Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Lexington may be in a state of denial, too

The Economist's post-election commentary states:

Some Republican success, it is true, was down to recent shameless efforts to gerrymander the nation's congressional boundaries. But that does not fully account for their roughly 40-seat majority. Besides, 30 states now have Republican governors, though state borders cannot be gerrymandered.

The first assertion seems a bit dubious, as fewer votes were recorded for Republican House candidates than for Democratic ones, by a slim margin: 53.4 million to 53.9 million. It may well be that it is state-by-state variation, rather than gerrymandering, which accounts for the discrepancy. But, certainly in a proportional-representation scheme we would face a Democratic majority (or perhaps a minority government in coalition.)

The second assertion just assumes that previous generations' border-drawing exercise is somehow natural. :) I can't find a quick source for the total population governed by Republicans vs. Democrats, but I wouldn't be surprised if the population count (or vote count) showed a closer or opposite result.

But talk of a "mandate" is generally nonsense to begin with, so I guess you might as well try to justify gridlock if that's your starting point.
Tags: math, politics
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