’s a good sign that the media is starting to admit that the Democrats can win the House in 2024.
It’s also important to remember that there are no magic wands in any of this. This Supreme Court ruling may have increased the Democrats’ odds of winning the House in 2024 from 50% to perhaps 70%, and that’s great. But are you comfortable with 70% odds of winning? I’m not. That would still mean 30% odds that these anti-American Republicans retain control of the House. No thank you.
So what this means is that while we’re in a super strong position to win the House in 2024, we’re going to have to put in the work required to win. That means identifying the most competitive House races (the Toss Up, Lean Democrat, and Lean Republican races), and putting most or all of our donations, retweets, and volunteer hours into those races. Competitive elections don’t win themselves. They’re narrowly won by the side that puts in the most work. But it’s great to know that heading into 2024, the wind is going to be at our back. All we have to do is put in the work and win the thing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report