Although suburban congressional districts are growing with new residents, legislators in large swathes of rural America as well as some Rust Belt towns are still in dire need of more members.

Rural Illinois’ Republican Rep. Mary Miller has 73,000 fewer residents than her district. Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in northeastern Ohio needs another 88,000 people. The largest shortfall in the country is the Detroit-area District of Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, which has more than 100,000 residents.

This makes them all possible targets for mapmakers and potentially vulnerable to job losses as their districts are redrawn over the next few months to rebalance America’s changing population.

The numbers come from an Associated Press analysis of new 2020 census data revealing the boom of urban and suburban America, at the expense of small towns. Republicans who increasingly depend on rural voters for their seats in Congress were particularly affected by the emptying of rural areas. 35 of the 61 U.S. House Districts that have lost population are now held by Republicans.

To win control of the House in 2020, the party must secure five seats. It is likely to lose one seat in West Virginia and take hits in Illinois, New York.

Republicans, however, are well-positioned to win those seats and more in the rapidly growing states of Texas and North Carolina where they control the mapmaking process. Fast growing areas, such as Republican-held congressional districts in suburban Texas, are fertile ground for adding new districts or spreading surplus Democratic voters among neighboring districts.

This tactic is certain to be challenged in both the legislatures as well as in court. Democrats on Friday wasted no time filing a fresh lawsuit challenging the current maps in Wisconsin, anticipating a redistricting stalemate in the divided state government and arguing the courts should intervene.

Not only will the political parties be fighting for seats, but also to eliminate seats held by their rivals. This means that mapmakers will face some of their most difficult battles in districts with fewer residents than 10 years ago. These include Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois — all states that are losing a U.S. House spot because of low population.

Redistricting will result in Ohio losing 16 to 15 U.S. House seat. According to the AP analysis, based upon the required number of residents per district, three of the 10 districts with the greatest population shortages were located in Ohio.

Ryan’s district was included, along with Republican Rep. Bill Johnson’s eastern Ohio district. The Cleveland-area district of former Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge (who resigned to become part of President Joe Biden’s government) was also included. Fudge’s district is where Democrat Shontel brown won the primary.

Ryan’s district is still a voting area for Democrats but has been moving toward Republicans in recent presidential election.

Republicans who control Ohio redistricting could “sort-of dismember” Ryan’s district and move its residents to other districts, according to Paul Beck, a retired professor of political science from Ohio State University. “I believe that this district will be on the cutting board.”

Ryan announced that he will run for the U.S. Senate.

The GOP would still have to defend 12 of the 12 Ohio seats it holds, so a lost Democratic district wouldn’t necessarily lead to a Republican win.

Republicans will lose a West Virginia congressional seat. They currently hold three seats and must be removed in redistricting.

The Republicans in Illinois may face another blow. They will need to reduce their congressional delegation from 18 members to 17. Redistricting is a process that allows Democrats to control the redistricting of Illinois. They are likely to attempt to remove a district from heavily Republican areas in central and southern Illinois. According to the census, all five Illinois congressional districts that are held by Republicans have lost their population between 2010-2020, giving Democrats the right to remove one.

Alvin Tillery Jr. is an associate professor of politics and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy, Northwestern University. “I don’t think there’s anything Republicans can do that,” he said.

Similar scenarios could be seen in New York where Democrats control redistricting, and therefore will have the power over which seat is eliminated.

Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation is currently 9-9 divided between Republicans and Democrats. This could make the fight more complicated. The GOP controls the Legislature. They will draw a new map that eliminates one seat. However, the Democratic Governor. Tom Wolf has the veto power.

Glenn Thompson, Republican Representative from Pennsylvania, ranks in the top 10 national districts for population shortfalls. He needs to add over 90,000. people to meet his redistricting target. It is one of six Pennsylvania districts where the population fell in 2020, and all except one are held by Republicans.

California and Michigan will each have one district that is being eliminated. Citizens’ commissions will decide how to do this. After the 2010 census, Michigan’s districts were drawn by a Republican-led Legislature and governor and provided the GOP one of the most enduring advantages in the nation, according to an AP analysis.

The 2020 census showed that Michigan saw a decline in population, both in rural areas and in Flint and Detroit. This was despite the fact that Flint and Detroit were hit hard by water shortages in the past decade. Each district of Democratic Reps. Dan Kildee (who represents Flint) and Rashida Talib of Detroit are less than 100,000 people short of meeting the redistricting target, which is the largest gap nationally, excluding West Virginia.

One of those districts could be eliminated if Republicans continued to draw the maps. The state constitution states that the citizens’ redistricting committee cannot favor or disfavor incumbents. This means that the new map may look very different.

Matt Grossmann, a Michigan State University political scientist and director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, said that it is unlikely that the commission will just start from scratch. “I think they’re going closer to starting from scratch.”