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Drawing the lines: Parties fight for redistricting power

The stakes in this midterm election are especially high because it’s a census year. States will keep, gain or lose seats in the House of Representatives based on population shifts. For example, Ohio is expected to lose two of its House seats; Texas could pick up as many as four.

But this isn’t simply a matter of counting noses. It’s a matter of hard-nosed politics. If one party can gain control of the state legislature, it can — and often does — redraw the lines to cut out certain groups who might not be reliable supporters, thereby making it easier for its own candidates to win.

This year is especially challenging because there is so much money pouring into races more or less anonymously, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision on campaign funding.

We traveled to Ohio where a  little local race has gotten some very big Washington players involved.