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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:18 PM

"Gerrymandering may not be the whole story" by Steve Kornacki as MSNBC

Gerrymandering may not be the whole story

by Steve Kornacki as MSNBC

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/02/05/gerrymandering-may-not-be-the-whole-story/

"SNIP.....................................................

But gerrymandering isn’t the whole story behind the GOP’s House majority—and it isn’t even the prime driver of that. There’s actually a more basic explanation: More than ever, the Democratic Party’s core voters live in tightly-packed metropolitan areas, while the GOP’s core voters are more broadly dispersed across any given state.

Democrats have traditionally fared well in urban areas, but the trend is accelerating. As David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report noted recently, in his victory over Romney, Obama won fewer than 700 counties nationally; compare that to 1988, when Michael Dukakis carried more than 800, despite suffering a landslide defeat. Consequently, the imbalance we saw in the most recent House elections is basically unavoidable. Democratic House candidates can rack up massive majorities—sometimes more than 80% of the vote—in metropolitan areas, while Republicans carry more districts statewide with a lower share of the vote (say, 55% or 60%).

.......................................................SNIP"

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Reply "Gerrymandering may not be the whole story" by Steve Kornacki as MSNBC (Original post)
applegrove Feb 2013 OP
former9thward Feb 2013 #1
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #2
Cosmocat Feb 2013 #3
zipplewrath Feb 2013 #6
CBHagman Feb 2013 #4
NewJeffCT Feb 2013 #5
FBaggins Feb 2013 #7

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:43 PM

1. Obama only won 22% of the counties in the U.S.

In addition the Voting Rights Act demands creation of majority-minority districts. This causes mapmakers to cram as many Democrats into districts as possible to create districts where minorities can elect representatives.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:48 PM

2. "the Democratic Party’s core voters live in tightly-packed metropolitan areas"

Correction: "Americans live in tightly-packed metropolitan areas..."

We don't vote by landmass. Obama won two outright majorities, let's remember.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:53 AM

3. It also does not change the fact that it is GERRYMANDERED

Districts SHOULD be apportioned by population.

I can tell you for a fact, you can look at our congressional and state level districts in Pa, and they are comical. Just some of the most brazenly gerrymandered districts in the country.

They GOP did not wake up and figure out gerry mandering in the last two years, they have been power hungry, game the system at any stop scumbags for a L O N G time.

We had these districts established in their basic form decades ago. A state where we have 800,000 more registered Ds than Rs and the democratic candidate for President has won the state every election since the early 90s, and this president won by at least 5% twice. And, 13 of 18 congressional districts (where overall the democrats got 100,000 more votes collectively) were won by republican's, and our state senate has a mortal republican lock.

There is actively developing districts to cut out Ds and Rs for advantage, and there also is NOT altering districts to reflect the population shifts.

And, while Rs control the process, make no mistake, the Ds in office have no real problem with it - JOB SECURITY is job security.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:48 AM

6. District must be "balanced"

I'm pretty sure that a court case decades ago established that all districts within a state must be "balanced" in the sense that the must have roughly the same number of voters/population (not sure which actually). However, the difference between STATES isn't necessarily close. 7 states have one representative, regardless of how few people they have.

The problem is that the GOP slices up urban areas so small, and combines them with rural areas, to ensure that the urban areas are under represented. Furthermore, some urban areas cross state lines, which divides them up even more. If urban areas were sliced up, but keep more "purely urban" and the rural areas were large, and few in number, there would be vastly more democrats.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:25 AM

4. "We don't vote by landmass."

Exactly. I remember hearing comments about the so-called sea of red in the middle of the country. But much of that sea consists of more sparsely populated areas.

The five boroughs of New York contain twice as many people as the state of Kentucky. The fact that those Kentuckians are spread over a broader area doesn't increase the significance of their votes in the overall count.

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Response to CBHagman (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:39 AM

5. NYC by itself

has a lot more people than Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Idaho combined. Last I checked, NYC was a lot smaller overall than those five states.

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Response to CBHagman (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:04 PM

7. I think you're missing the point.

It's that we "self gerrymander" (to coin a term).

There are too many parts of the country where the other side doesn't need to "cheat". You can draw nice pretty, regular lines around existing communities and still end up with a 90/10 democrat/republican split. "Packing" democratic voters and making other districts in the state more competitive for republicans than they would otherwise be.

People talk about the NC gerrymander this last go-round, but it really isn't that big a deal. All they really did was leave the voting-rights-act-required minority-majority districts and undo decades of the gerrymandering on our side that kept districts competitive by spreading the inner-city love into the surrounding areas.

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