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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Could Gerrymandering that Helped GOP in 2012 Backfire in 2014?

With each party just opposing bookends of the same crime family, we can’t envision any turning back to the Rule of Law for our Republic. Both are corrupted at the leadership core.

Be intellectually honest with yourselves my friends. In 2008 Americans besieged Washington in vehement and clear opposition to bailing out the private banks. Yet, the crime families did what they were told to do and sold us out. The socialized medical issue is another one the Republicans are setting us up for another brick on our heads; badmouthing, sharp criticism, and name-calling is just bluster without substance or intent. Grandstanding for the masses. The American people are literally screaming at their representatives that they DON’T WANT IT and it’s UN-CONSTITUTIONAL, yet they get it anyway. If you’re looking to the GOP as your savior, you’re a dead duck, and may yet have to go off overseas into one of the un-declared, un-constitutional wars - - or even be recruited a soldier at home in Homeland Security.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Republicans managed to maintain their majority in the U.S. House after the 2012 election—in which they lost the presidential contest by five million votes—thanks to considerable gerrymandering of competitive congressional districts that were padded with GOP voters. But this redistricting in many key battleground states did not make seats invincible to a Democratic challenge, especially if turnout among GOP-friendly voters is weak in the 2014 election.

No one knows how the GOP will be viewed this time next year. But right now the Republican brand is hurting following the decision to shut down the government, and risk a default on the U.S. debt, over funding for the Affordable Care Act (pdf) (aka Obamacare). Numerous polls reveal a large majority of Americans disapprove of the party, and if that lack of support lasts for the next 12 months, the GOP could lose up to 10 seats in states where gerrymandering played a key role in the 2012 campaign.

Eric Chemi, head of research for Businessweek and Bloomberg TV, says there are 11 states where the Republicans are most vulnerable to losing seats next year because redistricting spread the GOP base a little thin.

Pennsylvania tops the list with three districts at risk, followed by Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey and Indiana with between one and two seats each possibly in danger of flipping, if turnout does not favor Republicans. In Pennsylvania in 2012, Republican congressional candidates won 49% of the vote, but gained 72% of the seats. Throwing in Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri and Virginia, the Republican and Democrats split the combined vote almost evenly. Yet in these five states Republicans won 51 seats to only 21 for Democrats.

“The effect of gerrymandering has allowed for extremely solid Democratic districts, while spreading the Republican support thin,” Chemi wrote. A decline of only 5% to 10% in GOP voter support “could easily result” in 10 lost seats, he says.

Ten seats might not seem like a lot. But it is when Republicans control only 31 more districts than Democrats (231 v. 200).

-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Ranking the GOP's Most Vulnerable States in 2014 (by Eric Chemi, Bloomberg Businessweek)
The Great Gerrymander of 2012 (by Sam Wang, New York Times)
In Pennsylvania, the Gerrymander of the Decade? (by Sean Trende, Real Clear Politics)