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I've been reading a lot about how the Democrats can't win the House this year because House seats are too heavily gerrymandered. 98% of incumbents won their seat again in the last election.

But there are races that will give us the House back -- in 2008.

They are the races for the state assemblies and the governorships. The state governments are where the House districts are gerrymandered. Once the Republicans won the Texas state assembly, they were able to give themselves 7 new safe seats.

Even if the Democrats can't win the House this year, if we pour our energies into the state assembly races, we can win a few. Where we hold (or pick up) a governorship, we can grossly and undemocratically gerrymander the heck out of that state's House seats in our favor. Where the Republicans hold the governorship, we can at least prevent them from grossly and undemocratically gerrymandering the heck out of that state's House seats.

This approach also blunts the local-hero advantage the Republicans have. While most people prefer the Democrats to the Republicans these days, most people like their representative personally, and will vote to keep him on. But most people have no clue who their state assemblyman is, and don't particularly care. I doubt they have strong feelings about their State's Secretary of State either; yet we all know how Katherine Harris in Florida and Ken Blackwell in Ohio made sure that blacks would have a hard time of it voting in the past two elections. If we can convince people to vote Democratic for state posts, then they can vote for their House rep next time, but he won't be around after November 2008.

Obviously, this is an argument for pursuing a 50-state campaign, as many have suggested, rather than only contesting swing states.

The best part of this plan is that if the Democrats win the House through gerrymandering, the Supreme Court will be forced to address the issue. They might actually ban gerrymandering if it turns out to be a tool the Democrats can use successfully as well as the Republicans. (I've got a simple non-partisan proposal for how to take most of the partisanship out of redistristricting -- or at least seriously blunt it -- here.

Originally posted to Crafty Screenwriting on Sat May 06, 2006 at 08:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Both and (0+ / 0-)

    We need to work on the legislative seats. We also need to work on the Congressional seats this year.

    Henry Hyde was considered unbeatable in IL 6. Christine Cegelis ran against him in '04, and she got close enough that the DCCC recruited somebody else to take on this race.

  •  I would not support any midterm redistricting (0+ / 0-)

    because it unconstitutionally violates one person one vote due to population shifts and changes since the 2000 Census.

    Don't take my bluntness and attitude personally-the best weapon for the Democrats is the unvarnished truth, and the truth usually hurts.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Sat May 06, 2006 at 08:49:36 AM PDT

    •  Trying to reverse undemocratic Rep. redistricting (0+ / 0-)

      There is no "one person one vote" in real life. There's Republican gerrymandering and Democratic gerrymandering. I'd prefer no gerrymandering, hence my proposal on how to stop it, more or less (see the link). But given the choice between the two, I'll take Democratic gerrymandering. Especially if it means the election can reflect the mood of the country -- which the 2006 House election will not.

  •  No. of State House Seats Dems need to win in each (0+ / 0-)

    State.
    Arizona-(House)-need 9 more seats by 2010.
           (Senate- need 4 more seats by 2010
    Florida(House)- need 26 more seats by 2010
          (Senate)- need 7 more seats by 2010
    Georia(House)- need 11 more seats by 2010
         (Senate)- need 7 more seats by 2010
    Indiana(House)- need 3 more seats by 2010
          (Senate)need 9 more seats by 2010
    Iowa(HOuse)need 2 more seats by 2010
       (Senate)need 1 more seat by 2010
    Michigan-(House)need 6 more seats by 2010
            (Senate)need 4 more seats by 2010
    Minnesota(House)need 2 more seats by 2010
    Missouri(House)need 16 more seats by 2010
           (Senate)need 7 more seats by 2010
    Nevada-(Senate) need 2 more seats by 2010
    New York(Senate)need 5 more seats by 2010
    Ohio-(House) need 12 more seats by 2010
        (Senate) need 6 more seats by 2010
    Pennsylvania(House)need 9 more seats by 2010
               (Senate)need 5 more seats by 2010
    Texas-(House)need 12 more seats by 2010
         (Senate) need 4 more seats by 2010

    •  Why wait till 2010? (0+ / 0-)

      The Republicans in Texas didn't.

      I don't like gerrymandering any more than any other small "d" democrat. But it seems to me the only way to get rid of it is to abuse it. So long as gerrymandering is a tool only Republicans use successfully, the Supreme Court won't stop it. If it becomes a tool Democrats use to oust Republicans, perhaps the Supreme Court will decide it doesn't like gerrymandering after all.

      So why wait till the next census? Why delay when you can DeLay?

      •  Some States we have to wait by 2010 but States (0+ / 0-)

        that Democrats can gerrymander before 2010 is in New York- Eliot Spitzer becomes Governor- Democrats pick up the 5 seats needed to regain control of the State Senate. In 2006 Democrats will win NY-24(Boehlert Seat)-
        Before 2010- Democrats need to give Boehlert more Democratic voters- (it will come from Hinchey's District-NY-22)). Walsh's District(Syracuse)-NY-25 will become Democratic in the near future once Walsh retires.-Leave Walsh's district alone.
        NY will lose 2 seats during the 2010 Census. Before 2010 we have to save Upstate Republican House District for elimination. We target Downstate District(King-NY-3(Long Island)-we should add Democrats voters from Gary Ackerman's NY-5(North Hempstead-LI)or Carolyn McCarthy-NY-4(Hempstead- Minority-Area).or Steven Isreal(NY-2(Babylon)- Making NY-3(Democratic Leaning).
        (Fossella-NY-13(Staten Island/Brooklyn)-Add more Brooklyn to NY-13). Add Some Staten Island Voters to NY-8(Nadler)or NY-14(Maloney). (Brooklyn/Manhattan).

        After 2010- We put (Sue Kelly and John Sweeney)in the Same House District). and elimate Tom Reynold District(Give Democratic Voters to Randy Kuhl(NY-29)and Republican Voters to Louise Slaughter(NY-28). Slaughter's District will remain Democratic Friendly so Democrats can win that seat when Slaughter retire. Kuhl's New District Seat will become a Swing District(Force a Primary Challenge between Kuhl and Reynold)which will help the Democratic Nominee.

        Another State is in Illinios
        G-Rod has to get re-elected. Before 2010
        Create a Lake County/Cook County Congressional District(Put Melissa Bean and Mark Kirk in that new District). Create a new District in North Cook County(Democratic Leaning). Melissa Bean loses McHenry County- Red County- which gets added to Manzullo's District. Add Cook County (Chicago Voters to (Illinios-6-(Duckworth-assuming She wins). and (Illinios 11(Weller).
        In 2010-During the Census when Illinios loses a Seat- We eliminate Denny Hastert(IL-14)Seat. Forcing Hastert to Primary Challenge either (Don Manzullo-IL-16)or Judy Biggert-(IL-13).

        In Michigan- If Democrats regain control of the State Legislature. We can remedy the District that we lost. Turn MI-9(Knollenberg)and MI-11(McCotter)into Democratic Leaning District. During the 2010 Census- We eliminate-MI-3(Vern Ehrlers)-Give Republican areas to Peter Hoekstra(MI-2)and Fred Upton(MI-6). Democratic Areas to MI-8(Mike Rogers).

        In Pennsylvania- If Democrats regain control of the State Legislature- We have to fix up the Pittsburgh Suburban District-PA-4(Hart)and PA-18(Murphy)make them Democratic Friendly. In 2010-when the Census occurs- We elimate Todd Platts- PA-19CD. Add Democratic Voters to PA-17(Tim Holden)and Add Republican Voters to PA-9(Shuster)and PA-16(Pitts). Force a Primary Challenge between Platts vs Pitts or Platts vs Shuster.

        In Minnesota- If Democrats win back the Governorship and Pick up 2 seats in the State House.

        We Add Democratic Voters in Hennipin County to MN-3(Ramstad). Add Democratic Voters in St Paul to MN-6(Open-Kennedy). By 2010- redistrict- eliminate- MN-2(Kline). seat.

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