Gerrymandering

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The American Spectator looks at gerrymandering with a good article by Tim Carney:

It’s become de rigueur to lament the rise of partisanship in Washington. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, gets a good deal of the blame in the press for the “strident tone” of the toxic gasses that emanate from Swamp City. In truth, DeLay is more a product of a partisan time than a cause. Folks looking to assign blame for the current tone should turn instead to computer-aided gerrymandering of congressional districts.

The 2002 midterm elections were described as “historic” and “an earthquake.” Republicans bucked past trends and gained seats in both chambers, wresting control of the Senate back from Jim Jeffords and the Democrats by defeating incumbents in Missouri and Georgia.

On another measure, 2002 was historic in how little ground it shook. On Election Day, only four House incumbents fell to challengers. Some incumbents (either on their way to jail or mysteriously involved with missing interns) lost in their primaries. In four cases, reapportionment caused incumbent-vs.-incumbent races.

But only four members were unseated in November by outside challengers. That’s quite an incumbent advantage.

Yes, I’m one of those Republicans that dislikes partisan gerrymandering regardless of who does it. It makes the majority party stale on ideas and increases the partisan tone.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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