There is a big case before the Supreme ‘s about the way Wisconsin does it’s Congressional Districts…
Essentially they’ve rigged a system where it doesn’t matter what the census says….
Republicans OWN huge advantages in state legislatures in Southern, Western and the ‘swing’ Northern states that have the electoral college numbers they need…Those states give the GOP a good sized majority in the House and an on paper majority in the Senate ....
Jeff Greenberg , in a Politico piece, thinks that gerrymandering isn’t the only thing that has put Democrats back….
His view is that Democrats in focusing on putting Barack Obama in the White House played left Democrats with no state foundation in the key places that Hillary Clinton.
Those two Obama election wins where countered by Republicans moving to governor and state legislative races which they have cleaned up in the last six years…..
The conclusion Democrats are drawing? With 24 seats needed to take the House of Representatives, suddenly putting those 16 or 17 seats in play would go a long way to taking over the chamber.
It’s an attractive conclusion; and Lord knows the possibility of ending the steadily more outrageous phenomenon of partisan gerrymandering is a worthy goal in itself.
But if Democrats think this is the key to their political woes, they are kidding themselves. What ails the party—at every level—goes far beyond alleged Republican skulduggery. And a diagnosis of those ills requires an understanding of what the past decade has wrought.
The Democratic Party, as I wrote here even before the 2016 wipeout, finds itself in its worst shape since the 1920s. From its perch in 2009, when it had a (shaky) filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, a 256-178 majority in the House and control of a majority of states, it has seen a precipitous collapse. That fall began in 2010, when a wave election brought a loss of 63 House seats, six Senate seats—and, most notably—massive loses at the state level. Republicans gained control of the Legislatures in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and won 29 governorships.
These defeats did not happen because of gerrymandering (or voter suppression, for that matter), because Democrats had control of the politics before 2010. (When Democrats had political control in North Carolina, for example, it had some of the most unrestrictive voting laws in the country.) In order for the GOP to use its power to entrench its majorities, it had to win those majorities in the first place. That happened because Republicans and their conservative allies poured resources into a workmanlike effort to win control over state politics, while Democrats were mesmerized by the more glamorous fight to win and hold the White House.
Well, isn’t extreme partisan gerrymandering still a noxious tool whose end would help Democrats? Yes, but not nearly as much as you might think. To understand that, look more closely at what has happened in the past four elections…..
The Democrats HAVE been making progress in state elections this year…
And are over performing in Special House elections even if they don’t win them…
image…Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)