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

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.

I wouldn’t want to live in Wyoming, either. I’ve been through it; there’s nothing there.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I said over-value the power, not the votes. Different thing, right?

Democrats DO do it, too. Did you miss the bit about Maryland? :wink:

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.)

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 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.

I don’t think we even have laws against many forms of voter suppression, unfortunately.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A fine idea! You go first and send us field reports. :smiley:

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.

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. :eek: