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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:36 PM

GOP Redistricting Project Sealed Control of the House

http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17714-gop-redistricting-project-sealed-control-of-the-house

BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

If somewhere in the recesses of your mind you were wondering how, despite President Barack Obama’s re-election victory and the Democratic Party’s gains in the Senate, Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives, think redistricting.

Redistricting is the process that adjusts the lines of a state’s electoral districts, theoretically based on population shifts, following the decennial census. Gerrymandering is often part and parcel of redistricting. According to the Rose Institute of State and Local Governments at Claremont McKenna College, Gerrymandering is done “to influence elections to favor a particular party, candidate, ethnic group.”

Over the past few years, as the Republican Party has gained control over more state legislatures than Democrats. And, it has turned redistricting into a finely-honed, well-financed project. That has virtually insured their control over the House. “While the Voting Rights Act strongly protects against racial gerrymanders, manipulating the lines to favor a political party is common,” the Rose Institute’s Redistricting in America website points out.

ProPublica’s Olga Pierce, Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer recently reported, in a piece titled “How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt Voters,” that “Republicans had a years-long strategy of winning state houses in order to control each state's once-a-decade redistricting process,” ......

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Reply GOP Redistricting Project Sealed Control of the House (Original post)
Coyotl Dec 2012 OP
aquart Dec 2012 #1
Coyotl Dec 2012 #2
Coyotl Dec 2012 #3
Coyotl Dec 2012 #4

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:43 PM

1. DUH.

HOW STUPID WERE WE TO LET THEM GAIN SO MUCH STATE POWER? Dear God, to stay home from the polls IN A CENSUS YEAR?

Cockroaches will behave like cockroaches. Indifferent pest control led to infestation of our statehouses.

OUR FAULT. Ours. Ours. Ours.

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Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:18 PM

2. The good news is the backlash, of course. They lost the Presidency!

If I had to name one American politician who did more than anyone else to re-elect Obama, it would be Scott Walker!

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:40 AM

3. Kicking because this is an important read.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:52 PM

4. As Swing Districts Dwindle, Can a Divided House Stand? By NATE SILVER

December 27, 2012, 9:46 am
As Swing Districts Dwindle, Can a Divided House Stand?
By NATE SILVER = http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/27/as-swing-districts-dwindle-can-a-divided-house-stand/

In 1992, there were 103 members of the House of Representatives elected from what might be called swing districts: those in which the margin in the presidential race was within five percentage points of the national result. But based on an analysis of this year’s presidential returns, I estimate that there are only 35 such Congressional districts remaining, barely a third of the total 20 years ago.

Instead, the number of landslide districts — those in which the presidential vote margin deviated by at least 20 percentage points from the national result — has roughly doubled. In 1992, there were 123 such districts (65 of them strongly Democratic and 58 strongly Republican). Today, there are 242 of them (of these, 117 favor Democrats and 125 Republicans).

So why is compromise so hard in the House? Some commentators, especially liberals, attribute it to what they say is the irrationality of Republican members of Congress.

But the answer could be this instead: individual members of Congress are responding fairly rationally to their incentives. Most members of the House now come from hyperpartisan districts .........

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