Sunday, June 25, 2017

Republican Gerrymandering Quantified

The Associated Press conducted a study of U.S. House and State legislative races in 2016 and found, just as Donald "Rump" Trump said, the election was being rigged (but not in the way the dimbulb was suggesting):
The analysis found four times as many states with Republican-skewed state House or Assembly districts than Democratic ones. Among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress, there were nearly three times as many with Republican-tilted U.S. House districts. 
Traditional battlegrounds such as Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Virginia were among those with significant Republican advantages in their U.S. or state House races. All had districts drawn by Republicans after the last Census in 2010. 
The AP analysis also found that Republicans won as many as 22 additional U.S. House seats over what would have been expected based on the average vote share in congressional districts across the country. That helped provide the GOP with a comfortable majority that stood at 241-194 over Democrats after the 2016 elections — a 10 percentage point margin in seats, even though Republican candidates received just 1 percentage point more total votes nationwide. (our emphasis)
Not that this comes as a news flash, of course. Sam Wang identified the effort known as "Redmap" back in 2012:
Through artful drawing of district boundaries, it is possible to put large groups of voters on the losing side of every election. The Republican State Leadership Committee, a Washington-based political group dedicated to electing state officeholders, recently issued a progress report on Redmap, its multiyear plan to influence redistricting. The $30 million strategy consists of two steps for tilting the playing field: take over state legislatures before the decennial Census, then redraw state and Congressional districts to lock in partisan advantages. The plan was highly successful.
The Supreme Court is considering a case (Gill v. Whitford) of egregious partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, and other cases are awaiting Supreme Court review.  While the outcome of these cases may not affect the 2018 or 2020 elections, they will certainly determine how aggressively Republicans will try to use 2020 census data to rig future State and U.S. House elections wherever they can.  Along with voter suppression actions, that's pretty much their last line of defense against popular democracy.

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