Republicans Can Win The Next Elections Through Gerrymandering Alone
Even if voting patterns remain the same, Republicans could still win more seats in Congress through redistricting
In Washington, the real insiders know that the true outrages are whats perfectly legal and that its simply a gaffe when someone accidentally blurts out something honest.
And so it barely made a ripple last week when a Texas congressman said aloud whats supposed to be kept to a backroom whisper: Republicans intend to retake the US House of Representatives in 2022 through gerrymandering.
We have redistricting coming up and the Republicans control most of that process in most of the states around the country, Representative Ronny Jackson told a conference of religious conservatives. That alone should get us the majority back.
Hes right. Republicans wont have to win more votes next year to claim the US House.
In fact, everyone could vote the exact same way for Congress next year as they did in 2020 when Democratic candidates nationwide won more than 4.7m votes than Republicans and narrowly held the chamber but under the new maps that will be in place, the Republican party would take control.
If Republicans aggressively maximize every advantage and crash through any of the usual guardrails and they have given every indication that they will theres little Democrats can do. And after a 2019 US supreme court decision declared partisan gerrymandering a non-justiciable political issue, the federal courts will be powerless as well.
House Republicans And Democrats Represent Divergent Americas
An Atlantic analysis finds that congressional districts racial makeup, and their residents level of education, largely determines which party represents them in the House.
Across lines of race, education, age, and geography, Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives increasingly represent two distinct nations, with strikingly little crossover.
An Atlantic analysis of the latest census data shows that the House districts represented by the two parties overwhelmingly track the same demographic and economic fissures that guided the fierce presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This widening chasm between the two sides will shape both the legislative debate over the coming two years and the next competition for control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.
Th Congress 2017 And 2018
Republicans held both chambers of Congress and the presidency but accomplished little of the party’s agenda due partially to infighting and partially to clashes with Democrats.
- White House:;;Republican
- House:;Republicans held 236;seats, Democrats held 196 seats; there were three vacancies.
- Senate:;Republicans;held 50 seats, Democrats held 47 seats; there were two independents, both of whom caucused with the Democrats. There was one vacancy.
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Changes To House Rules
After Democrats took control of the House in the 116th Congress, they voted to change some rules from the previous session of Congress when Republicans were in control. Some of the changes appear below.
- PAYGO: Democrats approved PAYGO, a provision that requires legislation that would increase the deficit to be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases.
- Ethics: Democrats made changes to House ethics rules that required all House members to take ethics training, not just new members. The rules also required members to reimburse taxpayers for settlements that that result from a members discrimination of someone based on race, religion, sex, national origin, or disability, among other things. Lawmakers were also prohibited from sitting on corporate boards.
- Climate change committee: Democrats created a new climate change committee to address the issue. The committee was not given subpoena power or the ability to bring bills to the floor.
A full explanation of the rules changes can be viewed here.
The Party Thats Actually Best For The Economy
Many analyses look at which party is best for the economy. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Democratic presidents since World War II have performed much better than Republicans. On average, Democratic presidents grew the economy 4.4% each year versus 2.5% for Republicans.
A study by Princeton University economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson found that the economy performs better when the president is a Democrat. They report that by many measures, the performance gap is startlingly large. Between Truman and Obama, growth was 1.8% higher under Democrats than Republicans.
A Hudson Institute study found that the six years with the best growth were evenly split between Republican and Democrat presidents.
Most of these evaluations measure growth during the presidents term in office. But no president has control over the growth added during his first year. The budget for that fiscal year was already set by the previous president, so you should compare the gross domestic product at the end of the presidents last budget to the end of his predecessors last budget.
For Obama, that would be the fiscal year from October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2018. Thats FY 2010 through FY 2017. During that time, GDP increased from $15.6 trillion to $17.7 trillion, or by 14%. Thats 1.7% a year.
The chart below ranks the presidents since 1929 on the average annual increase in GDP.
A president would have better growth if he had no recession.
Four Flips For Democrats One For Republicans
Going into the election, the Democrats held 47 seats in the U.S. Senate while the Republicans held 53.
The Democrats have succeeded in flipping four seats: in Colorado, where former Governor John Hickenlooper easily ousted incumbent Cory Gardner, in Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly defeated incumbent Martha McSally, and in Georgia, where Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent David Perdue.
The Republicans have wrested back one previously Democratic seat in , where one-term incumbent Doug Jones was emphatically denied a second term by Tommy Tuberville, a former college head football coach, most recently at the University of Cincinnati.
Outgoing freshman Sens. Jones and Gardner were both considered vulnerable, as each was elected with less than 50% of the vote in 2018.
Republican Thom Tilliss victory over Cal Cunningham in North Carolinaby less than 2 percentage points according to the North Carolina Secretary of States latest tallyis one of several close Senate races that were not called until after election night. In addition to the seats from Georgia, close races also include the victories of incumbent senators Gary Peters and Susan Collins , which were not called until Nov. 4.
Which Congressional Action Was An Attempt By Radical Republicans To Advance Their Plan For Reconstruction
1867 Military Reconstruction ActThe 1867 Military Reconstruction Act, which encompassed the vision of Radical Republicans, set a new direction for Reconstruction in the South. Republicans saw this law, and three supplementary laws passed by Congress that year, called the Reconstruction Acts, as a way to deal with the disorder in the South.
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Are Republicans Or Democrats Better For Stocks
Data over the past 78 years;shows that party control over either chamber has relatively little to do with long-term changes in the broad S&P 500 stock index.
Starting in 1942, the numbers indicate that Republican and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate have had little impact on stock prices in the two years following an election.;
The same holds true when you look at the number of party seats gained or lost in the House and Senate, against stock prices in the S&P 500 during that period.;
The data yields similar results for the November to November cycle, which is a gauge of market sentiment to the election, as well as January to January, which shows the actual market performance of the Congress.;
Isan Control Of Congress
This table shows the number of Congresses in which a party controlled either the House, the Senate, or the presidency.
Who Are The Winners And Losers
Maine Democrats had high hopes of unseating Susan Collins, the 67-year-old moderate Republican who had been trailing her Democrat rival in the polls for months.
But Sara Gideon, 48, conceded in a call to Ms Collins on Wednesday afternoon.
So far, Democrats have managed a net gain of one seat in the Senate election.
Democratic former governor John Hickenlooper won a key Colorado seat from the Republican incumbent Cory Gardner.
Mr Hickenlooper, who stood for the Democratic nomination for president, was governor of Colorado for two terms from 2011 until last year. His rival was considered particularly vulnerable because of his allegiance to President Trump.
In Arizona, former astronaut Mark Kelly defeated Republican incumbent and former fighter pilot Martha McSally. Mr Kelly earlier said he was “confident that when the votes are counted, we’re going to be successful in this mission”.
However, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump ally Lindsey Graham have both been re-elected in their seats of Kentucky and South Carolina respectively.
And in Alabama, Republican candidate Tommy Tuberville took a seat from the Democratic incumbent Doug Jones.
Opinion: The House Looks Like A Gop Lock In 2022 But The Senate Will Be Much Harder
Redistricting will take place in almost every congressional district in the next 18 months. The party of first-term presidents usually loses seats in midterms following their inauguration President Barack Obamas Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010 and President Donald Trumps Republicans lost 40 in 2018 but the redistricting process throws a wrench into the gears of prediction models.
President George W. Bush saw his party add nine seats in the House in 2002. Many think this was a consequence of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America nearly 14 months earlier, but the GOP, through Republican-led state legislatures, controlled most of the redistricting in the two years before the vote, and thus gerrymandering provided a political benefit. Republicans will also have a firm grip on redistricting ahead of the 2022 midterms.
The Brennan Center has that the GOP will enjoy complete control of drawing new boundaries for 181 congressional districts, compared with a maximum of 74 for Democrats, though the final numbers could fluctuate once the pandemic-delayed census is completed. Gerrymandering for political advantage has its critics, but both parties engage in it whenever they get the opportunity. In 2022, Republicans just have much better prospects. Democrats will draw districts in Illinois and Massachusetts to protect Democrats, while in Republican-controlled states such as Florida, Ohio and Texas, the GOP will bring the redistricting hammer down on Democrats.
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Why Did House Democrats Underperform Compared To Joe Biden
The results of the 2020 elections pose several puzzles, one of which is the gap between Joe Bidens handsome victory in the presidential race and the Democrats disappointing performance in the House of Representatives. Biden enjoyed an edge of 7.1 million votes over President Trump, while the Democrats suffered a loss of 13 seats in the House, reducing their margin from 36 to just 10.
Turnout in the 2018 mid-term election reached its highest level in more than a century. Democrats were fervently opposed to the Trump administration and turned out in droves. Compared to its performance in 2016, the partys total House vote fell by only 2%. Without Donald Trump at the head of the ticket, Republican voters were much less enthusiastic, and the total House vote for Republican candidates fell by nearly 20% from 2016. Democratic candidates received almost 10 million more votes than Republican candidates, a margin of 8.6%, the highest ever for a party that was previously in the minority. It was, in short, a spectacular year for House Democrats.
To understand the difference this Democratic disadvantage can make, compare the 2020 presidential and House results in five critical swing states.
Table 1: Presidential versus House results
Why Democratic Departures From The House Have Republicans Salivating
A growing number of Democrats in battleground districts are either retiring or leaving to seek higher office, imperiling the partys control of the House and President Bidens expansive agenda.
WASHINGTON With 18 months left before the midterms, a spate of Democratic departures from the House is threatening to erode the partys slim majority in the House and imperil President Bidens far-reaching policy agenda.
In the past two months, five House Democrats from competitive districts have announced they wont seek re-election next year. They include Representative Charlie Crist of Florida, who on Tuesday launched a campaign for governor, and Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman. Three other Democrats will leave vacant seats in districts likely to see significant change once they are redrawn using the data from the 2020 Census, and several more are weighing bids for higher office.
An early trickle of retirements from House members in competitive districts is often the first sign of a coming political wave. In the 2018 cycle, 48 House Republicans didnt seek re-election and 14 of those vacancies were won by Democrats. Now Republicans are salivating over the prospect of reversing that dynamic and erasing the Democrats six-seat advantage.
Its like going to war on a battlefield but you dont know where youre fighting, when youre fighting or who youre fighting, Mr. Israel said.
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Y Divisions Of United States Congresses
Party divisions of United States Congresses have played a central role in the organization and operations of both chambers of the United States Congressthe Senate and the House of Representativessince its establishment as the bicameral legislature of the Federal government of the United States in 1789. Political parties had not been anticipated when the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787, nor did they exist at the time the first Senate elections and House elections occurred in 1788 and 1789. Organized political parties developed in the U.S. in the 1790s, but political factionsfrom which organized parties evolvedbegan to appear almost immediately after the 1st Congress convened. Those who supported the Washington administration were referred to as “pro-administration” and would eventually form the Federalist Party, while those in opposition joined the emerging Democratic-Republican Party.
Census Data Sets Up Redistricting Fight Over Growing Suburbs
The once-a-decade battle over redistricting is set to be a showdown over the suburbs, as new census data showed rapid growth around some of the nations largest cities and shrinking population in many rural counties.
From Texas to Florida, some of the biggest gains reported Thursday came in states where Republicans will control the redistricting process, but often in and around cities where Democrats have been faring well in recent elections.
The new detailed population data from the 2020 census will serve as the building block to redraw 429 U.S. House districts in 44 states and 7,383 state legislative districts across the U.S. The official goal is to ensure each district has roughly the same number of people.
But many Republicans and Democrats also will be trying to ensure the new lines divide and combine voters in ways that make it more likely for their partys candidates to win future elections, a process called gerrymandering. The parties successes in that effort could determine whether taxes and spending grow, climate-change polices are approved or access to abortion is expanded or curtailed.
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The Winding Road To Democratic Control
Following an anxious four days of waiting after the 2020 general election, nearly all major news networks declared that Joe Biden had exceeded 270 electoral votes and won the presidency. Democrats also retained control of the U.S. House, although their majority has been trimmed back .
But the U.S. Senate still hung in the balance, a tantalizing prize for Democrats dreaming of a trifecta, and a bulwark against a Democratic agenda for Republicans who seek to hold onto some power under the new Biden administration that will be sworn in on Jan. 20, 2021.
Republicans claimed 50 Senate seats after the November election, two more than the 48 seats claimed by the Democratic Caucus at that time.
The Senates balance of power teetered on the fulcrum of Georgias two seats, both of which were decided by the January 5th runoff election. Georgia law requires candidates to be voted in with at least 50% of the votes cast; if a candidate does not reach that threshold the two candidates who received the highest number of votes face one another in a runoff election.
Georgias runoff election featured these match-ups:
Incumbent David Perdue versus Jon Ossoff .According to Georgias Secretary of State, Perdue received 88,000 more votes than Ossoff, but came up just shy of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. This is in part due to the 115,000 votes that went to Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel who will not appear on the January ballot.