Even if Kasich, who is an underdog in the race for his party’s presidential nomination, only manages to put in place redistricting reform in his own state, that could shift the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ohio’s maps all-but-ensure that the GOP will dominate the state’s congressional delegation. In the last presidential election, President Obama carried the state, but Republicans still captured 12 of Ohio’s 16 congressional districts:
A similar pattern played out in several other states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.
Indeed, absent significant nationwide redistricting reform, the race to control the U.S. House is barely democratic. In 2013, ThinkProgress estimated that Democrats would need to win the national popular vote in House races by over 7 percent in order to obtain a bare majority in the House. Gerrymandering is a major factor in this GOP advantage, as are geographic factors that favor Republicans.
In 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative that effectively requires the state to draw maps that enjoy some bipartisan support. This initiative, however, only applies to state legislative maps and not to Congress.