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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:55 PM

NATE SILVER: As Swing Districts Dwindle, Can a Divided House Stand?

December 27, 2012, 9:46 am90 Comments
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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Reply NATE SILVER: As Swing Districts Dwindle, Can a Divided House Stand? (Original post)
Coyotl Dec 2012 OP
Gman Dec 2012 #1
loyalkydem Dec 2012 #2
No Vested Interest Dec 2012 #3

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:58 PM

1. Gerrymandering on both sides

is the only explanation.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:16 PM

2. More republican than democrat

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Response to loyalkydem (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:07 AM

3. Definitely More Republican than Democrat especially

since the 2010 elections results so strongly favored the Republicans.

They won many more governorships and state legislatures, and thus had the upper hand in redistricting.

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