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So a new Think Progress Analaysis shows just how bad inefficient distribution of votes plus gerrymandering is for us; Democrats would need to win the House vote by over 7% to win a majority assuming uniform swing. That's about what we won by in the 2006 landslide, just to get a bare majority. Suffice to say, that seems unlikely.

This has led a lot of progressives to say that we won't get back the House until 2022. I think this, if anything, risks being too optimistic. After all, in 2022 we will still be dealing with a House drawn by state legislatures who have themselves been entrenched by gerrymandering.

If there is no Democratic legislative landslide in the next ten years- and we live  in hope, of course - then even come 2022, a majority of states including key states like Ohio and Florida will still have their Congressional maps drawn by the gerrymandered and safe Republican legislatures put in place in 2010. The way to beat that is by winning the veto players who can't be gerrymandered: The governors.

This isn't to discount the importance of other election. We should fight for every single House seat we can. We should, of course, ensure we keep the Senate and the White House or else winning the House back becomes pointless. But to get the trifecta, it is essential that we get Democratic governors who can veto Republican state legislatures and their gerrymandered, broken maps. We won't always win those fights, but we'll win some. We won't get Dem-friendly maps, but we can get less Dem UNFRIENDLY ones which put us in a much better position for next time.

Our top electoral priority needs to be winning back the governors' races in Ohio, in Florida, in Michigan, in Wisconsin. Not just to knock out bad governors, not just to stop extremist GOP state policies, not just to build up future bench strength, but because in the long run, winning back governors may be the only way we can win back the state legislatures, and the only way we can even the field when it comes to the House.

Luckily, we have our first shot at that this year - which is why we should do everything in our power to help Terry McAuliffe win the Virginia Governor's race. A lot of people don't like him, which I completely understand; he wouldn't be my first choice. But this is a fight we need to suit up for, along with New Jersey if Christie comes down to Earth and we get a good candidate in the field.

Pissed off over the Fiscal Cliff deal and the debt ceiling? Then get rid of the terrible, shoddy, do-nothing failure of a House of Representatives which is forcing these manufactured crises on a weak economy - and the first step to that, paradoxically, runs through the Statehouses.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't forget Pennsylvania (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim H, TheKF1

    Corbett has been devastating for the state.  He has drastically cut funding for education, public transit, and many other things, and runs the state like a thug (albeit, a polite one).  We've got to get him out next year.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

    by Brian A on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:47:57 AM PST

    •  Completely agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brian A

      I was just citing some examples. Pennsylvania is a great one because the gerrymandering there is particularly awful.

      We should begin with VA this year, then pick the most important ones for next year and fight like Hell. The 2014 governors' races may ultimately matter more for winning back the House than the House races themselves, depending on whether the GOP can manage to induce a landslide against them any time soon.

  •  Agree but enthusiasm drops (0+ / 0-)

    at the mention of Terry M. part of me still thinks he helped to throw 2004 in order to position a politician I was for in 2008, HRC. I mention the latter to tamp somewhat the impression that I start out as an Obama partisan in 2008. I'm fine with how things turned out, but that includes him losing the 2009 VA primary.

    I'd also add that we need to heed Dean's wisdom and not simply make one thing a priority. TM did that as national chair in 2002 adn he was a disaster.

    We need to continue to erode the House majority. I can't see turning it around without eriously launching a legal challenge on the entire country's redistricting. And I'm not smart enough to see a way that could be done.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:26:17 AM PST

  •  I think you are right (0+ / 0-)

    that Governors are important.  But do not overlook the legislatures.  I was proud to help elect a State Senator in November who holds one of the few seats that keep Iowa from being utterly in the clutches of ALEC. Now I am involved in a special election for an unexpectedly-vacant Iowa House seat. If Todd Prichard wins he will not tip the balance in the House, but he will keep us closer for 2014.

    In the longer term, we need a deeper bench, and we have to work on building it with younger candidates who will (I hope) have long careers. You do not get a Tom Harkin out of the blue.

    In Iowa there is talk of a rematch between former Governor Culver and current (also former) Governor Branstad.  Culver was an OK Governor.  Just OK.  He alienated a lot of legislators in his own party and was not a great candidate on the stump.  Do I want him to run again? No. But the field of possibilities is not that large.

  •  May we start with (0+ / 0-)


    Rick Perry, and a supermajority by Republicans in the state house and senate.  "Nuff said.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:13:47 AM PST

  •  OH is a problem but people still hate KAsucks (0+ / 0-)

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