In 2020, Democrats will have the chance to win power in Minnesota and North Carolina, particularly if courts in the Tar Heel State strike down the GOP's legislative gerrymanders, which appears a strong likelihood. Democrats also have a shot at pulling off upsets and winning majorities in Pennsylvania in 2020, but if not, they would have to wait until after the next round of redistricting following the 2020 census.
Democrats could also flip both chambers in Arizona next year, although they would still have to contend with GOP Gov. Doug Ducey’s veto. However, Ducey faces term limits in 2022, and Democrats could conceivably gain control of government that year. Furthermore, post-2020 redistricting will almost certainly help level the playing field for Democrats in Michigan and Pennsylvania, where GOP gerrymanders are set to be replaced with much fairer maps. If Democrats keep their hold on the governor's office in both states that year, they would gain unified control.
All of the states mentioned above currently have a majority of 291 electoral votes. It’s still a tight path, and reapportionment could yield slightly different math once the final 2020 census numbers are known. However, it’s also possible that Republican Gov. Chris Sununu will either retire or lose re-election in 2020 or 2022 in New Hampshire, which could give Democrats another four EVs.
It’s easy, though, to run through hypotheticals like these; actually crossing the 270-vote threshold will take an intense amount of work. And even if Democrats win all of the necessary elections and their state lawmakers vote to join the compact, it will likely unleash a torrent of intense legal challenges, not to mention towering GOP apoplexy. But if proponents successfully defend against them, the U.S. could finally join nearly every other presidential democracy in the world in directly electing its head of state.
Correction: This post has been corrected to reflect the total number of electoral votes represented by the states cataloged in it.
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