Missouri GOP Leaders Try to Surrender on Redistricting — and Receive the Backlash They Deserve

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Imagine that you are a GOP legislative leader in a state that Donald Trump won by 15 points in 2020. Then imagine that as a GOP leader in that state, you also enjoy a nearly three-to-one advantage in both chambers of the legislature and have a conservative governor. Further, imagine that as this GOP leader in this deep red state, you are faced with blue states heavily gerrymandering in an attempt to retain the House of Representatives in 2022.


What would you do when it comes to redistricting if you were in that position? You’d fight fire with fire because the stakes are just too high, right?

Unfortunately, that willingness to do what it takes to win isn’t prevalent among Missouri’s Republican legislative leadership. Instead, they’ve introduced a map that could actually eliminate a Republican seat and add a Democrat one.

Just when you think the Republican Party can’t figure out another way to fail, we’ve now got multiple states, including Missouri, not going to the mat to pick up much-needed GOP seats. Meanwhile, Democrats are gerrymandering the heck out of states like California, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and New Mexico.

Maryland, for example, has introduced a 7-1 map, and the one GOP district is now going to be hotly contested. California’s “independent” commission is also looking to eliminate multiple GOP districts. Meanwhile, in Illinois, they put the kibosh on two GOP-held seats in one of the worst gerrymanders in US history. Democrats didn’t even bother to preserve Adam Kinzinger’s seat, a Republican who has spent the last five years sucking up to them.


And Republican leaders in Missouri respond to that reality by introducing a possible 5-3 R to D map? That’s absolute insanity, especially when Missouri could easily be drawn as a 7-1 R to D map. This is no time to play nice, and there is no justification for protecting Democrat seats when they could otherwise be eliminated. You will not win in 2022 — nor long-term — lacking that kind of killer instinct.

GOP members in Missouri are speaking up, though, in the face of this attempted surrender.

Hopefully, enough noise will be made that this map doesn’t gain the support it needs to pass. It would be political suicide for a state like Missouri to not go full-out in solidifying a Republican advantage via redistricting. The GOP needs all hands on deck in every state they control in order to stop the Democrat onslaught that has so damaged the country. This isn’t a game, and it’s no time to play inside baseball with the opposing party.


Lastly, if Republicans want to motivate voters going into 2022, handing Democrats House seats they could be deprived of before the voting even starts isn’t how to do it. For the love of all that is holy, could the GOP please be smarter than this?


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