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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:03 PM

2014 and the triumph of gerrymandering

I was pleasantly surprised by the 2012 election outcome. Not so much the president's re-election, that was practically a given in my book, but I was very concerned up until the last few weeks that we'd lose the senate and drop even further in the house. One thing on my mind has been, how do we prevent a repeat of 2010 in 2014? 2010 was the worst electoral disaster I can remember, made all the more poignant by the confluence of the election with the census results, enabling state legislatures filled with tea-bagging nitwits to redistrict the hell out of some suddenly-red states.

No, I'm not talking about the deep south.

I'm talking about Ohio, you know, that state Barack Obama recently won by several points. The state where republicans now have a supermajority in both legislative houses and control of the governorship. Last I heard there were two state senate races still to be decided, in both of which the republican led by a few hundred votes. Despite the relatively close split in total votes and giving a solid electoral victory to President Obama and Sen. Brown, Democrats have lost several seats in the Ohio legislature this year, and will send 4 Democrats and 12 Republican representatives to congress in 2013. A masterpiece of gerrymandering.

I'm talking about Pennsylvania, where their odious voter ID law (passed with the express intention of suppressing Democratic turnout) was postponed, not struck down, by the courts. This affects our nation's elections, going forward, and we need to start preparing for it now, or the popular vote there will start to reflect their new congressional delegation of 13 Republicans and 5 Democrats to the House of Representatives, despite 50.6% of the congressional votes going to Democrats.

Or Michigan, where the governor can and does appoint selected cronies to act as "city managers" to displace and disempower city counsels. Democrats won the popular vote for house seats by 5% last month and now have the honor of sending 1 less representative in the congressional delegation than before: 9 Republicans, 5 Democrats.

These are states where Democrats win statewide elections, but lose legislatures and house races. With multiple governorships falling to the GOP in 2010, places like Wisconsin suddenly have little bulwark against the onslaught of republican policies. In Wisconsin, despite winning the popular vote for house races by 1%, Democrats will send 3 representatives and Republicans 5.

How do we retake state legislatures in these states, after the republican-led redistricting in 2010? Do we simply have to bite the bullet until 2020 and hope things don't collapse too far before then? This is relevant nationally, because our path to retaking the House runs through these states, and right now they seem far out of reach.

We have reason to celebrate a fine victory this year, but we have no reason to rest on our laurels. When it comes to having the will of the people reflected in our House of Representatives (nominally the most democratic of our government institutions), our situation is dire, and 2014 is right around the corner. The Republicans, for all their idiotic behavior, will not stop campaigning, ever. How can we do it? How can we win when the rules are rigged against us? How can we keep up turnout in swing states to avoid another 2010-style disaster?

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Reply 2014 and the triumph of gerrymandering (Original post)
0rganism Dec 2012 OP
librechik Dec 2012 #1
0rganism Dec 2012 #2
AndyTiedye Dec 2012 #3

Response to 0rganism (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:25 PM

1. there was a graph recently about the gerrymandering

We have to muster as many as 4 democrats for every one repub vote in one or two states, and 2-3 dems for every one of theirs. It's very tough odds. The Repubs brag about their "mandate" in the House, but it's all gerrymandered and not representative.

There were ten million more Dem votes in 2012 than Repub votes, but the gerrymandering they did in 2010 will keep them in control who knows how long. We seriously have to crush thkm with numbers, but they're likely to keep it anyway, the crooks.

How can you call yourself a patriot and be that extremely partisan? It's war, and the Dems are the enemy.

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Response to librechik (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:38 PM

2. gerrymandered as it is, can the house really swing back before 2020?

Even in 2020, we have to win back several state legislatures and redraw the district lines for Democratic votes to matter. Which tears me apart, because i'd dearly love to see Obama have a copacetic house for the last 2 years of his term.

Above all, though, I feel we must contest every one of these midwest house seats -- it's possible, if unlikely, that there will be demographic shifts unforeseen by the assholes who drew the district lines. Make them spend big to hold onto their 50.001% seats, and then hold the donors up for scrutiny in the 2016 election.

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:34 AM

3. And the Red State Legislatures are Just as Badly Gerrymandered as the House

It is going to take the biggest landslides ever to take those back.

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