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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:19 PM
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Gerrymandering makes takeover tough

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer 30 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - 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.

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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:28 PM
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1. That may be true in Mich. but not in Florida and as I remember Texas.
to get the most seats the Repugs gerrymandered their voters around to make up over 50% in as many districts as they could. Problem is that what were very "safe" seats now are just 52% seats and the tide has turn against the Repugs.

I have read about this in Florida and Texas.

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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:58 PM
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2. Michigan is an exception this year

Unlike almost all other states, there is decline or stagnation in population, with a relatively aging (i.e. increasingly conservative) population outside Detroit. But probably more important is that the state Democratic Party simply hasn't revived recently, unlike a lot of state Party apparatus in the Great Lakes and Midwest, and it simply hasn't risen to the job this year (say Michiganders).

And the reason for the stagnant Party is the Dingell effect- too many old conservative Democrats running things and keeping up the machine politics (e.g. auto workers), suppressing the renewal and revival and return to relevance for middle class voters that liberal and Deanite Democrats have brought to other state Parties.

I hear Tony Trupiano has done something impressive in creating a Democratic turnout effort and such in the Eleventh, but the state Party has been useless.
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