Tag Archives: District

Redistricting and the census will create more Republican House seats

First, consider this AP article which explains the redistricting advantage that Republicans have from the mid-term elections.

Excerpt:

Republicans don’t just control much of the electoral map. In some cases, they now have the power to redraw it.

Overwhelming victories in statehouses and governors’ races across the country this week have placed the GOP in command of redrawing both congressional and legislative districts to conform with Census results. It’s a grueling and politically charged process that typically gives the party in power an inherent advantage for a decade, allowing them to preserve current strongholds or to put others in play.

Along with gains in governorships this week, Republicans picked up about 680 legislative seats _ twice the number Democrats gained in their wave two years ago. For the GOP, it’s a surge that comes at the most opportune time.

“Regardless of what happens in Washington, the Democrats will not soon recover from what happened to them on a state level on Tuesday,” said Chris Jankowski, executive director of the Republican State Leadership Committee’s REDMAP project. “It was significant. It was devastating in some areas. It will take years to recover.”

Tim Storey, a redistricting expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, estimates that Republicans will have unilateral control over the redrawing of 195 congressional districts. Democrats have just 45. The remainder are in states where either both parties have a chance to influence redistricting or where decisions will be made by independent commissions.

That doesn’t mean there will be another surge of Republicans two years from now. After all, parties still must adhere to a substantial series of legal limitations governing the composition of the districts, such as making sure districts have a similar number of voters and are compact and contiguous.

That’s good news, but there’s more good news. And this one is even better.

ECM sent this article from the leftist Washington Post, which another problem facing the Democrats in 2012: population shifting from blue states to red states.

Excerpt:

There’s really no gentle way to say this, so I’m just going to be blunt: In some ways, the political situation post-Nov. 2 is even worse for the Democrats than it may appear. And I am not just referring to the colossal losses they experienced in state legislatures — a 650+ seat swing in favor of the GOP that has left the Dems in control of the fewest state legislatures since 1928. The resulting pro-GOP gerrymandering may lastingly blunt the demographic advantage Democrats could otherwise expect to reap from population trends such as the growth of Hispanic America.

No, what’s really bad for President Obama and his party is the likely impact of the 2010 Census and ensuing House of Representatives reapportionment on the distribution of votes in the 2012 Electoral College. We can talk all day about whether a majority of voters would support Obama for re-election or not, but what really counts in presidential elections is the Electoral College. Each state’s electoral vote equals its number of representatives in the House plus two, for its Senate delegation. And since the U.S. population continues to flow South and West, reapportionment will probably add House seats in red states and subtract them in blue states. Thus, the Census looks like a setback for Democratic chances to win the 270 electoral votes necessary to become president.

Texas, which has voted Republican in 9 of the last 10 elections will gain 4 electoral votes, according to projections from preliminary Census data by Polidata.com. The other gainers — one vote each — include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah. All of these states have voted for the GOP candidate in at least 7 of the last 10 elections.

To be sure, Florida and Nevada have been more up for grabs of late: Obama carried both in 2008. But the only reliably blue state that looks like gaining an electoral vote is Washington, which backed the Democrat in 6 of the last 10 elections. Only one reliably red state — Louisiana — is losing an electoral vote.

Ohio, the perennial swing state — it backed the GOP in six of the last 10 elections — is losing two.

Meanwhile, eight states that usually go blue in presidential elections — Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota — are projected to lose one electoral vote each.

Good news! See everyone says that I am always gloomy. There are feedback mechanisms so that people can realize what is happening and fix the problem. I am not sure how we are going to fix the people-not-marrying problem, but I’m sure there must be a way.