Politics Magazine

More Election Results

Posted on the 30 November 2012 by Erictheblue

Hendrik Hertzberg looks at the election scoreboards.  In the presidential race, it was Obama over Romney by four million, and, in the electoral college (hisssss!), by 332 to 206.  Meanwhile, in 33 elections for U.S. Senate, Democrats got, in the aggregate, ten million more votes than Republicans, and boosted their advantage from 53-47 to 55-45.  Unless the filibuster rule is changed--Hertzberg's on that case, too--it may not help much, since 55 < 60 as surely as 53 < 60.  The surprising result was in the 435 races for U.S. House--surprising because, while Republicans remain in the majority, Democratic candidates received about a million more votes.  Who's drawing the boundaries of congressional districts?  Granted, we Democrats, by crowding together in the nation's big cities, make it easy for those who would balkanize us to balkanize us.  Here in Minnesota, we have one House district for Minneapolis and a few of its inner-ring suburbs and another for St. Paul and some of its inner-ring suburbs.  Both are represented by liberal Democrats who get around seventy per cent of the vote.  The three suburban-exurban districts that surround these two urban districts are all represented by Republicans--the execrable Michele Bachmann is one--who receive on average about 55 per cent of the vote.  If these five districts were shaped like slices of pie that came to a point at the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota, then possibly neither liberal Democrat could win in any of them--but there would be more Democrats in all five. 

But, no, we Dems all hang together in the 'hood and make it possible for Republicans to argue that the election result shows that "the American people" want them in charge of the House of Representatives.  If there weren't so many carefully drawn lines around "the American people," it would be easier to tell that this argument is a crock.

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