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St. Pete Times: FL GOP gerrymandering vulnerable to Democratic tidal wave

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:23 PM
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St. Pete Times: FL GOP gerrymandering vulnerable to Democratic tidal wave
***No one could have anticipated the breach of the GOP districts.***




GOP circled districts with lines, not walls

By BILL ADAIR, Times Washington Bureau Chief
Published October 28, 2006


WASHINGTON - Republicans were supposed to be great mapmakers.

After the 2000 census, Republicans in Florida and other states created new congressional maps to give their party a strategic advantage. By shifting their voters into select House districts, the GOP gained two seats in Florida and at least 10 others around the country.

But with the latest polls showing low approval of President Bush, tremendous discontent with Congress and lots of bitterness about the Iraq war, it appears the Republicans' creative mapmaking won't be enough to stop an expected Democratic tidal wave. Political analysts and redistricting experts say the wave will probably be so large that it will breach some of the most solid Republican districts.
Chuck Todd, editor of the political Web site Hotline, likened the Republican-drawn boundaries to levees in New Orleans. They can withstand a modest storm, but not a Category 5 hurricane like the one forecast for Election Day.

"Waves get too big," he said.


In Florida, Republican mapmakers went to great lengths to protect the party's incumbents. Rep. Clay Shaw, a Fort Lauderdale Republican whose district was prone to close races, was given thousands of additional GOP voters so he would have a more comfortable cushion against a Democratic challenger.
"The Legislature methodically went through Broward and Palm Beach counties and selected communities that were Republican-leaning," said Eric Eikenberg, a senior adviser to Shaw.
The result, he said, "is a 7 to 8 percent Republican advantage compared to what we used to have."

snip

"The bottom line is that where redistricting helped in very tight races in normal elections, it just may not be enough in a big wave year," Walter said.
Michael McDonald, a redistricting expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said the Republican losses would be much greater if the party had not been so effective at redrawing the congressional maps. Instead of facing the loss of 35 seats, they would lose 60 or 70 this year.

snip

In Pennsylvania and possibly other states, the Republicans could lose seats because they overreached when they changed the maps. Rather than give their incumbents a cushion to protect them from Democrats, the Republicans recarved the state to pick up new GOP seats.
"The Republicans got greedy," said Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania.
That strategy worked in the 2004 campaign, when voters weren't so unhappy with Bush and the war. But this year, four Pennsylvania Republicans are vulnerable.

snip


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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. LOLOLOLOLOLOL.
Republican inability to reason long-term or grasp the concept of consequences other than those desired must be some form of fetal brain damage. What were their mothers doing, smoking, drinking, eating during which crucial moment in fetal brain development?
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:32 PM
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2. First a NOM and I pointed this out on the thread about Mich
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... that said in that state gerrymandering will keep seats the same....

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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:32 PM
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3. This is a GREAT catch!
So instead of merely 'bookmarking' it, I'm making a content-free comment. That way, I'll be able to find it a lot easier for the next few days. (I think I'll be putting it to good use very soon.)

pnorman
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