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Mon Nov 9, 2020, 05:39 AM

Democrats fail to make gains in state legislative races in advance of 2021 redistricting

(This is from Thursday, but I haven't found much discussion of redistricting on DU. As far as I can tell, the balance talked of here is still the case - for Arizona: Republicans declare victory in effort to keep control of Arizona Legislature, count continues )

Democrats point to gerrymandering as Republicans successfully fend off state legislative challenges.

Votes in Arizona are still being counted, but if those chambers remain in GOP hands, Democrats will have failed to flip a single state chamber. In fact, the only chambers that will have changed hands are the New Hampshire House and Senate, which flipped to Republican control. This is a surprising defeat for Democrats — particularly as New Hampshire voters overwhelmingly reelected Democrats to the US Congress and voted for former Vice President Joe Biden by a wide margin.

According to the NCSL, this means that out of 98 chambers (not counting Nebraska’s unicameral and facially nonpartisan body), “59 are held by Republicans, 37 by Democrats.” And when it comes to unified control — meaning one party controls both the legislature and the governorship — Republicans have the edge holding 23 states to Democrats’ 15.
...
If Democratic losses this year are due to 2010’s redistricting at the hands of the GOP, it’s hard to see their path forward as Republicans are yet again set to spearhead the redistricting process next year. The DLCC believes their losses are due to the map being “rigged” and point to gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts as proof.

This year’s most surprising state legislature election outcome in New Hampshire could be a result of that. As results were being finalized yesterday, New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Josh Rogers pointed out that the legislative maps were “drawn by Republicans a decade ago and are by design intended to favor Republicans.” Rogers highlighted polling by University of New Hampshire political scientist Andy Smith, who has found that for “Democrats to break even with Republicans in legislative races, they need to start with more than 50 percent of the popular vote.”

https://www.vox.com/2020/11/5/21551388/democrats-republicans-state-legislative-races-election-results-redistricting-gerrymandering-census

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Reply Democrats fail to make gains in state legislative races in advance of 2021 redistricting (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Nov 9 OP
New Breed Leader Nov 9 #1
In It to Win It Nov 9 #13
FBaggins Nov 9 #18
octoberlib Nov 9 #2
FBaggins Nov 9 #19
octoberlib Nov 9 #20
TexasTowelie Nov 9 #3
ananda Nov 9 #4
dalton99a Nov 9 #17
judesedit Nov 9 #5
muriel_volestrangler Nov 9 #6
judesedit Nov 10 #21
kentuck Nov 9 #7
In It to Win It Nov 9 #9
muriel_volestrangler Nov 9 #10
octoberlib Nov 9 #14
In It to Win It Nov 9 #8
kentuck Nov 9 #11
JHB Nov 9 #15
In It to Win It Nov 9 #16
GoCubsGo Nov 9 #12

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 05:50 AM

1. Not good.

I really wish Dems paid attention to down ballot races. All politics is local.

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Response to New Breed Leader (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:29 AM

13. We did. We truthfully did. We were playing on rigged maps

I’m in Florida. We focused our efforts on flippable districts ONLY to gain seats in one chamber of the Florida legislature because the mapped is so rigged against us. We were only aiming for a gain of 3 seats in one chamber and that would only put us at half of one chamber but that’s enough to where have some say in the next map.

Democrats increased their turnout in Florida by A LOT compared to 2016. The GOP turned out their base BY EVEN MORE. Their expansion was far greater than the Democrats’ expansion. Because of that, we didn’t pick up anything. All of their judges got re-elected. They didn’t lose any seats in the legislature.

In addition to Florida, we focused our efforts in Texas, NC and a host of states just to flip only a few seats because we have no path to a majority in anything. The only and absolute best thing we could possibly accomplish was an EVEN SPLIT in ONE CHAMBER of each state legislature. There was no possibility of a majority anywhere because of their rigged maps.

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Response to New Breed Leader (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 01:56 PM

18. Democrats paid LOTS of attention to down-ballot races

Huge record sums were raised and spend on local races.

We just lost anyway.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 05:59 AM

2. We were trying so hard to flip 4 seats in NC

and retake the House. We did retake the Senate, though, I believe . More racist gerrymandering.

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 02:03 PM

19. We failed to retake the NC Senate

A couple of close races yet to call, but we appear to have picked up a single Senate seat and lost four House seats.

They are short of veto-proof majorities in both chambers. However, the redistricting process in NC is not subject to veto by the governor. We'll have to hope for help from the court.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 02:06 PM

20. Thanks for the info.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 06:02 AM

3. Yes,

it was certainly a disappointment that the Democrats did so poorly in the legislative races in Texas. Another ten years to deal with gerrymandering.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 06:03 AM

4. I know!

It was ugly.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 08:22 AM

17. What happened in the Valley is disheartening, but not surprising

But we flipped some important counties (Tarrant, Williamson, Hays)

2016


2020


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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:00 AM

5. If popular vote determines then gerrymandering won't matter. Right?

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Response to judesedit (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:03 AM

6. Not sure what you mean. Gerrymandering is about House and state chamber districts

What do you mean by "popular vote", and what do you realistically think it might start being used for in the next decade?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 10, 2020, 02:07 AM

21. Yes, but I believe the gerrymandered district chooses the electorates

Not sure. I do know the gerrymandering is done to keep a minority in power though. It is confusing. I'm sure they want to keep it that way. Why do we need the electorate to vote for us after we've already voted? They sometimes don't honor the majority of the people's wishes. Sorry if I'm totally offbase. I'm trying to understand.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:05 AM

7. It was Trump that got out the huge Republican turnout, and coupled with gerrymandering...

....it made it very difficult to gain legislatures or to win House seats.

They came out in droves for their fascist cult leader.

If Trump had not been on the ballot, I think the Democrats would have done much better in the House and in State Legislatures.

We should be thankful that we voted out the dictator. We will just have to take our losses elsewhere. But do not overlook the significance of ridding ourselves of the dictator.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:17 AM

9. Agreed! Their turnout was bigger than anyone expect

Our win for the presidency was a squeaker.

Add their high turnout on top of their rigged maps.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:20 AM

10. Against that, we had a bigger turnout for Biden

which has resulted in both a popular vote win (by about the same margin as Obama over Romney) and an electoral college win (not as big a margin). In 2010, there was just the "reversion to mean" of dampened enthusiasm after Obama had held the presidency for a couple of years, which looked better for the Republicans - they won the federal House, gained in the federal Senate, and with that turnout did well in state elections.

This time, I don't think Trump had any coattails (see eg New Hampshire, in the OP), but still the Republicans have held on to their state power. Pretty much all due to the gerrymandering, I think. Perhaps a lack of door-to-door canvassing, which some have said was a tactical Democratic mistake?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:31 AM

14. I think the pandemic really hurt the Dem's

ground game.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:16 AM

8. 1) GOP turnout was huge. Bigger than anyone expected (2) we were playing on rigged maps

The GOP gave us a run for our money. Their turnout was large enough that fend off any possible gains for Democrats. Our win on the presidential level was close. It was a real squeaker.

Put their high turnout on the maps that they rigged, it was an uphill battle for us.

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Response to In It to Win It (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:21 AM

11. To win the presidency was a huge win for the Democratic Party.

Under the circumstances.

It is a tumultuous time.

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Response to In It to Win It (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:43 AM

15. Not just rigged maps...

...but also vigorous voter suppression tactics, the sabotaged mail system, and while I'm not going to wave electronic voting machines around without proof, their vulnerabilities have been documented and the Trump administration wasn't about to bolster defenses, so they need to finally be scrutinized hard, if only for the benefit of future elections.

Or, preferably, done away with entirely and return to paper ballots. Their vulnerabilities are long-known, easily understood, and labor intensive, and the ways of combating those are also long-known and well understood.

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Response to JHB (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:56 AM

16. ...and with regard to their voter suppression tactics

I feel like this election proved their theory false, the theory that when turnout is high Republicans don’t win.

It turns out when they actually do the hard work of turning out their base and increasing access to voting, they could actually win. They held their own in this election. I hope they see that bringing down some of the roadblocks they place is good for them too. They didn’t do so bad during this election.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2020, 07:25 AM

12. I wonder how the screwed-up census will affect things.

They stopped it early, so the count is not going to be accurate. May it backfire massively on them.

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