In most states, the power to draw lines for political districts rests with legislators. In recent years, California voters have tried to make the process less political by taking it out of lawmakers' hands. But not everyone is happy with how things are turning out.
To understand redistricting in California, consider this: Over a 10-year period beginning in 2000, there were 255 congressional races, and only one seat — that's right, one seat — changed parties.
Florida voters in 2010 approved constitutional amendments by nearly 2-to-1 margins that forbade state legislators from coordinating with political parties or favoring incumbents when drawing new congressional districts.
So what did lawmakers in Tallahassee do? The Republican leaders in charge of drawing new maps coordinated with Republican Party consultants to protect Republican incumbents.
Some Democrats complain that Republicans in recent decades have had the edge in House races because GOP state legislatures have been better at the gerrymandering game. Except that may not be true.
Some political experts believe there's an easier explanation, and perhaps a tougher one for Democrats to overcome: Voters supporting Republican House candidates, they say, are spread over more congressional districts than those who support Democrats. It's that simple. It's merely a matter of geography.