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Next week’s census announcement will serve as the start of the chaotic and sometimes ruthless process of redrawing the country’s political maps.

The U.S. Census Bureau will release the first data from the 2020 census next week. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

By ALLY MUTNICK

04/23/2021 06:33 PM EDT

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The most chaotic year in congressional politics is about to begin.

The U.S. Census Bureau will release the first data from the 2020 census next week, setting in motion the process of redistricting: the scramble to draw new congressional maps in the 43 states with more than one district. And with the House more closely divided than it’s been in two decades, each individual state’s new map could have huge implications on the majority fight.

Strategists in both parties agree Republicans have the advantage. The Midwest and Rust Belt aren’t growing as fast as the Sun Belt, and the congressional districts will be reallocated accordingly. States like Florida, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina will see their delegations grow, while Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois shrink. That’s a net benefit to the GOP because Democrats have struggled to increase their statewide footprint in many of the places that are gaining representation.

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