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(Washington Post)   Old news: Barney Frank says the GOP only won the House due to redistricting. Fark: Uh, yeah, about that. Ultrafark: Frank agrees that he was wrong   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Followup, GOP, gerrymandering, rural district, redistricting  
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2050 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 Nov 2012 at 3:35 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-14 03:40:29 PM  
They only looked at congressional districts that changed their shapes. What of those that were eliminated entirely, pitting incumbent Democrat against incumbent Democrat for the same seat? Lucky for us in Illinois we had the opposite problem - Republicans state-wide were ravaged by redistricting.
 
2012-11-14 03:40:38 PM  
I love that they used my old district, IL-4 as an example of Gerrymandering. The only thing connecting the top and bottom sections is an interstate highway.
 
2012-11-14 03:40:58 PM  
0 comments? really?

Is everyone reading the article?
 
2012-11-14 03:41:06 PM  
WUT?
 
2012-11-14 03:41:43 PM  
Apparently one hand of WaPo doesn't know what the other hand is doing: How redistricting could keep the House red for a decade:

www.washingtonpost.com
 
2012-11-14 03:42:13 PM  
Well, it's also aided by a disparity in number of people per congressional district
 
2012-11-14 03:42:37 PM  
Well at least he owned it and admitted he was wrong.
 
2012-11-14 03:44:54 PM  
See this the difference between Democrats and Republicans Frank looked at the facts and pulled them back where as a Republican would have said "You're biased and I am being persecuted!!!!"
 
2012-11-14 03:45:43 PM  

Lumpmoose: Apparently one hand of WaPo doesn't know what the other hand is doing: How redistricting could keep the House red for a decade:

[www.washingtonpost.com image 585x314]


We'll they are saying it IS a factor but not the only factor.
 
2012-11-14 03:47:03 PM  
Not sure how Frank admitting he was wrong is "ultra Fark". Maybe the submitter can explain the headline.
 
2012-11-14 03:49:19 PM  
How is he not wrong?

49% of US House votes were for Democrats
48.2% of US House votes were for Republicans

Gerrymandering has allowed the party with the most votes to hold around 30 fewer seats.
 
2012-11-14 03:51:58 PM  

red5ish: Not sure how Frank admitting he was wrong is "ultra Fark". Maybe the submitter can explain the headline.


Change "fark" to "derp" and it makes sense.
 
2012-11-14 03:52:04 PM  

Shaggy_C: They only looked at congressional districts that changed their shapes. What of those that were eliminated entirely, pitting incumbent Democrat against incumbent Democrat for the same seat? Lucky for us in Illinois we had the opposite problem - Republicans state-wide were ravaged by redistricting.


Man, you're starting to sound like a Democrat.

I live in Ohio district 9. The district includes about 80% of Ohio's lakeshore--about 160 miles--and is less than a mile wide in several places.

Ohio gerrymandering was ridiculous this pass through.
 
2012-11-14 03:52:12 PM  
Gerrymandering can only help so much. If in 2 years the Dems targets all the remaining vulnerable GOP seats, and win those contests decisively, they could indeed take back the majority in the House, although they would need to win by 4% or more, rather than just the ~2% they won by this time.
 
2012-11-14 03:52:13 PM  
Statistically there is a way for the congressional lines to have been drawn in Democrats favor resulting in a Democrat win this election. But that would have been gerrymandering as well.
 
2012-11-14 03:52:31 PM  

Shaggy_C: What of those that were eliminated entirely, pitting incumbent Democrat against incumbent Democrat for the same seat?


They needed to do something about Dennis Kucinich. What if Democrats started to act like progressives rather than the less-paid-off conservatives that we're all used to?
 
2012-11-14 03:52:31 PM  

madgonad: How is he not wrong?

49% of US House votes were for Democrats
48.2% of US House votes were for Republicans


Yeah but assuming that redistricting won it for the Republicans is a stretch, since Democrat-controlled state legislatures also participate in gerrymandering.

That said I wonder if anyone has used topographical approaches to see how badly gerrymandered districts are in particular states.
 
2012-11-14 03:53:37 PM  

CokeBear: Gerrymandering can only help so much. If in 2 years the Dems targets all the remaining vulnerable GOP seats, and win those contests decisively, they could indeed take back the majority in the House, although they would need to win by 4% or more, rather than just the ~2% they won by this time.


So Gerrymandering is Affirmative Action for Republicans?
 
2012-11-14 03:54:58 PM  

madgonad: How is he not wrong?

49% of US House votes were for Democrats
48.2% of US House votes were for Republicans

Gerrymandering has allowed the party with the most votes to hold around 30 fewer seats.


Well, it's not *just* gerrymandering, which is the point of the article. Disperate population in house districts contributes too.

However, it seems truly disingenuous to claim this as "wrong". As you note the simple fact is that if the House was elected on strict popular vote you'd see a (D) majority. It's held by the Republicans *only* because the House doesn't perfectly represent the wishes of the majority.

So the article can claim to be technically correct- the best kind of correct!
 
2012-11-14 03:55:42 PM  
He admitted that it wouldn't have gone democrat if they had the pre 2010 districts if I'm correct. That being said, if Every state was forced to use Iowa districting rules, it would have been a much closer house, and given the popular vote going democrat, perhaps even probable that the Dems would have one.

Gerrymandering and Citizens United I believe represent the two greatest attacks on the democratic process right now. I would love to see a legislative end to gerrymandering.
 
2012-11-14 03:56:24 PM  

red5ish: Not sure how Frank admitting he was wrong is "ultra Fark". Maybe the submitter can explain the headline.


Maybe it cost him $5? Doesn't this meme usually go "bad, worse, Fark" or something like that?
 
2012-11-14 03:57:08 PM  

btchin trans-am: red5ish: Not sure how Frank admitting he was wrong is "ultra Fark". Maybe the submitter can explain the headline.

Change "fark" to "derp" and it makes sense.


You think I didn't try that? That's one of the first things I tried, right after turning the headline off, waiting a few seconds and re-booting it. It still doesn't make sense.
 
2012-11-14 03:57:59 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: However, it seems truly disingenuous to claim this as "wrong". As you note the simple fact is that if the House was elected on strict popular vote you'd see a (D) majority. It's held by the Republicans *only* because the House doesn't perfectly represent the wishes of the majority.


let me guess, you also thing Gore should have been president since he got more votes.
 
2012-11-14 03:58:59 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: madgonad: How is he not wrong?

49% of US House votes were for Democrats
48.2% of US House votes were for Republicans

Gerrymandering has allowed the party with the most votes to hold around 30 fewer seats.

Well, it's not *just* gerrymandering, which is the point of the article. Disperate population in house districts contributes too.

However, it seems truly disingenuous to claim this as "wrong". As you note the simple fact is that if the House was elected on strict popular vote you'd see a (D) majority. It's held by the Republicans *only* because the House doesn't perfectly represent the wishes of the majority.

So the article can claim to be technically correct- the best kind of correct!


District boundaries can be drawn any way you want. Republicans like to pack the urban areas all in together to make safe seats for Democrats and blend moderate suburbs with conservative rural to create the imbalance. They could just as easily slice cities up like a pie - so that each seat includes urban, suburban and surrounding rural. It would certainly make for fewer 'safe seats' and encourage a moderate approach.
 
2012-11-14 03:59:54 PM  
He's technically wrong (the best kind!) but in general terms, he's on the right track about the results not quite tracking the popular vote.

Republican House candidates earned 48.5% to the Democratic candidates' 48.8% of all votes cast for a House seat, yet the Republicans ended up with more House seats.

Not that these results are absolute proof of gerrymandering, but it's the current against which Democratic Party has to swim against.
 
2012-11-14 04:00:26 PM  

red5ish: Not sure how Frank admitting he was wrong is "ultra Fark". Maybe the submitter can explain the headline.


boaf sides r bad you see, so because a republican would never admit a mistake that is the same for democrats.
 
2012-11-14 04:03:25 PM  

StopLurkListen: He's technically wrong (the best kind!) but in general terms, he's on the right track about the results not quite tracking the popular vote.

Republican House candidates earned 48.5% to the Democratic candidates' 48.8% of all votes cast for a House seat, yet the Republicans ended up with more House seats.

Not that these results are absolute proof of gerrymandering, but it's the current against which Democratic Party has to swim against.


I don't know about other states, but in FL a few races weren't on the ballot. No challenger. So I don't think it's fair to look at the vote total there.
 
2012-11-14 04:04:00 PM  

Headso: red5ish: Not sure how Frank admitting he was wrong is "ultra Fark". Maybe the submitter can explain the headline.

boaf sides r bad you see,.


See, in this case both sides ARE bad. I'm an unrepentant leftist, but I would gladly trade all the Democrat gerrymanders for the Republican ones if it meant a fair election for everyone.
 
2012-11-14 04:04:13 PM  

Corvus: See this the difference between Democrats and Republicans Frank looked at the facts and pulled them back where as a Republican would have said "You're biased and I am being persecuted!!!!"


This.
 
2012-11-14 04:06:31 PM  
I didn't realize that House Democrats received more votes than did House Republicans. So the people really voted Democrat for all both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency.

Sounds like a mandate to me.

You wouldn't think getting more votes would leave you with a 30-seat disadvantage, would you?

This constant gerrymandering back-and-forth depending who is in charge is ridiculous and counterproductive. States should redistrict logically via non-elected, non-partisan panel, then leave the districts alone until population growth or demographics means its necessary to re-district.
 
2012-11-14 04:06:41 PM  

Arkanaut: madgonad: How is he not wrong?

49% of US House votes were for Democrats
48.2% of US House votes were for Republicans

Yeah but assuming that redistricting won it for the Republicans is a stretch, since Democrat-controlled state legislatures also participate in gerrymandering.

That said I wonder if anyone has used topographical approaches to see how badly gerrymandered districts are in particular states.


The thing about saying that both sides do it is that resulting from the GOP wave in 2010, they controlled the state legislatures in most states (and most swing /purple states) and were able to do a massive amount of gerrymandering.

I mean, the House is supposed to be the most democratic and representative of the nation, but the party that got the most votes for congressional seats is in the minority by about 30 seats. The GOP's hold on the House is a result of gerrymandering only. But yeah, both sides are bad so vote Republican blah blah blah
 
2012-11-14 04:09:14 PM  

Corvus: See this the difference between Democrats and Republicans Frank looked at the facts and pulled them back where as a Republican would have said "You're biased and I am being persecuted!!!!"


yeah, that is exactly how it worked for Clinton, Rangel, Jefferson, Wiener. Wiener.
 
2012-11-14 04:10:51 PM  

madgonad: Glockenspiel Hero: madgonad: How is he not wrong?

49% of US House votes were for Democrats
48.2% of US House votes were for Republicans

Gerrymandering has allowed the party with the most votes to hold around 30 fewer seats.

Well, it's not *just* gerrymandering, which is the point of the article. Disperate population in house districts contributes too.

However, it seems truly disingenuous to claim this as "wrong". As you note the simple fact is that if the House was elected on strict popular vote you'd see a (D) majority. It's held by the Republicans *only* because the House doesn't perfectly represent the wishes of the majority.

So the article can claim to be technically correct- the best kind of correct!

District boundaries can be drawn any way you want. Republicans like to pack the urban areas all in together to make safe seats for Democrats and blend moderate suburbs with conservative rural to create the imbalance. They could just as easily slice cities up like a pie - so that each seat includes urban, suburban and surrounding rural. It would certainly make for fewer 'safe seats' and encourage a moderate approach.


They should just re-draw every district in the country as a perfect, evenly sized square and then watch the congress critters scramble like cockroaches.
 
2012-11-14 04:14:06 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: Corvus: See this the difference between Democrats and Republicans Frank looked at the facts and pulled them back where as a Republican would have said "You're biased and I am being persecuted!!!!"

yeah, that is exactly how it worked for Clinton, Rangel, Jefferson, Wiener. Wiener.


You said Wiener twice.
 
2012-11-14 04:14:17 PM  
Whether or not the Democrats would control the House but for 2010 redistricting, the simple fact is, the Republican House majority lacks moral legitimacy. The majority got a Democratic Congress this year. They were denied it because of, once again, our archaic and senseless election system.
 
2012-11-14 04:14:34 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: Corvus: See this the difference between Democrats and Republicans Frank looked at the facts and pulled them back where as a Republican would have said "You're biased and I am being persecuted!!!!"

yeah, that is exactly how it worked for Clinton, Rangel, Jefferson, Wiener. Wiener.


Wow. That's weak. Are you okay? How you feelin' little buddy? You not feelin' too good today? Have a little butt hurt there liddle buddy? Does-em you lil tookis hurty wurty?
 
2012-11-14 04:14:35 PM  
Election reform - from top to bottom - is necessay for America to consider itself a democratic nation.
 
2012-11-14 04:14:41 PM  

Goodfella: madgonad: Glockenspiel Hero: madgonad: How is he not wrong?


They should just re-draw every district in the country as a perfect, evenly sized square and then watch the congress critters scramble like cockroaches.


The GOP would have a Joygasm. Manhattan would get the same representation as a seven square mile of land in Alaska with population 1000 Beavers and 8 Bears and 1 Human.
 
2012-11-14 04:20:53 PM  

tenp0unds0fcheese: Corvus: See this the difference between Democrats and Republicans Frank looked at the facts and pulled them back where as a Republican would have said "You're biased and I am being persecuted!!!!"

yeah, that is exactly how it worked for Clinton, Rangel, Jefferson, Wiener. Wiener.


We get it, you like the ween.
 
2012-11-14 04:21:21 PM  

TalenLee: Election reform - from top to bottom - is necessay for America to consider itself a democratic nation.


Our fearless leader Cenk is on it:

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-11-14 04:30:43 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: Glockenspiel Hero: However, it seems truly disingenuous to claim this as "wrong". As you note the simple fact is that if the House was elected on strict popular vote you'd see a (D) majority. It's held by the Republicans *only* because the House doesn't perfectly represent the wishes of the majority.

let me guess, you also thing Gore should have been president since he got more votes.


No. Absent the shenanigans with the vote count, it's quite possible (and legal) to get elected with fewer popular votes.

Don't get too happy about this- there's been a fair number of folks, including that evil anti-Republican (but often correct) Nate Silver, who have pointed out that the Electoral College is now gerrymandered against the Republicans. You have a group of deep red states like OK, SC and MI where the Republican wins by 30 points, and a bunch of large swing states that slightly favor the Democrat by 5 such as PA. For the (R)s to win in that scenario they'll need to take ~52% of the popular vote before they can swing the EC.

I'm waiting for the day when a Democrat picks up an EC win but loses the popular vote. I'm sure the Republicans will handle it with great magnanimity and assume that the Democrat has a strong mandate, just like Bush did. I'm sure you'll be here to wholeheartedly congratulate our new leader.
 
2012-11-14 04:30:51 PM  

red5ish: tenpoundsofcheese: Corvus: See this the difference between Democrats and Republicans Frank looked at the facts and pulled them back where as a Republican would have said "You're biased and I am being persecuted!!!!"

yeah, that is exactly how it worked for Clinton, Rangel, Jefferson, Wiener. Wiener.

Wow. That's weak. Are you okay? How you feelin' little buddy? You not feelin' too good today? Have a little butt hurt there liddle buddy? Does-em you lil tookis hurty wurty?


if you want to talk like a child to men about how their butt feels, there are more appropriate places on the internet to do that. google it. you can find sites that will make you happy.
 
2012-11-14 04:31:30 PM  
Yes, Pennsylvania is a good example. But it's not just gerrymandering. Not the GOP based gerrymandering, nor the natural gerrymandering caused by Democrats clustering in cities. There's also the fact that Obama gave low support to Democrats.

As for those newbies that think this is going to last forever, wrong. People move. Redistricting usually only works for one election. After that, the fine distinctions vanish.

You can read more about this on my recent blog post:

Link
 
2012-11-14 04:44:53 PM  
It wasn't just redistricting. Steve Israel is a conservative, Blue Dog weasel. He has no business heading the DCCC.
 
2012-11-14 04:45:46 PM  

Sail The Wide Accountancy: Goodfella: madgonad: Glockenspiel Hero: madgonad: How is he not wrong?


They should just re-draw every district in the country as a perfect, evenly sized square and then watch the congress critters scramble like cockroaches.

The GOP would have a Joygasm. Manhattan would get the same representation as a seven square mile of land in Alaska with population 1000 Beavers and 8 Bears and 1 Human.


Hey, dirt is people too.
 
2012-11-14 04:50:59 PM  

LazarusLong42: Ohio


My ZIP code in Ohio contains four Congressional districts' boundaries. It's absurd.
 
2012-11-14 05:00:25 PM  

Shaggy_C: They only looked at congressional districts that changed their shapes. What of those that were eliminated entirely, pitting incumbent Democrat against incumbent Democrat for the same seat? Lucky for us in Illinois we had the opposite problem - Republicans state-wide were ravaged by redistricting.


Christ THIS

3 dem seats *that I know of* in SE turned into two. 2/3 were just barely Dem but enough - now 1 is nearly safe GOP and one safe Dem.
 
2012-11-14 05:13:50 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: if you want to talk like a child to men about how their butt feels, there are more appropriate places on the internet to do that. google it. you can find sites that will make you happy.


"more appropriate places"?
Coming from a guy whose passion is diving into threads and dropping a deuce that's ridiculously funny.
 
2012-11-14 05:15:50 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: if you want to talk like a child to men about how their butt feels, there are more appropriate places on the internet to do that. google it. you can find sites that will make you happy.


Sounds like you know all about these sites - tell us more.
 
2012-11-14 05:27:30 PM  
You'd think with computers you'd be able to design an algorithm to create random districts based on population, but also beholden to certain criteria like districts borders must be so far apart and the whole district must be one distinct mass rather than multiple masses connected by one slim strip. This would add a certain randomness to the equation to assure that districts are less beholden to party control.

Instead, I'm thinking computers are used to design districts that are as advantageous to the controlling party as possible.
 
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