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Analyst: Democrats could pick up 5-6 congressional seats in California


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California’s new citizen-drawn redistricting map could profoundly affect which party will control the U.S. House of Representatives.

After the last redistricting, exactly one of California’s 53 congressional districts switched parties. Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia, has crunched the numbers.

Kondik says this election year is different. He says there are "opportunities for Democrats to add maybe one, maybe as many as five or six seats if things break their way next November."

“Break their way” means President Obama doesn’t get “wiped out.” The Democratic gain stands even with a number of Democratic incumbents running against each other in newly drawn districts.

Kondik says a big night for Obama could also mean a big night for House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. "Democrats need 25 seats to take the House and so they could very well get a fifth of what they need from California if things go their way."

Only 19 members of California’s delegation are Republicans. Kondik says the GOP can likely hold onto at least 14 of those seats. Four districts are a tossup for either party.