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LOL Of The Week: The GOP Can’t Gerrymander The Elections They Need Most

Memo Pad Politics

LOL Of The Week: The GOP Can’t Gerrymander The Elections They Need Most


A new nonpartisan study finds that even if Democrats win the 2014 congressional elections in a landslide similar to the one that saw Republicans gain 63 seats in 2010 — about a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent — Republicans would still maintain control of the House by a 15-seat margin.

This, of course, is the result of Karl Rove’s dampest dream come to life — the gerrymandering that took place after the 2010 elections.

Losing the total popular vote in the House and keeping a majority is rare. But you can expect this to happen every two years through 2020 — because the GOP has planned it that way.

Conservatives bragged about how they’ve successfully subverted the public’s will in a report the “Republican State Leadership Committee” released just after the 2012 election:

“In Ohio, for instance, Republicans won 12 out of 16 House races ‘despite voters casting only 52 percent of their vote for Republican congressional candidates.’ The situation was even more egregious to the north. ‘Michiganders cast over 240,000 more votes for Democratic congressional candidates than Republicans, but still elected a 9-5 Republican delegation to Congress.'”

Carefully crafted districts helped the GOP both keep the House and the state houses in Ohio and Michigan, states President Obama won in 2008 and 2012. In both “swing states,” Tea Party are legislators are blocking Medicaid expansion that their Republican governors have endorsed because they know opposing it could cost them re-election.

And thus again we arrive at the central conflict the Republican Party will face for at least the next decade: They’ve carved safe districts for their party’s extremists, and these extremists make it almost impossible for them to win the Senate or the presidency.

Far-right Republicans in uncontested seats could easily cost the GOP its future as a national party by sabotaging immigration reform in the House. This would continue the trend of the party’s base destroying its national prospects.

You probably know about Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck, Todd Akin, Denny Rehberg and Richard Mourdock — six of the extreme Senate candidates who almost seemed like a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to help the Democrats maintain control of the Senate. And you’ve probably heard of Steve King (R-IA), the congressman who casually compared immigrants to dogs and now wants to help Democrats keep the seat Tom Harkin (D-IA) is giving up after this term.

But unless you live in Michigan or are a fan of Republican congresspeople who love to make Speaker John Boehner’s life miserable, you’ve probably not heard of Justin Amash (R-MI).

Amash is sometimes called the “new Ron Paul,” which means he thinks that Paul Ryan (R-WI) puts out budgets that are too generous because they pretend to keep Medicare in place.


  1. terjeanderson April 28, 2013

    Not sure where the claim that the last time a party lost the popular vote but kept a House majority “happened in 1972” came from. According to every source I can find, Democrats won both the popular vote and the seat count that year. Wikipedia says the totals were 36,780,100 Democratic votes (51.7%, 243 seats) to 33,064,172 Republican votes (46.4%, 192 seats).

    The most recent time (before 2012) when the party winning the popular vote still lost the House was 1996, when Democrats barely edged Republicans (48.1% to 47.8%), but still won only 207 House seats to Republicans 228.

    1. LOLGOP April 28, 2013

      Thanks. You are correct and the post has been corrected. My mistake for relying on the “Republican State Leadership Committee:” http://www.rslc.com/redmap_2012_summary_report

  2. Dominick Vila April 29, 2013

    The truth is that if we focus strictly on numbers – and emotion – we don’t have a chance to win control of the House in 2014 and we are likely to lose some seats in the Senate. The latter is due to the fact that 21 Democrats, and only 14 Republican senators, are running for re-election and some of those Democrats are from red states. I believe we will keep control of the Senate, but by a very small margin. The same goes for governorships. This does not mean that a plurality of Americans favor the GOP, it means that most small states prefer Republican policies and the values they purportedly embrace.

    1. Eleanore Whitaker April 29, 2013

      Small states or Porker states with a vested interest in keeping the lion’s share of our federal tax revenues in their states? Yank that heaping helping of our federal tax dollars and see how fast these small states learn the same austerity the supporting states are enduring.

    2. mike April 29, 2013

      OK, name the corrupt nominees running. As to 2014, it depends on who is running in the Rep. party. If they continue to put some poor candidates up for office congress won’t change that much. Just remember there are about only 70 some seats up that could go either way. The Republ. only need 1/3 of them.

      What will change the dynamics of 2014 will be Obamacare and other admin. policies. Obama said premiums will drop-now up to 25% increases. Obama said more people added-now people finding they will be eliminated. Obama said keep own doctor-not happening. Already the pre-existing program is in trouble(started 3 years ago) has closed its enrollment due to lack of money. Costs for out of pocket has jumped from 4k to over 6k.

      20 million are supposed to enroll this fall and will be shocked at what it will cost them. So many benefits must be covered that even Sibilius says premiums will rise. Business exchanges have been delayed until 2015, so businesses left in limbo. Less hiring. It just keeps going.

      Between premiums, co-pays,

      1. Dominick Vila April 29, 2013

        A timely example of lousy Republican choices is Mr. Sanford in South Carolina. Not only did he engage in an adulterous relationship, he actually used taxpayer’s money to pay for his dalliances.
        I would have preferred a Single Payer System, but considering the circumstances and the ideological misconceptions that exist in our country, the Affordable Care Act is the best we could hope for at the moment. It remains to be seen whether or not ACA can help millions of uninsured Americans and helps mitigate rising medical costs in the USA, but thus far it eliminated two draconian clauses that should have never been allowed to exist: the nefarious pre-existing condition and caps.

        1. mike April 29, 2013

          Mr. Sanford situation is between he and the constituents. I believe the SC party is down right stupid on this case.So Clinton is a lousy Democrat for his personal actions? Get off your selected self-righteousness.

          I bet you would prefer a single payer, which I believe was the process for Obamacare, planning on the Dems part in the first place. Just another nail in the coffin of this country financially.

          “It remains to be seen”, OMG, it is already happening, Everything said above comes from articles, left and right, written in the past month. Did you not read on pre-existing conditions, they have stopped adding people to the rolls, because of the costs and have only enough to cover those on the rolls for this year. 5 billion dollars for only 100,000+ people in 3 years. Wake up and stopped being so selective in your facts.

          ACA is not Affordable.

    3. John Pigg April 29, 2013

      I think all of those seats should be campaigned for but with the understanding that the voters there are conservative. The Democrats need to do a better job recruiting conservatives into their ranks.

      The presence of the Tea Party and other issues allow this to be a feasible political strategy.

  3. Allan Richardson April 29, 2013

    We can hope that enough voters who are flagged as “sure GOP” will be offended by the wingnut candidates that they will vote Democratic next year. And we can keep up the grass roots effort to remind those voters who are not FANATICAL, just part of the “natural” GOP demographic but reasonable, that it’s time to switch, at least until the next incarnation of Republicans shows up with some common sense.

    Our choice on the economy: either Keynesian or Dickensian.

  4. tdm3624 April 29, 2013

    I’m from Michigan and quite happy to not be in Amash’s district. 🙂

  5. BenTheGuy April 29, 2013

    Is this like all the guaranteed black (i.e. democrat) districts enshrined in the south? You think Hank Johnson, for instance, could get elected dog catcher if he was in a non-gerrymandered district? I love how the left acts like all their guys are totally honest and honorable and have never gerrymandered ever!

  6. Kicker April 29, 2013

    This is not hard to understand. Each Congressional District has about the same number of people. Democrats are heavily concentrated in urban centers, while Republicans are spread out over the states. Dems win big in their niches, but lose by a smaller margin in the larger areas where unions and minorities are a smaller percentage of the population. And this is exactly what Dems wanted. Very safe districts for their members where there was no chance of losing no matter what they did.

    As a result, they may have more “total” votes, but only because they have driven the sane people out of their safe districts.

  7. John Pigg April 29, 2013

    This article is strange, it initially complains about Republican gerrymandering but then takes a special moment to criticize an individual representative for no apparent reason.

    This should really be two articles.

    In reference to the critique of Amash. I must admit I am curious about the point you are trying to make here. He has lost support from evangelical pro-life forces, okay well isn’t this a good thing? Ron Paul and Rand want him to remain in a safe house district seat, seems smart to me.?

    What the GOP needs is more people like Amash, here is why. These candidates are strange they don’t hold and maintain their mainstream Republican ideology. Which is why Ron Paul didn’t get the nomination, however these candidates hold unique and individual positions. And often times these positions clash very strongly with the Republican’s evangelical arm of the party.

    The GOP needs more diversity, and more factions, you will find that once there are different variations of Republicans some of them will work with Democrats on positions they believe in….

  8. howa4x April 29, 2013

    Be careful what you wish for. Heavy Is the head that wears the crown. The problem is they get just high enough to be recognized for the stupid things they say and get the kind of press no one wants. The message that they send out alienates the younger voters, as well as independents who will make up the majority of the electorate. The republicans rely on a dumbed down electorate, who get energized by lies about guns, Immigrants, abortion(even though most of them are too old to have one)gay marriage, and other side issues. What this electorate is not concerned about is good quality paying jobs, or why don’t corporations and the super rich pay taxes. But one day the offspring of these dullards might not buy this republican message anymore, and when that day comes even gerrymandering won’t save them.

  9. krychek67 April 29, 2013


  10. HooHah49 April 30, 2013

    ” The post originally stated incorrectly… “The only question is where to start.


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