Congress Will Remain a Tough Nut

Whether or not Democrats retain the Presidency, Republicans will continue to control at least the House, and without filibuster reform, the Senate, long after demographics turn against them.

First, there’s redistricting, which was very successful for Republicans and won’t be revisited until 2022. Sam Wang calculates that Democrats have to get 2.5% more in the Presidential popular vote to have a 50-50 chance of taking the House. Another rough way of looking at how well Republicans did in redistricting is to look at the House component of the Electoral College vote. If you look at the current electoral map, subtract the 2 electoral votes for Senators from each state, and the 3 votes for DC, Obama has 250 electoral votes. By the same math, and even giving him Florida, Romney has 185. But, if you split the difference on undecideds, the Republicans have a 40 vote advantage in the House. Using a statistical model, or a rough-and-ready electoral snapshot, we’re way behind, which means redistricting cut the Republican’s way this cycle.

As for the Senate, the 25/25 split in states (if you give Romney Florida) means that Democrats are lucky to have their roughly five seat advantage in that body, and 60/40 is a very high bar.

Second, there’s turnout. We are starting to have two very different elections every 2 years. The Presidential race is the one where energized Democrats will jump through the voter suppression hoops, and stand in line for hours, to vote for the President. Because the entire media/political complex is obsessively focused on the Presidential race, the off-year elections are to voters as the Pro Bowl is to the Super Bowl, with much lower turnout and interest. With lower turnout usually favoring Republicans, there’s certainly no obvious, easy path to the Democrats taking the House in 2014.

May be 2014 will be like 2006, and maybe Harry Reid will finally do filibuster reform, but the party that wants to legislate needs to control the legislature, and with redistricting and the natural tendency of the Senate to favor smaller, more rural states, the next few years are going to be tough for Democrats.






69 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    the party that wants to legislate needs to control the legislature, and with redistricting and the natural tendency of the Senate to favor smaller, more rural states, the next few years are going to be tough for Democrats.

    We need to work hard in 2014 to take back Congress. If the Democrats don’t control Congress, they can’t sell us out, and if they can’t sell us out, we can’t teach them a lesson by not voting for them.

    So GOTV 2014!

  2. 2
    dww44 says:

    The answer to lower turnout in non Presidential elections is to not dismantle the Obama GOTV machine. It’s imperative that that organization meld with Democratic organizations at the various state levels.

  3. 3
    Napoleon says:

    This is why the day after the election our (Ohio’s) Sec of St proposed that our EVs be allocated by district instead of winner take all.

  4. 4
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Baud: Exactly. I want to teach those assholes a lesson again. I don’t want to wait until 2024 to throw them out.

  5. 5
    Robin G. says:

    I think the Democratic GOTV machine, as near-perfected by the Obama team, will have learned its lesson from 2010. That, plus what appears to be a very quick turnaround on the Tea Party, will help. The next two years will be tricky, but I have hope that Republican infighting will hobble them somewhat, and that we’ll do better in 2014, though obviously there still will be lower turnout than this year.

    Basically, I think it will take a few extra years in some places for the Tea Party buyer’s remorse to set in. Frankly, I’d even take instances of a GOP backlash leading to some less batshit Republicans outing teabaggers in the primaries. At least we could maybe work with those guys. It’s to everyone’s benefit that the GOP become a functional party, because this yearly choice between Acceptable and Apocalypse candidates is too stressful.

    Or maybe David Brooks is right, and the House GOP will be willing to compromise if only Obama will invite them over for drinks once in awhile. I’M SURE THAT WILL WORK.

  6. 6
    Paul says:

    First, there’s redistricting, which was very successful for Republicans and won’t be revisited until 2022

    Wasn’t there a case where Texas sued for the right to redistrict whenever they wanted to rather than waiting for every 10 years? And the USSC agreed?

    If so, couldn’t blue states do it whenever they want to as well?

  7. 7
    Todd says:

    @Baud:

    Full of win.

    On a happy note, I’m sending this from a plane, headed for a dive week in Bonaire.

  8. 8
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @dww44: Agreed, but I think there is natural burnout after a huge election like this. Additionally, the people who were doing work in the field oftentimes are putting their lives on hold to be involved. If anything needs to subsist, it’s the loose network of neighborhood captains and have them ready to be activated when an issue is getting pushed.

    That said, this is obviously the $64,000 question. If we can re-activate it and make the midterms like a national election, it should look good for us.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The Democrats in EVERY LAST DAMN STATE need to get serious about getting control of their legislatures and being in the drivers seat for redistricting come 2020. They seriously fucked up in 2010.

    50 state strategy. None of this namby pamby Rahm Emmanuel shit.

  10. 10
    aimai says:

    @dww44:
    I agree: the 2014 campaign needs to start now with a voter retention program.

    1) Everyone on the list should be given an easy “update my voting information” app which will help the campaign keep track of them.

    2) Special focus should be given to potential swing districts–districts that are gerrymandered republican but have pockets of untouched potential democratic voters.

    3) Start a system, analagous to Dean’s fundraising “bat” that enables voters in those districts to meet each other, network, and begin working towards getting a democrat into those congressional seats.

    4) draw on the insight (obvious in retrospect) that people want to feel connected to each other and like the sweepstakes approach to working for their candidate. Start a competition for local political action committees to create and maintain voter registration for their own locked up voters between campaign cycles. No way should people be allowed to become or consider themselves inactive.

    aimai

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:

    @Baud:
    We would have won Congress this year if the pre-’10 districts were still in place. The goopers did an excellent job of redistricting. We are screwed for another 10 years in that department. What we have to do in response is to organize and work harder to turn out the vote in upcoming congressional races. It would be great if the Obama team could help by giving the tools used for GOTV to the Dems for use in ’14. If the economy can pick up a bit and we can do a better GOTV effort it will help but we still need to flip about 40 seats.

    I put in a couple of hundred hours, mostly trying to defeat Batshit and to keep Tim Walz back in 10 (my own district is super safe) and we need a lot more people busting butts in ’14

  12. 12
    c u n d gulag says:

    If you are a US citizen, and aren’t registered, or registered but don’t vote, there should be a penalty/tax.

    EVERY election year!
    Local.
    District-wide.
    State-wide.
    National Elections.

    A penalty/tax by each one, on each citizen who DOESN’T vote – without a really good reason or excuse.

    Make them punitive – especially cumulatively.

    Just my $0.02 worth.

  13. 13
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Robin G.: Never underestimate the power of the DNC to fret that winning too often will somehow be bad for them and taking effective steps to make certain that won’t happen.

  14. 14
    jwb says:

    Don’t forget that TX did a mid-census redistricting back in 2003, so there is precedence for revisiting the question if the Dems can manage to retake state legislatures and governorships in some of the states. PA would seem a good target, where the Dems could pick up at least 5 seats with a fair redistribution (that would make the PA delegation 10-8 in favor of Dems).

  15. 15
    gene108 says:

    Hopefully Obamacare becomes so hugely popular that we can hang all the Republican obstruction against them in 2014 or 2016.

    Sort of like Republicans have done about things like a tax hike or voting against raising the military budget.

  16. 16
    Schlemizel says:

    @Paul:

    While I love the idea I think following the goopers precedent on this is a very bad idea. We need to make it unacceptable or redistricting will be taking place every time a state leg flips.

    We can argue if that would inhibit the goopers (I’m afraid it wouldn’t) but I think we have to at least start from there in hopes of reducing chaos.

    That Ohio thing really needs to be nipped in the bud bay any means possible.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @gene108:

    This. The full implementation of Obamacare is the big wild card of 2014.

  18. 18
    KCinDC says:

    @PsiFighter37, even if the GOTV machine is somehow activated to the extent it was this year, I don’t see how we overcome the gerrymander-based rigging. We got a majority of the nationwide votes, but we barely dented the Republican majority. In a nonpresidential year it seems we’d be lucky to keep the majority from growing.

    One thing that’s certain is Democrats need to make it a priority to take over as many state legislative chambers as possible to be in a better position for redistricting next time.

  19. 19
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    One snag in all this talk about GOTV. The Dems are going to need good candidates. It’s a different challenge getting people out to vote when there’s only one person on a ballot line, or the Dem on the ballot is the flavor of paste.

  20. 20
    Robin G. says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: The Dem efforts were so delightfully effective this time that I’m indulging in optimism.

    Also, I still have faith that the Teabag represenatives will continue to talk about rape. Being racist won’t hurt in these gerrymandered districts, but embryonic Gifts From God can still sink them.

  21. 21
    Robin G. says:

    @gene108: True, but it’s also possible — likely, even — that those first couple years of Obamacare will be pretty ugly as we get all the kinks worked out. In the long run it will be great, but in the beginning there’s probably going to be a lot of complications and complaints. It’s a totally natural part of the process, but I suspect it’s something we’ll have to work to overcome in 2014, as opposed to it helping us.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Just to clarify before commenting: I am not a die-hard Clintonite, still less a PUMA. I like Bill Clinton and appreciate his effectiveness, but I’m personally pretty immune to his schtick (I never heard the Secretary of ‘Splainin’ Stuff say anything I hadn’t heard Obama, Biden and others say for a long time), and I like Hillary Clinton but she (and Bubba) ran an embarrassing ’08 campaign and I eventually fell in with Obama. That said, if she still wants the Big Chair and they wade into the 2014 race to start building up chits and a ground game, if Obama and OFA commit to electoral reform, I think we’re looking at a whole different kind of off-year election than we’ve ever seen.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    My hope is that President Obama and his crew recognize that improving Dem representation in Congress is the best way to create an environment that will help get more done. And that he asks people to come out and vote in 2014. If he asks people to help, and puts the power of OFA behind that, it might actually increase the number of people voting.

  24. 24
    jwb says:

    @Schlemizel: No, you can’t be wimpy about it. Since redistricting is allowed, the Dems should use it where it is available. But the ultimate aim should be to depoliticize redistricting, either through random drawing of districts (my favorite) or through some sort of non-partisan commission which is charged with drawing lines within specified parameters.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Republicans have become the pro-fetus party not the pro-life party. Early pre-natal care and health care for all can change the perception, some have of the Republican party.

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    @Robin G.:

    it’s also possible—likely, even—that those first couple years of Obamacare will be pretty ugly as we get all the kinks worked out. In the long run it will be great, but in the beginning there’s probably going to be a lot of complications and complaints.

    I’m 100% for Obamacare and I already have a complaint. Obamacare for some stupid reason limits the amount of money we can now put in Flexible Spending Accounts to $2500. Previously it was limited by employer and most employers kept the maximum somewhere near $5000. I don’t understand why, if that was the case, it was limited to $2500. I don’t think it helps the consumer. Does that small difference helps with more taxes or something, since FSAs are pre-tax so less income gets taxed?

  27. 27
    Paul says:

    @Schlemizel:

    While I love the idea I think following the goopers precedent on this is a very bad idea. We need to make it unacceptable or redistricting will be taking place every time a state leg flips.

    I disagree. The GOP fights to win while the Dems seem to rather fight like gentlemen. As a result, the GOP wins more than they should.

    If we decide to wait until 2022, 8 years of our lives have been lost.

  28. 28
    mamayaga says:

    @jwb:

    Since redistricting is allowed, the Dems should use it where it is available.

    Agree. There were vociferous Repug howls when the IL lege decided to play the ultra-political redistricting game, and IL did pretty well in the House elections just past. Repugs might be willing to deal on more impartial redistricting if political redistricting bites them often enough.

    An added plus for me is that I am no longer in the district of the odious Dan Lipinski, and am now represented by the Old Black Panther, Bobby Rush.

  29. 29
    John says:

    @jwb:

    Pennsylvania legislative elections were this year, and the Republicans still control both chambers. Even if a Democrat beats Corbett in 2014, there will still be a Republican majority in both houses until at least 2016. And, of course, the legislative districts are gerrymandered, too, so they’ll be a very hard nut to crack even if 2016 is a big Democratic year.

    I’d add that while you could probably redistrict to create a relatively safe Democratic majority in Pennsylvania’s House delegation, this would involve crazily shaped gerrymanders like Maryland has.

  30. 30
    PeakVT says:

    @jwb: Ideally, if Dems take any state legislatures (especially OH, PA, and MI), they’d use the redistricting commission as the reason to redistrict right away. That would be both the right thing to do and make it not look like a power grab.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    From Barack Obama.com:

    Federal law allows individuals to contribute pre-tax money special accounts that they can use for qualifying medical expenses. But ATR insists that Obamacare’s cap on Flexible Spending Accounts will translate into higher health care costs for Americans. The health care law limits contributions to these accounts to $2,500 per year to keep workers from abusing these tax-preferred accounts to ameliorate the risk of losing money at the end of the year because of excess contributions. The change has no impact on the vast majority of families—the average contribution to an FSA is approximately $1,200, and an estimated 14 percent of FSA users actually forfeit money at the end of each year because they contributed too much.

  32. 32
    blingee says:

    Yawn, the ink isn’t even dry on the election and you gloom porn addicts are already starting in with the congress gloom porn.

    We have always been at war with Eurasia.

  33. 33
    Craigo says:

    @John: PA holds legislative elections every two years. Reps get two-year terms, Senators get four.

  34. 34
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Schlemizel: as opposed to just every time repubs flip a state leg? That’s unilateral disarmament. Frankly, I don’t see any reason not to do it. They would, will, are, and have.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    as opposed to just every time repubs flip a state leg?

    I don’t think this is true. It happened in Texas once, I think, but there were a unique situation there where the court drew the lines instead of the legislature, and that got reversed. I don’t think this has been a widespread practice by the GOP (yet), but happy to look at data that shows otherwise.

  36. 36
    jwb says:

    @John: PA was simply an example because its congressional delegation is so out of whack with its presidential vote, and there are all sorts of reasons why particular states might not be feasible, starting with the fact that state legislative seats are generally gerrymandered right along with the congressional seats. But the point is that where Dems have an opportunity to redistrict, they should take it, either doing a TX job of highly partisan redistricting or better building a non-partisan redistricting structure and then implementing it immediately (rather than waiting for the next census).

    ETA: PeakVT: Agreed.

  37. 37
    joes527 says:

    As in 2010, California demonstrated that it isn’t insane this time around.

    We had a citizen’s committee (composed of D’ R’s and I’s) draw up district lines. The R’s squealed like stuck pigs when they saw the results, because fair redistricting was … fair. But there was nothing that they could do.

    The results were generally very good. (and good for D’s) My district probably won’t be called ’till some time next week, but it _looks_ like I will have a D representative for the first time in I don’t remember how long. (I hope that this means my Obama Phone will be delivered soon. I’ve been waiting.)

    For those keeping score, that means I’ll have a D rep, 2 D senators , a D state legislature (possibly a super majority) in a state that was called for the O team the minute the polls closed.

    California is actually pretty diverse. Yes we have a large blue population, but there are plenty of places where if you hear banjo music, you should keep paddling. The will of the people was able to come through w/o D bosses in a smoke filled room drawing up districts that look like cthulhu.

    The whole argument that the problem with D’s is that they aren’t enough like R’s, and that we need to be every bit as manipulative as they are or doom (DOOM I tell you) will be our portion, misses reality.

  38. 38
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @dww44:

    The answer to lower turnout in non Presidential elections is to not dismantle the Obama GOTV machine. It’s imperative that that organization meld with Democratic organizations at the various state levels.

    This. The president needs to make clear that the mid-terms are not “just some other guys running”, and use all of the organisation that remains at his disposal.

    NC, which more or less split its presidential vote, now has a GOP supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature, which, combined with a GOP governor, means Art fucking Pope is now the uncrowned king of the state. That’s what you get with the most ruthless gerrymander the computers can provide.

  39. 39
    GregB says:

    I think there can be some pressure to bear from Democrats in districts that are now red but will trend purple in the next few years.

    It is obvious the GOP only thinks in very short term gains.

    There must be some districts that can be targeted because of demographic shifts. Pressure those Congress members the way their own base pressures them.

    The GOP is going to be in rough shape with their denial of reality and their rightwing media complex pushing them further and further right.

    It can be done.

  40. 40
    Craigo says:

    @jwb: Of the two options, I think that nonpartisan or citizens’ redistricting is vastly preferable. But I agree that if a state goes this route, there’s no reason to wait for the next census to implement new boundaries.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    @Baud: I’m aware of that, but my point was, if the average maximum before was $5,000, then why limit it to $2500? It doesn’t make sense.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    I don’t know what the specific numbers are, but if a lot of people are buying unnecessary health care to avoid forfeiting the FSA money at the end of the year, that might drive up health care costs some. Reducing the cap may mitigate this problem.

    There may also be revenue benefits to help pay for Obamacare, since less money is shielded from tax.

  43. 43
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Baud: What they should have done us ended use it or lose plans and capping the amount in the plans at 10,000

  44. 44
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @KCinDC: The good thing is that 2020 is a presidential year. I hope that whomever we have running (which is hopefully a reelection of whomever gets elected in 2016) runs a coordinated campaign that includes the DLCC. It’s absolutely crucial that we get better, more fairly-drawn districts next time.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    Why wouldn’t that incentivize someone at the cap to engage in unnecessary health care spending, which presents the same problem of artificially increasing costs as use-or-lose?

  46. 46
    Anoniminous says:

    “Breaking” a gerrymandered district is a helluva lot of work and the odds aren’t good. With an outstanding candidate, deep knowledge of the district, an excellent, professional, campaign staff, trained and motivated campaign organization in the precincts, and a couple of million in the war chest it can be done. Even so, you’ll probably lose in the first go-round.

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    @Schlemizel: There is some (relatively) non-partisan re-districting. I think this would be the best way to avoid tit-for-tat redistricting every time state government control changes – as Texas did.

    It Also makes for more districts that are competitive.

  48. 48
    catclub says:

    @GregB: “It is obvious the GOP only thinks in very short term gains.”

    Um, they set up thinktanks and mailing lists systems 40 years ago.
    They decided to go for local and state governments every damn year.

    Democrats seem to have problems paying attention past a presidential election.

  49. 49
    Michael says:

    I think normalizing redistricting could be good for democrats in the short term and good for democratic legitimacy in the long term. If the GOP starts to see a downside to that strategy you might make it easier to get comprehensive reform possible

  50. 50
    Anoniminous says:

    @catclub:

    Going to sound crazy …

    I’d be looking at states like South Dakota or Oklahoma for pick-ups. Nationally the Dems have conceded these and other ‘fly-over’ states to the GOP. Don’t know why. My own feeling is the right candidate with a Populist or Old-Style Progressive message, targeted to and for the voters in the district would have a pretty good chance in an off-year election.

  51. 51
    Bnad says:

    We have a decisive information systems advantage which will not last. The Repugs were sleeping a bit this time; next time they will not be. It would be madness to throw the 2012 organization & system away, but bigger mistakes have been made in business & politics. How can we make sure all the IT/GOTV work done for 2012 doesn’t evaporate?

  52. 52
    Ted & Hellen says:

    and maybe Harry Reid will finally do filibuster reform

    The bizarre fact that he might NOT do this is utterly…insane. And typical of the Dems on this type of issue.

    WTF? What could possibly be a downside against the current nut job Republicans?

  53. 53
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    50 state strategy. None of this namby pamby Rahm Emmanuel shit.

    Any idea why they jettisoned all of Howard Dean’s good work?

  54. 54
    Djur says:

    @Ted & Hellen: The filibuster also helps Democrats push back against Republican policies when the Senate is flipped the other way — if Romney had won and we’d lost the senate (or been pushed to a tiny majority), we’d have wanted the filibuster intact.

    However, I think Reid should at least implement some sort of limitation to filibustering presidential appointees — the gridlock in that area is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable. Filibustering legislation doesn’t bother me quite as much.

  55. 55
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ted & Hellen: The downside is that it reduces each individual Senator’s special perks and powers. They tend to like to keep those. Even someone like Feingold wasn’t keen on limiting the filibuster IIRC.

  56. 56
    J R in WV says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    That’s how it works in Australia. Fines for non-voters. Couple of hundred A$ IIRC.

    Some tearful wingnut girl twitted that she was going to move to Australia, where they have a Christian man for President. Thereby showing her lack of international political knowledge, as the Prime Minister of Australia is an atheist Woman named Julia Gilliard, leader of the Australian Labor Party.

    Oops…

  57. 57
    General Stuck says:

    Whether or not Democrats retain the Presidency, Republicans will continue to control at least the House, and without filibuster reform, the Senate, long after demographics turn against them.

    On paper at this point in time, this is a good preview for the future. But while the gerrymandered districts favoring republican control will stay put, there will be other events like elections before then, that may well exact enormous pressure on the wingnut powers that be to make some changes. Dems have the demographic edge with the senate in state wide races, and especially for POTUS elections into the near future. Both fueled by more of the same minority voting power we saw this time. Their natives crave the WH more than anything, mainly due to getting to pick the robed masters of the universe at the SCOTUS to turn back the clock so white males can once again control shit like it needs controlling/wingnut. This parameter alone will jam the nutters up to do something about. And locked in running the House, won’t get it done.

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    @Robin G.:

    Nothing works to perfection, ever. The issue is will the kinks in the system be blown out of proportion versus the benefits Obamacare will/can provide to the uninsured and currently uninsurable.

    Framing very much matters and liberals have to push the positives relentlessly.

    The real risk is that you’ll hear more stories of people only being able to contribute $2,500 to their FSA’s (as an example) being driven 24/7 by Fox News, whereas the poor guy, with chronic kidney problems, who can finally afford insurance will be ignored.

    Liberals really have to figure out a way to highlight the good, because the other side will amplify every minor change that inconveniences someone versus the status quo.

    The people, who are greatly benefited by the change in the status quo need to be put front-and-center.

  59. 59
    JoyfulA says:

    @John: Pennsylvania already has crazily shaped districts due to that last gerrymander. One senate district was an actual doughnut.

  60. 60
    cmorenc says:

    @Napoleon:

    This is why the day after the election our (Ohio’s) Sec of St proposed that our EVs be allocated by district instead of winner take all.

    Unfortunately, IMHO this will be the GOP’s next gambit in states that tend to be “blue” in presidential elections which they won control of at the state house level in 2010. Recall that this proposal was floating in the Pennsylvania state legislature in the runup to the 2012 elections, but they backed off (perhaps in a fit of optimism that Romney might be able to take the state this time around, and all of Pa.’s electoral votes with it instead of splitting them with Obama).

  61. 61
    lol says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Do people realize that Harry Reid can’t unilaterally remove the filibuster?

    He needs 49 other Senators and the problem is that a lot of Democratic Senators love the power and leverage that the filibuster gives them and others are suckers for tradition.

    Fortunately, there are fewer of them now (No more Byrd, Feingold, Lincoln, Lieberman, etc) and they’ve generally been replaced with younger Senators who see the filibuster as a problem.

    But are there 49 Senators now? I’m sure you can get 55 Dems to say they support “filibuster reform” but how many will support a specific proposal?

  62. 62
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I don’t buy the calculation estimating the effect of redistricting by Electoral College votes. Much of that difference just comes from the fact that blue states tend to have Democratic urban areas and Republican rural/exurban areas, but the electoral votes are winner-take-all. That calculation would show an apparent House advantage for Republicans even if the districts were not gerrymandered at all, because they would win some rural districts in blue states.

    That said, Sam Wang’s calculation is much more convincing. The impression I get from it is that, historically, Democrats have actually benefited more from gerrymandering than Republicans, but modern computer-assisted techniques have suddenly made the Republicans much, much better at it than the Democrats ever were.

  63. 63
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I’ve already heard people urging him not to do filibuster reform on the grounds that the current Republican-controlled House would make it useless for passing legislation anyway, and he might lose the Senate and White House in 2014/2016 and be left without any leverage at all.

  64. 64
    Ohio Mom says:

    @PeakVT: Don’t count on Ohio’s congressional districts to be redrawn anytime soon in anyway that would allow any more than a minimum number of Democratic congressmen.

    First, the state legislators — overwhelming Republican — draw the state legislative districts to make sure that the maximum number of seats remain in Republican hands. They’re pretty good at doing that. I don’t know how you break that cycle.

    Then those overwhelming Republican state legislators draw the congressional districts to produce as many Republican congressional districts as possible.

    This year’s ballot did contain an initiative for a non-partisian commission to take over drawing the districts. It failed.

  65. 65
    grandpa john says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yes, by now it should be obvious that Dean with his 50 states strategy was correct, too bad that for some in the Democratic
    party, Power is more important than winning, For all the handwringing about the disproportion in the congressional districts , Democrats must face that fact that to some extent , it is a problem that the helped make, or at least stood by and let happen.
    the 2006 election is evidence of this. Had we stayed with Dean and his strategy, we very likely would not be seeing what is happening in FL, or OH,or WI,or VA,or well you see where I am going with this.

  66. 66
    grandpa john says:

    @Schlemizel: Why are we screwed for 10 years? as someone above mentioned, Texas redistricted in between Censuses, So why could not any other state that had it govt turn blue?

  67. 67
    grandpa john says:

    @KCinDC: Which is exactly the strategy Dean proposed years ago and was used effectively in 2006, so why did the Dems abandon it?

  68. 68
    grandpa john says:

    @GregB: But unless Democrats take control of the state government, the Reps upon seeing this begin to happen will simply re district again with even more obscene gerrymandered districts.
    The real solution is of course, that the districts be drawn in a fair way by some non political committee and that they are to conform to a simple a shape as possible to meet the fairness condition.

  69. 69
    piratedan says:

    the best way is the independent redistricting, if your lege can’t do it, then make it a ballot proposition.

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