Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:07 AM
DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Caseyville, IL
Posts: 7,444

Gerrymandering: Why did the GOP win the Senate but not the House?


I've been hearing it a lot lately. The Republican control of State legislatures in 2010 let them hijack the census and use computers to create hyper-gerrymandered districts to a degree that was never possible before, which is responsible for their recent run of electoral success. In reality, these explanations say, Democrats are a nationwide majority, but they are handicapped in district elections, requiring them to have 10%+ majorities to win these heavily gerrymandered districts.

If so, how did Democrats win the House? Are we to believe they'd have won significantly more seats than they did, if not stymied by Republican gerrymandering? Okay, but why did the GOP win in the Senate, where gerrymandering is not an issue?
  #2  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:16 AM
Red Wiggler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,894
Gerrymandering is baked in at the national level. Instead of carving up House districts in ways that will favor one party of the other, we have smaller states, where Republicans dominate, able to outnumber the more populous ones, which generally favor Dems. In the Senate the two Dakotas and their 1.4 million citizens account for twice as many Senators as California's 36 million.

A party can control the Senate, the nation's highest legislative body, with states representing about 30% of the electorate, if they're the right states. I'm not cool with this at all but the people of this country mostly seem to be.
  #3  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:20 AM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,847
There's an unofficial sort of natural gerrymandering that happens with the Senate, because Democrats tend to concentrate themselves in a few highly populated states such as Illinois, California and New York, whereas Republicans are widely dispersed in rural, low-population states like Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, the Dakotas, etc.

So this packs Democrats into states that add up to few Senators while Republicans spread themselves broadly and collect a lot more Senate seats.

Of course, there are a few Democratic states that achieve the same effect - Delaware, Rhode Island, etc. But not as much as Republicans do in the Midwest.
  #4  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:31 AM
Buck Godot's Avatar
Buck Godot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 5,858
The main reason the senate didn't feel the blue wave has to do with the fact that senators have 6 year terms. As a result, unlike the house, on any given election, 2/3 of the senate isn't up for change. Out of the starting gate, the Republicans had a 42 to 23 advantage before a single vote was cast with Democrats having to defend 26 seats vs only 9 from the Republicans, and many of those Dems are in Republican leaning states. With such an uneven map it was difficult for Dems to maintain the status quo (which would require them to win more than 2/3 of the senate elections) much less take the senate.

Fortunately for the Dems, the reverse is true for the next two cycles.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 11-08-2018 at 09:36 AM.
  #5  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:44 AM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wiggler View Post
A party can control the Senate, the nation's highest legislative body, with states representing about 30% of the electorate, if they're the right states. I'm not cool with this at all but the people of this country mostly seem to be.
If Democrats would disperse themselves so that they moved en masse from California and New York into low-population states like Wyoming, they would totally reshape the political landscape, but they don't want to do that.
  #6  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:52 AM
E-DUB's Avatar
E-DUB is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,666
Gerrymandering, with the advent of sophisticated computer programs, has become less of the art form that it was in the past an more of a science. But there's still a trade-off between the number of seats you can obtain and the safety factor of said seats. If you want to maximize your short term power you can do so by reducing the margin needed to obtain the seats but you sacrifice surety of holding them in case of a wave election. A smaller number of seats could be made waveproof , but then you've only got a smaller number of seats.
  #7  
Old 11-08-2018, 10:06 AM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 85,197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
The main reason the senate didn't feel the blue wave has to do with the fact that senators have 6 year terms. As a result, unlike the house, on any given election, 2/3 of the senate isn't up for change. Out of the starting gate, the Republicans had a 42 to 23 advantage before a single vote was cast with Democrats having to defend 26 seats vs only 9 from the Republicans, and many of those Dems are in Republican leaning states. With such an uneven map it was difficult for Dems to maintain the status quo (which would require them to win more than 2/3 of the senate elections) much less take the senate.

Fortunately for the Dems, the reverse is true for the next two cycles.
Exactly. The GOP was very lucky this time around due to the 1/3 Senate vote every 2 years.
  #8  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:00 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,384
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.
  #9  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:04 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,406
these days many tech jobs are work at home and you can live where you choose. Even with that a lot of people are not real fond of living in rural areas in red states if they are now in a place like NYC, LA, San Fran, etc.
  #10  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:35 AM
markdash is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,976
At the moment, Republicans have a natural advantage in terms of # of states, which is of course the relevant statistic for the Senate. Obama beat Romney by 3.9% in the popular vote and 332-206 in the electoral college, but only won 26 states to Romney's 24. This is of course due to the relatively large number of low-population states which trend right (deep south, great plains, big sky, southwest).

Regarding gerrymandering, this election shows that Republicans were really smart about how/where they gerrymandered. Instead of relying on razor thin margins across the board, they were able to weather some of the storm this year by engineering districts that could withstand the D+7 environment.
  #11  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:39 AM
KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 5,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
If Democrats would disperse themselves so that they moved en masse from California and New York into low-population states like Wyoming, they would totally reshape the political landscape, but they don't want to do that.
Go Midwest, Young Hipster
  #12  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:54 AM
Thing Fish is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago (NL)
Posts: 3,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
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.
Oh, gerrymandering definitely kept the Democratic wave from being bigger than it was. In North Carolina, for instance, 10 Republicans were elected to the House, all but one with less than 60% of the vote, as against only 3 Democrats, all of whom got at least 70% in their districts.
  #13  
Old 11-08-2018, 12:01 PM
DSYoungEsq is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Indian Land, S Carolina
Posts: 14,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
I've been hearing it a lot lately. The Republican control of State legislatures in 2010 let them hijack the census and use computers to create hyper-gerrymandered districts to a degree that was never possible before, which is responsible for their recent run of electoral success. In reality, these explanations say, Democrats are a nationwide majority, but they are handicapped in district elections, requiring them to have 10%+ majorities to win these heavily gerrymandered districts.

If so, how did Democrats win the House? Are we to believe they'd have won significantly more seats than they did, if not stymied by Republican gerrymandering? Okay, but why did the GOP win in the Senate, where gerrymandering is not an issue?
The Senate is intentionally gerrymandered. It's designed to over-value the power of less-populated states. As it currently stands, that leads to GOP strength, since the GOP currently is the party of the rural white voter (not always true in the past by a long shot!).

Thus, the over-representation in the Senate by the GOP.
  #14  
Old 11-08-2018, 12:08 PM
Max Torque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 10,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thing Fish View Post
Oh, gerrymandering definitely kept the Democratic wave from being bigger than it was. In North Carolina, for instance, 10 Republicans were elected to the House, all but one with less than 60% of the vote, as against only 3 Democrats, all of whom got at least 70% in their districts.
This Washington Post link explains it well: How gerrymandering kept Democrats from winning even more seats Tuesday. With 50 percent of the votes, Democrats only won 23 percent of the seats.

This is due to super-packing. Democrats are basically guaranteed 3 seats, but need about a 30-point swing to go from 3 to 4. It wouldn't matter if they got 30% or 50% of the statewide vote, they'd still get three seats. They'd have to get 52.5 percent to pick up a fourth seat.

I don't know where this quote is from, but someone posted it in a discussion on the article:
Quote:
"I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats," said Rep. David Lewis, a Republican member of the North Carolina General Assembly, addressing fellow legislators when they passed the plan in 2016. "So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country."
He added: "I propose that we draw the maps to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and three Democrats because I do not believe it's possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats."
  #15  
Old 11-08-2018, 12:12 PM
Snarky_Kong is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,313
The North Carolina maps were ruled unconstitutional, and yet they still got to use them this election. Our election process with Gerrymandering and voter restrictions is a national shame.
  #16  
Old 11-08-2018, 12:33 PM
Fiveyearlurker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,586
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
The North Carolina maps were ruled unconstitutional, and yet they still got to use them this election. Our election process with Gerrymandering and voter restrictions is a national shame.
In NC, the Republicans won 50.3 of the vote, but maintained control of 10 out of 13 (76.9%) of the seats.
  #17  
Old 11-08-2018, 01:34 PM
snowthx's Avatar
snowthx is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sacratomato area
Posts: 3,486
In Pennsylvania, they were able to get the GOP-gerrymandered districts redrawn. I wonder (and am hopeful), that this process will be repeated in other states - but it takes willpower and organization.
  #18  
Old 11-08-2018, 01:55 PM
manson1972's Avatar
manson1972 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 11,655
Maryland needs to redraw a couple of districts:

Federal judges toss Maryland congressional map for partisan gerrymandering
  #19  
Old 11-08-2018, 03:27 PM
Buck Godot's Avatar
Buck Godot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 5,858
Speaking as the Maryland Democrat, I say hallelujah.

I agree that our congressional districts are a disgrace, and will gladly support their being redrawn if other states are forced to follow suit.

ETA: it was thrown out on First Ammendment grounds? What was the argument here?

Last edited by Buck Godot; 11-08-2018 at 03:30 PM.
  #20  
Old 11-08-2018, 03:50 PM
Red Wiggler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,894
Remember Roscoe Bartlett!!!


Just kidding about that, of course.
  #21  
Old 11-08-2018, 04:03 PM
Tom Tildrum is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 14,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
There's an unofficial sort of natural gerrymandering that happens with the Senate, because Democrats tend to concentrate themselves in a few highly populated states such as Illinois, California and New York, whereas Republicans are widely dispersed in rural, low-population states like Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, the Dakotas, etc.

So this packs Democrats into states that add up to few Senators while Republicans spread themselves broadly and collect a lot more Senate seats.

Of course, there are a few Democratic states that achieve the same effect - Delaware, Rhode Island, etc. But not as much as Republicans do in the Midwest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
The Senate is intentionally gerrymandered. It's designed to over-value the power of less-populated states. As it currently stands, that leads to GOP strength, since the GOP currently is the party of the rural white voter (not always true in the past by a long shot!).

Thus, the over-representation in the Senate by the GOP.
Respectfully, these analyses get the issue backward. The Democrats had 55% of the overall votes in Senate races, according to the "popular vote" counts going around, but they won two-thirds of Tuesday's Senate races. In other words, the actual 2018 Senate voting results were heavily skewed to over-represent Democratic voters.

Presumably that's equally unjust, of course.
  #22  
Old 11-08-2018, 04:31 PM
Buck Godot's Avatar
Buck Godot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 5,858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
Respectfully, these analyses get the issue backward. The Democrats had 55% of the overall votes in Senate races, according to the "popular vote" counts going around, but they won two-thirds of Tuesday's Senate races. In other words, the actual 2018 Senate voting results were heavily skewed to over-represent Democratic voters.

Presumably that's equally unjust, of course.
Not necessarily proof of Gerrymandering it all depends on how clumpy the vote is. If those 55% of votes were spread equally throughout the states, then you would expect a 100% Democratic landslide. If they were perfectly clumped into separate piles of 100% one way or the other, then your right the Dems should have won about 55% of the elections. In general (if both sides are equally clumpy) should expect that the party with the most votes picks up a share of representatives that is somewhat more than its share of the vote. The clear examples of something funny going on (one side being clumped together more than the other), is when one party gets more of the vote and picks up fewer representatives, such as in 2012, where Democrats got more than 1.4 million more votes but got 33 fewer seats in congress.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 11-08-2018 at 04:35 PM.
  #23  
Old 11-08-2018, 04:41 PM
ekedolphin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Suffolk, VA
Posts: 5,084
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
If Democrats would disperse themselves so that they moved en masse from California and New York into low-population states like Wyoming, they would totally reshape the political landscape, but they don't want to do that.
I wouldn't want to live in Wyoming, either. I've been through it; there's nothing there.
  #24  
Old 11-08-2018, 04:51 PM
Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 22,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
The North Carolina maps were ruled unconstitutional, and yet they still got to use them this election. Our election process with Gerrymandering and voter restrictions is a national shame.
Until republicans end up in prison for gerrymandering and voter suppression, it won't stop happening.

If the worst that happens is a judge rules it unconstitutional and the GOP ignore the judge, it'll keep happening.

People need to start going to prison for voter suppression and gerrymandering. That needs to be the democrats top priority. Start putting people in prison for 20+ years and this behavior will end.

Or, if that doesn't work, the democrats need to do it too. At leas that way, the SCOTUS might overturn it. As long as voter suppression and gerrymandering only benefit the GOP, I think the 5 conservative SCOTUS judges will rule it constitutional. If both parties do it, they may decide it is unfair and overturn it.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 11-08-2018 at 04:51 PM.
  #25  
Old 11-08-2018, 04:53 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
Respectfully, these analyses get the issue backward. The Democrats had 55% of the overall votes in Senate races, according to the "popular vote" counts going around, but they won two-thirds of Tuesday's Senate races. In other words, the actual 2018 Senate voting results were heavily skewed to over-represent Democratic voters.

Presumably that's equally unjust, of course.
Except we're looking at a third of a total election. The total Senate makeup is from 2014, 2016, and 2018. Which in total, Dems have 54.5% of the popular vote, but will end up with a minority of seats.
  #26  
Old 11-08-2018, 08:52 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,384
Quote:
Quoth ekedolphin:

I wouldn't want to live in Wyoming, either. I've been through it; there's nothing there.
Well, nothing aside from Yellowstone and the Tetons and Devil's Tower and the Beartooths and a lot of other land that's nearly as amazing and which just has never been officially designated. I'm not sure I would want to live there, either, but I sure enjoyed living a day's travel away from there.
  #27  
Old 11-08-2018, 08:55 PM
flurb is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 938
Another thing to consider is that gerrymandered districts tend to lose some of their tilt over time. Several districts that were gerrymandered to be solidly conservative suburban/exurban districts eight years ago swung left as new voters moved into booming suburbs. In Texas, Pete Sessions in the Dallas area and John Culberson in the Houston suburbs fell victim to this trend.
  #28  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:28 PM
DSYoungEsq is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Indian Land, S Carolina
Posts: 14,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
Respectfully, these analyses get the issue backward. The Democrats had 55% of the overall votes in Senate races, according to the "popular vote" counts going around, but they won two-thirds of Tuesday's Senate races. In other words, the actual 2018 Senate voting results were heavily skewed to over-represent Democratic voters.

Presumably that's equally unjust, of course.
I said over-value the power, not the votes. Different thing, right?
  #29  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:29 PM
DSYoungEsq is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Indian Land, S Carolina
Posts: 14,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Until republicans end up in prison for gerrymandering and voter suppression, it won't stop happening.

If the worst that happens is a judge rules it unconstitutional and the GOP ignore the judge, it'll keep happening.

People need to start going to prison for voter suppression and gerrymandering. That needs to be the democrats top priority. Start putting people in prison for 20+ years and this behavior will end.

Or, if that doesn't work, the democrats need to do it too. At leas that way, the SCOTUS might overturn it. As long as voter suppression and gerrymandering only benefit the GOP, I think the 5 conservative SCOTUS judges will rule it constitutional. If both parties do it, they may decide it is unfair and overturn it.
Democrats DO do it, too. Did you miss the bit about Maryland?
  #30  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:42 PM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,396
As seen on this useful graphic, Six years after a President is elected, the Senate tends to move against him!
Blue (Wilson) won WH 1912; six years later Senate changed from Blue to Red
Blue (Roosevelt) won WH 1940; six years later Senate changed from Blue to Red
Red (Reagan) won WH in 1980; six years later Senate changed from Red to Blue
Blue (Clinton) won WH 1996; six years later Senate changed from Blue to Red
Red (Bush) won WH in 2000; six years later Senate changed from Red to Blue
Blue (Obama) won WH in 2008; six years later Senate changed from Blue to Red
Obama won in 2012; therefore 2018 was always going to be a bad year for Democratic Senators up for re-election(*). Six years after Trump's 2016 election — the 2022 election — should be good for the D's.

The reason is simple: In 2012 turnout was high to vote for President Voters clicked the D Senator while they were voting anyway; some D's got in with narrow margins; but lost 6 years later in the lower-turnout midterms.

(Also shown on the graphic — or rather, will be shown once it is updated — is that this next Congress will be first since Reagan years with a Red Senate and Blue House.)

Last edited by septimus; 11-08-2018 at 09:44 PM.
  #31  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:58 PM
Thing Fish is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago (NL)
Posts: 3,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Until republicans end up in prison for gerrymandering and voter suppression, it won't stop happening.

If the worst that happens is a judge rules it unconstitutional and the GOP ignore the judge, it'll keep happening.

People need to start going to prison for voter suppression and gerrymandering. That needs to be the democrats top priority. Start putting people in prison for 20+ years and this behavior will end.

Or, if that doesn't work, the democrats need to do it too. At leas that way, the SCOTUS might overturn it. As long as voter suppression and gerrymandering only benefit the GOP, I think the 5 conservative SCOTUS judges will rule it constitutional. If both parties do it, they may decide it is unfair and overturn it.
Uh. You do realize we'll need to pass a law against gerrymandering before we start throwing people in prison for it, right?
  #32  
Old 11-08-2018, 10:09 PM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,847
I don't mean this as a gotcha or anything, but the Senate and Electoral College exists for much the same reason that affirmative action does - to provide some artificial boost and protection to those sparsely populated states that would otherwise be disadvantaged or marginalized. In fact, that really is it in a nutshell - electoral affirmative action.
  #33  
Old 11-09-2018, 12:35 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I don't mean this as a gotcha or anything, but the Senate and Electoral College exists for much the same reason that affirmative action does - to provide some artificial boost and protection to those sparsely populated states that would otherwise be disadvantaged or marginalized. In fact, that really is it in a nutshell - electoral affirmative action.
Again, this may make sense (if we stipulate that land area somehow deserves representation) for states like Alaska or Montana. It makes less than zero sense for states like Delaware and Rhode Island.
  #34  
Old 11-09-2018, 06:04 AM
Gyrate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Greater Croydonia
Posts: 23,508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thing Fish View Post
Uh. You do realize we'll need to pass a law against gerrymandering before we start throwing people in prison for it, right?
I don't think we even have laws against many forms of voter suppression, unfortunately.
  #35  
Old 11-09-2018, 11:21 AM
Buck Godot's Avatar
Buck Godot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 5,858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I don't mean this as a gotcha or anything, but the Senate and Electoral College exists for much the same reason that affirmative action does - to provide some artificial boost and protection to those sparsely populated states that would otherwise be disadvantaged or marginalized. In fact, that really is it in a nutshell - electoral affirmative action.
Yes its affirmative action decided over 200 years ago and unchanged since then despite huge demographic shifts. Its a in affirmative action in favor of Rural and against Urban, which in the current political climate directly means in favor of Republicans and against Democrats. I'm in favor of affirmative action in general, but if we reach the point where a majority of the people accepted to Harvard are African American, despite their being a minority of the applicants, I think I would reach the conclusion that perhaps we didn't need it anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thing Fish View Post
Uh. You do realize we'll need to pass a law against gerrymandering before we start throwing people in prison for it, right?
Well on the good side we are reaching the point where gerrymandered maps are being thrown out by the courts. Of course the Supremes could invalidate that with a wave of their pen, or maybe find a way to twist the argument so that Republican Gerrymandering is OK but Democratic Gerrymandering in Maryland is unconstitutional.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 11-09-2018 at 11:26 AM.
  #36  
Old 11-09-2018, 02:49 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 41,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
The Senate is intentionally gerrymandered. It's designed to over-value the power of less-populated states.
That's not gerrymandering.

Why did the Dems win the House but lose a couple votes in the Senate?

Because the GOP cheated*, lied and spent millions to keep control of the senate. They had only so many resources, and the choice was made for the senate as it was a easier win, and more important for them in their race to control SCOTUS.

* In Texas, if you voted straight Democrat your vote went to Cruz, not Beto. Texas knew this full well, but didnt fix it, as it favoured Cruz. And then there's Fla & GA.
  #37  
Old 11-09-2018, 04:02 PM
Budget Player Cadet's Avatar
Budget Player Cadet is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 9,457
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
I've been hearing it a lot lately. The Republican control of State legislatures in 2010 let them hijack the census and use computers to create hyper-gerrymandered districts to a degree that was never possible before, which is responsible for their recent run of electoral success. In reality, these explanations say, Democrats are a nationwide majority, but they are handicapped in district elections, requiring them to have 10%+ majorities to win these heavily gerrymandered districts.

If so, how did Democrats win the House?
Every single house seat was up for re-election this year. The democrats had a 7% margin and still only picked up a very slim majority. By comparison, the 2010 tea party wave election had about the same margin, but republicans picked up a majority nearly three times the size. Democrats won the house by, in electoral terms, beating the fucking stuffing out of the republicans. And they needed to - anything less than a crushing victory, and the republicans hold the house despite losing the popular vote. That's because of gerrymandering.

Quote:
Are we to believe they'd have won significantly more seats than they did, if not stymied by Republican gerrymandering?
Absolutely! North Carolina makes this really clear. Due to a partisan Gerrymander, democrats are packed into a handful of districts. The democrats got 49.7% of the votes, but only took 23% of the seats! Were it actually proportional, the blue wave would have been far larger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
If Democrats would disperse themselves so that they moved en masse from California and New York into low-population states like Wyoming, they would totally reshape the political landscape, but they don't want to do that.
On a collective level, if we all did that, then eventually these places might have blue majorities. Then, eventually, we might be able to pass legislature that makes those states less abominable to live in. But before then, why in god's name would we ever want to move there?!

Take Kansas for example. Kansas has a population of about 3 million (34th largest), so while it's not the easiest target, it's still very much "on the map", as it were. Kansas's republican statehouse has firmly driven the state's economy into the crapper. And we're supposed to move there, in the hopes that enough of us move there to change local politics and make it less of a terrible place to be? Fuck that noise.
  #38  
Old 11-09-2018, 04:23 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
If Democrats would disperse themselves so that they moved en masse from California and New York into low-population states like Wyoming, they would totally reshape the political landscape, but they don't want to do that.
I've read plausible speculation that terrible coastal housing policy is actually causing this. Part of the reason that Colorado and Texas are becoming more liberal is that it's too fucking expensive to live in California and people are moving to cities with fewer land use restrictions.
  #39  
Old 11-09-2018, 07:24 PM
Textual Innuendo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
If Democrats would disperse themselves so that they moved en masse from California and New York into low-population states like Wyoming, they would totally reshape the political landscape, but they don't want to do that.
A fine idea! You go first and send us field reports.

Better yet, go first and establish a large number of companies with numerous high-paying white-collar knowledge-work jobs, because that's what's keeping most of us on the coasts.

I mean, Yellowstone is beautiful and all, and the Southwest is even better, but all those geysers and buttes and cactuses and such have such little use for us scientists, consultants, analysts, devs, and project managers. More's the pity.
  #40  
Old 11-09-2018, 08:12 PM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
* In Texas, if you voted straight Democrat your vote went to Cruz, not Beto. Texas knew this full well, but didnt fix it, as it favoured Cruz. And then there's Fla & GA.
Wow! I did not know this. From this News hit, the problem may be more subtle and might not be deliberate cheating but it's still a travesty one way or the other. Texas voting machines have had similar problems for at least six years.
  #41  
Old 11-10-2018, 03:36 AM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 41,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Wow! I did not know this. From this News hit, the problem may be more subtle and might not be deliberate cheating but it's still a travesty one way or the other. Texas voting machines have had similar problems for at least six years.
Well, Ok, I am not gonna say they deliberately set up this glitch. But they knew about it, knew it would give Cruz a big advantage and did nothing to fix it. It's fraud.


Oldham says it's a problem he's seen for years.

He even told the Secretary of State about it years ago and it's still happening.

....
Oldham tells us he recalls the problems for at least six years and says he's talked to the Secretary of State more than once about the problem. It has not been fixed aside from signs provided by the Secretary of State to warn voters to check their selections.
  #42  
Old 11-10-2018, 04:44 AM
Razncain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: TX & CO
Posts: 1,640
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post

* In Texas, if you voted straight Democrat your vote went to Cruz, not Beto. Texas knew this full well, but didnt fix it, as it favoured Cruz. And then there's Fla & GA.
Uh-oh. I did vote straight Democrat, but did change one vote to Republican on a local level. Gosh, Iíll never forgive myself if I voted for Cruz and didnít even know it. So is there a way to find out?
  #43  
Old 11-12-2018, 06:31 AM
Gyrate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Greater Croydonia
Posts: 23,508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
Absolutely! North Carolina makes this really clear. Due to a partisan Gerrymander, democrats are packed into a handful of districts. The democrats got 49.7% of the votes, but only took 23% of the seats! Were it actually proportional, the blue wave would have been far larger.
Pennsylvania previously had the same disparity, but unlike North Carolina they couldn't ignore the court rulings and were forced to redistrict. As a result, the outcome of seats won this time much more closely reflects the balance of votes cast.
  #44  
Old 11-12-2018, 07:03 AM
penultima thule is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 3,013
Q. It isn't an unknown phenomenon in Aust for voters in State and Federal elections to vote the US equivalent of Blue for the House and Red for the Senate or vice versa.

Our version of checks & balances if you like.

Is this split ticket voting similarly in effect state side or is it predominantly voting straight ticket.
  #45  
Old 11-12-2018, 08:24 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,384
You certainly can do it, but it's becoming much rarer, at least at the federal level. When vote-splitting occurs, it's usually between one party for federal offices like President and the two houses of Congress, and the other party for local offices, because local politics is always different.
  #46  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:26 PM
doorhinge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
The Senate is intentionally gerrymandered. It's designed to over-value the power of less-populated states. As it currently stands, that leads to GOP strength, since the GOP currently is the party of the rural white voter (not always true in the past by a long shot!).

Thus, the over-representation in the Senate by the GOP.
Hahahaha. You're a hoot. Are you actually suggesting that by 1818, the Illinois border had been deliberately drawn with the intention of giving the not-yet-created GOP an edge in the 2018 elections?
  #47  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:51 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,384
No, the Senate was set up to give an edge to states without as many people. The Republican party just happens to be the current beneficiary of that bit of blatant unfairness.
  #48  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:32 PM
FlikTheBlue is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
* In Texas, if you voted straight Democrat your vote went to Cruz, not Beto. Texas knew this full well, but didnt fix it, as it favoured Cruz. And then there's Fla & GA.
Iím a Democrat, but I doubt that Beto lost due to straight ticket Democratic votes changing to Cruz. If that had been the case I think it would have shown up with a pattern where, say, Lupe Valdez would have done better against Greg Abbott because the governor votes werenít flipped like the ones for senate were. Instead Beto did better than Lupe Valdez did, likely due to some old school (Bush type) Republicans splitting their vote.
  #49  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:36 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 41,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
Iím a Democrat, but I doubt that Beto lost due to straight ticket Democratic votes changing to Cruz. If that had been the case I think it would have shown up with a pattern where, say, Lupe Valdez would have done better against Greg Abbott because the governor votes werenít flipped like the ones for senate were. Instead Beto did better than Lupe Valdez did, likely due to some old school (Bush type) Republicans splitting their vote.
Wasn't the vote quite close?

But still this would have been easy to fix, they have known about it for four years or more and they haven't fixed it.
  #50  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:39 PM
FlikTheBlue is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Wasn't the vote quite close?

But still this would have been easy to fix, they have known about it for four years or more and they haven't fixed it.
Cruz won by around three and a half percent. In a large state like Texas, though, that’s a quarter million votes. It wouldn’t surprise me if a small handful of votes changed, but I doubt it was that many.

ETA. A while back I commented about this issue in the O’rourke thread. Flipping a few percentage points is a lot more difficult in Texas due to the absolute number of voters each percent represents.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 11-14-2018 at 07:42 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017