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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: A House Democratic majority in 2014? (100 comments)

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  •  Gerrymandering tilts the field of play (2+ / 0-)
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    Miggles, Eric Nelson

    While gerrymandering isn't the only reason the House is currently Republican, it is the biggest one IMHO.  One need only look at two adjacent and mostly similar states--Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Both are blue-leaning, but have given Republicans control of the legislature (at least half of it) on several occasions in the past forty years.  Both tipped both houses in 2010, while Wisconsin's Walker won a close election and in Minnesota, Mark Dayton won by less than 1%.

    Walker and his minions enacted a gerrymandered map that protected their five Republican congressmen, Minnesota's map was drawn by judges and they (we) flipped a House seat.  On the state level, Minnesota flipped both state houses, while due to the gerrymander, Wisconsin Republicans gained strength in an election year when Obama carried the state by six points and Tammy Baldwin was elected as a senator.

    I contend that fair maps would have cost WI one Republican congressman, at least, and one or both houses of the state leg.  The same story is being echoed in larger states with Republican trifectas--Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania--if Democrats had won 50% of the House races in these purple to bluish states, Nancy Pelosi would be holding the Speaker's gavel.

    Can Democrats go uphill against the wind and still have a Democratic House?  Yes, I think so, but it will require "help" from Republicans.  They have to demonstrate over and over that they and their philosophy are out of touch with the vast majority of voters.  Population shifts will make the gerrymanders less effective in two years and even less effective every two years after that, but Democrats are going to have to turn their voters out and run great candidates in every winnable race.

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