Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:11 PM
Bill USA (5,178 posts)
In the House, the Republicans have stacked the deck (Gerrymandering Democracy out of the election)
The mantra has been intoned by John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist and many other party eminences, and there is a certain logic to saying that the voters, by giving Republicans the House, were asking for divided government.
But the claim to represent the voters’ will doesn’t add up.
The final results from the November election were completed Friday, and they show that Democratic candidates for the House outpolled Republicans nationwide by nearly 1.4 million votes and more than a full percentage point — a greater margin than the preliminary figures showed in November. And that’s just the beginning of it: A new analysis finds that even if Democratic congressional candidates won the popular vote by seven percentage points nationwide, they still would not have gained control of the House.
The analysis, by Ian Millhiser at the liberal Center for American Progress using data compiled by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, finds that even if Democrats were to win the popular vote by a whopping nine percentage points — a political advantage that can’t possibly be maintained year after year — they would have a tenuous eight-seat majority.
In a very real sense, the Republican House majority is impervious to the will of the electorate. Thanks in part to deft redistricting based on the 2010 Census, House Republicans may be protected from the vicissitudes of the voters for the next decade. For Obama and the Democrats, this is an ominous development: The House Republican majority is durable, and it isn’t necessarily sensitive to political pressure and public opinion.
Thanks To Gerrymandering, Democrats Would Need To Win The Popular Vote By Over 7 Percent To Take Back The House
As of this writing, every single state except Hawai’i has finalized its vote totals for the 2012 House elections, and Democrats currently lead Republicans by 1,362,351 votes in the overall popular vote total. Democratic House candidates earned 49.15 percent of the popular vote, while Republicans earned only 48.03 percent — meaning that the American people preferred a unified Democratic Congress over the divided Congress it actually got by more than a full percentage point. Nevertheless, thanks largely to partisan gerrymandering, Republicans have a solid House majority in the incoming 113th Congress.
A deeper dive into the vote totals reveals just how firmly gerrymandering entrenched Republican control of the House. If all House members are ranked in order from the Republican members who won by the widest margin down to the Democratic members who won by the widest margins, the 218th member on this list is Congressman-elect Robert Pittenger (R-NC). Thus, Pittenger was the “turning point” member of the incoming House. If every Republican who performed as well or worse than Pittenger had lost their race, Democrats would hold a one vote majority in the incoming House.
Pittenger won his race by more than six percentage points — 51.78 percent to 45.65 percent.
The upshot of this is that if Democrats across the country had performed six percentage points better than they actually did last November, they still would have barely missed capturing a majority in the House of Representatives. In order to take control of the House, Democrats would have needed to win the 2012 election by 7.25 percentage points. That’s significantly more than the Republican margin of victory in the 2010 GOP wave election (6.6 percent), and only slightly less than the margin of victory in the 2006 Democratic wave election (7.9 percent). If Democrats had won in 2012 by the same commanding 7.9 percent margin they achieved in 2006, they would still only have a bare 220-215 seat majority in the incoming House, assuming that these additional votes were distributed evenly throughout the country. That’s how powerful the GOP’s gerrymandered maps are; Democrats can win a Congressional election by nearly 8 points and still barely capture the House.
5 replies, 1808 views
In the House, the Republicans have stacked the deck (Gerrymandering Democracy out of the election) (Original post)
|Bill USA||Jan 2013||OP|
Response to Bill USA (Original post)
Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:38 PM
blm (96,986 posts)
1. Pittenger should NEVER have won that race. His campaign kept him from public appearances
for the most part because polls were showing the more people got to know him the less they liked him.
Response to Bill USA (Original post)
Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:41 PM
blm (96,986 posts)
2. BTW - NC Dems have GOP in court right now to overturn this redistricting map.
They could use every bit of national help and attention.
The GOP - yet again - wants our redistricting lawsuit thrown out!
Later this month, a three-judge panel in Wake County will hear a motion for Summary Judgment filed by Republicans to end the litigation seeking judicial review of the redistricting maps they drew in 2011. The GOP is seeking a back-door victory without ever going to trial to defend their gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts in North Carolina.
There is no question that we have the law on our side and have the evidence to show that these illegally drawn maps are not in the best interest of the people of North Carolina.
In fact, in a previous court ruling, the three-judge panel noted:
“Plaintiffs, in their challenge, have raised serious issues and arguments about, among other things, the extent to which racial classifications were used in the enactment of these Plans.”
We need your help now to have the resources to be heard in court! Our fight requires retaining the best legal counsel and expert witnesses to show how the Republican maps do not comply with the law.
Some say that the Democrats gerrymandered when they were in control, so what the GOP has done is fair play. The facts simply do not support this claim.
As an example in 2002 (after Democrats drew the last maps), Democrats in NC won 43.26% of the popular vote for seats in the US House of Representatives and 46.15% of the seats (6 out of 13 districts). Compare that to 2012 (with the current GOP-drawn maps) and the record shows that Democrats in NC won 50.60% of the popular vote for seats in the US House of Representatives but only 30.76% of the districts (4 out of 13 districts).
Further, in the legislative maps, more than two million people have been placed into split precincts…five times the number of people in past redistricting efforts. The 2012 elections proved that this kind of raw political gerrymandering leads to widespread voter confusion and increased costs.
These illegal maps cannot stand. North Carolina has a history of making all the “best of” lists. Best place to live…best place to learn…best place for businesses to thrive. The progress that has been made in North Carolina…in public education…in our community colleges and universities…in building a state that leads rather than follows…is all at risk.
As on so many issues, the GOP has simply over-reached – and they’ve broken both state and federal law. Tell the GOP that the Constitution and law still matter here in North Carolina.
Simply put, we need your help. Carrying this fight to the courts is an expensive proposition, but critical for the future of our state. Please give whatever you can today. We can win this battle for the people of North Carolina with your help.
Response to blm (Reply #2)
Sat Jan 19, 2013, 05:37 PM
John2 (2,730 posts)
4. Let me ask you something.
Does the complainants have a good legal issue to file this with the U.S. Justice Department? I actually think the whole Democratic Party should be up in Arms against the way the Republican Party is making attempts to rig Elections on a number of fronts. As I see this, the Republican Party is a threat to our Democracy. If I had the power, I would outlaw the Republican Party for their attempts to change the way we do Elections in this country because the attempts are instigated by this one Political Party. I don't think any one Party should be trying to influence this country's Elections without consent by all Political Parties. They are essentially trying to create a one Party system in this country. It is a threat to majority rule also because the most population resides in urban areas. The process now requires a District to have at least 700,000 people. Some of these Gerrymandered rural Districts syphen off white suburban or urban areas, which should be in urban areas. They try to make some of these Districts as white as possible. So race has something to do with it.