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View Diary: Congratulations, GOP! You got your shutdown. Now what? (139 comments)

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  •  Partisan gerrymandering (1+ / 0-)
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    The Geogre

    is unmistakably antidemocratic. I had been holding onto the idea that if nonpartisan commissions could take over the districting process then real elections would follow.

    But, not so fast. Gerrymandering doesn't explain everything.

    Although it had an obvious impact, Republican gerrymandering in states like Ohio and North Carolina was not the key reason for this result. [Of Republicans getting fewer votes nationally and winning many more seats.] It is unconscionable that most states still allow elected officials to draw the lines of their own districts to maximize their electoral invulnerability. But analyses from FairVote and the Brennan Center strongly suggest that gerrymandering only benefited Republicans by about 10 seats. Having more incumbents likely gave Republicans another three or four seats. But the overall voter preference for Democrats should have delivered fully 25 more seats to Democratic candidates.

    The core reason for this distortion – and its ongoing impact on policy – lies in two basic facts about the American political system: a growing concentration of Democratic voters in urban areas, particularly those part of the coalition of single women, racial minorities and young people that boosted Barack Obama, and the winner-take-all, single-member district system currently used to elect members of Congress.

    http://www.salon.com/...

    it's a really interesting read. Gerrymandering should be ended, it will help, but the discrepancy between the popular vote last year and the seats won can't be boiled down to gerrymandered districts alone.

    •  Mmmmaybe... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alnc, phonegery

      but I know NC's delegation in the (US) House went from almost even to a decided R majority in 2012 despite a stronger-than-expected Obama showing statewide.  And the state legislative races were something like D +1% in aggregate, but the R's took a 2/3 majority in both houses.  The Dems are "kettled" in urban districts, for sure, and the R's don't even contest those.  They can concede Raleigh, Charlotte (parts of it anyway) Greensboro... because they know there are enough rural districts that are just as bulletproof to give them a comfortable majority.  The legislature didn't fall into GOP hands by a majority of votes, just a majority of districts.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:18:15 AM PDT

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      •  According to this report (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Geogre

        gerrymandering accounts for about half of Democrats' shortfall in Congress, that is the difference between the number of seats they would have won if the system were neutral and the number of seats they hold. So it does matter. But it's about half of the problem.

        The gerrymandering to give the state houses over to the Republicans you write about is really criminal. Jimmy Carter is right when he says we don't have a functioning democracy.

        •  One look at the map (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Geogre

          and the returns and you know that's how it went down -- at least here it did.  About an equal number of NC House seats for each side went uncontested by the opposition party (26-25 R).  The state Senate was a bit more lopsided with 16 R seats and 7 D seats unchallenged.  There ARE only 50 seats in the senate and 120 in the House, so fully 1/3 of the state legislature was elected not by majority, but by default.  Why, one may ask, did the NCDP not challenge at least SOME of these candidates?  The state Dem party is ... well, to be kind, in a "transitional phase".  Or as I like to call it, "complete disarray".  And it was probably likely that they dared not take the chance that challenging a securely red seat would result in a flood of Pope money -- with help from Americans For the Prosperous (or Preposterous) -- backing GOP candidates to take on solidly blue seats.  The balance of power in NC shifted on a seismic level in 2010, and the Dark Red Money is a fearsome spectacle to behold.

          But the public is beginning to see through the veil of lies.  McCrony's approval rating is hovering around 35%, the NCGA's below 20%.  There's a lot of anger to be tapped on both sides of the political divide, and the favorite targets at THIS moment appear to be the majority party.  So if Randy Vollner and the NCDP can pull their collective heads out in 2014, the time has never been better for a sea change in the legislature.  We're stuck with McCrony until 2016, unfortunately -- NC has no recall law.  But as long as the fire can be kept hot, it's not hard to see him as a one-termer.  FSM knows he's broken enough shit in just 9 months on the "job" to make it feasible for a candidate anywhere approaching credible to take him down.

          I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

          by mojo11 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 11:04:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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