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Is there more redistricting for Texas in the cards?

The short answer is it depends.

For the most part, Republicans are content to keep the interim map used for the 2012 elections — if the courts allow it.

“I don’t sense a lot of anxiousness from either the state or congressional side to open back up congressional redistricting,” said Chris Perkins, a GOP pollster tasked with redrawing the Texas map in 2003. “But if they are forced to act, then they’ll have to do something.”

Privately, Republicans say they expect tweaking to incoming Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego’s south Texas district to include more Hispanics. But the political effect would be minimal and the district would remain competitive.

Democrats and minority groups hold out hope for a redraw that includes new favorable districts around Dallas and Austin. They argue that explosive minority growth in those areas demand new districts.

“I think there’s a good chance the court will make some changes,” said Michael Li, a Texas redistricting expert and Democratic attorney. “I think there’s a strong argument that something needs to be done in central Texas.”

This story is specifically about Congressional redistricting. Democrats hope for further tweaking of the State House map as well. As we know, the brief filed for the state by the Attorney General said that all the issues raised by the DC Court had already been addressed in the interim map by the San Antonio Court, so there’s nothing left to do. There’s no disagreement on that point for the Senate map, but the other two are still in dispute. The main thing I take away from this story is that there doesn’t appear to be any appetite for trying to redo the maps in a more Republican direction by the Lege. I’m not surprised by this – honestly, it’s hard to see how the GOP could realistically do better than they did without violating the DC Court’s ruling – but you never know. Here at least it looks as though if there is to be any further revising, it will be because the plaintiffs want it.

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