Analyses of the shifts in population totals reveal population drops in rural districts represented by Republicans and increases in urban ones represented by Democrats.
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Experts warn that district drawing is not destiny, and while Republicans will now face more of an uphill battle under the new maps, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Nevada will lose swing state status.
Opposition to the proposed maps came from Republican lawmakers, upset at the prospect of a decade-long stay in the political wilderness, and advocates who said the maps divide many communities of interest.
The move addresses data gaps advocates warned could lead to an imbalance of power between rural and urban communities and place the state in violation of a 2019 state ban on a practice known as “prison gerrymandering."
The maps divide the Latino population across the four districts, leaving lower concentrations of Latinos in each district and potentially making it more difficult for Latinos to collectively elevate candidates they believe represent their community.
The special session, predicted to last at least five days, got off to a slow start — short floor sessions, a non-controversial hearing on revising Board of Regent districts, a brief procedural fight over rules and the swearing in of a new state senator.
The proposed maps would make all three of the congressional districts that include at least part of Clark County tilt toward Democrats. Each encompasses an area that Biden won by between 6 and 8 percentage points in the 2020 election.