With the 2018 midterms looming, President Trump is urging Republicans not to cede ground on the issue of congressional redistricting.
On Tuesday morning, the president encouraged Pennsylvania’s GOP to “challenge” the state Supreme Court’s recently redrawn congressional district lines, made after it deemed the Republican-drawn map “gerrymandered.”
Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new “pushed” Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018
“Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new ‘pushed’ Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary,” President Trump wrote. “Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!”
The tweet was in response to a new congressional map released by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday, which increased Democrats’ electoral chances in districts presently controlled by Republicans.
The state Supreme Court argued that the congressional map was drawn on partisan lines in the GOP’s favor, The Hill reported.
Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court rejected Pennsylvania Republicans’ request to stay the decision. The state GOP has already signaled that they intend to take the issue to federal court to prevent the new map from taking effect.
The map rolled out by the state Supreme Court will not apply to next month’s special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, held to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R), the pro-life politician who stepped down amid reports that he paid a woman to have an abortion.
According to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette poll, Republican Rick Saccone currently has a 3-point lead over Democrat Conor Lamb.
President Trump was scheduled to campaign for Saccone last week, but the plans were postponed due to the deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.
The president won Pennsylvania during the 2016 election by less than a percentage point–the first Republican to take the state since 1988.