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Can The Democrats Prevent another Decade Of Republican Gerrymandering?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 19:18
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(Before It's News)


As I mentioned this morning, Blue America had some significant successes with the state legislative candidates we championed this cycle– although those were mostly seats in blue areas where progressive Democrats prevailed over conservative Democrats. The big story in regard to the state legislatures is that the 2010 redistricting is coming up rapidly and the Democrats are in sorry shape. To start with, remember that even if Cooper wins in North Carolina, which looks likely (he's up 2,281,155 to 2,276,383 right now), Republicans will hold 33 governorships, the most I can remember– and one the Democrats' 17 is West Virginia reactionary Trumpist billionaire, Jim Justice.

25 states — including Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Texas, each of which is infamous for grotesque gerrymandering– are in the hands of a Republican governor and both houses of the state legislature. The Democrats have a similar, though not exactly the same, situation in just 4 states– California (where there is no partisan redrawing of districts), Oregon and two deep blue states with 2 districts each, Hawaii and Rhode Island. By dint of tie-breaking vote siuations they also have that in Connecticut and Delaware, after suffering defeats in both states last week. In other words, if the redistricting maps were drawn today, the Democrats wouldn't get one addition seat.– not one, from their states. Even in stalwart blue states like Massachusetts (where all the seats are blue anyway), Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington and Illinois, the Democrats have to deal with either a Republican governor or at least one GOP-controlled chamber.

Of the 99 legislative chambers in the country, the Republicans hold 69 and the Democrats hold 30. The only good news for the Democrats– aside from the North Carolina governorship, which isn't as much help as it should be because the GOP has a veto-proof super-majority in the legislature– was that they flipped the New Mexico and Alaska state Houses and both chambers of the Nevada legislature. But that was more than balanced out when they lost control of the Iowa state Senate, the Kentucky House, and the Minnesota state Senate.

The Democrats gained control of the Alaska House by winning a seat and then forming a coalition with 3 Republicans and 2 independents– the opposite of the situation in the Washington state Senate, where a right-wing fake Democrat caucuses with the GOP, giving them control over that chamber.

Democrats hold 2,023 state House seats to the Republicans' 2,630. And there are 545 Democratic state senators to the GOP's 654. On the brighter side of things, Democrats made inroads in several states. By netting 3 seats in the California Assembly, they now have a super-majority there, for example. These are the states where Democrats gained seats in the lower House:

New Hampshire +20 (3 recounts are still underway today)
Vermont- +4
Rhode Island- +2
New York- +2
West Virginia- +1
North Carolina- +1
Florida- +3
Michigan- +2
Indiana- +1
Kansas- +12
Texas- +6
New Mexico- +5
Arizona- +2
Colorado- +3
Utah- +5
Nevada- +10
Washington- +2
California- +3
Alaska- +1
Hawaii- +1

Democrats also gained some state Senate seats:

Maine- +2
Vermont- +4
Rhode Island- +1
Georgia- +1
Florida- +1
Michigan- +1
Missouri- +2
Kansas- +1
New Mexico- +2
Arizona- +1
Nevada- +1
Washington- +1
Hawaii- +1

In states where they need to make gains to be able to prevent the worst of the GOP gerrymandering in 2020, they mostly failed. The 10 states where the Democrats most need to flip at least one chamber by 2020 look like this today:

The Democrats blew their chance to win the Colorado Senate which remains at 17 Dems and 18 Republicans. They increased their majority in the state House from 34-31 and are now over the GOP 37-28.

Iowa was a disaster, with the Democrats in the state Senate going from a 25-23 majority to a big Republican win, giving them a 29-20 majority. The state House there saw the GOP increase it's majority from 57-43 to 59-41.

Michigan's state House saw the Dems up from 45 to 47 but the Republicans won a vacancy and also went up– from 62 to 63.

Minnesota's state Senate flipped from a 38-28 Democratic body to a 34-33 Republican body. The House was Republican 73-61 and is now worse so, 76-57.

New Hampshire's state Senate went from 13 Republicans to 14 and the Democrats remained at 10. There are still several state House races that haven't been called yet but the Democrats look like they came short of reversing their 157-230 disadvantage.

New York's state Senate still has votes being counted and a 1 vote GOP majority.

Virginia's state Senate is run by the GOP 21-17 and their House is run by the GOP 66-34.

Pennsylvania state House is under GOP control 122-81 and the state Senate is also Republican-dominated, 34-16.

Florida's state Senate is 25-15 Republican and their House is 79-41 Republican.

Wisconsin's state Senate went from 14 Democrats to 13 and from 18 Republicans to 20.

These are states where Democrats would need to make serious inroads to prevent another decade of Republican gerrymandered congressional majorities in Congress. The Democrats have a Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee which is as lame and congenitally incompetent as the DCCC. The executive director, Jessica Post, is a typical incompetent EMILY's List alum who could make a contribution to the Democrats by switching parties and going to work for the Republicans. The Chairman is Mike Gronstal, who was, until Tuesday, the Iowa Senator Majority Leader.

In coming weeks, we'll be discussing an alternative, grassroots organization getting started to do the job that the DLCC has proven itself incapable of doing.


“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis


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