Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Without Gerrymandering, Republicans Would Have Lost their Congressional Majority

Republicans aren’t even trying to deny this.  It was all spelled out in a memo from the Republican State Leadership Committee.  The GOP took control of a lot of state legislatures and governorships in the 2010 election, and this enabled them to gerrymander most of those states’ Democratic representatives into just a few districts.

So now these states have more Republican districts than Democratic, even
though Republican voters are outnumbered by Democrats.  For example, nine of Michigan’s fourteen congressional districts went Republican last November, even though Michigan’s Democratic candidates got 240,000 more votes than Republican candidates.

The RSLC memo was titled “How a Strategy of Targeting State Legislative Races in 2010 Led to a Republican U.S. House Majority in 2013.”  The memo brags about spending most of their campaign money on ensuring statehouse victors in swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

From the memo:

“The rationale was straightforward.  Controlling the redistricting process in these states would have the greatest impact on determining how both state legislative and congressional district boundaries would be drawn. Drawing new district lines in states with the most redistricting activity presented the opportunity to solidify conservative policymaking at the state level and maintain a Republican stronghold in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade.”

And there you have it.  Not a word about connecting with voters, staying up-to-date on the issues or modifying some of their medieval rhetoric.  Nope, it all boils down to “how can we keep winning elections even though everybody hates us.”

And this isn’t the end of it.  As you know from earlier posts on this blog — and numerous other news sites — some swing state legislatures are planning to rig the Electoral College so that electoral votes are handed out by congressional district instead of statewide.  A Republican candidate could get trounced in a state’s popular vote but still win that state’s electoral votes by winning more congressional districts.

How conveeenient.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

True. It's called stacking a district, an old trick that originated in Florida. You pack as many Democrats as you can into a single district thereby greatly reducing the chances of any of them being elected in surrounding districts. And we thought it was all done for the high purpose of guaranteeing minority representation. Fun ain't it?

January 18, 2013 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

The only way the GOP can win is to cheat, to stack the deck, to deny others their rights to vote or fair representation. How they can get away with these crimes is outrageous.

January 18, 2013 at 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why Reagan openly trashed sociologists - they got burned in the 1980 census so, so bad. Will be fun watching them attack the census dept. with their new teabaggery ways, for the next round. And a renewed push for more white babies vs. black or latio babies in red states. That's a battle they can't seem to get a grip on! Gots to think ahead. Best for dems to just go ahead with the plan on targeting certain light red districts and give the people there the tools for them to realize that they are not voting their interests when they vote for teabaggers.

January 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

This has been going on in Texas for a long time. It's how Republicans took over the Texas Legsislature in the late '80's and early '90's, then made the Texas congressional delegation nearly all Republican. This has brought us the likes of the infamous Louis Gohmert.
The antidote is for Dems to start battling harder in the states. The ultimate solution is to either do away with the Electoral College altogether, making presidential elections popular vote only, or make the EC purely ceremonial, with the popular vote actually determining the winner.
Another reform, suggested years ago, is to use computer algorithms to draw congressional distriçts strictly by population numbers, no political/demographic considerations allowed.

January 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mr. C: Yup, barrels of fun.

Life: You're right, cheating and stacking the deck are the GOP's only chances of winning an election.

Anonymous: Ultimately, the Democrats' only solution is to convince more and more voters not to vote against their own interests.

SW: I never thought of that, using algorithms to draw up congressional districts; and I didn't know it had already been suggested. It makes perfect sense -- which probably means it'll never be put into practice.

January 18, 2013 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon

Reagan not only trashed Sociologist but as Governor of California trashed Social Workers as well. Severely cut Social budgets and encouraging sick people to get off their duffs. Now you got a hint as to why Homelessness increased so much during his administration.

Erik

January 20, 2013 at 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should note that California's districts were drawn by a non partisan citizens committee that in some places pit Republican against Republican and Democrat against Democrat. In the end the Democrat won a Super majority in both the Assembly and the Senate.

Maybe other states should try it

Erik

January 20, 2013 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I like that idea.

January 20, 2013 at 4:12 PM  

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