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Gerrymandering Makes Takeover Tough (Michigan)

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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:20 PM
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Gerrymandering Makes Takeover Tough (Michigan)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Michigan's economy is in bad shape, one reason why the governor faces a tougher than expected re-election campaign this year. But good luck finding competitive races among the state's congressional delegation, even in the eight House districts that rank among the worst in the country in terms of declining income, rising poverty and surging unemployment.

If people truly voted their pocketbook, the lawmakers who represent those districts - four Democrats and four Republicans - ought to be nervous heading into the Nov. 7 elections. But seven of those incumbents are virtually assured of another term. The other lost a Republican primary in a safe GOP district.

So why the lack of competitive House races in a politically balanced state that ranks at or near the bottom in so many economic categories?

"The Republicans did a whale of a good gerrymandering job," says John R. Chamberlin, a University of Michigan political scientist.

The races in Michigan exemplify the power of political and racial gerrymandering, which can make some incumbents feel safe even in a campaign year soured by the Iraq war, corruption scandals and pockets of economic misery. The contests show how drawing congressional district lines to protect incumbents makes it even harder for Democrats to pick up the 15 seats they need to capture control of the House.

more...

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-elect/2006...
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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:27 PM
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1. Instead of voters choosing their congressmen, the congressmen choose their voters.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:29 PM
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2. Districts should be drawn by zipcode
The postal service has already done the heavy lifting in dividing up communities is a way that makes geographical sense.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Good idea, but too logical & no profit for the corporate overlords.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. You would get TRUE representation of areas
if you used zipcodes :)

That's what scares them..
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Exactly.
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