I can’t believe this “gerrymandering” crap still hangs on in March 2015. This is basic math, for chrissakes!
To obtain a majority in the House, you need 218 seats. In the 29 states that actually register voters by party, Republicans have 27 percent of registrations, which means three-quarters of voters are NOT registered Republican. Got it? It is mathematically NOT POSSIBLE for such a minority to gerrymander themselves into a majority.
I originally posted this on January 3, 2013, and it’s still valid. Stop believing this gerrymandering nonsense. Not only does the math not hold up on a national basis, but espousing this very concept makes many voters think their votes won’t count. It’s one of many things we say that results in depressed turnout, which helps the GOP win. If you think about it; the GOP doesn’t actually have to gerrymander, because our incessant discussion of it probably cost more votes than they could steal.
Here’s the article once again:
The professional left’s latest chew toy is based on the concept of gerrymandering. Basically, the argument goes, Republicans kept a majority in the House due to gerrymandering. It’s an interesting concept, but what makes it interesting is that they are so SURE they’re right about this, despite the fact that it’s actually mathematically impossible. This can actually be proved by making a basic challenge; please show the math that gives a political party with 27% of all voter registrations nationally a Congressional majority over a party with 39% of registrations, at least in the 29 states and the District of Columbia that include party registration with their voter registration process. (21 states don’t) You can’t. Even if Independents broke 2-to-1 for Republicans, the parties would be dead even, at best.
Though I could end the argument there, the math itself highlights other problems, especially one constant theme I’ve been highlighting on this blog for years. Some liberals seem to want to believe that every problem is a conspiracy, and that it’s someone else’s fault, when the problem rests squarely on our shoulders. The problem isn’t a grand conspiracy, but a failure to play politics in a meaningful, intelligent way.
The concept of gerrymandering is about a legislature drawing Congressional district boundaries so as to favor one party over another. The practice is as old as (small r) republican politics. There have been laws against it forever, but it’s very easy to skirt the law just enough to make it look less than obvious, so it’s still quite common. This is one case in which “both parties” actually do engage in it. But in most cases, gerrymandering is used to consolidate power for a few select individuals. It’s possible that gerrymandering could be used to give a party a majority in the few states where party affiliations/leanings are close to 50-50. But it is simply not possible to take a state that leans 55-45 toward one party, and swing a majority of seats to the other party through gerrymandering. In order to strengthen one district, you would necessarily have to weaken another. Continue reading