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Split-ticket districts dwindle as all politics becomes more national

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Polling center Miami
Voters cast ballots in the presidential election at a polling center in Miami, Fla., on Nov. 8, 2016.Rhona Wise / AFP - Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The nationalization of our politics is now complete. Well, almost.

Daily Kos Elections completed its count of the 2020 presidential vote in all 435 congressional districts, and it found that Joe Biden carried 224 districts, while Donald Trump won 211.

That’s almost identical to the actual 222-213 partisan split in Congress that resulted after the 2020 congressional contests.

There were only 16 crossover districts in 2020 — nine Republicans hold districts that Biden carried last year, and seven Democrats represent districts that Trump won.

The other 419 congressional districts are represented by the party that won it in the presidential contest.

Those 16 crossover districts from the 2020 election are down from 35 in 2016 and 83 in 2008.

It’s just the latest data underscoring how polarized — and nationalized — our politics have become.

As we’ve pointed out before, only six states in the country now have split Senate representation, where a Democrat and a Republican both represent it in the U.S. Senate.

That’s down from 21 split states in 1993.

Bottom line: With just a few exceptions, what happens at the top of the ticket carries over to the bottom.

Meet the 16 crossover districts

Trump-Democratic congressional districts (7)

  • Maine 2 (Golden)
  • Pa. 8 (Cartwright)
  • N.J. 3 (Kim)
  • Mich. 8 (Slotkin)
  • Ill. 17 (Bustos)
  • Iowa 3 (Axne)
  • Wisc. 3 (Kind)

Biden-GOP congressional districts (9)

  • Pa. 1 (Fitzpatrick)
  • N.Y. 24 (Katko)
  • Fla. 27 (Salazar)
  • Texas 24 (Van Duyne)
  • Neb. 2 (Bacon)
  • Calif. 21 (Valadao)
  • Calif. 25 (Garcia)
  • Calif. 39 (Kim)
  • Calif. 48 (Steel)

Double standard? Or putting the guardrails back up?

Politico has a story that has Democrats charging that Neera Tanden is being held to a double standard — that Republicans (as well as Democrat Joe Manchin) are judging her past tweets by rules they didn’t apply for Donald Trump (or even former Trump Ambassador Ric Grenell, for that matter).

But writer Matt Lewis has a different take: It’s time to put the guardrails back up and hold people accountable for their actions — and their tweets.

Yes, Tanden is being held to a double standard that didn’t exist for Trump, Lewis writes.

But he argues that the alternative to that is no standards at all.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

28,282,645: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 59,303 more than yesterday morning.)

502,493: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 1,401 more than yesterday morning.)

55,403: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in the United States.

345.6 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

64,177,474: Number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.

19,438,495: People fully vaccinated in the U.S.

65: The number of days left for Biden to reach his 100-day vaccination goal.

Biden’s day

At 1:15 p.m. ET, President Biden conducts a roundtable discussion with Black essential workers. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET, Biden hold holds — remotely — a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Joe and the Juice

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is throwing his power around for the first time in an evenly split Senate.

On Friday, the Democratic senator announced he wouldn’t support President Biden’s nominee for OMB Director, Neera Tanden. Quickly, Sens. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Rob Portman followed suit. That all but guarantees Tanden will not be confirmed for Biden’s Cabinet – and that’s if she doesn’t withdraw her nomination before it comes to a vote.

Then on Monday, Manchin announced he was undecided on how he would vote for Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M. Haaland is set to appear before the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources today — Manchin chairs the committee.

And the number of the week is … 135

Terminators, sumo wrestlers and porn stars? Our Number of the Week looks back at the wild California recall ballot in 2003. Give it a listen here.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Wondering how the states are prioritizing vaccination groups — sometimes at odds with what the White House prefers? Alex Seitz-Wald takes a look.

Here’s what to expect from Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing today.

Xavier Becerra will face tough questions in his confirmation hearings this week as well.

Merrick Garland says his first priority as AG will be investigating Jan 6.

What went wrong in the Capitol breach? A hearing today may shed some light.

A new Florida poll shows Gov. Ron DeSantis getting a lot of attention from Republicans in the state.

The Supreme Court has refused Trump’s last-ditch effort to keep his tax returns from Manhattan’s district attorney.

The Hill may be getting more diverse, but congressional staff remain overwhelmingly white.