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Old 11-08-2018, 11:00 AM
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Successful gerrymandering means that your party wins a lot of seats by thin margins in each one, while losing a few seats by very large margins. This means that, if there's a larger shift to your opposition than you anticipated before you have a chance to draw new maps to compensate, your opponents can flip all of those thin-margin seats at once. By contrast, in a more natural districting, you'd have some seats where your party has a large margin, some where the margin is close one way or the other, and some where the other party has a large margin, and so when there's a shift, it's only the few close seats that switch.

So that's how the Democrats were able to take the House so strongly, this year.

As to why the Senate stayed Republican at the same time, it's mostly because of the six-year terms, as others have said.