Response to JRLeft (Original post)
Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:54 PM
happyslug (14,346 posts)
14. I would agree, but the GOP won the house
Yes, the House tends to be gerrymandered to be pro GOP, but until the US starts to elect a Democratic House, in addition to a Democratic President and Senate the GOP are in a VERY STRONG POSITION. Many of the States that elected a Democratic Senator and voted for Obama, ended up with most of that State's Representatives being GOP.
Now, much of this is the result of the 2010 Census and the Gerrymandering the followed that Census, but the House is still the "People's Chamber" and thus what the Democrats MUST win to show the GOP the door. This means addressing the concerns of those people in those pro-GOP districts, not all of them but the ones who have voted Democratic in the past. Many of these districts were won by less then 5% of the vote, others by less then 10%. One of the Side affects of Gerrymandering is, yes Gerrymandering makes it harder for the power out of power to get into power, but the change is NOT that great as if the parties were equal. Gerrymandering tends to make Majority party candidates quick victims in any change in attitude by the voters. The reason is simple, if you win by 5% of the vote, a mere change in 5% of how people in your district vote switches the district. The aim of Gerrymandering is to give the Majority party a solid 5-10% edge, that is all. To many majority voters means less majority voters in other districts.
For example, if you have 40,000 Republicans and 40,000 Democrats and four districts, two district for each parity would be a "Fair" division of the four districts. Gerrymandering would put 20,000 Democrats into one district, 6666 Democrats in the other three Districts along with 13,333 Republicans in each district. Thus the GOP wins three out of the four districts.
The problem is if 1/4 of the Republicans in each district suddenly change party, the Democrats wins all four District, when if they was no gerrymandering the GOP had a good chance of retaining at least one. (The one Democratic District would stay Democratic, the other three districts would still have 6667 old time Democrats, but instead of 13,333 GOP voters, you have 3334 Voting for the Democratic and less then 10,000 voting for the GOP Candidate. Thus the Democrat then win the Three GOP seats by one vote).
Now, most districts are NOT 2-1 GOP as in my example, most are just 5-10% GOP, thus you need less then a 25% change in party voting preference to wipe out a majority party. Thus a 5 to 10 % voting change would change the compensation in the House.
In many ways, that is what needs to be done, mostly in the Rural North. The Rural north, like the Rural South USE to do, is vote the way their ancestor shot in the Civil War. Other than that tradition, they are much more progressive then the GOP party as a whole. The Rural North is the weak point of the GOP, not the suburbs. and if the Democratic Party would start to SHOW how the DEMOCRATIC party is helping the people in the Rural Areas, these areas could be switched from the GOP. My suggestions are as follows:
1. Have the Democratic Party maintain its view on Climate Change and the need to reduce Carbon Emissions in the future, but emphasis that it is NOT a "War on Coal" and attack anyone who says it is, even if it is close ally, In Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Eastern Ohio, coal is viewed as something one can earn good income with and thus any "War on Coal" is viewed as an attack on the income of the people in the coal producing areas (It is why I believe my Democratic Representative, Critz, lost his seat, the "Stop the war on Coal" signs were all over his district
2. Address the issue of high gasoline prices. Unlike Urban and Suburban areas, Rural areas were among the first areas of the US to embrace the automobile and are the most dependent on it (Many if all most rural residents had automobiles by the mid 1920s, something that would NOT occur in urban areas till the early 1950s). This does NOT mean a promise to reduce gasoline prices, but pointing out WHY prices are high and what the Democratic Party is going to do about it (including permitting new Cash for Clunkers program so rural residents can trade in their huge SUVs for more efficient cars ANd support for Corn to fuel programs).
3. Emphasis Federal Support for Education, the Charter school programs are NOT popular in Rural America, come out against it but also emphasis an increase support for all schools, including grade and high schools.
4. Do a good Stimulus program of getting people to work, Rural youths are almost in the same situation as inner city youths, start of jobs program to help them BOTH,
5. Increase infrastructure, rural american wants Civic improvements, including improvements in is roads and bridges more then any thing else, thus the rural areas support for a good Stimulus package, a package rejected by Suburban tea parties.
We tend to thinks in terms of urban-suburb thinking, and ignore the rural vote. We see statistics that 80-90% of the people live in "Urban and Suburban" areas, without understanding the definitions of what is "Urban and Suburban". A small town where 1/2 the population of a rural county lives is 1/2 Urban and 1/2 rural under that definition, but in thinking it is all rural. Thus the better way to view the Country is 1/3 urban (inner cities plus older suburbs i.e. suburbs built up to about 1960), suburbs (Roughly new housing projects from 1950 to today) and rural America (areas NOT Urban and NOT Suburban). There is NO solid lines between these three groups, it flows from one to the other (and more often Rural to Urban to Suburban, which is how people moved off the farm starting in the 1800s but speed up since the 1930s).
We have to address the problems of Rural America, and right now the GOP are making all the right SOUNDS of support for Rural America, while failing to do so. It will take some imagination but it is possible to convert the Rural North to the Democratic party (and maybe even reclaim the Rural South) if we do NOT let the GOP dictate what the Democratic Party stands for and try to address the concerns of Rural America.
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I would agree, but the GOP won the house
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